Legislation and Public Policy

CMS Proposes Permanent Expansion of Telehealth Services
August 5, 2020 | Ada Janocinska | Behavioral Health | COVID-19 | Home Health | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy | Medicare and Medicaid | Telehealth

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic since mid-March, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) worked quickly to issue emergency guidance that allowed temporary expansion of payment for telehealth services and provided certain flexibility in providing telehealth services. The COVID pandemic has significantly increased awareness of the benefits of telehealth, as many patients have

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Hospitals to Get $10 Billion in COVID-19 Funding
July 21, 2020 | COVID-19 | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on July 17 that it will begin distributing a second round of funding to hospitals in “high impact COVID-19 areas.” The funding is intended to address the recent surge in COVID-19 cases across the country.

The funding is based on data submitted by hospitals about

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FCC Increases Funding for Rural Telehealth Services
July 17, 2020 | Eric D. Fader | Behavioral Health | COVID-19 | Home Health | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy | Telehealth

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is adding $198 million in funding to the Rural Health Care Program to help healthcare providers acquire telecommunications and broadband services. The funding is in addition to $200 million that was allocated to the FCC’s COVID-19 Telehealth Program by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). About

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SAMHSA Updates Part 2 Rules
July 15, 2020 | Eric D. Fader | Behavioral Health | HIPAA | Legislation and Public Policy

On July 13, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) announced the adoption of revised Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records regulations in an effort to improve care coordination for substance abuse patients and reduce the burdens on their providers. The revisions to the regulations, commonly known as the Part 2 Rules

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Rivkin Health Attorneys Write the Book on Federal AKS and Safe Harbors
July 10, 2020 | Rivkin Rounds Staff | Electronic Health Records | Employer/Employee | False Claims Act | Fraud and Abuse | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy | Litigation | Medical Devices and Wearables | Pharmaceuticals | Private Insurers

Eric Fader, Jeff Kaiser, Chris Kutner, Ada Kozicz and Ben Malerba are authors of the newly released book, “The Federal Anti-Kickback Statute and Safe Harbors: A Practical Guide.”

Published by the American Bar Association, the book covers all safe harbors currently in place, as well as the interplay between the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) and other

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Time to Prepare for Possible Medicaid Home Care Changes
July 9, 2020 | Wendy Hoey Sheinberg | Home Health | Legislation and Public Policy | Medicare and Medicaid | Nursing Homes

Community Medicaid Services will undergo a significant change on October 1, 2020, due to the passage of the New York State Budget Bill (“2020 Bill”). Although many of the changes in the 2020 Bill are subject to federal approval, this bulletin will offer an overview of what might be affected. You can take steps now

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Hospital Price Transparency Rule Upheld
June 24, 2020 | Eric D. Fader | Affordable Care Act | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy | Litigation | Private Insurers

On June 23, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled against the American Hospital Association and other associations and individual hospitals that had sued the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to block a new price transparency rule that will take effect on January 1, 2021. The rule, which was finalized

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Wearables Brands Fight for Healthcare Space
June 23, 2020 | Eric D. Fader | COVID-19 | Electronic Health Records | Employer/Employee | Legislation and Public Policy | Medical Devices and Wearables | Telehealth

Manufacturers of activity trackers and smartwatches have been fighting over the “serious” healthcare market for several years. Companies such as Apple (previously discussed here), Fitbit (previously discussed here), and Garmin (previously discussed here) have all announced research partnerships with academic and clinical institutions to expand their businesses from the “exercise and fitness” market into healthcare

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Drug Price Disclosure Rule Rejected Again
June 17, 2020 | Eric D. Fader | Legislation and Public Policy | Medicare and Medicaid | Pharmaceuticals

On June 16, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upheld a ruling from a year ago that struck down a federal regulation requiring pharmaceutical companies to disclose wholesale prices of prescription drugs in television advertisements. The appeals court agreed with the lower court’s opinion that the rule exceeded the legal

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HHS Finalizes Civil Rights and Anti-Discrimination Rule
June 16, 2020 | Ada Janocinska | Affordable Care Act | Hospitals | Legislation and Public Policy

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has finalized a new rule under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act in an effort to enforce civil rights laws and protect against discrimination in healthcare. The rule, entitled “Nondiscrimination in Health and Health Education Programs or Activities: Delegation of Authority,” attempts to restore civil

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