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A motion filed by a member of Congress to release a bill from committee consideration. What is past is prologue Legislation can follow a standard trajectory to becoming a law: the bill is introduced by a member of Congress, assigned to a committee for debate and amendment, and if it is approved by that committee and supported by the leadership of the majority party, it is placed on the House or Senate calendar to be…
On September 6, 2022, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a Request for Information (RFI) seeking public input to assess the impact of the waivers and flexibilities provided in response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.  The RFI is focused on the disparities in health and health care throughout the United States, in an effort to improve health outcomes, particularly as COVID-19 waivers have, or will, expire. The RFI addresses several topics,…
The ability of a federal official to approve, deny, or compromise a federal claim. Promises in the Dark    The Biden Administration has been reviewing options to address a nearly $2 trillion problem facing Americans: student loan debt. Since taking office, the Biden Administration has extended the pandemic-era pause on federal student loan payments, canceled billions in student loans for borrowers with total and permanent disabilities, expanded the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, and…
On July 20, 2022, the OIG released a Fraud Alert encouraging practitioners to exercise caution when entering into arrangements with telemedicine companies given the various fraud and abuse risks associated with such arrangements including  an increased risk of fraudulent claims to Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal healthcare programs. The Fraud Alert lists seven characteristics of suspect arrangements. This list is not exhaustive and any one factor is not determinative of whether an arrangement would violate…
On June 13, 2022, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”), issued guidance on how covered entities and business associates can use remote communication technologies for audio-only telehealth in a HIPAA-compliant manner following the end of the national COVID-19 public health emergency (“PHE”).  OCR had previously issued guidance in 2020 informing the public that it would not impose penalties against health care providers for noncompliance with the HIPAA rules…
On April 28, 2022, Central District of California Bankruptcy Judge Ernest M. Robles issued a decision regarding the eligibility of a debtor to proceed as a Small Business Debtor under Subchapter V of the Bankruptcy Code. In the decision, Judge Robles determined that the debtor, Phenomenon Marketing & Entertainment, LLC (“Phenomenon”), was not eligible to proceed as a small business debtor since at least two of the debtor’s affiliates were “issuers” under the Securities Exchange…
A budget maneuver that attempts to ensure revenue-neutral taxing or spending.    Feel the Rush Congress’s interest in spending discipline is a political and policy issue that ebbs and flows over time. Though we have experienced a large expansion of federal deficit and debt over the last two decades, both parties have been less focused on spending discipline in recent years. Even in the current spending environment, Congress still attempts to pay for new spending…
This week on Talking Pop Health, Eric Tower is joined by Dave Morlock, managing director for Cain Brothers, a preeminent advisory service for health care organizations.  Cain Brothers offers a comprehensive range of services and solutions to meet the M&A, financing and strategic needs of health care organizations. Dave runs the firm’s health system M&A and advisory practice across the country. He has previous experience as CEO at the University of Toledo Medical Center and…
On March 23, 2022, the U.S. Department of Education (“Department”) announced a significant new policy that, in some cases, will require owners, investors, and controlling parties of private colleges and universities to guarantee the regulatory liabilities of the school. This policy extends to all private institutions, including both proprietary and non-profit institutions of higher education, and will be of significant concern for any entity that presently owns or controls a private, postsecondary institution. Organizations contemplating…
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued almost 200 “blanket” waivers which automatically apply to health care providers including hospitals, other healthcare facilities, and healthcare professionals. These blanket waivers are effective through the duration of the federal Public Health Emergency (PHE) declared by the Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which has been extended for 90-day periods since the onset of the…