Health Care Law Today

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The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) issued a policy comment letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), advocating for telehealth-friendly changes to Medicare’s telehealth coverage and reimbursement rules. The ATA’s letter also made recommendations on CMS’ proposed interpretations on remote patient monitoring (RPM) requirements. The letter was submitted in response to CMS’ 2021 Physician Fee Schedule proposed rule. The ATA letter notes: “The ATA appreciates CMS’s efforts to expand access to telehealth. With…
On September 19, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released guidance establishing the reporting requirements for health care providers that received Provider Relief Fund (PRF) payments. These reporting requirements apply to PRF recipients who received one or more payments exceeding $10,000 in the aggregate, but do not apply to the Nursing Home Infection Control distribution, the Rural Health Clinic Testing distribution, or to reimbursement from the Health Resources and Services Administration Uninsured…
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Health and Human Services recently announced a new addition to its work plan: auditing whether payments made by Medicare for COVID-19 inpatient discharges billed by hospitals comply with federal requirements. This initiative stems from Section 3710 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which applies a 20 percent increase to the inpatient prospective payment system (IPPS) diagnosis-related group (DRG) rate for COVID-19…
On September 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that assisted living facilities (ALFs) may now apply for funding under the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) Phase 2 General Distribution allocation. Funding for this program is through the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. The funding is intended to address both the economic harm and additional expenses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In its announcement,…
This article was originally published in the American Bar Association Health Law Section’s The Health Lawyer August 2020 edition, which you can view by clicking here. COVID-19 has been catastrophic in terms of loss of lives and impact on the U.S. economy.  The entry of COVID-19 into the United States has been nothing short of a dawning of a new age for telehealth, however.  Before the highly contagious, easily transmitted COVID-19 virus came to…
On August 20, 2020, the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) released a statement, Rescission of Guidances and Other Informal Issuances Concerning Premarket Review of Laboratory Developed Tests, which announced that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will no longer require premarket review of laboratory developed tests (LDTs), such as those currently being used to test for the presence of COVID-19, absent traditional notice-and-comment rulemaking. The notice-and-comment rulemaking now required contrasts with the…
The Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) announced some Medicare providers who experienced challenges in the Phase 1 general distribution application period will get a second chance to apply for funds. This limited group of providers will have until August 28, 2020 to exercise this second chance to apply for funds. These applications will be processed alongside the Phase 2 general distributions for Medicaid, Medicaid managed care, CHIP, and dental providers, who now also…
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued its proposed 2021 Physician Fee Schedule rule, enumerating the services CMS proposes to add (and remove) from the list of telehealth services covered under Medicare. This year’s list is unusually robust because CMS took into consideration all the telehealth services Medicare currently covers on a temporary basis due to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). CMS grouped the telehealth services into three lists: 1) nine…
Not necessarily. In the past two weeks, the Office of Inspector General (OIG), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) watchdog, released two new FAQs regarding the Application of OIG’s Administrative Enforcement Authorities to Arrangements Directly Connected to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) Public Health Emergency. While these FAQs provide helpful guideposts to the community regarding enforcement risks, it is important to remember that these responses are “informal feedback” and are not binding…
Editor’s Note: This article is the second part of a series addressing telehealth and substance use disorder treatment, designed to give practical guidance and orientation to health care providers, substance use treatment programs, and entrepreneurs alike. To read part 1 of this series, click here. Our prior article discussed federal law barriers to entry for the use of telehealth in substance use disorder (SUD), and specifically, opioid use disorder (OUD) treatment, and highlighted notable…