Author: Alissa Smith

Alissa Smith

Alissa represents health systems, hospitals, pharmacies, long-term care providers, home health agencies and medical practices, as well as nonprofit and municipal organizations. Alissa’s transactional practice includes contracts, leases, mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures. Alissa’s regulatory practice includes the interpretation and application of state and federal fraud and abuse laws, Medicare and Medicaid rules, tax-exemption laws, HIPAA and privacy laws, EMTALA laws, licensing matters, employment laws, governmental audits and open records and open meetings matters. She also assists with corporate and health system governance issues, including the revision and negotiation of medical staff bylaws.

CARES Act Summary of Provisions that Support America’s Health Care System

Alissa Smith

On March 27, 2020, the President signed into law the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act’’ (“CARES Act”). The CARES Act is the third phase of the federal government’s response to the coronavirus following two other laws to support American families and address health sector needs that were approved on March 6, 2020 (Phase...

COVID-19 and Provider Enrollment: CMS issues FAQs About the Broad 1135 Waiver

Alissa Smith

On Monday, March 23, 2020, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released Frequently Asked Questions on Medicare Provider Enrollment Relief related to COVID-19 (“FAQs”), available here. The recent Public Health Emergency declaration by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services provided a broad 1135 waiver on enrollment screening requirements, application...

HIPAA and COVID-19 Updates: The Office for Civil Rights Provides Additional Guidance on Permitted Disclosures to First Responders

Alissa Smith

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, many health care providers have had a myriad of HIPAA questions, including questions about whether they can share some types of information and, if so, the type of information they can share with first responders who may have been exposed. Today, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) published guidance outlining the...

CMS Announces Relief for Participants in Quality Reporting Programs in Response to COVID-19

Alissa Smith

On March 22, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced in a press release that it is granting exceptions from reporting requirements and extensions for upcoming data submission and measure reporting deadlines for Medicare quality reporting programs.  The exceptions and extensions are intended to reduce data collection and reporting burdens for entities...

Controlled Substance Prescribing Exceptions During Public Health Emergencies

Alissa Smith

In light of the novel coronavirus pandemic, health care practitioners should be aware of relaxed guidelines for prescribing controlled substance. This blog post describes when practitioners can prescribe controlled substances via telemedicine and exceptions available to opioid treatment programs. Telemedicine Prescribing Typically, an in-person medical evaluation must be conducted before a prescription for a controlled...

Coronavirus Resource Center

Alissa Smith

As the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to unfold governments, economies, businesses, and countries are being adversely affected. Many companies are therefore also facing significant and urgent business and legal challenges so we have created a resource center to provide information that may be helpful in decision making. Click here to access articles, webinars...

Public Health Emergencies and the HIPAA Privacy Rule

Alissa Smith

                Will HIPAA obligations be relaxed or waived in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States?  They could be.  This blog post contains information that is helpful to understand in preparation for such possibility. The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (the...

2020 CPI-U and DHS Code List Updates Posted on CMS Website

Alissa Smith

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) recently posted two annual updates related to the physician self-referral law (“Stark Law” or “Stark”) on its Stark website: (1) CPI-U updates related to the nonmonetary compensation exception and medical staff incidental benefits exception; and (2) CPT/HCPCS codes used to identify certain categories of Stark designated health...

Naughty or Nice: Feds Hand Out More Than Lumps of Coal When it Comes to Healthcare Fraud

Alissa Smith

The United States government has an arsenal of agencies and civil and criminal statutes at its disposal to choose from in investigating and combating healthcare fraud.  A recent federal indictment discussed below exemplifies just how multifaceted government investigations and prosecutions can be.  And organizations need to be prepared to respond to such investigations. Last week,...