Author: Charis Zimmick

Charis Zimmick

Charis works with clients throughout the healthcare industry, including hospitals, pharmacies, healthcare systems, research institutions, and long term care providers. Her practice includes advising clients on HIPAA, the Stark law, state and federal anti-kickback statutes, and state licensure requirements. She also aids clients with telemedicine and digital health issues. Charis maintains an active pro bono practice, including representing clients seeking asylum in the United States.

Is Your Compliance Program More than a Paper Program? DOJ Issues Revised Guidance for Evaluating Corporate Compliance Programs

Charis Zimmick

On June 1, 2020, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) issued an updated version of its “Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs” (the “DOJ Guidance”), available here. The DOJ Guidance is an update to guidance first issued by the DOJ in February 2017 (which we described in our prior blog post), and was last updated by the...

CMS Issues Explanatory Guidance on Stark Law Blanket Waivers

Charis Zimmick

As we explained in our prior blog post, on March 30, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued certain blanket waivers of sanctions under the federal physician self-referral law (or “Stark Law”) for “COVID-19 Purposes” (the “Stark Blanket Waivers”), which are available here. On April 21, 2020, CMS issued explanatory guidance, available...

Medicare Payment Rules Changed to Allow Broad Use of Remote Communications Technology

Charis Zimmick

On Monday, April 6th the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) adopted an interim final rule to change a wide range of Medicare payment policies during the COVID-19 public health emergency so that Medicare providers and suppliers have flexibility to furnish services to beneficiaries using remote communications technology. As healthcare providers implement infection prevention...

New CMS COVID-19 Blanket Waivers for Health Care Providers

Charis Zimmick

On March 30, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) published a compilation of COVID-19 Emergency Declaration Blanket Waivers for Health Care Providers (each, a “Blanket Waiver”). Section 1135 of the Social Security Act gives CMS the authority to issue waivers that ease requirements for providers affected by an emergency if: (1) the...

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

Charis Zimmick

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...

Controlled Substance Prescribing Exceptions During Public Health Emergencies

Charis Zimmick

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...

Public Health Emergencies and the HIPAA Privacy Rule

Charis Zimmick

                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...

First EKRA Enforcement Announced

Charis Zimmick

The first publicly disclosed prosecution under the Eliminating Kickbacks in Recovery Act (“EKRA”) occurred last month, a little over a year after EKRA became law. As we described in a previous blog post, EKRA criminalizes certain health care payment arrangements related to referrals, regardless of payor. In the recent EKRA prosecution, an office manager of...