Category: COVID-19

OIG Initiatives to Ease Provider Burdens Related to COVID-19

Laura B. Morgan

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) has taken numerous steps to minimize regulatory burdens for providers who need to make their primary focus delivering patient care during the COVID-19 national emergency. These steps, along with recent steps taken by other agencies to provide temporary regulatory flexibility, provide further...

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

Ross C. D'Emanuele

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...

Stark Law Blanket Waivers Related to “COVID-19 Purposes” Announced

Laura B. Morgan

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to rapid and drastic changes to health care delivery in the United States, including as it relates to arrangements between health care providers and physicians that may implicate the federal physician self-referral law, or “Stark Law.” On March 30, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued much-anticipated...

What All Employers Should Know About Disaster Relief Funds to help with COVID-19

Mackenzie McNaughton

The COIVD-19 pandemic is placing new and unprecedented demands on both taxable and tax-exempt employers and their employees. One option many employers may not have previously considered is the use of a tax-exempt employee assistance fund. Depending on the structure of the fund, declaration of qualified disaster is an important requirement for the fund to...

Accelerated and Advance Payments: Financial Relief for Medicare Participating Providers & Suppliers – A COVID-Prompted CMS Announcement

Shira Hauschen

With the aim of enabling providers to focus attention and resources on fighting the COVID1-19 pandemic, CMS announced over the weekend that it intends to alleviate some of Medicare participating providers’ and suppliers’ financial burden by expanding its Medicare accelerated and advance payment (AAP) program to a broader group of Medicare Part A providers and...

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

Claire H. Topp

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

Jamie McCarty

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...

CMS Announces Enforcement Discretion for Physician Payments Sunshine Act Reporting by Applicable Drug and Device Manufacturers

Shira Hauschen

CMS announced today (with the details found here in its answers to Frequently Asked Questions) that in acknowledgment of the extreme circumstances posed by COVID-19, it will exercise enforcement discretion with respect to any Physician Payments Sunshine Act Open Payments reporting that is submitted after the March 31, 2020 deadline. CMS explained that while it...