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  • CMS Updated Emergency Declaration Blanket Waivers for Healthcare Providers The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) has issued additional blanket waivers retroactive to March 1, 2020 through the end of the emergency declaration to help healthcare providers contain the spread of COVID-19.  The updated waivers were released on April 29, 2020 and are an update from those issued on April 21, 2020.  The... Continue Reading... ....
  • The Louisiana Department of Health Updates Order on Procedures and Healthcare Services Effective April 27, 2020 On April 20, 2020, the Louisiana Department of Health (“LDH”) Office of Public Health issued Healthcare Facility Notice/Order Notice #2020-COVID 19-ALL-10 (“Notice-10”) which supersedes prior notices and lifts some of the restrictions on medical, surgical and dental procedures as well as other healthcare services beginning on April 27, 2020.  All licensed healthcare facilities and professionals... Continue Reading... ....
  • New CMS Waivers for Stark Law, NCD, LCD and Supervision Requirements During Public Health Emergency Physicians enrolled in Medicare are all-to-familiar with the constraints of the Stark Law which prohibits physicians from making referrals for designated health services (“DHS”) payable by Medicare when the physician (or immediate family member) has a financial relationship with the entity performing the DHS.  On March 30, 2020, CMS announced a number of Stark Law... Continue Reading... ....
  • U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Makes it Illegal to Hoard Certain PPE, Ventilators and Sanitizing/Disinfecting Products On Monday, March 30, 2020 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) issued a notice in the Federal Register declaring certain goods as “scarce,” which means it is illegal to hoard those items. The DHHS is acting under authority granted by President Trump under the Defense Production Act of 1950 (the “Act”).[1] By... Continue Reading... ....
  • CMS Expands Medicare Telehealth Benefits During Public Health Emergency CMS has expanded Medicare telehealth benefits on a temporary and emergency basis pursuant to the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act.  Starting March 6, 2020, Medicare will pay for office, hospital, and other visits furnished via telehealth provided by doctors, nurse practitioners, clinical psychologists, and licensed clinical social workers.  The HHS Office of Inspector... Continue Reading... ....
  • HIPAA Privacy Rule Regulatory Response to COVID-19 The COVID-19 pandemic is reshaping many areas of law and regulation as businesses grapple with maintaining compliance, while also responding to the fluid needs of their clients and employees. In an effort to ease the regulatory burden on businesses, certain government agencies have made announcements that their offices will exercise discretion or waive certain noncompliance... Continue Reading... ....
  • Comments on Social Media Could be Costly Under HIPAA The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”), announced on October 2, 2019, that it had entered into a settlement with a private dental practice that had violated the HIPAA Privacy Rule by posting patient protected health information (“PHI”) on Yelp.  The OCR received a complaint in 2016 from a... Continue Reading... ....
  • Patient Phone Calls, To Record or Not to Record? The practice of medicine is changing almost daily, and a big contributor to the new landscape is technology. With the ever-growing list of apps and software platforms available, physicians and other health care providers are able to find and treat their patients in ways that were not possible in previous years. Many of the same... Continue Reading... ....
  • Who You Affiliate with Could Jeopardize Your Medicare Enrollment On September 10, 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) published a Final Rule in the Federal Register which will require Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program (“CHIP”) providers and suppliers to disclose current and previous affiliations with other providers and suppliers who CMS identifies as posing an undue risk of fraud,... Continue Reading... ....
  • Telemedicine Help is on the Way for Louisiana Patients on Vacay In December of 2018, the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners (“The Board”), approved adoption of an amendment to the rules governing the practice of telemedicine.  The Board published a Notice of Intent for the amendment in April of 2019 in the Louisiana register with the amended Rule becoming final on August 20, 2019.  Prior... Continue Reading... ....