In 2016, the Obama Administration issued a regulation implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (the 2016 Rule), which redefined sex discrimination to include termination of pregnancy and gender identity. Despite efforts by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to repeal and revise certain provisions of the 2016 Rule through a new Rule, a … Continue Reading

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a flurry of Press Releases and Alerts from mid-June through the end of July warning consumers and health care professionals not to use certain alcohol-based hand sanitizers due to the dangerous presence of methanol (or wood alcohol), a substance often used to create fuel and antifreeze that can be toxic when absorbed … Continue Reading

New guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) highlights the importance of updating corporate compliance programs to satisfy regulatory requirements.  The 2020 updates pick up where the 2019 guidance left off in addressing the evaluation metrics for compliance.  The key takeaway for 2020 is that companies are encouraged to update and improve compliance programs with the latest in … Continue Reading

Dentists are now able to receive funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Provider Relief Fund, as a result of the American Dental Association’s advocacy.

In a press release dated July 17, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) extended the deadline to apply for the funds to August 3, 2020, “to ensure … Continue Reading

Widespread testing for the novel Coronavirus is generally recognized as an important tool in combating the spread of the virus. The World Health Organization is an advocate for broad testing, so as to better locate incidents of infection for purposes of isolation, caring, and tracking.

However, the cumulative cost for such testing is significant. In a study commissioned by the … Continue Reading

Medical record requests by payors are commonplace for health care providers. Typically, these requests are received by a front desk employee who responds to the inquiry in short order.  Yet, not all requests should be treated the same.  When a request for documentation is propounded by the “Special Investigation Unit” (S.I.U.)  of an insurance company, special care should be exercised … Continue Reading

On July 1, 2020, the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Gov. Wolf issued a 14-day quarantine recommendation for any individual returning to PA from any of 19 states.  The Department expects to adjust the list from time to time to reflect the rise or decrease in COVID-19 cases in states around the country.

Health care practices and facilities should consider … Continue Reading

***Update:  Eligible providers that participate in Medicaid and CHIP programs must electronically submit an application for Provider Relief Funds through the Provider Relief Fund Portal  by July 20, 2020. Note that such providers may select to use their gross revenues from patient care for CY 2017, or 2018 or 2019. The Instructions, Application and Terms and Conditions for Medicaid Continue Reading

In the event of a national disaster or emergency under the Stafford Act or the National Emergencies Act and a Public Health Emergency Declaration by government officials, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary can temporarily waive certain Medicaid and Medicare criterion, which are commonly referred to as 1135 Waivers.  By way of example, 1135 Waivers or … Continue Reading

On June 1, 2020 CMS published QSO-20-31-All. It is effective immediately and provides in part as follows:

(1) States will need to perform focused infection control surveys (FICS) of 100% of the certified nursing homes in their State by July 31, 2020 or lose access to certain federal funding.

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