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Homeostasis: Health Care Law Blog

Homeostasis: Health Care Law Blog


OCR Guidance During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency


On March 17, 2020, OCR issued guidance indicating that it would exercise enforcement discretion and waive penalties for entities that provide services to individuals using “everyday communication technologies.”

On March 20, 2020, OCR provided additional more detailed guidance on telehealth services applicable to all health care providers  covered by HIPAA who provide telehealth services during the COVID -19 public health emergency. Read More ›

Michigan Governor’s Executive Order 2020-30 Expands Health Care Professionals’ Scope of Practice and Lifts Certain Licensure Restrictions

On March 29, 2020, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-30  (“E.O. 2020-30”) temporarily lifting certain licensure and scope of practice restrictions for health care professionals practicing at health care facilities in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.  E.O. 2020-30 contains the following provisions, which are effective immediately through the end of the COVID-19 public health emergency. Read More ›

Medicare Telemedicine Reimbursement Updates in Response to COVID-19

On March 17, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) implemented a telehealth waiver (the “Waiver”) under the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020, which allows the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) to temporarily waive certain Medicare restrictions and requirements regarding the delivery of telehealth services during the coronavirus public health emergency (the “Emergency”). Under the Waiver, CMS is expanding Medicare coverage for telehealth visits. Read More ›

CARES: Implications for the Healthcare Industry

On March 25, the Senate passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES”). The House is expected to vote on the legislation on March 27, 2020. The following is a summary of the significant provisions impacting the health care industry. Read More ›

Fighting Fraud in the Wake of COVID-19

The federal government continues to develop responses to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and now turns toward combatting COVID-19 related fraud. Attorney General Barr issued a memo on March 16, 2020 calling on all U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) attorneys to prioritize the detection, investigation, and prosecution of wrongdoing related to COVID-19. Following Attorney General Barr’s instruction, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois appointed a federal prosecutor to lead the district’s crackdown of scammers attempting to leverage the pandemic for fraudulent purposes. U.S. Attorney’s Offices across the country are expected to follow this path to coordinate with federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to lead fraud investigations and enforcement. Read More ›

Michigan Executive Order Restricts Non-Essential Medical and Dental Procedures to Combat COVID-19

Since March 10, 2020, when the first two positive cases of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) were confirmed in Michigan and Governor Whitmer declared a State of Emergency, the Governor has issued 15 executive orders in an effort to control the spread of COVID-19. Governor Whitmer has now issued Executive Order No. 2020-17, placing a temporary restriction on certain medical and dental procedures throughout Michigan. Read More ›

Michigan Governor Issues Executive Order 2020-13 to Enhance Operational Capacity and Efficiency of Health Care Facilities

On March 17, 2020, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-13 (COVID-19) (“E.O. 2020-13”) designed to enhance the operational capacity and efficiency of health care facilities in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Executive Order 2020-13 contains the following six directives: Read More ›

Prescribers May Forego In-Person Medical Exam When Prescribing Controlled Substances via the Internet During COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

Under the federal Ryan Haight Act (the “Act”), prescribers must ordinarily perform an in-person medical evaluation of a patient before using the Internet to prescribe controlled substances for that patient. The Act contains an exception to the in-person evaluation requirement when prescribing is done via the “practice of telemedicine,” as defined in the Act. The Act’s definition of telemedicine includes the practice of medicine by means of an acceptable telecommunication system during a public health emergency declared by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (the “Secretary”), with the concurrence of the federal Attorney General through the Drug Enforcement Administration (“DEA”). Read More ›

The National Nursing Home Initiative: New DOJ Taskforce Bolsters Nursing Home Enforcement

On March 3, 2020, Attorney General William Barr announced the National Nursing Home Initiative–a new U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) taskforce organized to push criminal and civil enforcement action against nursing homes across the country. The initiative will help coordinate DOJ enforcement actions against nursing homes that provide “grossly substandard care.” Read More ›

A Critical Resource: Get to Know Your Local Health Department

Administrative and clinical staff in nursing facilities around the country are under tremendous stress trying to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Facilities are getting barraged from all sides with information from experts and questions from residents and their families. In this period of uncertainty, do not overlook an important ally and resource right in your backyard—your local health department. The medical director at your health department is the epidemiology expert in your community, and is an invaluable resource for how pubic health issues are best addressed in your specific community, with your specific population. Read More ›