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The use of telehealth has become indispensable across the country in recent months due to the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)’s temporary expansion of payment for telehealth services. CMS reports that virtual visits for Medicare beneficiaries have jumped from approximately 14,000 per week pre-PHE to almost 1.7 million in the last week of April. Continue Reading CMS Proposes Permanent Expansion of Telehealth Beyond the Public Health Emergency

COVID-19 has affected all aspects of hospice care, operations and personnel, including the person whose judgment is at the center of the Medicare hospice benefit: the hospice physician. In this episode of Hospice Insights, we discuss the increased significance of, and scrutiny applied to, hospice physicians in the age of COVID-19, and identify potential traps and opportunities. Tune in here: https://lnkd.in/enZgCFn

In light of the public health emergency and the urgent need to help individuals and small employers experiencing economic hardship, CMS announced on August 4, 2020 that it has adopted a temporary policy to allow health plan issuers to offer premium credits for 2020 coverage. In its guidance, CMS encouraged states to adopt a similar approach. Health plan issuers wishing to provide premium credits for 2020 coverage must receive the applicable regulator’s permission to provide premium credits, or CMS’s permission in states where CMS is the primary enforcer of the applicable federal requirements (Missouri Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming). For CMS’s guidance on this temporary policy and details on the requirements, see https://go.cms.gov/30sJGOG.

On July 16, 2020, Colorado Governor Jared Polis issued an Executive Order requiring masks to be worn in all public indoor spaces, with limited exceptions. Executive Order D 2020 138 went into effect at midnight on July 16 and remains in effect for 30 days unless extended. It mandates that individuals wear masks “when entering or moving within any Public Indoor Space.” Many employers had questions about the scope and reach of this requirement and in particular how it applies in office environments with conference rooms and cubicles.
Continue Reading Masks Are Mandatory in Office Environments, Including Cubicles

The Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA) introduces changes to paid sick and family leave that will impact Colorado employers in potentially significant ways. Also, the new law codifies whistleblower protections for workers who raise concerns about workplace safety related to a public health emergency, potentially spawning a wave of future lawsuits.

Click on the links below to learn more about Paid Leave and Whistleblower Provisions.

Paid Leave Provisions: https://bit.ly/33h9jUC

Whistleblower Provisions: https://bit.ly/2PhzthR

 

Recently, CMS changed its process for approving provider transactions structured as equity transfers – which in Medicare’s eyes is generally classified as a change of information (“CHOI”).  Previously, the process for approving such a transaction was for the provider to submit the applicable 855 Enrollment Application as CHOI to the provider’s assigned Medicare Administrative Contractor (“MAC”) and the MAC would then approve the CHOI.  With this prior process, a provider only needed MAC approval for CHOIs. The CMS Regional Office only reviewed initial enrollments and changes of ownership (“CHOWs”). Continue Reading Update on CMS’s Process for Approving Provider Transactions Structured as Equity Transfers (CHOI)

On July 20, 2020, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) notified providers that if they received $10,000 or more in funds from the general or targeted Provider Relief Fund (PRF) established under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, reports on how those funds were used will be required. HHS expects to release (through the Health Resources and Services Administration [HRSA] website) detailed instructions on reporting requirements by August 17, 2020. Specifically, reports will be required of any provider who received one or more payments exceeding $10,000 in the aggregate from: Continue Reading HHS Begins Clarifying Reporting Requirements for Provider Relief Funds

On July 10, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced dentists and other dental providers are eligible to apply for relief from the Provider Relief Fund. The Provider Relief Fund General Distribution FAQs outlined the eligibility requirements and payment methodology for calculating distribution amounts. The deadline for applying is July 24, 2020. Continue Reading Deadline Approaching for Dental Provider Relief Funds

In July of 2016, through 2013 Wisconsin Act 236 (Act 236), many of the regulatory provisions of Wis. Admin. Code DHS 124, Wisconsin’s long-standing hospital regulations, were sunset and replaced with the Medicare Conditions of Participation for hospitals (CoPs) as the minimum standards, enforceable by the Department of Health Services (the Department). However, the administrative provisions detailing the approval and plan review processes, fees, waivers and variances, requirements relating to Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) were retained. Moreover, the Department retained the ability to promulgate additional rules, if necessary,Th to provide safe and adequate care and treatment of hospital patients and to protect the health and safety of the patients and employees. Continue Reading WI Hospitals Regulations Updated

Texas: On July 9 Governor Abbott issued a Proclamation (the Proclamation) amending Executive Order GA-27. The Proclamation expands the number of counties required to postpone all non-essential surgeries and procedures indefinitely to preserve hospital capacity for COVID-19 patients to include: Continue Reading Abbott Expands Counties Required to Postpone All Non-essential Surgeries