In June of 2020, Husch Blackwell alerted non-profit healthcare organizations and higher education institutions of the availability of FEMA Public Assistance (PA) Program disaster relief funds pursuant to then published FEMA Guidance.  We have been assisting clients with navigation of their FEMA fund requests, and due to newly published Guidance, we recommend that such organizations closely evaluate potential claims depending upon when the expenses arise to understand which guidance applies.

Continue Reading Updated Guidance on FEMA Public Assistance

On September 19, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released long-awaited details about upcoming reporting requirements for certain providers that accepted funding of one or more payments exceeding $10,000 from the Provider Relief Fund (PRF). Key aspects of HHS’ new PRF reporting guidance are summarized in today’s legal alert. Continue Reading HHS Releases New Details on Provider Relief Fund Reporting Requirements

In this episode, Husch Blackwell’s Meg Pekarske is joined by colleague Stephanie Kaiser for a rich conversation on what it means for a hospice board to carry out its fiduciary duties and how this relates to the role and responsibilities of hospice executives. Through counseling and training boards across the country, Stephanie has gained unique insights on the inner workings of boards, and breaks down what good governance looks like in action. Stephanie debunks common misconceptions on what defines a “good” board and provides practical tips on how hospice executives can and should engage and inform their boards. We also discuss when boards and individual members are liable and how to guard against such claims. Continue Reading Working Together: Tips for Ensuring A Compliant Relationship Between You and Your Hospice Board

Return-to-Campus Considerations is a limited series addressing the legal and practical considerations relating to the coronavirus that institutions of higher education should keep in mind as students, faculty and staff return for the fall semester. Continue Reading COVID-19 Accommodations Part II of Return-to-Campus Considerations

Please join Husch Blackwell as we go virtual with our Health Law Conference. The series will include a range of important topics relevant to the healthcare industry. The webinar programs will be offered every Thursday from October 1 through November 19.

Our first session will include a panel discussion on a potential COVID-19 vaccine. The session will cover the progress of Operation Warp Speed, aspects of vaccine distribution plans and considerations for employers.

Who Should Attend

CEOs, COOs, CFOs, general counsel, compliance officers and other senior business leaders, as well as representatives of hospitals, physician groups and other healthcare organizations.

Continuing Education Credit

This program is pending approval for Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin continuing legal education credit.

Registration

The October 1 session is complimentary; however, registration is required. We encourage you to forward this invitation to interested colleagues. Unable to join us at the scheduled date and time? Register anyway and we will email the recording to you.

Upcoming Programs

Want to plan ahead? Registration is also open for the remaining programs in our Health Law & Innovation virtual series. Click the program title below to register for each session you would like to attend. All programs will be held Noon – 1:00 p.m. CDT.

No employer wants a union. While unions have not had deep presence in hospice, hospice employers are not immune to unionization efforts.

In this session, Meg Pekarske is joined by her colleagues Jon Anderson and Tom O’Day, who offer their insights on what makes unions attractive to employees and what you can do about it. The session addresses how a well-trained management staff can identify union activity at the outset and can use proven human resource best practices to effectively prevent a union effort and, if one arises, to help your employees make good choices. The time to prepare for a union campaign comes well before the union knocks at the door. What you do now will improve your chances in this high-stakes game. Listen to the full episode here: https://bit.ly/2DnYZQ1

On August 4, 2020, the Office of Inspector General for the United States Department of Health and Human Services (OIG) released an FAQ regarding whether a clinical laboratory may provide free antibody testing to federal health care program beneficiaries (e.g. Medicare/Medicaid beneficiaries). In its FAQ, the OIG acknowledged that providing such testing would implicate two federal anti-fraud statutes–the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) and the federal Civil Monetary Penalties Law (CMPL). However, so long as the laboratory implemented certain safeguards, the arrangement would pose a sufficiently low risk that OIG would not pursue an enforcement action. Continue Reading OIG Guidance on Fraud and Abuse Implications of Free Covid-19 Antibody Testing by Laboratories

Many colleges and universities offer on-campus healthcare clinic services to their students. These student health clinics are typically staffed by a physician or advanced practice provider such as a nurse practitioner. In addition to providing professional services, these providers may on occasion prescribe medications to students. Some of our clients have asked whether it is also permissible for the providers to actually dispense these medications on-site, even though the clinic is not licensed as a pharmacy. Continue Reading Dispensing Medications at Student Health Clinics

CMS has issued a new rule clarifying that its daily Covid-19 reporting via the HHS Teletracking portal is mandatory as a condition of participation in the Medicare program. 42 C.F.R. § 482.42. HHS’s FAQ detailing the hospital reporting requirements can be found here – https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/covid-19-faqs-hospitals-hospital-laboratory-acute-care-facility-data-reporting.pdf.  Failure to consistently report throughout the Public Health Emergency period, which currently is set to expire in late October, could result in CMS terminating the hospital’s provider agreements with CMS, which is CMS’s only enforcement tool.  Because the penalty is so dire, it is critically important that providers comply.  It is possible your state has accepted the responsibility of reporting on its hospitals’ behalf, which releases the individual provider from the requirement. However, states must first receive written certification from their ASPR Regional Administrator affirming the state has met certain reporting requirements. Hospitals should confirm that the state is reporting the required data on its behalf prior to discontinuing its daily reporting via the HHS Teletracking portal.

If you have questions regarding the reporting requirements or possible release by your state, contact your Husch Blackwell healthcare attorney.

The hospice industry expressed collective disappointment when the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services declined additional time for implementing new election statement and addendum requirements. On October 1, 2020, hospices will need updated forms, processes and training to address new payment conditions. In this episode, Meg Pekarske and Andrew Brenton review the new rule’s key takeaways and flexibilities, and discuss navigating compliance.

Additional resources and handouts: