OSHA is currently considering a possible “Prevention of Workplace Violence in Healthcare and Social Assistance” rule. If passed, the Rule would apply to employers whose employees face an increased risk of workplace violence from their patients, clients, residents and/or facility visitors. Such employees include those who work in hospitals, ambulatory medical care or substance abuse treatment centers, freestanding emergency centers, residential care facilities, home healthcare, EMS and/or social assistance (excluding child day care centers). The attached link is a PowerPoint presentation prepared by the agency. We will continue to keep you posted on the rulemaking process.

The Affordable Care Act mandated that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) establish risk categories for Medicare enrollment, which are used by CMS to determine what level of scrutiny to give provider enrollment applications, which includes initial enrollment, change of ownership (“CHOW”) applications, and revalidations.  Three risk categories were subsequently created under 42 CFR § 424.518: limited, moderate, and high. Providers in the limited risk category are subject to the lowest scrutiny and those in the high risk category are subject to the most scrutiny.

Continue Reading Significant Change in Medicare Enrollment Risk Categories for SNFs

On October 14, 2022, President Joe Biden signed Executive Order 14036, directing the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) to consider innovative actions to drive down certain single-source prescription drug costs as the Biden-Harris Administration works to implement the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (the “Act”).

Continue Reading Inflation Reduction Act Imposes Prescription Drug Pricing Reforms

Stories can be powerful tools. Stories can create a sense of connection and have the power to shape the lives of both the storyteller and the listener. Stories also make ideas and experiences relatable and can encourage exploration or action. And it was the stories I heard from members of AHLA’s Women’s Leadership Council that inspired me to write this column as a reminder of the incredible impact of AHLA’s educational mission supported by AHLA’s philanthropic initiatives.

Continue Reading Women’s Network—Storytelling: AHLA’s Educational and Philanthropic Mission

DEA waivers regarding the Ryan Haight Act could play a major role in telehealth’s future.

In the first decade of the 21st century, deaths attributable to overdoses of prescription drugs saw an alarming spike in volume, led higher by a tripling of deaths due to opioid use. Amid this surge, Congress enacted the Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act in 2008 as part of an attempt to rein in the burgeoning online marketplace for prescription drugs—particularly those involving controlled substances—which had largely evaded prior enforcement actions.

Continue Reading Telehealth’s Post-Pandemic Growth Trajectory

On July 26, 2022, Judge Jeremy Kernodle of the Eastern District of Texas affirmed that certain parts of the Interim Final Rule Part II implementing the No Surprises Act (the Act) were invalid. This ruling is nearly identical to Judge Kernodle’s February decision in Texas Medical Association & Corley v. US Dept. of Health and Human Services. This decision vacated a portion of the Interim Final Rule that required arbitrators to give more weight to the out-of-network rate, including what is called the Qualified Payment Amount (QPA), over other permissible factors. The rule’s requirement ultimately contradicted the Act’s direction that arbitrators consider various factors, and not weight any one more heavily than another. Continue Reading Eastern District of Texas Invalidates Parts of Implementing the No Surprises Act

Workplace violence has become a hot topic in today’s discourse; however, workplace violence is not just headline fodder for media outlets. The trend is well-documented and especially felt by the healthcare industry which continues to experience the brunt after the onslaught of COVID-19. In 2018, 73% of all nonfatal workplace violence incidents involved healthcare workers. A late 2020 survey reported that 20% of nurses reported they were facing an increase in workplace violence after the COVID-19 pandemic began. Another study reported a 14.6% increase in workplace violence at New Jersey hospitals over the prior three years. Continue Reading Code Blue! — Violence in the Workplace

Each July, the Medicare Administrative Contractors issue notices of a 2% Medicare payment reduction to those providers who did not meet quality data reporting requirements. Those notices have been sent. In this episode, Husch Blackwell’s Meg Pekarske and Jacob Harris talk about the issues providers faced in 2021 and how to pursue an appeal of the 2% payment reduction. Listen to the full episode here: https://www.huschblackwell.com/newsandinsights/hospice-audit-series-its-that-time-of-year-again-quality-data-reporting-determinations-raise-new-and-recurring-issues

Background  

In direct response to the significant challenges experienced by long term care (LTC) facilities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Biden-Harris Administration announced its commitment to improving safety and quality of care. During the March 1, 2022 State of the Union address, President Biden reaffirmed the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to protecting residents and staff of nursing homes. The Biden-Harris Administration has since taken steps to establish new minimum staffing ratios within nursing or skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), increase scrutiny of poorly performing nursing homes, and improve quality care transparency for customers seeking a SNF. Continue Reading Employment Considerations for Long Term Care Facilities under the Biden-Harris Administration