On Friday, January 07, 2022, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on a rule promulgated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The Rule is being challenged by numerous states and CMS is currently enjoined from enforcing the Rule in half the country. The government petitioned the Supreme Court to stay the injunctions in the lower courts and allow the Rule to go into effect. Learn more about what this means to you: https://bit.ly/3JXGEqt

Hospices’ unique regulatory and business environment impacts how they contract with and relate to other private entities. In this episode, we discuss the many kinds of hospice-related contracts and contract-dispute matters they have worked on, and how their clients benefitted from their in-depth knowledge of hospices. Tune at: https://bit.ly/3JRIObe

Hospices and the False Claims Act Series

The False Claims Act (FCA) is the government’s most serious weapon to combat fraud in the healthcare community, and hospices are increasingly the target of FCA investigations and lawsuits. The United States Supreme Court is, for the first time, considering FCA cases involving hospices and certifications of terminal illness. Moreover, the relief funds disbursed by the government to hospices as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic add to the existing and substantial number of bases of potential FCA liability for hospices. Aggressive government investigation, enforcement efforts and increased whistleblower activity is coming. Hospices can and should prepare for this new environment. In this series, Meg Pekarske talks with Husch Blackwell attorneys Bryan Nowicki, Jody Rudman and Brian Flood about emerging issues involving hospices and the FCA. Bryan, Jody and Brian will share their experiences as seasoned litigators in FCA cases to help hospices understand the FCA trends affecting hospices, and provide practical guidance to help hospices prepare themselves to preempt, combat and successfully face FCA allegations.

Proposed Amendment Would Increase Liability Risk

The False Claims Act is a powerful enforcement tool used to go after those who defraud the government. Unfortunately, the wide net cast by the False Claims Act can lead to extremely negative consequences for upstanding hospices. In this episode we discuss a proposed amendment to the False Claims Act that would widen that net even further, and describe the mounting opposition to this legislation: https://bit.ly/3yEqq0b.

Strategic Restructuring for the Future: Exploring How Hospices Are Using Joint Ventures, Mergers and Acquisitions, and Service Diversification to Transform

Change, transformation, disruption: whatever you want to call it, it’s happening in the hospice industry over the next 5 years. It is unquestionable that the carve-in to Medicare Advantage, the rise of value-based care and steady market consolidation is changing the playing field. How do hospices respond? In this series, we explore how hospices are and can restructure their businesses. We discuss the opportunities and limits of different models: palliative care, affiliations for payor contracting or the more transformative change brought through a merger or acquisition. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, hospices can explore new ways of being. We are excited to guide you on this road and hope these conversations help as you explore these important questions within your organization and determine your best path into the future. Continue Reading Strategic Restructuring for the Future, Think Before You Sign: Five Key Insights for VBID and Managed Care Contracts

Surprise! This morning a federal court in Missouri has ordered the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) not to enforce the vaccine mandate in these states: Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.

Watch for the CMS/Biden Administration response today!

In the November 2021 issue of St. Louis Lawyer, senior counsel Christina Moore shines a light on women lawyers and their accomplishments, noting the supportive role of two local organizations: the Women Lawyers Association (WLA) of Greater St. Louis and the Women in the Legal Profession (WILP) Section of The Bar Association of Metro St. Louis. Read the full article: Celebrating Women Lawyers

(Posted with permission from The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis)

This month, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued its Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) applicable to employers of 100 or more employees. The ETS requires employers to adopt a vaccine mandate obligating employees to either get vaccinated or to undergo regular COVID-19 testing. Employees who work for covered employers will have until January 4, 2022 to get vaccinated or otherwise comply with the testing/masking requirements.

Husch Blackwell’s COVID-19 Policy Generators can help employers of all sizes quickly prepare and implement workplace guidelines related to COVID-19 prevention, return to work, and vaccinations that are compliant with federal, state, and local law. With OSHA’s compliance date approaching, we invite you to learn more.

What is the latest on vaccine mandates? In this episode, Husch Blackwell’s Meg Pekarske is joined by colleague Tom O’Day to discuss the newly released OSHA and CMS rules. They’ll uncover the surprises, discuss how to implement the requirements and analyze the challenges that may be on the horizon for hospices. Tune in to this lively and helpful conversation: https://lnkd.in/eaxixFYD Continue Reading COVID-19 Hospice How-To Series: Federal Vaccine Mandate Rules – Breaking Down What They Mean for Hospices

Update: November 18, 2021

Missed yesterday’s discussion around issues covered employers must consider under OSHA’s mandates and the steps employers should take to comply with the ETS? The webinar recording is now available for viewing at your convenience. Simply register using the following link and you will have access to the recorded webcast: https://bit.ly/3oH0aO7

Wednesday, November 17, 2021
Live Webinar | Noon – 1:00 p.m. CST 

REGISTER

OSHA’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) is now effective, and employees who work for covered employers have until January 4, 2022 to get vaccinated or to otherwise comply with the new requirements. Continue Reading What Employers Need to Know about OSHA’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS)

Friday, November 12, 2021
Live Webinar | Noon – 1:00 p.m. CST
REGISTER NOW

On November 4, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released an advance copy of the Interim Final Rule (IFR) related to COVID-19 vaccines for most of the entities covered by applicable Conditions of Participation, Conditions for Coverage or Requirements for Participation. Join Husch Blackwell attorneys for an update and a closer look at the requirements for covered entities. Preview our recent Legal Alert on this topic. Continue Reading CMS Interim Final Rule: Hard Vaccine Mandate for Healthcare Facilities