The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) expanded Medicare reimbursement for telehealth within the annual Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) final rule for 2021. During the pandemic Public Health Emergency (PHE), CMS has temporarily reimbursed many telehealth services. In light of the success of unprecedented telehealth utilization during the PHE, more than 60 services have been formally added to the Medicare telehealth list which will endure beyond the end of the PHE. Continue Reading CMS Permanently Expands Telehealth as Far as Congress Has Allowed

With all that 2020 has brought, the Information Blocking Rule that came out of the Cures Act was under the radar of many hospices. Thankfully, HHS extended the compliance date for the Rule to April 5, 2021, from November 2, 2020. With this additional time, hospices need to evaluate how they will achieve compliance; what policies they need to update; the work they need to do with their EMR vendor; and their rollout to patients, families and staff. In this conversation, Husch Blackwell’s Meg Pekarske is joined by colleagues Wakaba Tessier, Tracey Toll and Kelsey Anderson to gain their insights on these questions and more. Tune into the episode here: https://bit.ly/37x9TOi

Hopefully you had an opportunity to attend our recent Health Law & Innovation Virtual session titled “Stimulus Relief Funds: Strings Attached.” Here are program materials that will be helpful to you:

Cheat Sheet for CARE’s Act Provider Relief Funds
PowerPoint Presentation
Provider Relief Fund General Distribution FAQs (As of 10/28/2020)
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services | CARES Act Provider Relief Fund

If you miss some of the webinar, want to review some of the material or have a colleague who missed the program? 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://event.on24.com/wcc/r/2637091/918529162DBD1A80B6B8A27F1431372C Continue Reading Health Law & Innovation Virtual Series – Stimulus Relief Funds: Strings Attached

Effective on January 1, 2021, the Price Transparency Rule (the “Rule”) requires all hospitals operating within the United States to make public a list of their standard charges for items and services via the Internet in a machine-readable format. Hospitals must also provide prices for a list of 300 shoppable services that must be made publicly available in a searchable, consumer-friendly format. This requirement is being enforced with the intent to enable healthcare consumers to make more informed decisions based on cost, increase market competition, and ultimately drive down the cost of healthcare services, making them more affordable for all patients.  Many hospitals are spending time now to determine which “items and services” require price disclosure under the Rule, and some have found that the Rule does not provide sufficient guidance in all situations. Continue Reading The Price Transparency Rule Goes Into Effect January 1, 2021 – Is Your Hospital Ready?

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 and will be moderated by Curt Chase, leader of the firm’s Healthcare, Life Sciences and Education team; Hal Katz, American Bar Association, Health Law Section, Chair; and Tom Shorter, American Health Law Association, President-Elect Designate. The webinar programs will be offered every Thursday through November 19. Continue Reading Health Law & Innovation Virtual Series – Pharmacy Trends 2021: What to Watch Out for After The Year That Was

On October 29, 2020, HHS extended the effective date of compliance for the “Information Blocking” final rule promulgated as part of the 21st Century Cures Act (Information Blocking Rule). The Information Blocking Rule, which was set to take effect on November 2, 2020, prohibits health care providers, IT developers, and health information exchanges from unreasonably interfering with the access, exchange, or use of electronic health information (EHI). We previously discussed the practice of information blocking and the eight exceptions in our blog post Information Blocking: Ready or Not, Here it Comes!. Continue Reading Update: Information Blocking Rule Deadline Delayed, But Telehealth Still in Play

As we approach the 40th anniversary of the Medicare hospice benefit, we stand at an important reflection point to evaluate end-of-life care and map its future. In this new series, we gather leaders and thinkers from a range of disciplines to explore our needs at the end of life, how they have changed over time and how care models need to adapt. We will consider our societal relationship to mortality and what impact the growth of Hospice & Palliative Care has had on how we meet the challenges of death and loss. Our guests will share their perspectives on the policy, legislative and healthcare delivery changes needed to enhance how we care for those with life-limiting conditions and ensure wellness at all stages of life. We hope you enjoy these insightful conversations and that they inspire positive change in how we care for one another at the end of life.  Continue Reading Perspectives on End of Life Care: An Exploration of Its Past, Present and Future – A Conversation with Dr. Janet Bull

The combination of a significant increase in COVID-19 cases, political tensions in the final days of a national election season, and law enforcement’s focus on election security created an opportunity for cybercriminals to target the computer networks of America’s healthcare and public health (HPH) sector. That opportunity has come to fruition this week.

On October 28, 2020 the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published Alert AA20-302A (Alert) describing ransomware activity that has targeted the HPH sector. In the Alert, CISA, FBI and HHS assess that cybercriminals are targeting the HPH sector with TrickBot and BazarLoader malware, which are frequently followed by ransomware attacks, data theft, and disruption of healthcare services.

Continue Reading Federal Government Raises Alarms Over Cyberattacks Against Hospitals

On May 1, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released its final rule (Final Rule) on “Information Blocking” as part of the 21st Century Cures Act. The Final Rule applies to the following (ONC refers to each one as an “Actor”): (i) healthcare providers, (ii) health IT developers subject to ONC’s Health IT Certification Program, (iii) health information networks (HIN) or (iv) health information exchanges (HIE). With the initial enforcement date fast approaching (November 2), we explain the rule below. Continue Reading Information Blocking: Ready or Not, Here it Comes!

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has further expanded the list of telehealth services that Medicare Fee-For-Service will pay for during the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) as of October 14, 2020. CMS is adding 11 new services to the Medicare telehealth services list and will begin paying eligible practitioners who furnish these services immediately and through the end of the PHE. The new telehealth services include neurostimulator analysis and programming services, and cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation services.

Continue Reading CMS Looks Beyond COVID-19 for Telehealth Expansion