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Alison knows the legal issues of healthcare transactions backwards and forwards—and she also knows the concerns and goals of the organizations involved. Before pursuing a law career, Alison worked at Cook Children’s Healthcare System and earned a master’s in healthcare administration. Both experiences gave her an inside view of healthcare organizations.

On June 11, 2021, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued new guidance on Provider Relief Fund (PRF) reporting and the deadline for providers to use their funds. Provider recipients can now begin submitting information in the PRF Reporting Portal on July 1, 2021. Summary of use and reporting timeline can be found

The Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) continues to modify guidance related to reporting requirements of the provider relief funds (“Relief Funds”) that were part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”). The initial Post-Payment Notice of Reporting Requirements were released on July 20, 2020 and then later modified on September 19, 2020. We analyzed those changes in a previous article. In its latest guidance from October 22, 2020, HHS modified the Post-Payment Notice of Reporting Requirements for Relief Funds which should benefit providers.
Continue Reading Post-Payment Notice Reporting Requirements Revised

On October 1, 2020 the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced that it will distribute a total of $20 billion as part of Phase 3 of the Provider Relief Funds. The application for Phase 3 funding is now open and will be available from October 5 – November 6, 2020. However, HHS has urged providers to apply early, which may be an indication that the funds will be available on a first-come first-serve basis.

Below are some key details regarding Phase 3:
Continue Reading HHS Opens Application for $20 Billion of Phase 3 General Distribution Provider Relief Funds

In late July 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a public notice about forthcoming reporting requirements for certain providers that accepted funding of one or more payments exceeding $10,000 from the Provider Relief Fund (PRF). The reporting notice initially advised recipients that additional details would be provided by August 17, 2020. However, the release date has been delayed.
Continue Reading HHS Reporting Requirement Delay Continues

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)

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will soon make targeted distributions of the next tranche of the Provider Relief Fund to hospitals and other facilities that have been particularly affected by caring for those with the coronavirus. By 11:59 p.m. ET, hospitals will need to complete the HHS information request on ICU beds, COVID-19 positive patients, etc. Specifically, to be eligible to receive a portion of the $10 billion of the next $70 billion in funding from the CARES Act, providers need to submit the information via a CMS portal. This is not a guarantee of payment—rather, CMS is using this information to decide how to allocate the remaining funds.
Continue Reading COVID-19 Hotspot Provider Relief Fund Registration Deadline Today

Hallway in a hospitalOn Friday, 3/13/20, CMS issued blanket 1135 waivers that impact acute care hospitals as a result of President Trump’s declaration of a state of an emergency due to COVID-19. The blanket waivers temporarily allow acute care hospitals to relocate acute care inpatients to their excluded distinct part units (DPUs), and patients from the DPUs to the acute care hospital to respond to the COVID-19 emergency. In addition, to these CMS blanket waivers, on 3/13/20, the Texas Hospital Association (THA) requested additional waivers from CMS and the Texas Health and Humans Services Commission (HHSC) from other federal and state requirements. EMTALA has also issued guidance on setting up alternative screening sites to respond to the COVID-19 emergency. Further, HHSC has issued guidance on what visitors are allowed in the hospital.
Continue Reading Update for Acute Care Hospitals on CMS Waivers and HHSC Guidance for COVID-19

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the Act) was passed and signed into law on March 18 and will go into effect on April 2, 2020 and continue until December 31, 2020. As our colleagues Josef Glynias and Paul Pautler noted in their excellent summary, this Act has two provisions which speak to employee leave and may have significant implications for employers, including healthcare providers. The Department of Labor has not yet issued guidance on this Act, and we will update this blog as guidance is issued.Continue Reading New Coronavirus-Related Employment Laws to Impact Healthcare Providers

On Friday, March 13, 2020, CMS issued blanket waivers under 42 U.S.C. 1320b-5 that impact long term acute care hospitals (LTCHs) and inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs) as a result of President Trump declaring a state of an emergency due to COVID-19. The blanket waivers temporarily allow facilities operating inpatient rehabilitation units to exclude patients admitted

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued broad waivers to assist in the national COVID-19 response. They impact all provider types and generally remove regulatory burdens that could restrict access to care. For example, the waivers remove bed limits on Critical Access Hospitals and will allow Long Term Hospitals to exclude from the 25 ALOS calculation patients who were admitted or discharged to “meet the demands of the emergency.” Restriction on the separation of patients in excluded units in IPPS hospitals are waived. The requirement for three days of hospitalization to receive skilled nursing coverage is also waived. There are a number of other waivers.
Continue Reading COVID-19: CMS Waiver Information for Providers