Academic Medical Centers

Since last year, the Husch Blackwell privacy attorneys have been working with various healthcare providers—from hospitals to hospices, to independent physician groups—to comply with the Information Blocking rule (the Rule) implemented by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) as part of the 21st Century Cures Act.  Recently, Education clients have been asking, “We’re a university – does the Information Blocking rule apply to our student health center?”  We discuss the answer to that question, along with practice tips, in this blog post.
Continue Reading Information Blocking: College & University Student Health Centers – Does the Rule Apply to Us?

As vaccine distribution becomes widespread, and employees begin to return to work, we continue to field questions related to return-to-office plans in a post pandemic world. We previously compiled a list of FAQs, addressing COVID-19 safety protocols (here, here and here) that should be considered as the workplace opens for business. Below are some additional, and recent, considerations related to this topic.
Continue Reading Opening for Business? Your Return-to-Work Policies Answered

On February 25, 2021, the Wisconsin Legislature enacted 2021 Wisconsin Act 4 (the “Act”), which, in part, grants immunity to business entities from civil liability related to COVID-19 exposure, with certain exceptions.

Specifically, the Act immunizes certain entities from civil liability for any act or omission in the course of performance or provision of the entity’s function or services, that leads to death or injury to an individual or damages caused by an act or omission resulting from or relating to exposure directly or indirectly to COVID-19 (or its variants), or conditions associated with the infectious disease.  However, civil immunity does not extend to acts or omissions that are reckless, wanton conduct, or intentional misconduct.
Continue Reading Wisconsin Business Entities Granted Civil Immunity for COVID-19 Exposure

Over the coming months, we can expect to see many significant changes to labor issues affecting healthcare and other sectors of our marketplace. The National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) is almost certain to reinstate the standards of what constitutes an appropriate bargaining unit as set forth in a 2011 case, Specialty Healthcare, allowing unions to

As mandated by President Biden’s January 21 Executive Order, OSHA has announced a National Emphasis Program (NEP) designed to protect workers from contracting COVID-19.  On March 12, 2021, OSHA announced its new national emphasis program that targets high-risk establishments in high-risk industries for programmed inspections and provides a heightened focus on employers that retaliate against employees who report or complain about unsafe working environments. In conjunction with the NEP, OSHA also issued an updated Interim Enforcement Plan to provide guidance on the policies and procedures it will employ to reduce and eliminate the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in the workplace. The issuance of the NEP is a strong indication that OSHA enforcement activity will increase in the short term.
Continue Reading OSHA Enforcement Activity Relating to COVD-19 Exposures Expected to Increase Under New NEP and Updated Interim Enforcement Response Plan

On Thursday, January 14, 2021, President Biden’s administration announced its proposed $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus relief plan: “The American Rescue Plan” (“Plan”). The Plan contains wide-ranging support for those affected by the pandemic. Notably, the Plan proposes to require all employers of any size to provide paid leave and to significantly extend the required paid

The pandemic of 2020 tested the mettle of our nation’s healthcare system in many unexpected and profound ways. As healthcare delivery was being rapidly restructured to accommodate COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment and socially-distanced care, bad actors simultaneously began to exploit the increased number of vulnerabilities in health information systems created by telehealth platforms, patient portals and the inattention of stressed, overworked staff. The result was an unprecedented number of cyberattacks culminating in an alert from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) on October 28, 2020 addressing the plague of ransomware activity targeting the healthcare and public health sector.
Continue Reading Healthcare Perspectives on Data Privacy Day 2021

We previously outlined the requirements of the Hospital Price Transparency Rule (the “Rule”), which goes into effect January 1, 2021. See The Price Transparency Rule Goes Into Effect January 1, 2021 – Is Your Hospital Ready?  Since releasing that blog post, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued its decision, ruling against the American Hospital Association and other hospital groups and upholding the District Court’s grant of summary judgement for the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”).  Among its allegations, the American Hospital Association had contended that the Rule exceeded HHS’ statutory authority, violated the First Amendment, and was arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act.
Continue Reading Court of Appeals Upholds Hospital Price Transparency Rule

Widespread COVID-19 vaccination is considered critical for many employers to return employees to work safely and resume normal business operations in the future. As such, many employers have been asking whether they can require, incentivize or encourage employees to get vaccinated, and what liabilities they may face if they choose any of these options.
Continue Reading EEOC Issues COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance, Allowing Employer Mandates

Return-to-Campus Considerations is a limited series addressing the legal and practical considerations that institutions of higher education should keep in mind when responding to coronavirus-related concerns.

In this final installment, Husch Blackwell attorneys Mary Deweese and Ragini Acharya discuss the use of clinical students and student volunteers in the care of COVID-positive patients, identifying key considerations for academic medical centers and other institutions of higher education as they navigate decision-making with respect to their clinical programs. This webinar addresses issues related to liability and risk management, clinical affiliation agreements, and compliance with accreditation and licensing requirements, and also identifies what institutions should keep in mind for the next semester with respect to COVID-19 vaccinations.

Tune in here: https://bit.ly/3h1Cz6x
Continue Reading COVID-19 and Clinical Programs – Part IV of our Return-to-Campus Considerations Recorded Webinar Series