Children's Hospitals and Pediatric Providers

On July 1, 2021, the Office of Personnel Management (“OPM”), the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”), the Department of Treasury (“Treasury”), the Employee Benefits Security Administration (“EBSA”), the Department of Labor (“DOL”), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”), and the Department of Health and Human Services (“CMS”) (collectively the “Departments”) jointly issued the Interim Rule – Requirements Related to Surprise Billing; Part 1 (hereinafter, the “Interim Rule” or the “Rule”). This Interim Rule is the first implementing regulation of the federal No Surprises Act (alternatively the “Act”) which was enacted on December 27, 2020 as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act. Both this Interim Rule, and the Act, are effective applicable for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2022.
Continue Reading Federal Guidance on Balance Billing: The No Surprises Act and its Interim Final Rule: Part I

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

As more businesses begin to reintegrate employees into their pre-pandemic workplaces, many of our clients have questions regarding return-to-work issues. In this edition of Funny You Should Ask, we address three questions many of our clients have asked during the past few weeks. The answers below focus on compliance with federal law. As always, employers will need to take state and local laws into consideration in addition to federal law.
Continue Reading Funny You Should Ask: Employer Considerations for Rehiring Employees

On April 2, 2021, the Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS) and Treasury (collectively the “Departments”) jointly released nine (9) questions and answers (“FAQs Part 45”) related to recent changes made to the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (“MHPAEA”) by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (the “Appropriations Act”).

FAQs

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

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

Join Husch Blackwell Partner Bruce Arnold and Anthony Long of Pinnacle Healthcare Consulting for a live 90-minute CLE webinar presented by Strafford on Wednesday, March 31 from 1:00 – 2:30 pm EDT. This CLE webinar will guide healthcare counsel through the new changes under the new Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) and the impact on physician

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