In light of the public health emergency and the urgent need to help individuals and small employers experiencing economic hardship, CMS announced on August 4, 2020 that it has adopted a temporary policy to allow health plan issuers to offer premium credits for 2020 coverage. In its guidance, CMS encouraged states to adopt a similar

On July 16, 2020, Colorado Governor Jared Polis issued an Executive Order requiring masks to be worn in all public indoor spaces, with limited exceptions. Executive Order D 2020 138 went into effect at midnight on July 16 and remains in effect for 30 days unless extended. It mandates that individuals wear masks “when entering or moving within any Public Indoor Space.” Many employers had questions about the scope and reach of this requirement and in particular how it applies in office environments with conference rooms and cubicles.

Continue Reading Masks Are Mandatory in Office Environments, Including Cubicles

The Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA) introduces changes to paid sick and family leave that will impact Colorado employers in potentially significant ways. Also, the new law codifies whistleblower protections for workers who raise concerns about workplace safety related to a public health emergency, potentially spawning a wave of future lawsuits.

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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)

On July 20, 2020, The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) notified providers that if they received $10,000 or more in funds from the general or targeted Provider Relief Fund (PRF) established under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, reports on how those funds were used will be required. HHS expects to release (through the Health Resources and Services Administration [HRSA] website) detailed instructions on reporting requirements by August 17, 2020. Specifically, reports will be required of any provider who received one or more payments exceeding $10,000 in the aggregate from:
Continue Reading HHS Begins Clarifying Reporting Requirements for Provider Relief Funds

On July 10, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced dentists and other dental providers are eligible to apply for relief from the Provider Relief Fund. The Provider Relief Fund General Distribution FAQs outlined the eligibility requirements and payment methodology for calculating distribution amounts. The deadline for applying is July 24, 2020.
Continue Reading Deadline Approaching for Dental Provider Relief Funds

Texas: On July 9 Governor Abbott issued a Proclamation (the Proclamation) amending Executive Order GA-27. The Proclamation expands the number of counties required to postpone all non-essential surgeries and procedures indefinitely to preserve hospital capacity for COVID-19 patients to include:
Continue Reading Abbott Expands Counties Required to Postpone All Non-essential Surgeries

On June 12, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), issued guidance confirming HIPAA permits a covered healthcare provider (Provider) to use protected health information (PHI) to identify and contact recovered COVID-19 patients to inform them of how they can donate their blood and plasma.  As background, HIPAA

On June 19, 2020, the Texas Department of Insurance adopted final rules specifying patient notice and election requirements in order for out-of-network providers to balance bill. The final rules replace similar emergency rules that were adopted on December 18, 2019.

Under the new rules, which are meant to implement legislation passed in 2019 by the Texas Legislature, out-of-network providers are prohibited from Balance Billing for nonemergency services unless a patient elects, in writing, to obtain the service from the out-of-network provider. The patient’s election is only effective if the provider satisfies the following notice and disclosure requirements: (1) the patient is provided with a “meaningful choice between an in-network provider and an out-of-network provider,” (2) the patient is not “coerced” into choosing the out-of-network provider, and (3) the patient is provided with a written notice and disclosure. The notice and disclosure statement must be signed by the patient at least 10 business days before receiving any care.[1]
Continue Reading Texas Department of Insurance Rolls Out Final Rules on Out-Of-Network Notices and Disclosures

Under new guidance from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), hospices and other providers who received CARES Act Provider Relief Fund payments can hold off on filing their first quarterly compliance report, slated to be due on July 10, 2020.[1] Instead, HHS states that it will develop its own report and this report itself will contain “all information necessary for recipients of Provider Relief Fund payments to comply with” the quarterly reporting requirements under the Relief Fund Terms and Conditions.

Continue Reading Surprise for Providers As HHS Lifts Relief Fund July 10th Quarterly Compliance Report Deadline