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

Last week, in the case of Rocky Mountain Association of Recruiters v. Moss, Case No. 1:20-cv-03819 (U.S.D.C. Colo.), U.S. District Judge William J. Martinez denied a plaintiff’s request for a preliminary injunction to block portions of Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (EPEWA). The EPEWA, which went into effect beginning this year, aims

1.  I have a unionized workforce. Do I need to bargain before mandating that my employees are Covid vaccinated before reporting to work?

With the CDC largely ending mask requirements for those who are Covid vaccinated, many employers will look anew at whether they will require vaccinations for their employees to participate in the workplace. While this whole topic raises a myriad of questions related to vaccine certificates, maintenance of medical records, and exceptions that might apply to employees because of religious or health accommodations, an entirely separate question comes up as to whether employers may mandate their union workforce to be vaccinated in order to work.
Continue Reading Funny You Should Ask: Is a vaccine mandate a subject of bargaining?

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

The Texas Legislature in April passed H.B. 1445, which adopted amendments to the Texas sales tax law regarding medical and dental billing.  Governor Greg Abbott on April 30, 2021, signed the bill, which aims to clarify the state law that has been in force since 1987.
Continue Reading 2021 Texas Legislature Amends Texas Tax Code to Define Medical and Dental Billing Service and Address Texas Comptroller Policy

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?

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

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