Hospice & Palliative Care

Many hospices understand the general framework established for use of relief payments from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. However, many questions remain about how to evaluate whether specific expenses and losses may be covered by the relief fund.

Join attorneys from Husch Blackwell’s Hospice & Palliative Care team and accounting professionals from Crowe as they discuss commonly asked questions from hospices across the country. They will share legal and accounting perspectives as well as practical considerations to help hospices as they operationalize their use of relief payments. Register here: https://bit.ly/2LNbLZ0
Continue Reading COVID-19 Town Hall for Hospices Legal and Accounting Perspectives on Commonly Asked Provider Relief Fund Questions

Due to expanded COVID-19 diagnostic testing availability, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (MDHSS) is encouraging providers to test both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals, if the clinician’s medical judgment determines it is necessary. At the same time, MDHSS also posted words of caution regarding the use of serological testing, which is not considered diagnostic for COVID-19 but rather detects antibodies which could reveal exposure to SARS-CoV- 2 (the virus which causes COVID-19) or a different  infection, including other strains of coronavirus, altogether. The recent MDHSS COVID-19 Serological Testing Quick Facts (Quick Facts) cautions that:
Continue Reading Missouri Encourages COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing but Urges Caution with Serological/Antibody Testing

In this episode, Meg Pekarske talks with Michael McHale who is President and CEO of TRU Community Care. Michael is a friend, colleague and hospice innovator. As a former board member of the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (“NHPCO”), Michael is always thinking of ways to lead proactive growth and change. He is driven

Nonprofit leaders have encountered numerous challenges over a few short weeks. How can we pursue our mission when our office is closed? Can we continue to make payroll? How do we recover after cancelling major fundraisers?

Husch Blackwell’s COVID-19 Response Team has compiled numerous resources to help nonprofit leaders adapt to new legislation, including the Families Forward Coronavirus Response Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”). You can find these resources here, with an article specifically directed to nonprofit leaders here.
Continue Reading How Nonprofits Can Address Development During the COVID-19 Crisis

Consistent with NHPCO’s recent regulatory guidance, you may have received an unexpected payment on or about Friday, April 10th via Optum Bank with “HHSPAYMENT” as the payment description. That payment was from the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (“Relief Fund”) which was set up pursuant to the CARES Act to provide $100 billion of relief funding to healthcare providers. The payment received is from the first $30 billion of the total $100 billion Relief Fund. The payment is not a loan; it is a grant that the hospice can use for qualified expenses and losses that meet a series of Terms and Conditions.
Continue Reading Tools for Your Hospice Toolbox: How to Evaluate, Allocate and Track the Use of CARES Act Relief Payments (An Introduction)

In today’s COVID-19 edition of the Hospice Labor and Employment Trends series, Meg Pekarske talks with colleague Tom O’Day about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). As one of Husch Blackwell’s healthcare-focused employment attorneys, Tom is uniquely situated to interpret the FFCRA for healthcare providers of all kinds, including hospices. Listen to our Hospice

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) held a Special Open Door Forum that was open to the public on April 8, 2020. CMS has been working to address the COVID-19 pandemic through 1) increasing hospital capacity, 2) rapid expansion of the healthcare workforce, 3) relaxing health care administrative requirements, and promoting the use of telehealth, which this call was focused on. The call provided an opportunity for health care providers to ask specific questions and express concerns about telehealth and Medicare reimbursement.
Continue Reading CMS Special Open Door Forum Addresses Pressing Telehealth Questions

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) confirmed that hospice physicians and nurse practitioners who serve as a patient’s attending physician (“NPs”) can use telehealth to perform medically necessary visits during the COVID-19 pandemic. To assist hospices in evaluating the feasibility of using telehealth for medically necessary visits with Medicare patients, Husch Blackwell has created a “Hospice Telehealth Flowchart.” The Flowchart addresses important operational considerations as well as the Medicare requirements related to rendering and billing for such telehealth visits.
Continue Reading Tools for Your Hospice Tool Box: Telehealth Flowchart for Billable Hospice Physician and Nurse Practitioner Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Change is fast-paced in the world of COVID-19. On Monday, March 30th, CMS released an interim final rule along with hospice specific waivers. In this episode, your Hospice Team discusses these recent developments and their impact on telehealth, face-to-face encounters, virtual visits and Medicare appeals and audits.

For resources related to this episode, please

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) goes into effect today, April 1, 2020, and applies to leave taken between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.  The FFCRA expands certain medical leave rights previously established by the Family and Medical Leave Act (“E-FMLA”) to provide up to twelve (12) weeks of paid, job-protected leave for employees with school closure or childcare coverage issues related to the current coronavirus pandemic.  The FFCRA also provides for two (2) weeks of paid sick leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (“E-PSLA”) for certain COVID-19-related reasons (the E-FMLA and E-PSLA are collectively referred to as “Expanded Leave”).[1]  However, employers who employ “health care providers” may, but are not required to, exempt these individuals from Expanded Leave.  Most, if not all, of a hospice’s employees will fall within the broad definition of “health care provider.”  Therefore, hospices will need to evaluate who of its employees it will exempt or not, being certain to treat similarly situated employees equally and to consider the potential impact to its workforce.
Continue Reading COVID-19 Hospice How-To Series: Application of the FFCRA “Health Care Provider” Exemption to Hospices