On Monday, June 30, 2020, HHS spokesman Michael Caputo tweeted that HHS intends to extend the COVID-19 public health emergency before it expires on July 25, 2020. Once extended, the public health emergency will be effective for an additional 90 days. Extending the emergency declaration will allow providers to continue to use waivers and flexibilities issued to assist them in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Continue Reading HHS Extends COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

After the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) automatically distributed $30 billion to providers as Tranche #1 Relief Fund payments based on 2019 Medicare fee-for-service payment data, HHS subsequently released a new formula that was based on 2018 “program service revenue” and intended to calculate providers’ payments under Relief Fund Tranches #1 and #2 cumulatively.  For providers whose Tranche #1 payments alone exceeded their expected payment under the new “program service revenue” formula, there have been ongoing questions about whether such providers were “overpaid” and needed to reject and return their Tranche #1 payments.
Continue Reading CARES Act Provider Relief Fund: Connecting HHS’s Dots on Whether Your Tranche #1 Payment Is An Overpayment

Governor Laura Kelly signed Executive Order 20-26 which provides liability protections and regulatory flexibility for health care providers in the state of Kansas. The order went into effect on April 22nd and remains in effect until May 31st or until the COVID-19 state of emergency is declared over. The six page document eases regulatory requirements related to health care delegation and supervision as well as increases the pool of health care workers. Further, health care providers will be protected against liability for death or personal injury in response to COVID-19 care.
Continue Reading Kansas Governor Issues Protections for Health Practitioners and Expands Health Workforce

We understand the growing concern surrounding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the issues and uncertainties many nonprofit organizations throughout the country are facing as a result of its impact on everyday life around the world.  From the most immediate issues – such as addressing workplace safety issues for employees and community stakeholders – to long term budgetary concerns – such as contingency planning for reduced funding due to the current bear market – we have provided a recap of the various issues the nonprofit executives should address.
Continue Reading Coronavirus and Nonprofits

On April 7, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas granted summary judgment in favor of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“DHHS”) in the closely-watched Northport case. In this case, certain nursing facility industry plaintiffs challenged the enforceability of the most recent iteration of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (“CMS”) rule governing the use of pre-dispute arbitration agreements with residents in long-term care (“LTC”) facilities that participate in the Medicare or Medicaid programs. In finding for the government, the Northport court held that the rule was a valid exercise of CMS’s authority under the Administrative Procedures Act (“APA”), was adopted in accordance with federal procedural rules, and does not conflict with the Federal Arbitration Act (“FAA”).
Continue Reading Federal District Court Upholds CMS Pre-Dispute Arbitration Rule

This is the third and final blog in our Surprise Billing series. Our first two blogs addressed legislation in Texas and California limiting “surprise” or “balance” billing. This article will briefly touch on surprise billing legislation that other states across the nation have implemented, and also look at proposed federal legislation that mirrors those state laws.

In today’s political climate, it is rare to have both sides of the aisle agree on the need to tackle a pressing issue. But leaders from both parties see eye-to-eye when it comes to ending surprise medical billing, a problem that arises in roughly 1 in 5 emergency department visits. However, agreeing that something needs to be fixed is only the first step—agreeing on how to fix it is another, much more difficult, issue. There have been proposals, from both the House and the Senate, with bipartisan support that are based on existing state legislation. Congressional legislation regarding surprise billing is imperative for many Americans, because state legislation does not protect patients enrolled in self-insured employer health plans due to preemption by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
Continue Reading Proposed Federal Legislation Mirrors State’s Attempts to End Surprise Billing

This is the second blog of our Surprise Billing Series. This article will look at California’s Assembly Bill No. 72 which added sections to the California Health and Safety Code and to the California Insurance Code. This bill was one of the first to limit surprise billing and mandate a minimum re-payment amount from insurers for affected out-of-network services and as such has served as a case study for surprise billing legislation.

On September 23, 2016, the California Legislature passed Assembly Bill 72 (“the Law”). The Law applies to Health Care Service Plans regulated by the California Department of Managed Health Care (“DMHC”) and health insurers regulated by the California Department of Insurance (“CDI”) who have issued, amended, or renewed plans or policies after July 1, 2017. The Law has allowed other states across the US, as well as the Federal government, to observe how a change in handling surprise billing could affect patients and health care providers.
Continue Reading California Law Serves as a Case Study for Surprise Billing Legislation

It’s an exciting time to be in Austin for those in the healthcare and technology space. Members of our local healthcare team will be attending and participating in the various sessions and events that are occurring Friday, March 8 – Monday, March 11 in conjunction with the SXSW Interactive Festival.
Continue Reading Innovators, Entrepreneurs and Investors Gear Up for the 2019 SXSW Interactive Festival

Husch Blackwell welcomes two attorneys to its Denver office: Senior Counsel Julie A. Sullivan and Associate Lawson S. Parker II. Sullivan and Parker both join the firm’s Healthcare, Life Sciences & Education industry team.

Sullivan has served as both in-house and external counsel to members of the healthcare industry. She counsels clients on a variety of regulatory and compliance issues, and transactional matters, and has also assisted clients with mergers and acquisitions. Parker assists hospitals, physicians, single and multi-specialty group practices, dentists and other healthcare professionals with respect to their operational, transactional and regulatory compliance matters. He also advises on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, the sale of healthcare-related entities and employment matters.
Continue Reading Husch Blackwell adds 2 healthcare attorneys in Denver