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In late July 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a public notice about forthcoming reporting requirements for certain providers that accepted funding of one or more payments exceeding $10,000 from the Provider Relief Fund (PRF). The reporting notice initially advised recipients that additional details would be provided by August 17, 2020. However, the release date has been delayed. Continue Reading HHS Reporting Requirement Delay Continues

With scientists worldwide racing to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, many employers are asking if they can require employees to be vaccinated.  As with everything COVID-19, there are many open questions, but here are some of the major legal issues in considering mandatory vaccination policies. To learn more, please visit Husch Blackwell’s Safety Law Matters blog.

On August 17, 2020, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed the Tennessee COVID-19 Recovery Act into law.  The Act provides expansive protection to individuals and businesses from claims arising from COVID-19 unless there is clear and convincing evidence of gross negligence or willful misconduct.  Health care professionals and facilities, businesses, non-profits, religious organizations, public institutions of higher learning, and all other individuals and legal entities are protected from liability under the Act. Continue Reading Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed the Tennessee COVID-19 Recovery Act

The Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced on August 7th details of the next CARES Act-authorized nursing home Provider Relief Fund (“PRF”) distribution. The PRF distribution will total $5 billion, and will be used to protect residents of nursing homes and long-term care facilities from the impact of COVID-19. Continue Reading HHS Announces additional $5 billion distribution to nursing homes

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (“HHSC”) announced on August 6th that limited visitation would be allowed at certain nursing homes and long-term care facilities throughout the state. Nursing homes and long-term care facilities must submit a form to their LTCR Regional Director to be permitted to allow limited visitation. Permitted nursing facilities may allow outdoor visits, window visits, vehicle parades, and compassionate care visits. Permitted long-term care facilities may also allow plexiglass indoor visits, provided that their visitation booth is approved by HHSC. Conditions for approval are listed in the HHSC LTCR Provider Letter. Continue Reading Limited Visitation in Nursing homes and Assisted Living Facilities in Texas

The use of telehealth has become indispensable across the country in recent months due to the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)’s temporary expansion of payment for telehealth services. CMS reports that virtual visits for Medicare beneficiaries have jumped from approximately 14,000 per week pre-PHE to almost 1.7 million in the last week of April. Continue Reading CMS Proposes Permanent Expansion of Telehealth Beyond the Public Health Emergency

COVID-19 has affected all aspects of hospice care, operations and personnel, including the person whose judgment is at the center of the Medicare hospice benefit: the hospice physician. In this episode of Hospice Insights, we discuss the increased significance of, and scrutiny applied to, hospice physicians in the age of COVID-19, and identify potential traps and opportunities. Tune in here: https://lnkd.in/enZgCFn

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 approach. Health plan issuers wishing to provide premium credits for 2020 coverage must receive the applicable regulator’s permission to provide premium credits, or CMS’s permission in states where CMS is the primary enforcer of the applicable federal requirements (Missouri Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming). For CMS’s guidance on this temporary policy and details on the requirements, see https://go.cms.gov/30sJGOG.

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.

Click on the links below to learn more about Paid Leave and Whistleblower Provisions.

Paid Leave Provisions: https://bit.ly/33h9jUC

Whistleblower Provisions: https://bit.ly/2PhzthR