Distances in rural health care can be hard to fathom. A 2018 study found it took rural Americans, on average, 17 minutes to get to a hospital, but only 10 minutes in an urban center.[i] The distance between rural hospitals can be vastly further – in 2019, a National Institutes of Health study noted that hospitals in one rural state were generally at least 50 miles apart.[ii] These areas have been described (without meaning to be pejorative) as “health deserts.”[iii] Small populations, and a growing shortage of physicians in rural areas,[iv] often lead to hospitals in these areas having only one or two physicians in a particular specialty. Advanced health practitioners (AHP’s) with specialty training, such as psychiatric nurse practitioners or certified nurse midwives, can be an excellent way to preserve access to specialty care, particularly when lack of physician coverage would otherwise mean the hospital must divert or transfer emergency patients.Continue Reading It’s a Long Way From Here to There: Advanced Healthcare Practitioners, EMTALA’s Call Coverage Requirements, and Rural Hospitals
Please join Husch Blackwell as we go virtual with our Health Law Conference. The series will include a range of important topics relevant to the healthcare industry and will be moderated by Curt Chase, leader of the firm’s Healthcare, Life Sciences and Education team; Hal Katz, American Bar Association, Health Law Section, Chair; and Tom Shorter, American Health Law Association, President-Elect Designate. The webinar programs will be offered every Thursday through November 19.
Deal activity among hospitals, physicians and health plans will continue at a swift pace into 2021. In our fifth session, hear from industry thought leaders on how the pandemic is impacting private equity and strategic investments in the healthcare space.
Continue Reading Health Law & Innovation Virtual Series – Strategic Acquisitions and Investment Opportunities During a Pandemic
CMS has issued a new rule clarifying that its daily Covid-19 reporting via the HHS Teletracking portal is mandatory as a condition of participation in the Medicare program. 42 C.F.R. § 482.42. HHS’s FAQ detailing the hospital reporting requirements can be found here – https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/covid-19-faqs-hospitals-hospital-laboratory-acute-care-facility-data-reporting.pdf. Failure to consistently report throughout the Public Health Emergency…
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
Representatives of the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are reaching out to speak with hundreds of hospital officials nationwide to provide feedback to HHS and to Congress about the most difficult challenges that hospitals are currently facing in responding to COVID-19. The OIG emphasizes that…
On Friday, March 13, 2020, CMS issued blanket waivers under 42 U.S.C. 1320b-5 that impact long term acute care hospitals (LTCHs) and inpatient rehabilitation facilities (IRFs) as a result of President Trump declaring a state of an emergency due to COVID-19. The blanket waivers temporarily allow facilities operating inpatient rehabilitation units to exclude patients admitted…
A teaching hospital in Connecticut affiliated with Yale Medical School is facing age and disability discrimination allegations after imposing mandatory medical testing for doctors 70 and older who seek medical staff privileges. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) has filed suit against Yale New Haven Hospital, claiming that subjecting older physicians to medical testing before renewing their staff privileges violates anti-discrimination laws.
According to the EEOC, the hospital’s “Late Career Practitioner Policy” dictates that medical providers over the age of 70 must undergo both neuropsychological and ophthalmologic examinations – a policy the federal agency claims violates both the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”). The EEOC claims that the individuals required to be tested are singled out solely because of their age, instead of a suspicion that their cognitive abilities may have declined. The agency further charges that the policy also violates the ADA because it subjects the physicians to medical examinations that are not job-related or consistent with business necessity.
Continue Reading Hospital Sued for Requiring Older Doctors to Undergo Medical Screenings
After years of insisting that nursing colleges separately incorporate from related hospitals and hospital systems, causing some schools to relinquish Medicare “pass-through” funding, the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) has changed course. Today, HLC issued a Separate Incorporation Policy Change.
Removing language interpreted by prior HLC leadership as requiring separate incorporation, the revised policy substitutes a requirement that HLC-accredited institutions have a “primary purpose” of providing higher education. More specifically, the revised policy (HLC’s “Jurisdiction” policy, INST.B.10.010):
Continue Reading HLC Announces Separate Incorporation Policy Change
On November 2, 2017, the House Ways and Means Committee released draft text of H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, proposing significant changes to the Internal Revenue Code. Of particular concern to private hospitals, healthcare systems and educational institutions operating as 501(c)(3) entities is the bill’s proposed termination of the tax exemption available…
On June 12, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) published a report with the objective of determining whether the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) made proper incentive payments to providers for “meaningful use” of a certified electronic health record (EHR). The report, entitled “Medicare Paid Hundreds of Millions in Electronic Health Record Incentive Payments That Did not Comply with Federal Requirements,” estimates that CMS improperly paid $729 million in EHR incentive payments to providers who did not actually comply with the requirements of meaningful use.
Continue Reading OIG Turns Focus to Providers for Improper Meaningful Use Payments