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Legal Insights and Perspectives for the Healthcare Industry

Imagine you are the primary caretaker for your 94-year-old terminally ill mother who lives in your home while under hospice care during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Overwhelmed, exhausted, and drained—or even exposed to COVID-19—you discuss caregiver break with the hospice social worker who suggests “respite stay” for your mother but says Medicare only covers respite services up to five days, and only when care is furnished in an inpatient facility, like a nursing home. You don’t want that option given your mother’s heightened risk of contracting COVID-19 in a facility.

US President Donald Trump issued an executive order on August 3 that aims to expand telehealth access to Medicare beneficiaries beyond the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency (PHE) period. The executive order focuses on rural healthcare providers in particular, noting the difficulties patients in rural areas face in obtaining accessible, high-quality healthcare services over the years. The order contains four specific directives:

  1. The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) must create a new 1115A model to test payment mechanisms related to rural healthcare providers.
  2. HHS, the Federal Communications Commission, and the US Department of Agriculture must develop a strategy to improve rural health care through developing healthcare-related infrastructure.
  3. HHS must issue a report regarding existing and planned policy initiatives that enhance various rural healthcare quality metrics, including identifying “regulatory burdens that limit the availability of clinical professionals.”
  4. HHS must propose regulation that would extend the measures taken during the PHE beyond its current duration as to both “the additional telehealth services offered to Medicare beneficiaries” and “the services, reporting, staffing, and supervision flexibilities offered to Medicare providers in rural areas.”

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has created unforeseen and unavoidable circumstances within the healthcare industry that may provoke further crisis for hospitals, nursing homes, physicians, and other frontline healthcare providers in the form of potential liability claims for noncompliance with COVID-19 protocols or other standards. In response to the pandemic, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has expanded the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act’s immunity protection.

As the new school year quickly approaches, colleges, universities, and academic medical center employers are a facing a number of key issues that they should begin considering to minimize difficulties following the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We invite you to join our employee benefits and labor and employment teams for a webinar focused on the reopening issues and considerations to minimize difficulties as they begin to reopen or expand their operations.

Join our panelists Greg Needles, Klair Fitzpatrick, Eleanor Pelta, and Ami Wynne as they discuss:

  • Immigration Barriers and New Rules for Foreign Students Returning to Campus
  • Campus Accommodations for Faculty, Staff, and Students
  • Managing Faculty and Staff Employment Claims
  • Looking Around the Corner: Title IX Regulations and Implications of Upcoming Election

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As previously reported, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has prompted a number of state and local actions with guidance for taxpayers on numerous topics, such as providing tax relief through filing and payment deadline extensions.

Our tax lawyers continue to update this chart outlining state and local responses by various jurisdictions.

See the chart on state and local tax responses >>

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has brought a dramatic shift from in-person healthcare visits to telehealth services around the world, unveiling a new normal for providing healthcare services. Our global healthcare industry team authored a LawFlash to highlight how regions, including the United States, China, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates, around the world have quickly adapted to providing telehealth services as a means to prevent exposure to COVID-19 and allow for patients to get in the in-person care they need.

Read the full LawFlash >>

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that it intends to resume both prepayment and postpayment medical reviews conducted by the Medicare Administrative Contractors, Supplemental Medical Review Contractors, and Recovery Audit Contractors, including those under the Targeted Probe and Educate program, on August 3, 2020:

Healthcare is a highly regulated space, and regulators are continuing to issue new policies and regulations to address the critical needs for goods and services to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19), while also protecting the public health. Companies beyond just healthcare and life sciences should be aware of the relevant regulatory and legal requirements to avoid enforcement and liability requests.

In this LawFlash, you will find an overview of key areas of law and regulation, including FDA regulation, product liability and the PREP Act, clinical testing oversight, digital health and telehealth, and healthcare regulation and reimbursement, that impact companies marketing products or services to support COVID-19 efforts.

Read the full LawFlash >>

Congress did not address federal taxation of Provider Relief Fund Payments when the CARES Act became law on March 27, 2020. In this LawFlash, our tax team analyzes the Internal Revenue Service’s recently published answers  to frequently asked questions regarding taxation of these payments to healthcare providers.

Noting the upcoming July 15 deadline for both first and second quarter 2020 estimated tax payments, the authors underscore that providers will need to assess the impact of these funds on those estimates and prepare to make remittances accordingly.

Read the LawFlash >>

Modern Healthcare recently named Morgan Lewis as the largest healthcare law firm for the fifth year in a row. The annual “Largest Healthcare Law Firms” list highlights law firms that have dedicated practices and staff to meet the needs of healthcare and life sciences clients.

We are honored to be recognized by Modern Healthcare and are thankful to our clients who entrust us with their work.

View our press release >>