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Legal Insights and Perspectives for the Healthcare Industry

Our global healthcare industry team continues to highlight how regions around the world have quickly adapted to providing telehealth services following the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In Singapore, telehealth providers are mainly focused on providing remote telemedicine and/or on-demand house call services.

We invite you to join us on Tuesday, August 25 for our next installment of the Fast Break series, this time focused on fraud enforcement following the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Our labor, employment, and benefits team recently posted a LawFlash on the ruling in federal district court in New York that invalidated significant parts of a US Department of Labor rule. The ruling found that more employees are eligible for up to 12 weeks’ coronavirus (COVID-19)-related emergency paid sick leave and emergency paid FMLA leave. In light of the court’s decision, employers should consider whether they need to adjust their leave determinations in light of the court’s decision.

Read the LawFlash >>

As reported in As Prescribed, US President Donald Trump signed four executive orders implementing policies on drug pricing on July 24. One of the orders directs the secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to condition future grants under Section 330(e) of the Public Health Service Act on Federally Qualified Health Centers establishing practices that ensure the 340B discount they receive on insulin and injectable epinephrine is passed through to low-income patients who lack insurance or have high copays or deductibles. The HHS secretary has discretion to set the standard for eligible patients.

In the blog post, Morgan Lewis senior counsel Donna Yesner reports that this policy is limited in scope to one category of covered entities—it does not extend to hospitals—and two categories of drugs, but is consistent with the legislative intent of the 340B program to make outpatient drugs accessible to poor and uninsured or underinsured patients of federal grantees. But, as with other drug pricing executive orders, there could be problems carrying out the 340B directive.

Read the full blog post>>

Our immigration colleagues recently published a LawFlash on the July 29 decision by the US District Court for the Southern District of New York to grant a preliminary nationwide injunction to temporarily block the continued implementation of the public charge rule during a public health emergency such as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Two days later, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a new proposed fee schedule with increased filing fees, set to take effect on October 2, 2020.

Read the LawFlash

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

Register Now >>

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 >>