Legal Insights and Perspectives for the Healthcare Industry

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.

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.

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Much to the relief of the healthcare provider community, US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) spokesperson Michael Caputo tweeted on Monday that HHS intended to extend the public health emergency that was declared earlier this year.

As coronavirus (COVID-19) cases begin to surge in Texas, Governor Greg Abbott issued Executive Order No. GA-27 on June 25 to preserve hospital bed availability for COVID-19 patients. The executive order directs acute care hospitals in Bexar, Dallas, Harris, or Travis counties to postpone certain procedures and surgeries. In a recent LawFlash, we highlight the details of the order, and insights surrounding elective procedures in Texas and other areas in the United States. Banee Pachuca, Sydney Reed, and Jake Harper recently hosted a Fast Break discussing elective procedures in various states, including Texas.

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Congressional stimulus packages appropriated $175 billion in relief funds under the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Acts for the benefit of hospitals and other healthcare providers in response to losses incurred due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Please join us for a webinar on Wednesday, June 3 at 3:00 pm ET to discuss the issues associated with the pursuit of funds under business interruption insurance coverage and FEMA public assistance and how they may intersect with the acceptance of terms and conditions associated with the CARES Act provider relief funds.

Partners Jay Konkel, Jeff Raskin, and Susan Feigin Harris will discuss these issues and some common scenarios presented by client questions.

See more information on the program >>

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Authors’ Note: In what may be emblematic of the legal landscape in the time of coronavirus (COVID-19), after we finalized the blog post below for publication regarding the US Department of Health and Human Services updates to the HHS FAQs relating to the CARES Act Relief Fund payments made by HHS on May 19, the agency later added or updated its FAQ on the night of May 20, with some notable changes. These updates have been included (and emphasized in italics) in this republication.

With just days left until provider attestations are due related to acceptance of CARES Act Provider Relief Funds, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has recently been updating its FAQs, providing some additional clarity, and potentially confusion, surrounding the acceptance of Relief Funds from its initial tranche $30 billion of General Distribution payments. Attestations for the first tranche of payments on April 10 are due May 25, and HHS continues to furnish guidance regarding the details of the General Distribution Relief Fund.