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.
CMS recently issued Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) clarifying requirements and considerations for hospitals and other providers related to the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The FAQs address questions concerning patient presentation to the emergency department, EMTALA applicability across facility types, qualified medical professionals, medical screening exams, patient transfer and stabilization, and telehealth issues.
The Morgan Lewis healthcare team is keeping up to date on all of the developments surrounding coronavirus (COVID-19). We have compiled a list of our recent publications for ease of access.
- COVID-19 Update: CMS Issues EMTALA Guidance for Hospitals
- CMS Issues Guidance to Hospitals on Emergency Treatment of COVID-19 Patients
- CMS Issues Guidance on COVID-19 for Hospice and Nursing Home Providers, Health Law Scan
- Tele-Tuesday: Congress’s Coronavirus Bill Includes Major Telehealth Changes, Health Law Scan
- How Hospitals Can Balance Public Health Concerns, Patient Privacy in Responding to Coronavirus
You may also be interested in some other publications throughout the firm:
- COVID-19 Relief Recommendations for the IRS, ML BeneBits
- IRS Modifies HDHP Rules in Response to Coronavirus Concerns, ML BeneBits
- Recent FDA Medical Device Developments in Response to COVID-19
- Responding to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus: Top-of-Mind Questions for Employers
- Coronavirus (COVID-19): US Admissions from Europe’s Schengen Area Suspended for 30 Days
- Keep Immigration Requirements in Mind When Preparing Coronavirus Response Plans
All the firm’s materials will be posted on our resource page. We encourage you to take a look there as well. We will continue to update through Health Law Scan to keep you informed. If you have specific questions, we encourage you to reach out to your Morgan Lewis contact.
In this LawFlash, Morgan Lewis healthcare industry partner Susan Feigin Harris analyzes recent CMS guidance on Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) requirements and implications related to the coronavirus (COVID-19). The guidance, which provides advice concerning EMTALA screening, stabilization, transfer, and recipient hospital obligations, “reminds the industry of the rare circumstance in which EMTALA obligations may be waived.” Flexibility in managing EMTALA requirements regarding individuals with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are also addressed.
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Morgan Lewis lawyers are here to help guide healthcare organizations through this fluid public health crisis. Please see our dedicated webpage on Responding to the Coronavirus for updates and developments as they unfold.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) unveiled the Healthy Adult Opportunity initiative on January 30. Morgan Lewis partner Susan Feigin Harris recently spoke with Fierce Healthcare about the CMS block grant, and specifically discussed the possibility of the program seeing a challenge in court. “It is a classic constitutional case of who gets to allocate funding and who gets to stop allocating funding and that is Congress,” she said.
The recently passed FY 2020 Appropriations Act increases funding for US healthcare agencies and programs over FY 2019 levels. The new law limits reauthorization of expiring healthcare extenders to five months, delays a scheduled reduction in Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital payments, enhances federal funding for healthcare research, and permanently repeals certain Affordable Care Act (ACA) taxes.
Daniel Levinson, the HHS Inspector General (IG), tendered his resignation to President Donald Trump on April 2, effective May 31. Mr. Levinson was the longest serving HHS-IG and under his leadership, the watchdog managed a wide array of oversight, including checks on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The HHS-OIG is the largest inspector general office among federal agencies helping to police over 200 HHS programs as well as the massive Medicare and Medicaid programs. The current Principal Deputy Inspector General Joanne Chiedi will become the acting IG on June 1.
Undoubtedly the next HHS-IG appointee will be a staunch advocate of fraud and abuse enforcement, and likely will have years of government audit or enforcement experience, as was the case with previous HHS IGs. It remains to be seen, however, if the appointee will also have private industry experience and will bring to bear deep knowledge of an evolving healthcare delivery system.
Emerging as an industry disrupter, the Office of Inspector General for the US Department of Health and Human Services (OIG) has waded knee-deep into health policy and economics in proposing dramatic changes to the anti-kickback discount safe harbor protection. Its latest move targets certain industry sectors, proposing to remove their protection from administrative and criminal prosecution in connection with rebates and price reductions for prescription drugs.
Under the proposed rule issued February 6, the OIG proposes to amend the language of the existing discount safe harbor to no longer protect price reductions from prescription drug manufacturers to sponsors, MA plans, or Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs), or to pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) under contract with those entities, in connection with the sale or purchase of prescription drugs (unless the price reduction is otherwise required by law). The proposal is elegant and simply excludes from the definition of a “discount” price reductions or other remuneration paid from a drug manufacturer to sponsors and MA plans, Medicaid MCOs, and PBMs. If a price reduction is not a discount, it is not excepted or protected and can be subject to enforcement. No other health industry sector is apparently targeted for this administrative rule change.
US President Donald Trump signed the SUPPORT Act into law on October 24, 2018, in a culmination of a two-year bipartisan effort by lawmakers across multiple committees in both the House and Senate. Law360 published an article on October 25, 2018, by the Morgan Lewis healthcare team that takes a first look at the sweeping new opioid law.