Legal Insights and Perspectives for the Healthcare Industry
Fraud stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a criminal enforcement priority for the US Department of Justice (DOJ). On April 20, DOJ announced a new round of criminal charges against 21 defendants that stem from over $149 million in allegedly fraudulent billing to federal healthcare programs and pandemic assistance programs. The new cases raise DOJ’s total COVID-19-related enforcement stats to 35 defendants and over $290 million in fraudulent billing across 16 federal districts.
Members of our labor and employment group published a LawFlash discussing the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) updates on its COVID-19 guidance, detailing its view of employer obligations under Title VII when evaluating religious objections to COVID-19 vaccination mandates and requests for accommodation based on pregnancy under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. These updates may be of interest to healthcare employers as they continue to navigate through vaccine mandates.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it had restarted the Targeted Probe and Educate (TPE) audit process, effective September 1, 2021. More recently, the Medicare Administrative Contractors for hospice have targeted “claims with revenue code 0656 [General Inpatient Care] greater than or equal to 7 days submitted with dates of service on or after January 1, 2020” for active, pre-pay medical review.
Members of our labor, employment and benefits team published a LawFlash covering Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s recently issued Executive Order No. GA-40 (EO GA-40), which purports to prohibit vaccine mandates, but in reality expands the scope of mandatory exemptions to such mandates.

As the availability and variety of digital health tools continue to increase, evidence is also being presented that those tools are having a meaningful impact on health outcomes. In a recent blog post, members of our technology, outsourcing, and commercial transactions team dove into the findings of two reports, Digital Health Trends 2021: Innovation, Evidence, Regulation, and Adoption, offered by the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science; and a report from the University of Michigan’s Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation’s Telehealth Research Incubator.

In our latest Fast Break session and on the heels of recent announcements from the Biden-Harris administration and the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) granting of full authorization for the Pfizer vaccine in August, we were joined by Dan Kadish, a Morgan Lewis labor and employment associate and one of the leaders of our Morgan Lewis COVID-19 vaccine task force, to discuss how these updates may impact employers in the healthcare industry.
We hosted a very informative Fast Break session last month on CMS telehealth and RPM updates. If you weren't able to join us, the session was led by healthcare litigation associates Jake Harper and Tesch West, with special guest Ben Steinhafel, director of policy and external affairs at the Center for Telehealth and eHealth Law.

Our immigration team recently published a LawFlash discussing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) new policy under which all applicants for a green card must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This resource may be of interest to Health Law Scan readers, as this policy will impact green card applicants in the healthcare sector.

Members of our labor, employment, and benefits team recently published a LawFlash discussing the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) updated nonbinding COVID-19 guidance applicable to all industries not otherwise covered by the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard.
In the most recent edition of our Global Healthcare Transactions Series, we focus on the Asia-Pacific region, which saw a wave of healthcare activity in 2020 including record high deals and a new peak for disclosed value. These gains can be attributed to macroeconomic trends such as aging populations and increasingly affordable healthcare, and favorable government policies encouraging local manufacturing and development of healthcare products.