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Health Law Monitor

Coronavirus/COVID-19

The Issue of Hospital Capacities in the Wake of COVID-19

Gov. Jared Polis entered Executive Order D 2020 249 to clarify the order of operations for the increasing hospital capacity in the State of Colorado. Hospitals were directed to increase their capacity internally by utilizing unused space and supplementing their staffing. If further capacity is needed, the hospitals were directed to decrease the number of elective procedures being performed at the…

Litigating During COVID-19: What we’ve learned and what we can expect going forward. 

Litigants and litigators face unique challenges to effectively prosecute or defend ongoing or anticipated civil actions amid the pandemic. Now, more than seven months since the declaration of a national emergency in the U.S. and with new COVID-19 cases continuing to rise in many regions, flexibility and creativity remain critical to adapt to the evolving nature of one’s “day in court” during…

Update on HHS Recent Changes to the 340B Program’s Reimbursement Rates

A recent decision from the District of Columbia’s Court of Appeals has paved the way for the United States Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) to continue its policy of Medicare Part B reimbursement reductions for 340B covered entities.

Background

Congress created the 340B drug pricing program in 1992, requiring certain pharmaceutical manufacturers to sell outpatient drugs at discounted…

CARES Act Update: HHS Disbursing another $20 Billion in Financial Relief

On October 1, 2020, The Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), through the Health Resources and Services Administration (“HRSA”) announced the disbursement of another $20 billion in financial relief for certain physician practices and other health care delivery organizations and clinicians who are part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (“CARES”). Providers will…

CDC Issues New Guidance for Pharmacies

COVID-19 has prompted health care providers and facilities across the United States to re-evaluate their plans for evaluating and treating patients in the face of a global pandemic. Plans have been developed to not only to guide the actual provision of health care, but also general logistics focusing on how to safely ensure the delivery of care occurs.

Recognizing the vital part pharmacies play in…

Let’s not give up on jury trials

Civil jury trials are guaranteed under the 7th Amendment for all cases in Federal Court, and that right is incorporated into the constitutions of almost every state. So, we can continue to demand jury trials in our cases even though it is unclear how long we will have to wait for them to resume. The courts must accommodate both criminal and civil jury trials and are in the process of trying to…

WEST VIRGINIA LEGISLATURE REQUIRES PEIA TO COVER TELEHEALTH SERVICES

On June 5, 2020, a new statute covering telehealth services under the West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Act (“PEIA”) went into effect.1 This statute endeavors to formulate definitions regarding telehealth while also setting forth what telehealth services PEIA must cover.2 According to the statute, a distant site is defined as “the telehealth site where the health care practitioner is…

UPDATE: Fifth Circuits Holds Bankruptcy Court Cannot Enjoin the SBA Regarding PPP Funding to Debtors

Jackson Kelly previously reported on a number of Bankruptcy Courts granting temporary restraining orders against the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) to allow bankruptcy debtors to apply for Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) funds and prohibiting the SBA and any lender from denying the application due solely to the applicant’s status as a bankruptcy debtor. (See May 7, 2020 Health Law…

FAQs Clarify Health Plan’s Obligation to Cover COVID-19 Testing

The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and the Treasury issued a new set of Frequently Asked Questions today to provide guidance on the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (“FFCRA”), the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act and other health coverage issues related to COVID-19. The FAQs can be found here.

Section 6001 of FFCRA requires health plans, including…

CMS Announces Enhanced Enforcement and Surveys for Long Term Care Facilities

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has announced the next steps in enforcement efforts relating to long term care facilities following reduced efforts as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. On June 1, CMS released a Quality, Safety and Oversight Group memorandum (QSO 20-31) directing state survey agency directors on a series of new steps designed to help safeguard the health and safety…

Tips for Pre-Trial Practice During a Pandemic

Now that I can get my haircut and eat at my favorite restaurant, do I have to go to court? Businesses across the country are looking to reopen and courts are feeling their way through the limitations necessitated by COVID-19, how to safely move forward, and dealing with backlog. Federal and State Courts initially went into partial shutdown, focusing on handling essential or emergency matters…

TREATING BY TELEMEDICINE: MORE THAN JUST PICKING UP THE PHONE AND CALLING-IN A PRESCRIPTION

Although the West Virginia Board of Medicine (“WVBOM”) suspended some provisions of the West Virginia Medical Practice Act1  to allow for greater use of telemedicine, it has not suspended all provisions of the telemedicine statute.2  In a departure from W. Va. Code § 30-3-13a(c), the WVBOM now states that “if audio only communication satisfies the standard of care for a particular patient…

 

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