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2021 Changes to Kentucky's Open Records Act

The 2021 Kentucky General Assembly passed House Bill 312 (HB 312), which makes some important changes to Kentucky’s Open Records Act which became effective June 29, 2021. 

Kentucky Residency Restriction for Open Records Requestors 

Under the amended act, open records requests may now only be made by a “resident of the commonwealth.” Previously, any “person” could request inspection of records from…

Update Guidance for Employers Not Covered by OSHA's COVID-19 ETS

This article was originally published in Jackson Kelly’s Workplace Safety and Health News Alert on June 21, 2021. This guidance is pertinent to health care providers and relates to federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements in various workplaces. Comments to the OSHA guidance issued on June 17, 2021 must be submitted by August 20, 2021.

On May 16, 2021, the Centers…

Preparing for the Implementation of West Virginia's Physician Assistants Practice Act

The West Virginia Legislature passed Senate Bill 714 (“SB 714”) on April 9, 2021. The Governor signed the bill on April 21, 2021, and it will become effective on July 8th, 2021. SB 714 amends certain provisions relating to the Physician Assistants Practice Act.1  The key amendments are summarized below:

  1. The bill dispenses with the practice agreement requirement.2  Now repealed, W. Va. Code §…

The Time is Now: Enforcement for Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Begins

On May 10, 2021, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) will interpret and enforce Section 1557 and Title IX’s prohibition on discrimination based on sex to include both (1) discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and (2) discrimination on the basis of gender identity. 

OCR is responsible for enforcing Section 1557 of the…

Federal Agency Issues New Guidance on Substance Use Disorder Confidentiality Requirements

SAMHSA’s Recent Statement on 42 C.F.R. Part 2

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (“SAMHSA”) issued a statement on April 9, 2021 regarding 42 C.F.R. Part 2 (commonly referred to as “Part 2”). In its statement, SAMSHA asserted that it intends to publish amendments to the Part 2 regulations later this year, and affirmed that the current Part 2 regulations (including the…

The Winds of Change - Defining Value in Healthcare

On November 20th, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) made sweeping changes to the Stark Law through the issuance of a new “Final Rule,” which is an essential mile-marker in the government’s Sprint to Coordinated Care.  Many industry stakeholders have been eagerly awaiting the Final Rule’s issuance, hoping that it would provide more flexibility and clarity to this complex…

HHS Office of Inspector General Issues Special Fraud Alert Regarding Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Company Speaker Programs

On November 16, 2020, the HHS Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) issued a special fraud alert regarding “the offer, payment, solicitation, or receipt of remuneration” relating to speaker programs for pharmaceutical and medical device companies. 

The targeted speaking engagements involve programs presented by physicians or other healthcare provider, who are not employed by the company, and the…

SHOW ME THE DATA: ONC COMPLIANCE DEADLINE EXTENDED

The Office of the National Coordinator extended compliance deadlines to its 21st Century Cures Act: Interoperability, Information Blocking, and ONC Health IT Certification Program Final Rule (the “Final Rule”). This extension postpones compliance requirements for the Information Blocking provisions that were set to go into effect November 2, 2020 until April 5, 2021. Clearly this provides…

Are you Ready for It? ONC Information Blocking Rule Compliance Deadline is Fast Approaching

The time is now for compliance teams to review their systems, policies, and procedures to ensure they are ready to comply with the Final Rule on Information Blocking (the “Final Rule”)1 issued by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in March of this year. The Final Rule stems from the 21st Century Cures Act (the “Cures Act”), which was passed by…

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…

Deregulation = More Flexibility for Hospital Boards

West Virginia non-profit hospitals and hospitals owned by local governments are no longer required by law to comply with strict board composition requirements. West Virginia Code Section 16-5B-6A required hospitals to maintain at least forty percent of its directors in an equal proportion of four consumer representative categories – small business, organized labor, elderly persons, and lower…

Reminder for Health Care Providers: Communicate and Document to Help Avoid Litigation

As we begin to “reopen” following the initial assault from COVID-19, health care providers continue to adjust to the “new normal” of practicing medicine during an ongoing pandemic. Amid discussions of personal protective equipment, installation of plexiglass waiting room enclosures and increased testing availability, it is important to remember some basics to help avoid litigation. For health…

 

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