Tag Archives: health law

‘Nothing Works’: Hospitals Race To Train More Docs To Operate Ventilators

With COVID-19, it’s one step forward, two steps back.

That’s what doctors battling the devastating viral lung infection on its frontlines are saying, as hospitals face shortages not only in ventilators to keep patients alive, but in doctors to operate them. […]

A fixture in intensive care units, a ventilator requires near-perpetual management. Pulmonologists work with respiratory therapists and nurses to diagnose, intubate, drug, and manage patients hooked up to the devices. […]

Delphine O’Rourke, partner at the Duane Morris law firm in Philadelphia who advises health care providers on emergency preparedness, told TPM that hospitals were increasingly relying on doctors from other specialties to operate the complex machines.

“There’s a limited number of pulmonologists, so you get increased demand — especially when pulmonologists are working around the clock on this,” she said.

To read further remarks by Ms. O’Rourke, please visit the firm website, or read the full text of the article at the TPM website.

The CARES Act Amends Federal Law Governing the Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records

The CARES Act, enacted on March 27, 2020, makes notable changes to federal law governing the disclosure of substance use disorder records.  The Act amends 42 U.S.C. 290dd-2, the governing statute of the regulations at 42 C.F.R. Part 2 to better align certain of its confidentiality requirements with HIPAA.

To read the full text of this post by Duane Morris attorney Melissa Sobel Snyder, please visit the Duane Morris Health Law Blog.

Documentation to Ease Medical Billing Issues Due to COVID-19

Clinical documentation is critical to serving patients with COVID-19, but also avoiding medical billing and payment issues in the months and years following the pandemic, according to healthcare lawyer Delphine O’Rourke.

“There’s a lot of confusion over what the blanket waivers cover versus what happens under specific waivers versus what governors are stating,” said Delphine O’Rourke, partner at Duane Morris and former associate general counsel for Ascension. “We find in emergencies, that for months and years afterward, you are dealing with payment and insurance issues.”

“This needs to be documented,” she stressed in an interview with RevCycleIntelligence.

The Trump administration declared a national emergency earlier this month, granting HHS the authority to waive certain Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP policies and allow states to provide flexibilities for local providers. This move is key for providers attempting to manage a pandemic with a finite amount of resources, O’Rourke explained.

To read the full text of this article, please visit the Revcycle Intelligence website.

OCR Loosens HIPAA Enforcement Amidst Coronavirus Pandemic

Let’s face it, there has not been much positive news lately surrounding the Coronavirus (“COVID-19”).  However, the Office For Civil Rights (“OCR”), the agency within the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) that enforces the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) Privacy and Security Rules, announced several recent measures to allow health care providers avoid certain HIPAA penalties and sanctions amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are several measures OCR/HHS has taken to lessen the regulatory burden of HIPAA for health care providers amidst COVID-19.

To read this full blog post by Duane Morris partner Neville Bilimoria, please visit the Duane Morris Health Law Blog.