COVID-19 Affecting Nursing Homes

U.S. nursing homes would benefit from a less punitive approach to performance improvement, according to Doctors Without Borders, the international medical humanitarian organization that has been assisting U.S. nursing homes with their response to COVID-19. The organization recently conducted in-person infection prevention and control trainings and provided technical support and wellness sessions to staff and residents in over 50 Michigan nursing homes and adult care facilities, and now is doing the same in Texas.

To read the rest of this post by Duane Morris attorney Susan Kayser, please visit the Duane Morris Health Law Blog.

USDOL Amends Temporary Regulations; Healthcare Employers Who Have Excluded Employees from COVID-related Leave Benefits under FFCRA Must Reconsider

The United States Department of Labor’s (DOL) initial temporary regulations that interpreted and implemented the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) permitted employers to elect to exclude healthcare provider employees from eligibility for the COVID-related leave benefits made available under FFCRA. The initial DOL regulations provided a broad definition of healthcare provider, allowing most employees working for a healthcare provider employer to be excluded from FFCRA leave benefits, including Paid Sick Leave (PSL) and Extended Family and Medical Leave (EFMLA). After a federal district court decision struck down parts of the DOL’s prior final rule, the DOL now has issued revised regulations, which became effective on September 16, 2020, and expire along with the FFCRA on December 31, 2020.

To read the full text of this post by Duane Morris attorneys Jennifer Long and Nicholas J. Lynn, please visit the Duane Morris Health Law Blog.

After COVID-19 Lockdown, Long-Term Care Facilities Reopening

Given the tragic loss experienced in nursing homes and the known impact that this virus has on seniors, long-term care facilities (including nursing homes and assisted living facilities) may be among the last business to undergo a “reopening.” Strict adherence to the federal, state and local precautions will be required, as well as close monitoring for outbreaks in the facility.

To read the full text of this post by Duane Morris attorney Lauren Perry, please visit the Duane Morris Health Law Blog.

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.

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.