Tag Archives: hospitals

Pennsylvania Governor Issues Much-Anticipated Executive Order Extending Liability Protections for Healthcare Professionals Responding to COVID-19 Crisis

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to strain healthcare resources and professionals across the nation, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has responded by extending liability protections for healthcare workers responding to the crisis.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.

$324 Million Dollars Awarded to 31 Pennsylvania Hospitals Under the HELP Program

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced that nearly $324 million in funding has been awarded to 31 hospitals across the Commonwealth through the “Hospital Emergency Loan Program,” or HELP, which provides short-term financial relief as hospitals combat the surge of COVID-19 cases in their area.

To read the full text of this post by Duane Morris partner Brad Molotsky, please visit the Duane Morris Project Development/Infrastructure/P3 Blog.

CMS Announces New Rules and Waivers of Federal Requirements for Hospitals and Clinicians Responding to COVID-19

Hospitals without walls, the USNS Comfort and FaceTime calls between patients and doctors are just some of the new and much-needed initiatives to fight the COVID-19 pandemic that are now possible because the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is relaxing laws and regulations.

On March 30, 2020, CMS, in coordination with the Trump administration, announced the implementation of a sweeping array of new rules and waivers of federal requirements for hospitals and health systems to effectively manage potential surges of COVID-19 patients.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.

Life-or-Death Hospital Decisions Come With Threat of Lawsuits

Doctors and hospitals overwhelmed in the pandemic will have to make their excruciating life-or-death decisions meticulously or they risk being second-guessed by a jury when the onslaught is over.

Lawyers who defend health care providers are already giving advice on how their clients can avoid liability if they’re forced to choose between patients. How they prepare for this battlefield triage now — and how they practice it in the chaos of peak infections — will determine whether negligence cases against them are dismissed or lead to trials or settlements over the death of a parent or spouse.

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Hospitals and doctors are focused on care right now, as they should be, said Sean Zabaneh, a lawyer with Duane Morris LLP in Philadelphia who represents them in court.

Still, he said, they should be “making sure they have insurance coverage in place that is applicable to the new circumstances that are becoming more normal every day as a result of the pandemic, and staying up to date on the quickly evolving legal standards and legislation.” Lawmakers could pass legislation to protect health care providers that adhere to the standard of care, he added.

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To read the full article, visit the Bloomberg website.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to Award Contracts to Convert Existing Buildings into ICU-like COVID-19 Treatment Facilities, Starting in New York

During a press conference on March 20, 2020, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) discussed plans to assist state-level COVID-19 relief efforts. USACE support will include the conversion of existing, underutilized buildings such as hotels, college dormitories and potentially large spaces into ICU-like treatment facilities. Specifically, state governments will nominate and lease facilities, USACE will award construction contracts for building modifications, FEMA and/or HHS will provide necessary supplies, and then state governments will provide staffing.

To read the full text of this Duane Morris Alert, please visit the firm website.

Navigating Supply Chain Issues in Light of the Coronavirus Pandemic

This podcast is the first in a series that will focus on legal issues critical to responding to and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic for healthcare facilities. In the podcast, Delphine O’Rourke, Partner at Duane Morris LLP, and Michelle Johnson Tidjani, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Henry Ford Health System, talk about how hospitals can secure their supply chains in these uncertain times. In addition, O’Rourke and Tidjani discuss contract management issues and give practical pointers on establishing an incident command center to ensure clinical and business issues are addressed.

To listen to the podcast, please visit the AHLA Podcasts website.

Coronavirus Uncertainty Is Bringing a Spike in Demand for Some Practices

The adage “uncertainty is the only certainty there is” feels more appropriate than ever. There are no easy answers about the ultimate severity of COVID-19 in the U.S. or the direction of the global economy.

That lack of predictability, however, is fueling immediate demand for attorneys in a broad range of sectors.

Specifically, firms with highly regarded employment, cybersecurity, health care and insurance practices are fielding a surge of inquiries. And private equity, restructuring and tax lawyers can expect their phones to start ringing in the coming weeks. Dealmakers, meanwhile, can prepare for a period of unwanted calm. […]

Health Care

Duane Morris partner Delphine O’Rourke started writing and speaking on preparedness for COVID-19 at the end of January, including presentations to 11 hospital associations. But she said she’s definitely seeing a spike in inquiries from clients.

To read the full text of this article, please visit The American Lawyer website.

How Are You Gonna Pay For That? Crisis Leaves Rural Health Care Unprepared For COVID Outbreak

It could be a perfect storm.

The coronavirus has sparked worries of pandemic, with hundreds of thousands of people around the country potentially infected in a worst-case scenario.

Compounding the problem is that some of the hospitals that most frequently treat the poorest, sickest, and oldest patients—in other words, those most susceptible to suffering from serious COVID-19 symptoms—are already in a precarious position.

Outbreaks threaten to collide with the little-noted but significant rural health care crisis that the U.S. has undergone over the past decade.

Since 2010, 126 rural hospitals have closed. And according to statistics from the Chartis Center for Rural Health, 47 percent of rural hospitals in the U.S. were in the red in 2019.

Coronavirus presents a unique risk to an already fragile rural health-care system: in severe cases, the illness requires intensive, long-term care that takes up beds and staff, while the level of contagion could quickly overwhelm the capacity of smaller, rural providers. […]

Absent aid from the federal government, experts told TPM, the outbreak could strain many rural hospitals that are already financially on the brink.

“If the pandemic becomes as serious as some believe, and hits rural areas in particular, it could exacerbate the rural crisis,” said Duane Morris partner Delphine O’Rourke, who advises hospitals on emergency planning. “Who is actually going to pay for the care?” […]

To read the full article, visit the Talking Points Memo website.

Hospitals ‘Nervous’ Over Knock-on Effects From COVID Medical Supply Breakdown

The expanding outbreak of COVID-19 poses a series of threats to the healthcare system’s ability to treat patients, as hospitals and state governments brace for the disease to impact their communities.

Among those threats are shortages of protective masks and sanitary gowns, along with reams of other categories of medical supplies.

The shortages stem from a combination of factors. Slowdowns in manufacturing in China have thrown a wrench in medical supply chains, while individuals and institutions have responded to the threat by hoarding. In other cases, medical providers have simply been forced to expend far more resources than expected to handle the outbreak.

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According to Duane Morris partner Delphine O’Rourke, who advises hospitals on responding to COVID, the crisis has led to a “gold rush” in medical supplies, with some bigger facilities buying up large amounts of items in anticipation of shortages.

“What are hospitals concerned by now? Anticipation of a shortage of critical medical supples that are necessary to treat patients,” O’Rourke told TPM.

To read the full article, visit the Talking Points Memo website.