Tag Archives: hospitals

Reimbursement Rate for Out-of-Network Emergency Services: Executive Order Potentially Sets Precedent

On April 9, 2020, Governor Baker issued an emergency order, mandating that insurers cover all medically necessary emergency department and inpatient services costs of COVID-19 treatment at both out-of-network and in-network hospitals and other medical facilities, without any cost to the patient, setting the OON reimbursement rate at 135% of Medicare, and prohibiting providers from balance billing. The Governor appears to have relied on § 7 of the Massachusetts emergency preparedness and response law in issuing the Order.  Section 7 gives the Governor broad powers during a state of emergency, including “[r]egulation of the business of insurance and protection of the interests of the holders of insurance policies and contracts and of beneficiaries thereunder and of the interest of the public in connection therewith.”

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

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.

Don’t Leave CARES Act Dollars on the Table (or in the Wrong Pocket)

As part of a suite of COVID-19 relief programs, the CARES Act appropriated $100 billion into a Provider Relief Fund meant for “hospitals and other healthcare providers on the front lines of the coronavirus response.” Medicare providers and facilities should have seen funds appear in their accounts between April 10 and April 17 when the first $30 billion of the $50 billion general allocation was distributed. Further, eligible recipients should begin to see funds from the remaining $20 billion of the general allocation as well as additional targeted allocations for hospitals in hot zones or rural areas.

To read the full text of this post by Duane Morris attorney Ryan Wesley Brown, please visit the Duane Morris Health Law Blog.

HHS Announces Initial $30 Billion Distribution from CARES Act Provider Relief Fund

Immediate funds are now available for providers to receive a cash influx at a critical time. The challenge will not be receiving the funds, but rather keeping the funds after a future audit of compliance with the terms and conditions.

On April 10, 2020, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the immediate distribution of an initial $30 billion in relief funding to providers in support of the nationwide COVID-19 response. The distribution is part of the $100 billion provider relief fund included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act recently passed by Congress. Importantly, HHS has noted that these are payments, not loans, to healthcare providers, and will not need to be repaid unless the provider does not comply with the terms and conditions.

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

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.

[…]

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.

[…]

To read the full article, visit the Bloomberg website.

Can Philly Use Eminent Domain to Take Over Hahnemann Hospital for Coronavirus Patients?

As Philadelphia officials negotiate to use the former Hahnemann University Hospital as quarantine or isolation space during the coronavirus pandemic, City Councilmember Helen Gym is calling for the city to consider seizing the property by eminent domain. […]

The city or state would have the power to use eminent domain, through which the government can take ownership of property that is needed for public use. […]

Whether the city can benefit from using eminent domain may depend on whether it’s able to seize the temporary use of the property — such as through a lease — rather than having to buy the property outright. […]

But George Kroculick, an attorney specializing in eminent domain cases at law firm Duane Morris in Philadelphia, said the practice does not require public bodies to take ownership of property that they condemn.

To read more of Mr. Kroculick’s comments, please visit the Duane Morris website.

HHS Activates DEA Exemption to Allow Remote Prescribing of Controlled Substances

In order to facilitate social distancing measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, state and federal regulatory agencies are moving quickly to permit providers to continue to provide medical care through telemedicine. On March 16, 2020, Alex Azar, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, has declared a public health emergency and, therefore, activated the telemedicine allowance under 21 U.S.C. § 802(54)(D). Per the Secretary, this applies to all schedule II-V controlled substances in all areas of the United States for as long as the public health emergency declaration is in place so long as certain conditions are met.

To read the full text of this post by Duane Morris attorney Ryan Wesley Brown, please visit the Duane Morris Health Law Blog.

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.