- Posts by Kathleen M. PremoMember of the Firm
When health care businesses need a business-savvy legal partner to lead merger and acquisition (M&A) growth initiatives, serve as outside General Counsel or address complex regulatory or strategic business challenges, they turn ...
An increasing number of states are requiring advance notice of health care transactions. These requirements may delay transactions or result in confidential information becoming accessible to the public. Effective August 1, 2023, New York enacted legislation that requires health care entities involved in material transaction(s) to provide written notice to the New York Department of Health at least 30 days prior to the closing of the transaction. In enacting the legislation, New York joined Connecticut, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Rhode Island, and ...
The Illinois Coalition to Protect Telehealth, a coalition of more than thirty Illinois healthcare providers and patient advocates, announced its support for a bill that would, among other things, establish payment parity for telehealth services and permanently eliminate geographic and facility restrictions beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Like many states, Illinois issued an executive order at the outset of the pandemic temporarily lifting longstanding barriers to consumer access to telehealth via commercial health plans and Medicaid. The executive order expanded the definition of telehealth services, loosened geographical restrictions on physician licensing requirements, and barred private insurers from charging copays and deductibles for in-network telehealth visits.
Now, House Bill 3498 seeks to make permanent some of those temporary waivers by aligning coverage and reimbursement for telehealth services with in-person care. If enacted, it would also establish that patients could no longer be required to use an exclusive panel of providers or professionals to receive telehealth services, nor would they be required to prove a hardship or access barrier in order to receive those services. The bill does not include a provision that would permanently allow out-of-state physicians or health care providers to provide services in the state beyond the pandemic.
In the Coalition’s announcement of support for this bill, it states that the use of telehealth over the last year has shown an increased adherence to patient care plans and improved chronic disease management. “In recent surveys, over 70% of Illinois hospital respondents and 78% of community-based behavioral healthcare respondents reported that telehealth has helped drive a reduction in the rates at which patients missed appointments. Surveys of Illinois physicians, community health centers, and specialized mental health and substance use disorder treatment providers have also revealed similar dramatic reductions in missed appointments.”
While providers struggle to provide health care to their patients amid the coronavirus contagion concerns, recent regulatory and reimbursement changes will help ease the path to the provision of healthcare via telehealth.
On March 6, 2020, President Donald Trump signed into law an $8.3 billion emergency coronavirus disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) response funding package. In addition to providing funding for the development of treatments and public health funding for prevention, preparedness, and response, the bill authorizes the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar (referred to herein as the “Secretary”), to waive Medicare restrictions on the provision of services via telehealth during this public health emergency.
Greater utilization of telehealth during the COVID-19 outbreak will reduce providers’ and patients’ exposure to the virus in health care facilities. Telehealth is especially useful for mild cases of illness that can be managed at the patient’s home, thereby decreasing the volume of individuals seeking care in facilities. To further facilitate the increased utilization of telehealth, the Centers for Disease Control’s interim guidance for healthcare facilities notes that healthcare providers can communicate with patients by telephone if formal telehealth systems are not available. This allows providers to have greater flexibility when telehealth technology providers lack the bandwidth to accommodate this increase in telehealth utilization or are otherwise unavailable.
Florida has been at the forefront of some very interesting healthcare M&A activity in the past year, including an influx of private equity and consistent growth in Hospital and Health Plan vertical integration. Unless subject to antitrust filing requirements, these high profile transactions are typically carried out under veils of confidentiality and announced upon completion. However, Florida M&A is not insulated from recent Florida House health reform initiatives. If the Florida House gets its way, the pace of healthcare transactions in Florida may hit a speed bump in the form ...
Despite recent welcome news to the home health agency (“HHA”) industry in Florida, Illinois, Michigan, and Texas following an end to Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ ("CMS’s") long-standing HHA provider enrollment moratoria, CMS subsequently announced that it would place some newly enrolled HHAs in a provisional period of enhanced oversight. The purpose of the enhanced oversight period and the corresponding additional restrictions placed on certain HHAs is to help CMS address and closely monitor fraud, waste, and abuse concerns in the HHA industry, thus ...
Did you know that your zip code is a better predictor of your health than your genetic code? Public health experts – and your health insurance provider – have long known that the air you breath, the education you receive, your net worth, and even the music that you listen to are strong indicators of your overall health – and the possibility that you might need expensive medical procedures in the future. By some measures, up to 50% of your overall health is determined by social, economic, and environmental factors. As the movement to value-based payment continues in health care, there ...
Earlier this year, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed into law HB7099 and SPB7028 (collectively referred to as the “Bills”), ratifying emergency rules that require nursing homes and assisted living facilities to acquire alternative power sources- such as generators- and fuel in preparation of the upcoming hurricane season. See Rule 59A-4.1265 and Rule 58A-5.036. These rules were enacted after 14 residents died from heat-related illnesses and complications during Hurricane Irma last year when a Florida nursing home lost power to its air conditioning units for three days.
A variety of traditional and non-traditional investors are starting to capitalize on the stability of the Medicare Advantage Program and expansion of the Medicare Advantage Health Plan Market. These companies are leveraging sophisticated technological interfaces, data, and telemedicine to help improve the patient experience and to maximize the Triple Aim.
Why Medicare Advantage?
Medicare Advantage plans are offered by private insurance companies subject to certain standards established by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”). While the Medicare ...
- NJ Approves Cannabis Regulatory Amendment with Major Impacts on Class 5 Retail License Holders
- Unpacking Averages: Device Manufacturers Should Use the Newly Released Demographic Data in MDRs to Ensure Their Devices Are Not Disproportionately Hurting Minorities
- CMS Announces Comprehensive Plan to Ensure EMTALA Compliance
- Telehealth’s Roadblock: The Issue with State Licensure Requirements
- CMS Announces New Primary and Behavioral Health Care Integration Demonstration Model