Beginning June 21, 2023, New York State (NYS) Public Health Law (PHL) Section 2830 requires hospitals and healthcare professionals to provide written notice to patients before the patient is charged a facility fee.
Overview of Hospital Billing
Billing by hospitals and certain medical facilities typically involves a combination of a facility fee and a professional fee. Facility fees account for the overhead costs of maintaining a hospital, or other health care facility, and refer to the payments for services provided by the hospital, or other health care facility, for either ...
It is axiomatic that New York State requires every Medicaid provider to have an “effective” compliance program. New York Social Services Law § 363-d. In July 2022, the New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (“OMIG”) proposed extensive modifications to the regulatory requirements governing compliance programs for entities receiving “significant” Medicaid revenue (increased by these regulations from a threshold of $500,000 to $1 million). These regulations were proposed to implement portions of the New York State 2020-2021 Budget Bill ...
New York recently enacted new legislation that will amend Article 45-A of the New York Public Health Law, entitled “Disclosure of Material Transactions”. Although the legislation, as enacted, contains no description of legislative intent, the budget bill language originally proposed referenced concerns with the “proliferation of large physician practices being managed by entities that are investor-backed” (e.g., private equity platforms) and which are otherwise unregulated by the state outside of the licensure of the individual practitioners.
Effective August 1, 2023, the new legislation requires thirty (30) days advance notice to the New York State Department of Health (“Department”) of any “material transactions” involving “health care entities” that provide administrative or management services for physician practices, provider-sponsored organizations, health insurance plans, “or any other kind of health care facility, organization, or plan providing health care services. . . .”
On June 8, 2023, the New York City Council passed a bill focused on healthcare accountability, with the goal of increasing access to healthcare services for New Yorkers. Entitled the Healthcare Accountability & Consumer Protection Act (the “Act”), this legislation includes Introduction 844, which establishes an Office of Healthcare Accountability, whose work would allow patients to see through a website what they would be charged for procedures at hospitals throughout New York City. As part of the Act, this Office would also report on insurance and pharmaceutical pricing, as well as monitor the amount of money the City is spending on healthcare services. In addition, the Act includes Resolution 512, which calls on New York State to create an independent commission to oversee hospital pricing and to increase access to healthcare services. This local law, referred to as Local Law 78, was signed by Mayor Adams on June 23, 2023, and will be effective beginning on February 22, 2024.
In September of this year, New York City Councilwoman Julie Menin announced her plan to introduce a series of bills that would create further price transparency requirements for hospitals, with noncompliance resulting in high financial penalties.
The bill package would create an office of hospital accountability that would inform the public as to how much hospitals are charging for various services via a price transparency information portal, where hospitals would be required to provide certain key pricing information to the public. Currently, such pricing data is not typically available for public access, and patients typically have little knowledge regarding how much they will be charged for services.
As we previously reported, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' (CMS's) interim final rule (the “Rule”) requiring full COVID-19 vaccination for staff and others at Medicare- and Medicaid-certified providers and suppliers (i.e., the “vaccine mandate”) was effectively stayed nationwide on November 30, 2021, by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana (the “Louisiana Court”). In yet another twist to the ongoing legal battles, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit lifted the nationwide stay and held that the Louisiana Court only had authority to block the vaccine mandate in the fourteen plaintiff states that brought suit in that court. Those states are Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, and West Virginia.
Due to the litigation in the Eastern District of Missouri, as reported here, enforcement of the vaccine mandate is also blocked in ten other states: Alaska, Arkansas, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. In total, the vaccine mandate under the Rule is now stayed in twenty-four states, but is now in effect in the remaining twenty-six states.
On November 12, 2021, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released final guidance confirming that hospitals can be co-located with other hospitals or healthcare providers.
CMS’ aim for the guidance is to balance flexibility in service provision for providers with ensuring patient confidence in CMS’ quality of care oversight functions.
The final guidance provides direction to state surveyors in the evaluation of a hospital’s compliance with the Medicare Conditions of Participation (“CoPs”) when it is sharing space or contracted staff through service arrangements with another co-located hospital or healthcare provider. CMS also reiterated a key tenet of co-location arrangements: that each provider must independently meet its applicable CoPs, but, overall, the final guidance is less prescriptive than the draft guidance CMS released in May 2019, and in its wake raises new questions for providers.
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization declared that the 2019 novel coronavirus (known as “COVID-19”) is now a pandemic. The effects continue to be felt in the United States, which currently has well over 1,000 cases of COVID-19. As of March 12, 2020, 19 states have declared a state of emergency to ensure there are resources to address the coronavirus, and President Trump has announced a ban on travel to and from Europe for 30 days starting on Friday, March 13, 2020, which was extended to the United Kingdom and Ireland on March 15th. Additionally, on March 13, 2020 President ...
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule provides standards for the use and disclosure of "individually identifiable health information," dubbed protected health information, or PHI. PHI is information, including demographic information, that relates to an individual's physical or mental health, the provision of health care to the individual, or payment for the provision of health care to the individual. Such information constitutes PHI if it identifies the individual or if there is a reasonable basis to believe it can be ...
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