On March 27th, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act (“Act”). The Act is a massive piece of legislation, covering a number of aspects of economic life, including programs to maintain employment, assist workers, families and businesses, supporting the health care system, and providing assistance to distressed sectors of the U.S. economy.

Many health care providers may be wondering what changes the Act will bring to the health care field and hospitals may be wondering whether they would be eligible for any types of financial assistance.

The Act will provide a $100-billion-dollar relief package to eligible health care providers to “prevent/prepare for and respond to the coronavirus” which will be reimbursed through grants or other mechanisms. Such health care providers will be able to seek reimbursement for Coronavirus-related expenses or lost revenues attributable to it.

Eligible health care providers are defined as “public entities, Medicare or Medicaid enrolled suppliers and providers and such for-profit and not-for-profit entities not otherwise described in this Section as the Secretary may specify, which diagnose, test or care for individuals with possible or actual cases of COVID-19.”

Health care providers may not seek funds under this Act to reimburse expenses or losses which may be reimbursed from other sources or that other sources may be obligated to reimburse. Providers will have continued obligations relating to any funds they receive. Specifically, they will have to submit reports and maintain documentation, in the form, manner and frequency as determined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (“HHS”). These funds will be available for “building or construction of temporary structures, leasing of properties, medical supplies and equipment including PPE (personal protective equipment) and testing supplies, increased workforce and trainings, emergency operating center, retrofitting facilities and surge capacity.”

In order to receive these funds, health care providers will be required to submit an application to the Secretary of HHS with a statement that explains and justifies the need for the payment and the health care provider shall have a valid tax identification number. As this Act was just recently passed, guidance as to how to apply for these funds and how long the process will take to process all applications and to receive funds, will come in the near future.

In addition to financial assistance, there are other provisions aimed at assisting the health care industry in its fight against COVID-19.

Title III of the Act is titled “Supporting America’s Health Care System in the Fight Against Coronavirus” and provides a variety of new programs and changes to existing law to address a variety of health care delivery issues that have arisen during this unprecedented time. These changes include:

Part I – Addressing Supply Shortages has a number of programs to address medical product, emergency drug and medical device shortages. A high level summary is included below.

 Subpart A – Medical Product Supplies.

  • Section 3101 directs HHS to engage the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to study the security of the U.S. medical product supply chain to assess U.S. dependence on critical drugs and devices that are sourced or manufactured outside of the U.S. and provide Congress with recommendations to improve the resiliency of the supply chain. The National Academies will be required to consider input from various federal agencies and consult with relevant stakeholders in the health care field.
  • Section 3102 now requires the Strategic National Stockpile to stockpile PPE and other supplies for the administration of drugs, vaccines, medical devices and diagnostic tests, including medical supplies for diagnostic testing of COVID-19. The current lack of stockpiling is what has partially contributed to the current shortages of these supplies.
  • Section 3103 now extends targeted liability protections for the production of an approved respiratory protective device that is deemed to be a priority for use during a public health emergency, such as COVID-19.

Subpart B – Emergency Drug Shortages.

  • Section 3111 requires the FDA to prioritize and expedite the review of drug applications and inspections to mitigate any drug shortages.
  • Section 3112 imposes further requirements on drug manufacturers to notify the Secretary of HHS of a permanent discontinuance in the manufacture of a drug or in the interruption of the manufacture of the drug that is critical to the public health during a public health emergency. The requirements also require the reasons for such discontinuances and interruptions and remediation of same.

Subpart C – Medical Device Shortages.

  • Section 3121 requires manufacturers of a device that is critical to the public during a public health emergency (such as ventilators during this COVID-19 crisis) to also report to HHS any permanent discontinuance in the manufacture of such a device or an interruption in the manufacture, including applicable reasons, if the result is likely to lead to a meaningful disruption of the supply of the device in the US. HHS, in turn, shall distribute such information to health care providers. Additionally, HHS shall use this information to prioritize and expedite the review of any devices that could help mitigate or prevent such shortages.

Part II Access to Health Care for COVID-19 Patients has a number of provisions allowing patients easier and cost-effective access to health care during the current COVID-19 crisis.

Subpart A – Coverage of Testing and Preventive Services.

  • Section 3201 requires that all testing (including tests which are FDA approved and the tests which may or may not have an emergency use authorization by the FDA) for COVID-19 is to be covered by private health insurance companies without cost-sharing.
  • Section 3202 clarifies that for the COVID-19 tests which are at no cost to the patient, insurance companies must either pay the rate specified in the contract between the provider and insurer or if no such contract, the cash price requested by the provider. Coverage would also be available for any preventive services and vaccines for COVID-19. In addition, providers testing for COVID-19 must publicize their cash price for such testing and /or services and failure to do so may result in a civil monetary penalty of not more than $300 for each day the provider is in non-compliance.
  • Section 3203 requires group health plans and health insurance issuers offering group or individual health insurance to cover (without cost-sharing) any qualifying (approved item, service or vaccine) that is intended to prevent COVID-19.

Subpart B – Support for Health Care Workers Fighting this Pandemic.

  • Section 3211 allows supplemental awards, in the amount of $1.32 billion dollars, for community health centers (serving a medically underserved population or a special medically underserved population) which are testing and treating coronavirus patients.
  • Section 3212 establishes telehealth network and telehealth resource center grant programs and reauthorizes Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)’s grant programs that promote the use of telehealth technologies for health care delivery, education and health information services.
  • Section 3213 also establishes grant programs for rural health care services outreach, rural health network development and small health care provider quality improvement programs to increase access to health care for rural health communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Subpart C – Miscellaneous Provisions Applicable to Health Care.

  • Section 3221 relaxes certain requirements relating to substance use disorder treatment records requirements. Most notably, 42 CFR Part 2 is now closely aligned with HIPAA with respect to use and disclosure of patient records once initial patient consent is obtained.
  • Section 3224 requires HHS to issue guidance, within 180 days of the enactment of the Act, on the sharing of protected health information during the COVID-19 crisis


In addition, the Act’s Subtitle D (Finance Committee), Sections 3701 to 3719 benefits patients and the health care industry as follows:

  • Section 3701 relieves the requirements for patients with high deductible plans (and a health saving account) to meet the patient deductible before the plan will cover telehealth services, increasing access to those patients who may be infected with COVID-19. 
  • Section 3702 allows patients to use funds in their Health Savings and Flex Spending Accounts for certain over-the-counter medical products which they could not otherwise without a valid prescription.
  • Section 3703 increases Medicare’s telehealth flexibilities during the COVID-19 emergency period by eliminating previous requirements which limited telehealth services to those where the physician or other health care provider has treated the beneficiary in the last three years.
  • Section 3704 increases access to Medicare beneficiaries for telehealth services for Federally Qualified Health Centers (“FQHC”) and Rural Health Clinics (“RHC”) by allowing payments for telehealth services to FQHCs and RHCs if these clinics serve as a distant site (where the provider is located). 
  • Section 3705 also increases access to telehealth services by temporarily waiving periodic face-to-face requirement visits between home dialysis patients and physicians.
  • Section 3706 now allows the use of telehealth to conduct face-to-face encounters prior to recertification of eligibility for hospice care during the COVID-19 emergency period.
  • Section 3707 encourages the Secretary of HHS to consider ways to encourage use of telecommunications for remote patient monitoring for home health services.
  • Section 3708 allows midlevel providers to order home health services consistent with the midlevel provider’s state law licensure and applicable scope of practice requirements.
  • Section 3709 allows for increasing provider funding through lifting the Medicare sequester from May 1 through December 31, 2020, therefore increasing payments to health care providers.
  • Section 3710 increases the weighing factor by 20 percent for Medicare inpatient prospective payment systems for patients discharged for a COVID-19 illness.
  • Section 3711 increases access to post-acute care during the national emergency. First, this section relieves the burden of acute care hospitals which are caring for COVID-19 patients by waiving the Inpatient Rehabilitation Facility (IRF) 3-hour rule which requires a beneficiary to participate in at least three hours of intensive rehabilitation for five days before being admitted to an IRF. Next, with respect to long-term care hospitals (LTCH) which provide inpatient hospital services during the emergency period, this Section (1) waives the requirement that LTCH’s discharge payment percentage be at least 50 percent, and (2) pauses the current LTCH site-neutral payment methodology.
  • Section 3712 prevents scheduled reductions in Medicare payments for durable medical equipment in rural and noncontiguous areas as well as for areas other than rural and noncontiguous during the emergency period.
  • Section 3713 allows Medicare beneficiaries to receive a COVID-19 vaccine and its administration without any cost sharing.
  • Section 3714 requires Medicare Prescription Plans and Medicare Advantage Plans to allow beneficiaries to receive single fills and refills of covered Part D drugs for 90 days during the emergency period.
  • Section 3715 increases access to care and decreases burden to acute care hospitals by allowing state Medicaid program to pay for home and community-based services, such as paying qualified professionals to assist with activities of daily living outside of the hospital setting.
  • Section 3716 clarifies a section in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act by ensuring that any uninsured individuals can receive the screening test for COVID-19 under a state Medicaid plan, if the state chooses to offer such a test under its Medicaid plan.
  • Section 3717 also clarifies a section in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act so that all Part B Medicare beneficiaries can receive all tests for COVID-19 testing with no cost-sharing.
  • Section 3718 not only eases administrative burdens by extending certain reporting requirements of private payor data by one year but it also delays scheduled reductions in Medicare payments for clinical diagnostic laboratory tests furnished to beneficiaries in 2021.
  • Section 3719 expands the Medicare accelerated payment program during the COVID-19 emergency period. Typically, the accelerated payment program is available to hospitals which have significant cash flow problems resulting from operations of its intermediaries or from unusual circumstances of the hospital’s operations. During the COVID-19 emergency period, however, hospitals, including Critical Access Hospitals, will be able to request up to a six-month advance lump sum or periodic payment. Hospitals under the program would be able to request up to 100 percent of the prior period payments with Critical Access Hospitals being able to receive up to 125 percent. Hospitals would not be required to start repaying this loan for four months and would have at least 12 months to complete the repayment of the loan.

If you have questions, please contact one of the attorneys in our Health Care industry group.

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has relaxed HIPAA privacy rules for health care providers engaging in telehealth activities during the COVID-19 public health emergency. To provide greater clarity to the Notification of Enforcement Discretion regarding COVID-19 released on March 17, 2020, the OCR has released FAQs available here.

As OCR Director Roger Severino recently stated, “We are empowering medical providers to serve patients wherever they are during this national public health emergency. We are especially concerned about reaching those most at risk, including older persons and persons with disabilities.”

Among other helpful information, the FAQ document:

  • defines telehealth
  • outlines which entities are covered by the notification and which are not
  • clarifies that the notification applies only to HIPAA rules
  • states that the notification does not have a set expiration date but will expire when OCR makes a public announcement of its expiration
  • lists actions that may constitute “bad faith” in the provision of telehealth by a covered entity provider
  • describes what is meant by a “non-public facing” remote communication product
  • states that OCR will not impose a penalty for breaches that result from the good faith provision of telehealth services during the COVID-19 emergency.

If you have questions, please contact one of the attorneys in our Health Care industry group.

Link to COVID-19 Resources page

N95 maskThe FBI, Department of Justice and HHS Office of Inspector General are asking health care providers to be on the lookout for scams regarding the sale of counterfeit personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gowns, goggles or full-face shields, and N95 respirator masks as required PPE during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The notice posted here includes some recommended proactive measures to help avoid these scams and guidance on what to do if you believe you have purchased counterfeit PPE.

Federal law enforcement would like health care providers to help identify and put a stop to this activity. This information may be useful to provider supply chain managers and procurement staff. The notice also provides information about where to make reports if you identify any of this activity in your area.

If you have questions, please contact one of the attorneys in our Health Care industry group.

Link to COVID-19 Resources page

Phone calling doctorOn March 17, 2020, the Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) issued a Policy Statement that will provide yet another avenue of relief from regulatory requirements as health care providers across the nation deal with the COVID-19 public health emergency.

This specific action by the OIG relieves physicians and other health care practitioners from administrative sanctions if they reduce or waive any cost-sharing obligations from federal health care beneficiaries seeking telehealth services.

Such waivers would normally implicate the federal anti-kickback statute, the civil monetary penalty and exclusion laws related to such kickbacks, and the civil monetary penalty law prohibition on inducement to beneficiaries. OIG’s Policy Statement is not a blanket rule, however. Health care providers must meet both of the following conditions.

First, health care providers who take the action of reducing or waiving a beneficiary’s cost-sharing obligations (such as coinsurance and deductibles) for telehealth services must be furnished consistent with the current applicable coverage and payment rules and, second, the telehealth services must be furnished during the time period of the COVID-19 public health emergency (which was declared on Jan. 27, 2020).

The OIG has outlined five other considerations for health care providers in light of its Policy Statement:

  1. Health care providers are not required to reduce or waive any such cost-sharing obligations.
  2. Should health care providers choose to waive such obligations during this time period, the OIG will not view the furnishing of subsequent services to that beneficiary, without more, as evidence of inducement.
  3. The Policy Statement does not affect any other Centers for Medicare and Medicaid rules and regulations.
  4. Health care providers must still bill only for services performed and comply with other rules with respect to proper billing, claims submission, cost reporting or related conduct.
  5. Health care providers must continue to comply with federal, state or local statutes, rules, regulations, ordinances or other applicable laws.

This action certainly provides additional relief to health care providers who are taking care of patients affected by COVID-19 and who may not have the financial means to seek medical help. Expanding access to telehealth services is likely to relieve the burden of the already crowded emergency rooms across the nation.

For more information, please contact one of the attorneys in our Health Care industry group.

Link to COVID-19 Resources page

Health AlertEffective March 15, 2020, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a Bulletin announcing that HHS Secretary Alex Azar has exercised his authority to waive sanctions and penalties against a covered hospital that does not comply with certain provisions of the HIPAA Privacy Rule.

When the secretary issues such a waiver, it only applies: (1) in the emergency area identified in the public health emergency declaration; (2) to hospitals that have instituted a disaster protocol; and (3) for up to 72 hours from the time the hospital implements its disaster protocol.

Covered hospitals that meet the above criteria will have sanctions and penalties waived for non-compliance with the following provisions of the HIPAA Privacy Rule:

  • the requirements to obtain a patient’s agreement to speak with family members or friends involved in the patient’s care. See 45 CFR 164.510(b).
  • the requirement to honor a request to opt out of the facility directory. See 45 CFR 164.510(a).
  • the requirement to distribute a notice of privacy practices. See 45 CFR 164.520.
  • the patient’s right to request privacy restrictions. See 45 CFR 164.522(a).
  • the patient’s right to request confidential communications. See 45 CFR 164.522(b).

When the presidential or secretarial declaration terminates, a hospital must then comply with all the requirements of the Privacy Rule for any patient still under its care, even if 72 hours have not elapsed since implementation of its disaster protocol.

The Bulletin also provides additional guidance about HIPAA privacy and disclosures for all covered entities in emergency situations in the following situations:

  • Treatment
  • Public health activity (to a public health authority, at the direction of a public health authority to a foreign government agency, and to persons at risk)
  • Disclosures to family, friends and others involved in an individual’s care and for notification
  • Disclosures to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat
  • Disclosures to the media or others not involved in the care of the patient/notification
  • Minimum necessary

In the Bulletin, HHS discusses the applicability of the HIPAA Privacy Rule to covered entities and business associates. In an emergency situation, covered entities are not relieved of their ongoing obligations to implement reasonable safeguards to protect patient information against impermissible uses and disclosures, and both covered entities and business associates are expected to apply administrative, physical and technical safeguards of the HIPAA Security Rule to electronic protected health information.

The Bulletin includes links to additional helpful resources for COVID-19, emergency preparedness and other federal civil rights laws that apply in an emergency.

For more information, please contact one of the attorneys in our Health Care industry group.

Link to COVID-19 Resources page

Emergency signAs the virus continues to spread, U.S. hospitals will likely see increasing numbers of potential cases of COVID-19 in their emergency departments. Hospitals are obligated under the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) to provide these individuals with certain examinations and, if necessary, stabilizing treatment or transfer. This raises a host of issues for hospitals that receive these individuals for care, including capacity and resource concerns, and the risks these individuals may pose to medical personnel and other people in the vicinity, including other patients and staff.

On March 9, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a memorandum, a fact sheet, and a Q&A on hospitals’ EMTALA obligations and COVID-19. Hospitals and critical access hospitals should carefully review this guidance to understand what they may or may not do. Below is an explanation of some of the main points made by CMS.  

Basic EMTALA obligations

EMTALA generally requires hospitals and critical access hospitals with emergency departments to provide an appropriate medical screening examination to individuals who come to the emergency department for examination or treatment of an emergency medical condition, including active labor, to make a determination as to whether they actually have an emergency medical condition, and if so, to provide stabilizing treatment within the hospital’s capabilities or, if appropriate, a transfer.  

These obligations apply regardless of an individual’s ability to pay — and also regardless of the existence of a pandemic. CMS states that “hospitals that refuse to screen an individual who comes to their emergency department would likely be found to have violated EMTALA, regardless of presenting signs, symptoms, and possible diagnoses.” This is true even if the medical personnel who may perform the medical screening examination do not have appropriate personal protective equipment.  

CMS also advises hospitals to have a system in place to monitor the conditions of individuals who come to an emergency department and opt to wait in their vehicles (as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has suggested). If the medical screening examination is not completed in a timely fashion, it exposes the hospital to a potential EMTALA violation.  

EMTALA waivers or emergency department closures

If an EMTALA waiver were in effect, a hospital covered by the waiver could direct or relocate individuals who come to the emergency department to an alternative off-campus site for a medical screening examination, “in accordance with a State emergency or pandemic preparedness plan,” or transfer individuals with unstable emergency medical conditions. However, such waivers require several significant procedural hurdles to first be crossed, such as a presidential disaster declaration, the Secretary of the Department of Health & Human Services invoking its waiver authority, and at least 48 hours’ notice to Congress. No waivers have been issued at this time.  

However, EMTALA would not bar a hospital from closing its emergency department if it genuinely no longer has the capacity to screen and treat individuals. State and local laws that may limit this ability should be carefully followed. And even if there is such an emergency department “closure,” the hospital is always obligated by EMTALA to act within its capabilities to provide screening and any necessary stabilization or transfer to an individual who comes to the hospital for examination or treatment for an emergency medical condition.  

Alternative screening areas

With respect to COVID-19, CMS identifies three alternatives to performing a medical screening examination in the emergency department. CMS expects hospitals to have written policies and procedures in place concerning such alternatives.  

On-Campus. First, the hospital may set up an alternative screening site on the hospital’s campus. There could even be a separate intake area for these individuals, who may then be redirected to the alternate site. The individual redirecting patients should be qualified to identify any individuals “who are obviously in need of immediate treatment in the ED,” such as a nurse. The medical screening examination must also be conducted by qualified medical personnel, which could include physicians, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, or physician’s assistants. The medical screening examination itself must be as simple or as complex as the case dictates, and individuals found to have an emergency medical condition must be moved as needed for stabilizing treatment or transfer.  

The alternative screening site could be in another building on the hospital’s campus or even in tents placed in the parking lot, so long as it is clinically appropriate for the medical screening examinations. Hospitals should review screening guidance provided by the CDC. Whatever location is used, the hospital should make sure it is identified as a practice location on its Form 855A. Otherwise, the hospital may not be able to bill Medicare for services provided at the new location.  

Off-Campus, Hospital-Controlled. Second, hospitals may set up off-campus, hospital-controlled sites for individuals with flu-like symptoms to visit for a medical screening examination. If the off-campus site is not itself an emergency department, then EMTALA does not apply. Importantly, however, if an individual first goes to an emergency department, he or she may not be told or forced to go to the off-site location for a medical screening examination.  

Just like an on-campus site, CMS states that the off-campus site should be staffed with appropriate medical personnel who can evaluate individuals with flu-like symptoms. If the individual needs additional medical attention, CMS states that the hospital is required, under the Medicare Conditions of Participation, to provide an appropriate referral or transfer, and that “prior coordination with local emergency medical services … is advised.”

For any off-campus site, the hospital “should not hold the site out to the public as a place that provides care for emergency medical conditions in general on an urgent, unscheduled basis.” The hospital may hold it out as a screening center for flu-like illnesses, however.  

Off-Campus, Not Hospital-Controlled. Finally, hospitals and local government may encourage individuals to go to community screening sites that are not hospital-controlled. Again, hospitals may not tell individuals to go to a community site for the medical screening examination if they present at the emergency department. And again, EMTALA does not apply to this type of screening site, but communities are “encouraged” to staff these sites with appropriate medical personnel, and to have a plan for any referral or treatment that may be necessary.  

Hospital treatment or transfer

If an individual has COVID-19 and it is severe enough to be an emergency medical condition, the hospital must either treat and stabilize the condition within its capability, or transfer the individual to a hospital with the capability and capacity to treat the emergency medical condition.  

CMS repeatedly notes that hospitals with “specialized capabilities” — regardless of whether they have an emergency department — “may not refuse an appropriate transfer under EMTALA if they have the capacity to treat the transferred individual.” CMS is vague with respect to what, exactly, constitutes “specialized capabilities” with respect to COVID-19. CMS merely notes that there are no formally designated COVID-19 treatment centers as of yet, and no determination has been made that any such specialized centers will be created.  

Regardless, CMS goes on to state the capabilities of both the referring and recipient hospitals need to be evaluated when determining whether any EMTALA violation may have occurred. “The presence or absence of negative pressure rooms (Airborne Infection Isolation Room (AIIR)) would not be the sole determining factor related to transferring patients from one setting to another when in some cases all that would be required would be a private room.”  

Isolation of patients and infection control

If a medical screening examination finds that an individual in the emergency department may have COVID-19, the patient must be isolated to prevent cross-contamination while appropriate treatment or transfer is arranged, in coordination with public health officials and the CDC. This applies to all hospitals. All hospitals are also “expected” to follow accepted standards of infection control in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For example, “standard, contact, and airborne precautions with eye protection should be used when caring for the patient,” consistent with CDC standards.


If a patient is brought to a hospital in an ambulance pursuant to communitywide emergency protocols, “then the individual is considered to have come to the emergency department of the hospital to which the individual is transported, at the time the individual is brought onto hospital property and the hospital becomes subject to EMTALA.” An ambulance that is owned and operated by a hospital may transport an individual to a different hospital in accordance with a communitywide protocol or at the direction of a physician “who is not employed or otherwise affiliated with the hospital that owns the ambulance.”

EMTALA complaints

CMS also stated that any complaints it receives will take into consideration several factors, including but not limited to:

  • CDC guidance at the time of the alleged violation;
  • Clinical considerations specific to the individual;
  • The capabilities of the referring hospital;
  • Screening and treatment activities performed by the referring hospital; and
  • The capabilities of the recipient hospital and its capacity at the time of the request.

Additional guidance from CMS on this and other subjects related to COVID-19 may be accessed through its website on current emergencies.

Link to COVID-19 Resources page

A recent article published in Part B News features an interview with Greensfelder Officer Lucie Huger about the implications of a court ruling on medical record fees charged to patients and third parties.

The article, titled “Court throws out fee policies for medical record sharing; watch for new rules,” summarizes the recent news for health care providers as follows:

“A court ruling has obliterated the HHS guidance that requires your practice to charge third parties the same low price as patients for medical records. You currently don’t have much recourse if the patient just claims the records are for him or her — but you should prepare yourself for regulation or sub-regulation that may provide it soon.”

Huger, whose practice focuses on health care law and data privacy issues including HIPAA, shared tips with Part B News on best practices for updating HIPAA policies and procedures until future guidance is issued, including establishing non-patient rates and briefing staff on the changes.

Part B News is an industry information source for practice managers and physicians.

Image of interior of hospital showing empty hospital bedsIn an article titled “Quick tips for employers as coronavirus outbreak continues,” Greensfelder attorney Amy Blaisdell discusses the steps employers can take as a precaution when dealing with sick employees. From the article:

There are several steps U.S. employers can take as precaution, but they must tread carefully: overreaction to the virus may cause them to take action that could later land them in court. Specifically, employers will want to avoid enacting policies that discriminate against workers as protected by two federal laws: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), said Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale Officer Amy L. Blaisdell. 

HR Dive provides insight into the most impactful news and trends shaping human resources. To read the full article, click here: https://www.hrdive.com/news/quick-tips-for-employers-as-coronavirus-outbreak-continues/571906/

Inside of a hospitalThe February 2020 issue of the health care industry publication Hospital Peer Review features interviews with Greensfelder attorneys Amy Blaisdell and Kathy Butler on what hospitals should know about the risks and protections related to the peer review process. 

In an article titled “Avoid Legal Pitfalls in Peer Review Process With Bylaws, HCQIA Standards,” Butler discusses the risks and oversights seen in peer review processes. As stated in the introduction:         

The peer review process can be a legal mine field, with missteps exposing the hospital and health system to allegations that result in significant liability. Reduce that risk by knowing the common mistakes and using best practices to keep the review above reproach.

In another article in the issue, “Patient Safety Act Offers Peer Review Protections,” Blaisdell discusses the protections provided to health care providers. The publication notes:

The Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 (PSQIA) offers substantial legal protections to hospitals investigating medical errors, but one must understand the law to attain its full benefits. … Understanding the protections afforded by the PSQIA is important for several reasons, Blaisdell says. First, the PSQIA substantially limits the risk that providers and healthcare systems were exposed to under state peer review statutes.

Hospital Peer Review is a monthly publication of Relias Media, which provides medical information, publications and continuing education to health care professionals. To read the full articles, please click the links below (subscription may be required):



Doctor on a computer screenIn the Winter edition of Dental Sleep Practice, Greensfelder attorney Jayme Matchinski discusses the key issues and regulations dentists and dental practices should consider and navigate with the increase in telemedicine services. From the publication:

The expansion of telemedicine is changing the landscape of providing Dental Sleep Medicine and oral appliances. This article will address key issues and regulations dentists and dental practices should consider and navigate in order to avoid potential pitfalls and liability.

Dentists and patients are relying more heavily on telemedicine for the provision of Dental Sleep Medicine. Advances in technology and health care delivery systems such as telemedicine are improving patient access and the quality of health care. The use of cone beam technology and 3D images is also changing how patient care is provided by dentists and dental practices. As the use of telemedicine continues to expand, dentists and third-party payors need to ensure regulatory compliance and navigate the related risks in implementing telemedicine practices and programs.

Click here to read the full article.