The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), The Health and Human Services Department (HHS), as well as other health related federal agencies, have continued to waive requirements, or expand services and benefits in an effort to help contain the COVID-19 virus.
We provide insights and analysis for physicians, nurses, chiropractors, dentists, physical therapists and other health professionals on issues impacting their practices.
With the increasing strain on healthcare provider needs, the Department of Health and Human services announced on March 18th that as long as a healthcare provider holds an equivalent license from another state and are not affirmatively barred from practice in that state or any state that is included in the emergency area, they can provide care in any state. This allows personnel and supplies to travel to where they are needed most to fight this epidemic.
On March 17, 2020, the Office of Inspector General issued a policy statement which permits telehealth providers to reduce or waive cost-sharing requirements (like copayments and deductibles) Federal health care program beneficiaries may owe for telehealth services. Usually, such reductions or waivers can implicate various fraud and abuse laws, including the anti-kickback statute, civil monetary penalty and exclusion laws related to kickbacks, and the civil monetary penalty law prohibition on inducements to beneficiaries.
Department of Health and Human Services Declares Liability Immunity for Activities Related to COVID-19
On March 10, 2020 the Secretary of Health and Human Services issued a declaration of liability protection under the Public Health Service Act pursuant to a seldom used section of the Act titled the “Targeted Liability Protections for Pandemic and Epidemic Products and Security Countermeasures.” The Declaration, effective February 4, 2020, immunizes licensed health professionals, manufacturers, distributors, program planners, and those that prescribe, administer, or dispense drugs, biological products, or devices, used to diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or treat COVID-19.