HUD and HHS Expand Interpretation of Sex Discrimination

Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County in 2020 and Executive Order 13988 issued January 20, 2021, federal and state agencies are revising their interpretation of “sex discrimination” to include discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation. On February 11, 2021, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development… Read More >

Important Changes to Antikickback Statute Safe Harbors

Effective January 19, 2021, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finalized changes to various Safe Harbors to the Antikickback Statute.  Importantly, the changes alter the requirements of the Personal Services and Management Contracts Safe Harbors, which are applicable to the vast majority of contract agreements… Read More >

CMS’ Interim Final Rule Regarding COVID-19 Vaccine Immunization Requirements for Residents and Staff

On May 11, 2021, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released an interim final rule with comment period that establishes new COVID-19 vaccine immunization requirements for residents and staff.[1]  The rule is scheduled to go into effect on May 21, 2021.  Specifically, CMS added new regulatory requirements at §483.80(d)(3)(i)-(vii) (F887) for long-term care… Read More >

CMS’ Revised Guidance Regarding Nursing Home Visitation

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued revised guidance yesterday afternoon regarding nursing home visitation.1 The substantive revisions to the visitation guidance are summarized below: CMS notes that outdoor visitation is still preferred even when the resident and visitor are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. (NOTE: Fully vaccinated refers to a person who is… Read More >

HHS Advisory Opinion Asserts PREP Act Immunity Extends to Health Care Facilities

On January 8, 2021, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) issued an important Advisory Opinion regarding the liability protections under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (“PREP”) Act.  The PREP Act provides limited immunity to “covered persons” with respect to “all claims for loss caused by, arising out of, relating to, or resulting… Read More >

COVID-19 Vaccine Issues and Considerations for Residents and Staff

With COVID-19 cases significantly rising across the country, access to and the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine will be imperative to ensuring the health and safety of long term care residents and health care personnel who provide care to such residents.  On December 11, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration issued an Emergency Use Authorization… Read More >

Failure to Safeguard Electronic Protected Health Information Results in $1,040,000 Settlement

On April 21, 2017, Lifespan Corporation, the parent company and business associate of Lifespan ACE, filed a breach report with Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  An affiliated hospital employee’s laptop was reported stolen.  This laptop contained electronic protected health information (ePHI), which included patient names,… Read More >

COVID-19 Hazard Pay Grant

The Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development recently announced the availability of grants that will provide hazard pay for certain eligible employees.  According to the Program Guidelines’ Statement of Purpose, “hazard pay is intended to keep front-line employees working in sectors that are vital to every Pennsylvanian’s existence.”  The program will help employers provide… Read More >

HHS Announces Another Round of Federal Funding for SNFs

This week the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced plans to distribute a total of $5 billion in new funds to eligible skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) nationwide.  Once again, this new SNF-targeted distribution will be made via the federal Provider Relief Fund under the CARES Act. HHS will issue the funds to build… Read More >

Mandatory Testing of Independent Living Residents and Staff

Residents of the elderly housing component of a continuing care retirement community (“CCRC”) most likely would be considered as having a much greater risk of severe illness and/or death from COVID-19 due to their age and possible underlying health conditions than residents of housing accommodations that are not limited to the elderly.  As a licensed… Read More >