Health Care

CDC’s Detailed Guidance to Reopen Businesses

By: Abby S. Busler The Center for Disease Control (“CDC”) has issued 60 pages of detailed guidance to reopen businesses, health care facilities and providers, schools, transit, and other industries. This guidance also provides information regarding testing and data to assist with exposure and risk concerns for those industries. The following is an overview of…

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CMS Recommends States Use “Extreme Caution” in Relaxing Nursing Home Restrictions

By: Alec Dobson The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued recommendations on May 18 to state and local officials across the country for when nursing homes can relax certain restrictions on visitation, screening, and services related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The recommendations envision moving in three phases. Nursing homes would “reopen” more slowly than…

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State Will Disclose Nursing Homes with COVID Cases

By: Alec Dobson The state will begin publishing a list of nursing homes in Wisconsin with current confirmed cases of COVID-19, the Wisconsin Health Care Association reported Thursday. The disclosures will begin Monday, May 11, on the Department of Health Services’ website. Also: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced Wednesday that it will…

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Health Care Providers Get Limited Immunity Under State Coronavirus Law

By: Alec Dobson Health care providers in Wisconsin now have immunity from civil liability, subject to certain exceptions, for death, injury or other damages caused by their services during the coronavirus emergency. The immunity provision is part of the wide-ranging coronavirus relief law which received final approval in the Legislature on April 15 and was…

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State Sets Emergency Training Rules to Help Nursing Home Staffing Amid COVID-19

By: Alec Dobson The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has established two temporary, emergency programs with relaxed training requirements to help nursing homes increase nurse aide staffing to help meet the increased demands posed by COVID-19. The DHS announcement on April 9 implements Governor Tony Evers’ Emergency Order No. 21, which was issued April 3….

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CARES Act Includes Financial Support for Nursing Homes

By: Alec Dobson The $2 trillion CARES Act, passed by the House on Friday and promptly signed into law by President Trump, provides $200 million for nursing homes for infection control and $100 billion for grants to a broad range of health care providers. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will receive $200 million…

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Healthcare Providers May Now Use Apple FaceTime, Facebook Messenger Video Chat, Google Hangouts Video and Skype to Provide Telehealth to Patients During COVID-19 Public Emergency

By: Mark G. Kmiecik On March 18, 2020, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced that covered healthcare providers (“providers”) may now use Apple FaceTime, Facebook Messenger video chat, Google Hangouts video, and Skype to provide telehealth to patients during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency without fear or the risk that OCR might…

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Secretary Azar Waives Certain HIPAA Sanctions and Penalties Against Covered Hospitals

By: Mark G. Kmiecik Effective March 15, 2020, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Alex M. Azar, exercised the emergency authority granted to him under Section 1 of the Proclamation on Declaring a National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak (the “COVID-19 National Emergency Declaration”) to waive sanctions and…

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CMS Suspends Nursing Home Inspections, Offers Guidance in Wake of Coronavirus

By: Alec Dobson The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is suspending non-emergency inspections of nursing homes so inspectors can focus on the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).  CMS also announced guidance for controlling COVID-19 in nursing homes. CMS announced March 4 that, effective immediately, it will conduct only the following survey inspections, in…

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