April 1, 2020 Legislation




The corona virus pandemic has never been seen before and is requiring the feds react like never in the past.  There is now a limited waiver of HIPAA sanctions to improve data sharing and patient care.  Hospitals may now communicate directly to patient's family without the patient's consent.  They do not have to give the stupid notice of privacy practices and the patient has lost the right to privacy restrictions.  

Telemedicine coverage is expanded due to the pandemic.  They can have visits via Skype etc.  The physician will be paid for the visit like a standard visit.  This is retro to March 6.  Services include office visits, mental health and preventative health screenings.  

President Trump has invoked the Defense Production Act of WWII to increase production of masks and ventilators for the medical industry.  He is also authorizing a naval hospital ship to go to NY City and another to the West Coast to help treat Covid 19 patients.  He also told the HUD to suspend foreclosures as more people are being laid off and will miss rent and mortgage payments.  The administration urged a cancellation of all elective surgeries.  

During this crisis CMS has waived the requirement that physicians will need a license in the state they are performing services. 

The Senate has passed a virus relief bill with no noes.  96-0.  This will provide about $117 Billion for hospitals, $100 billion emergency fund to reimburse providers for expenses and lost revenue from the virus, there would be a 20% add-on hospital payment in the DRG rate for patients with the virus, the $8 Billion Medicaid DSH would be eliminated and the sequester would be temporarily removed. The House has also passed this and the President has signed it.

The OCR has stated that healthcare workers may share patients medical information without express consent to help protect first responders from the risk of infection.  

The FDA will allow plasma donations fro Covid19 patient survivors to be used to treat active virus patients in the absence of a vaccine.  New York will start this.  

The administration has increased the period of social distancing to the end of April.  The CDC also issued a travel advisory for those in New York, New Jersey, Louisiana  and Connecticut.  

The administration has released multiple new regs designed to help hospitals.  The temporary rules relax hospital capacity by allowing  hospital buildings and space to be used for patient care sites.  ASCs can contract with hospital to provide hospitals services and be paid like a hospital as long as the contract is consistent with state rules.  Pas and Nps can perform services such as ordering tests or meds that prior could only be done by MDs.  CNAs no longer need physician supervision.  Hospitals can now provide perks to workers and a huge expansion of payments for telehealth.

The HHS is waiving restrictions on licensing and allowing those FMGs with one year of residency can practice not the prior three years.  The State Department is giving the go ahead to the foreign physicians who matched in America the green light to come here.  

California has announced that the Ocare program will remain open to those who are impacted by the virus.  This will be until June 30.

Governor Newsom is also asking the recently (five years) retired physicians to come back into the profession.  Also those medical school and nursing school soon to be graduates can now work.  

New York Governor Cuomo issued an executive order that eliminates physician supervision of PA, NP and CNAs, allows FMG with a year of graduate studies to care for patients, allow EMS to operate under orders from mid levels, allow medical students to practice without a clinical affiliation agreement, allow residents to work longer than 80 hours per week, grant immunity for med mal for injury or death, suspending record keeping requirements, allow providers from other states to practice in New York and suspended hospital operating certificates if they do not halt elective surgeries.    

Cuomo issued another order stating that those in labor will be allowed to have their partners or another with them during the process.     Top


Dr. Danielle Roberts medical license is up for review.  She is the one accused of searing initials into the pelvic areas of 13 females for the cult Nxivm.          Top


DISCLAIMER: Although this article is updated periodically, it reflects the author's point of view at the time of publication. Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice. Readers should consult with their own legal counsel before acting on any of the information presented.