April 15, 2020 Legislation




HHS has not penalize hospitals nor their business associates for disclosing corona virus information to local health departments.  They also will permit vent sharing between two intervals if necessary. 

CMS has expanded telehealth coverage to include telephone for up to 80 services.  It will allow systems to deliver care outside their walls.  Ambulatory Surgical Centers can contract with local hospitals to provide hospital services and bill as if a hospital.  hospital EDs can test and screen for the virus as drive thru and off site areas.  Medicare will pay techs to do home visits to test for the virus.  Verbal order requirements have been suspended and most Stark laws have been waived.

Physicians may now prescribe buprenorphine to patients by phone.  This followed a DEA ruling that stated that physicians may prescribe controlled substances without first using a face to face evaluation but using telehealth instead.

The recently passed CARES ACT is providing $360 Billion for SBA loans for businesses with under 500 employees.  This include physicians.  Some of these may be forgiven if used appropriately.  However, all hospitals that take any of this money must promise to not balance bill any patient treated for the virus.

CMS also is pushing out $30 Billion for direct grants to hospitals and physicians.  

California has relaxed state privacy laws so they may provide telehealth services.  No patient consent is now necessary.          Top


Florida is investigating Larkin Community Hospital for price gouging.  They are supposedly charging $150 per corona virus test.           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.