Articles and Blogs

Amicus Curiae Briefs Pour In to the Supreme Court; Oral Argument Dates Set for Late March 2012

[01/27/12]

Posted on January 27, 2012 in Health Law News

Published by: Hall Render

This installment of Hall Render’s Health Law Broadcast series on health care reform is designed to provide you with the insight, analysis and practical suggestions with respect to the various reform initiatives that will affect your organization.   Amicus Curiae Briefs In a seven-day period ending January 13, the United States Supreme Court received over two dozen…Read More

Things to Consider Before Signing a Health IT Agreement

[01/24/12]

Posted on January 24, 2012 in Health Law News

Published by: Hall Render

The operational and financial role of health information technology (“HIT”) is rapidly increasing.  The provision of HIT services and products is generally governed by lengthy and complex agreements.  Unless you are directly and actively involved in the negotiation process for each product or service, reviewing, understanding and evaluating these agreements can be a daunting task. …Read More

Physician Assistants Now Permitted to Perform SNF-Level Certifications, Recertifications

[01/21/12]

Posted on January 21, 2012 in Long-Term Care, Home Health & Hospice

Written by: Bufford, David W.

This week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated Section 40.1 of Publication 100-1, the Medicare General Information, Eligibility and Entitlement Manual, to reflect Section 3108 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA).  This update permits physician assistants to perform the initial certifications and recertifications of a beneficiary’s need for skilled nursing…Read More

EHR Incentive Registrations and Payments Continue to Grow

[01/18/12]

Posted on January 18, 2012 in Health Information Technology

Written by: Jeffrey W. Short

CMS’s most recent monthly report for the EHR Incentive Program shows rapid growth in the number of Eligible Hospitals and Eligible Providers registered for the program and receiving payments under the programs.  In December, Medicare payment tripled with $89 million in payments to Eligible Professionals and $374 million in payments to Eligible Hospitals and CAHs.   Total Medicare payments for…Read More

WSJ Cites Research Aimed at Restoring Antibiotic Sensitivity to Superbugs

[01/17/12]

Posted on January 17, 2012 in Long-Term Care, Home Health & Hospice

Written by: Bufford, David W.

So-called “superbugs”, those bacteria strains that have developed resistance to antibiotics, have long generated high levels of concern for hospitals and long-term care facilities.  These infections are difficult to treat, and often generate serious complications for individuals with already impaired immune systems.  The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) today published a note detailing efforts by researchers to…Read More

Supreme Court Rules on Religious Exemption from Discrimination Laws

[01/13/12]

Posted on January 13, 2012 in Health Law News

Written by: Stephen W. Lyman

Some Employees of Religious Employers Are Not Protected by Discrimination Laws On January 11, 2012, the Supreme Court of the United States, in Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, definitively ruled that the First Amendment bars employment discrimination suits that challenge a religious organization’s decision to fire a “minister.”  Although the…Read More

Lots of Activity at the NLRB as the New Year Begins

[01/13/12]

Posted on January 13, 2012 in Health Law News

Written by: Stephen W. Lyman

The year that just ended was filled with an amazing volume of significant developments coming from the National Labor Relations Board affecting private employers.  Those developments were driven by a Board that was never up to its full complement of five members – until now. Recess Appointments to the NLRB Bring Controversy On January 4,…Read More

For New Cost Report Periods, PPACA Requires Direct Care Expenditure Accounting

[01/10/12]

Posted on January 10, 2012 in Long-Term Care, Home Health & Hospice

Written by: Bufford, David W.

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) are required to seperately report expenditures for wages and benefits for direct care staff (breaking out (at a minimum) registered nurses, licensed professional nurses, certified nurse assistants, and other medical and therapy staff).  CMS recently posted updates to the Provider Reimbursement Manual detailing…Read More

New Regulations Implemented for Independent Informal Dispute Resolution (IDR) Process for Nursing Homes

[01/10/12]

Posted on January 10, 2012 in Long-Term Care, Home Health & Hospice

Written by: Selby, Todd J.

Effective January 1, 2012, all standard and/or complaint surveys initiated on or after January 1, 2012, that generate an enforcement action, will be subject to the new Federal requirements governing the Independent IDR process.  The State survey agency must develop a written process that will then be approved by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid…Read More