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HIPAA Compliance Considerations During the Pandemic

HIPAA Compliance COVIDAs health care providers continue to face new challenges relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for providers to maintain compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”). Although the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) has loosened some requirements to allow health care providers flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic, a majority of the patient protections under the HIPAA Privacy Rule have remained intact. Read More ›

Categories: Compliance, Cybersecurity, Electronic Health Records, HIPAA

Health Care Providers Face Growing Ransomware Risks, and Potential Sanctions for Paying Ransom

Ransomware AttackAs if COVID-19 wasn’t enough of a challenge for many struggling hospitals and health care systems, there is another growing threat they must guard against: cyberattacks.

On October 28, 2020, the FBI, Department of Health and Human Services, and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued a report warning of "an increased and imminent cybercrime threat" to U.S. hospitals and health care providers. Read More ›

Categories: Cybersecurity, Electronic Health Records, Hospice, Hospitals

Deputy Director of LEO Issues New Emergency Rule Affecting Workers’ Compensation

Workers' Compensation Claim FormOn October 2, 2020, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the law upon which Governor Gretchen Whitmer relied to extend the State of Emergency after April 30, 2020 is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court's ruling, which we discuss here, invalidates the Governor's Executive Orders issued during the extended State of Emergency. Executive Order 2020-128, issued on June 18, 2020, established a rebuttable presumption that a "COVID-19 Response Employee" (a term which was not well-defined within the Executive Order) has sustained a compensable injury when he or she is diagnosed with COVID-19. Executive Order 2020-128 contained language quite similar to the March 30, 2020 Emergency Rule issued by the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity ("LEO"). Read More ›

Categories: COVID-19 and Workers' Compensation, Legislative Updates

Residential Care Facilities Must Comply with Recent MDHHS Emergency Order

Assisted LivingOn October 6, 2020, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services ("MDHHS") issued an emergency order (the "MDHHS Order") that retains many of the same requirements that apply to residential care facilities under the previously issued executive orders. As noted in a prior blog post, the Michigan Supreme Court recently held that Governor Whitmer did not have authority after April 30, 2020 to issue or renew any executive orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the same requirements will continue to apply to residential care facilities under the MDHHS Order. The MDHHS Order became effective immediately, and will remain in effect through October 30, 2020 (and may be renewed through a subsequent order). Read More ›

Categories: Alerts and Updates, Compliance, Health Care Reform, Legislative Updates, Long-Term Care, News

Extension of Visitor Restrictions for Health Care and Residential Care Facilities

Executive OrderOn July 23, 2020, Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-156, which extends the current restrictions limiting the visitors allowed at health care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, and juvenile justice facilities. Executive Order 2020-136 and its predecessors initially imposed these restrictions on visitors permitted to such facilities. Executive Order 2020-156 extends the restrictions through August 31, 2020. Read More ›

Categories: Hospice, Hospitals

Scope of Practice, Delegation, and Supervision Requirements for Health Professionals Caring for COVID-19 Patients Reinstated

COVID TestingIn response to the improvements in hospitals’ and health care professionals’ capacity to care for COVID-19 patients, Governor Whitmer has rescinded Executive Order 2020-61, which temporarily suspended the scope of practice, supervision, and delegation restrictions for many health care providers during the initial surge of cases in March. Read More ›

Categories: Hospice, Hospitals, Licensing

Updates to Michigan Nursing Home COVID-19 Regulatory Requirements

Nursing HomeThrough Executive Order 2020-136, Governor Whitmer has extended the duration of restrictions on the entry of visitors into health care facilities and residential care facilities. These restrictions were originally imposed through Executive Order 2020-72 and extended through Executive Order 2020-108. Executive Order 2020-136 now extends the restrictions through July 24, 2020. Read More ›

Categories: Hospice, Hospitals

Updated Protections for COVID-19 Response Employees: The Differences Between the Prior Emergency Rules and Recent Executive Orders

Firetruck First RespondersThere have been nearly 70,000 confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases in Michigan. This figure includes over 6,150 deaths. While other areas of the country are experiencing significant increases in confirmed COVID-19 cases, Michigan appears to have flattened the curve for the time being. We are currently averaging around 250 new cases per day. Read More ›

Categories: COVID-19 and Workers' Compensation, Legislative Updates

New Requirements for Hospital Discharge and Long-Term Care Facility Residents

Assisting ElderlyOn May 20, 2020, Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-95, which updates precautionary and notification requirements for long-term care facilities to protect residents and employees from the spread of COVID-19. Executive Order 2020-95 rescinds Executive Order 2020-84, which provided initial protections for long-term care residents. “Long-term care facility” includes a nursing home, home for the aged, adult foster care facility, or assisted living facility. Read More ›

Categories: Hospice, Hospitals, Long-Term Care

Provider Relief Fund: Changes in Calculation Result in Potential Overpayment

Funding HealthcareThe Provider Relief Fund was established through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES Act) to support health care providers facing lost revenue and increased expenses relating to COVID-19. Within the Provider Relief Fund, certain amounts are allocated for various types of providers. For example, there are specific allocations to hospitals, rural hospitals, and providers treating uninsured patients for COVID-19. Additionally, $50 billion was allocated for general distribution to providers. Of the $50 billion, the first $30 billion was quickly disbursed to facilities and providers who received Medicare fee-for-service reimbursements in 2019. The remaining $20 billion of the general distribution was distributed beginning on April 24, 2020. Read More ›

Categories: Hospice, Hospitals, Medicare

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Best Lawyers® 2021

Congratulations to the attorneys of the Health Care practice group at Foster Swift Collins & Smith, PC for their inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America 2021 edition. Firm-wide, 44 lawyers were listed. Best Lawyers lists are compiled based on an exhaustive peer-review evaluation and as lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Health Care practice group members listed in Best Lawyers are as follows:

To see the full list of Foster Swift attorneys listed in Best Lawyers 2021, click here.