State Law Permitting Dispensation of Emergency Contraception by Vending Machines

Legislation passed in 2022 in Massachusetts and in 2023 in Connecticut removes barriers for college students trying to obtain emergency contraception pills like Plan B One-Step. In light of uncertainty around abortion protections following the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health

This post was co-authored by Josh Yoo, legal intern at Robinson+Cole. Josh is not admitted to practice law.

Health care entities maintain compliance programs in order to comply with the myriad, changing laws and regulations that apply to the health care industry. Although laws and regulations specific to the use of artificial intelligence (AI) are limited at this time and in the early stages of development, current law and pending legislation offer a forecast of standards that may become applicable to AI. Health care entities may want to begin to monitor the evolving guidance applicable to AI and start to integrate AI standards into their compliance programs in order to manage and minimize this emerging area of legal risk.

Executive Branch: Executive Order on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence

Following Executive Order 13960 and the Blueprint for an AI Bill of Rights, Executive Order No. 14110 (EO) amplifies the current key principles and directives that will guide federal agency oversight of AI. While still largely aspirational, these principles have already begun to reshape regulatory obligations for health care entities. For example, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has established an AI Task Force to regulate AI in accordance with the EO’s principles by 2025. Health care entities would be well-served to monitor federal priorities and begin to formally integrate AI standards into their corporate compliance plans.

  • Transparency: The principle of transparency refers to an AI user’s ability to understand the technology’s uses, processes, and risks. Health care entities will likely be expected to understand how their AI tools collect, process, and predict data. The EO envisions labelling requirements that will flag AI-generated content for consumers as well.
  • Governance: Governance applies to an organization’s control over deployed AI tools. Internal mechanical controls, such as evaluations, policies, and institutions, may ensure continuous control throughout the AI’s life cycle. The EO also emphasizes the importance of human oversight. Responsibility for AI implementation, review, and maintenance can be clearly identified and assigned to appropriate employees and specialists.
  • Non-Discrimination: AI must also abide by standards that protect against unlawful discrimination. For example, the HHS AI Task force will be responsible for ensuring that health care entities continuously monitor and mitigate algorithmic processes that could contribute to discriminatory outcomes. It will be important to permit internal and external stakeholders to have access to equitable participation in the development and use of AI.

Continue Reading Forecasting the Integration of AI into Health Care Compliance Programs

Below is an excerpt of a Robinson+Cole legal update co-authored by Government Enforcement and White-Collar Defense Team co-chair  Seth Orkand and member David Carney.

On March 7, 2024, Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Lisa Monaco announced the contours of a new Department of Justice (DOJ) pilot program (Pilot) offering financial incentives to individual whistleblowers who report

This post was co-authored by Blair Robinson, a member Robinson+Cole’s Artificial Intelligence Team.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as a major player in the realm of health care, promising to completely transform­ its delivery. With AI’s remarkable ability to analyze data, learn, solve problems, and make decisions, it has the potential to enhance patient

On November 15, 2023, the U.S Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a $45.6 million consent judgment (Settlement) with six skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), as well as the owner of the SNFs and its management company which managed the SNFs, to resolve alleged violations of the False Claims Act (FCA) tied to medical director arrangements violating the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS). The Settlement is notable for its inclusion of the owner and the management company in addition to the SNFs, which indicates DOJ’s interest in scrutinizing the actions of individuals and management entities in connection with problematic arrangements under federal fraud and abuse laws.Continue Reading DOJ Settlement Targets Owner and Management Company in Addition to Post-Acute Care Facilities

On June 22, 2023, New York State Public Health Law § 2802-b, added a Health Equity Impact Assessment (HEIA) to the Certificate of Need (CON) process for certain health care facilities. The new requirement comes as part of larger legislative changes to the Public Health Laws passed in 2021. The new HEIA requirement applies to any CON applications submitted on or after June 22, 2023, except there is a partial carve out for Diagnostic and Treatment Centers whose patient population is 50 percent or more Medicaid eligible or uninsured. The Department of Health also issued regulations on June 29, 2023 (10 NYCRR 400.26). The purpose of the HEIA is to understand the health equity impact on a specific project, the impact it may have on medically underserved groups and to ensure community input and assessment are considered. The Department of Health has expressed that their vision is “to have health equity considerations meaningfully impact the planning and execution of health care facility projects.” (NYSDOH, Health Equity Impact Assessment, Webinar Series: Program Documents, September 14, 2023.)Continue Reading New York Implements Health Equity Impact Assessment as New Requirement for Certificate of Need Process

On Wednesday, November 1, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released its Home Health Prospective Payment System Rate Update final rule for CY 2024 (the Final Rule). The Rule estimates that the aggregate increase to Medicare home health payments for 2024 will be 0.8 percent, or $140 million. This 0.8 percent increase results from the combined effects of three forecasted rate changes: (1) a 3.0 percent increase to home health payments, (2) a 2.6 percent decrease based on the permanent behavior assumption adjustment, and (3) a 0.4 percent increase resulting from an update to the fixed-dollar loss ratio, which is used to determine outlier payments. The 0.8 percent increase is a departure from the Proposed Rule, which estimated a cut in payments of up to 3 percent.Continue Reading CMS Announces 0.8 Percent Aggregate Home Health Payment Increase in 2024

On Monday, October 2, 2023, the New York Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG) published its Annual Report for 2022. The Report details the various efforts that New York’s Medicaid program undertook in 2022 to accrue $3.4 billion in recoveries and cost avoidance.Continue Reading New York OMIG Issues 2022 Annual Report

On August 18, 2023, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) published Advisory Opinion 23-05 (Advisory Opinion), in which the OIG warned that it would likely issue sanctions under the Federal anti-kickback statute (AKS) if a proposed contractual joint venture for the provision of certain surgical monitoring services was carried out.Continue Reading Advisory Opinion 23-05: OIG Warns Sanctions Would Likely be Issued in Response to Certain Proposed Contractual Joint Venture

On June 27, 2023, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed into law Public Act 23-204, “An Act Concerning the State Budget for the Biennium Ending June 30, 2025, and Making Appropriations Therefor, and Provisions Related to Revenue and Other Items Implementing the State Budget” (the Act). Among other things, the Act includes provisions addressing hospitals’ obligations with regards to staffing, nurse overtime, and nurse scope of practice.Continue Reading Connecticut Expands Nurse Protections Relating to Hospital Nurse Staffing Plans, Scope of Practice, and Overtime