Hospitals and Health Systems

On November 1, 2023, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a proposed rule titled “21st Century Cures Act: Establishment of Disincentives for Health Care Providers That Have Committed Information Blocking” (the Proposed Rule). The Proposed Rule, if finalized, would create disincentives for health care providers that the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) determines have committed “information blocking” (as defined at 45 C.F.R. § 171.103).Continue Reading HHS Proposes Disincentives for Providers that Commit Information Blocking

On September 27, 2023, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) issued a Notice in the Federal Register applicable to all 340B Program hospitals that formally ends a COVID-era waiver of the long-standing HRSA requirement that off-site, outpatient facilities be (1) listed as reimbursable on the hospital’s Medicare Cost Report (MCR) prior to participating in the 340B Program; and (2) registered and listed in the Office of Pharmacy Affairs Information System (OPAIS) prior to participating in the 340B Program.Continue Reading HRSA Confirms End of COVID Waiver of Advance Registration Requirement for Provider-Based Clinics

On October 10, 2023, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued another extension (Second Temporary Rule) of its pandemic-era telehealth flexibilities “in light of the need to further evaluate the best course of action” with respect to the prescribing of controlled substances via telemedicine. DEA is issuing a limited extension in order to give itself more time to finalize new standards governing tele-prescribing of controlled substances.Continue Reading DEA Further Extends COVID-19 Telemedicine Prescribing Flexibilities through December 31, 2024

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 August 8, 2023, the Connecticut Supreme Court issued opinions in Mills v. Hartford HealthCare Corp. and Manginelli v. Regency House of Wallingford, Inc. that addressed the scope of immunity for health care workers and facilities under Governor Ned Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7V. Executive Order No. 7V provided immunity for health care professionals and facilities from civil suits when providing health care services in support of the state’s COVID-19 response. Interestingly, the Mills ruling notes that this was the first time the Connecticut Supreme Court addressed the principles that govern interpretation of executive orders. Summaries of these two decisions appear below.Continue Reading Connecticut Supreme Court Issues Opinions Addressing Scope of Immunity for Health Care Workers Under Governor Lamont’s Executive Order No. 7V

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

This post was co-authored by Ben Jensen, member Robinson+Cole’s Technology Industry Team.

On July 25, 2023, the Connecticut Supreme Court issued an opinion in High Watch Recovery Center, Inc. v. Dept. of Public Health that addresses the subject of the right to file an appeal of a Certificate of Need (CON) decision under the Connecticut Uniform Administrative Procedure Act (APA). High Watch involved a case where a party was allowed to intervene in a CON proceeding after the state CON agency had already elected to hold a discretionary hearing on the application at issue. A trial court declined to hear the appeal, and the Appellate Court affirmed that declination, on the basis that there was no “contested case” and no right to appeal the decision in Superior Court because the intervenor never expressly requested a hearing. The Supreme Court reversed this holding, concluding that intervention in opposition to the application was sufficient to render the case contested without need for the intervenor to request a hearing that was already scheduled. The ruling is significant in that it rejects a rigid application of the statutes governing CON procedures and instead focuses on the substance of the public hearing at issue in assessing whether a contested case is presented. Understanding the distinction between mandatory and discretionary hearings is an essential consideration for parties to CON proceedings to avoid foreclosing potential appellate rights.Continue Reading Connecticut Supreme Court Addresses Contested Case Issue in Ruling on Certificate of Need Appeals

On June 28, 2023, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed Public Act No. 23-97, “An Act Concerning Health and Wellness for Connecticut Residents.”  The Act includes a wide range of provisions aimed at supporting health care workforce development and improving access to health care. Some of the provisions of the Act are summarized below.Continue Reading Connecticut Adds Requirements for Opioid Prescribing and Expands Provider Licensure and Credentialing Avenues

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont recently signed two important pieces of legislation that affect hospitals and certain Medicaid providers and programs.  First, Public Act No. 23-39, “An Act Requiring Discharge Standards Regarding Follow-Up Appointments and Prescription Medications for Patients Being Discharged From a Hospital or Nursing Home Facility” addresses new hospital discharge obligations for state hospitals.  Second, Public Act No. 23-186, “An Act Concerning Nonprofit Provider Retention of Contract Savings, Community Health Worker Medicaid Reimbursement and Studies of Medicaid Rates of Reimbursement, Nursing Home Transportation and Nursing Home Waiting Lists”, which implements various changes affecting the state Medicaid program and enrolled providers. Certain legislative changes implemented by these Acts are summarized below.Continue Reading Connecticut Governor Signs Legislation Implementing New Requirements for Hospitals and Nursing Home Facilities

On June 26, 2023, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed into law Public Act 23-129: “An Act Concerning Liability for False and Fraudulent Claims” (the Act). The Act expands application of Connecticut’s False Claims Act (CFCA) to all claims for money or property to the state of Connecticut (except as expressly provided in the CFCA) and accordingly expands the scope of conduct covered by the CFCA. The Act does so by removing the current limitation on the CFCA’s applicability to only state-administered health or human services programs. The Act took effect July 1, 2023.Continue Reading Connecticut Expands Applicability of State False Claims Act