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
On January 28, 2021, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a Fifth Amendment to HHS’s Declaration under the Public Health Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) that provides liability immunity to certain individuals and entities arising from the manufacturing, distribution, administration or use of medical countermeasures (e.g., therapeutics and vaccines) against COVID-19.
Continue Reading COVID-19 Vaccine Update: HHS Expands Pool of Eligible Vaccinators under PREP Act
On November 3, 2020, a Massachusetts Federal District Court issued a notable decision on the applicability of the state’s medical peer review privilege in a federal proceeding, determining that the privilege does not apply to documents requested in discovery as part of a qui tam False Claims Act (FCA) case. In United States ex rel. Wollman v. Massachusetts General Hospital, Inc. et al., Case Number 1:15-cv-11890-ADB, the court reviewed the purpose of the peer review privilege and precedent addressing the applicability of state privileges under the Federal Rules of Evidence, and concluded that the privilege should not apply because the “goal of the peer review privilege would not be thwarted if it was not applied” in a case predicated on alleged billing fraud. The court’s decision is instructive for health care providers and whistleblowers in connection with discovery and the applicability of medical peer review privileges to FCA cases.
Continue Reading Massachusetts Federal Court Declines to Apply State Medical Peer Review Privilege in Federal Whistleblower Case
On July 14, 2020 Connecticut Governor Lamont issued Executive Order No. 7HHH, in which the Governor modified state law to enable the Commissioner of the Department of Public Health (DPH) to temporarily suspend licensure, registration and certification requirements for certain DPH-regulated practitioners for the duration of the state public health and civil preparedness emergency. Notably, in that Executive Order, the Governor stated that “healthcare providers from outside Connecticut have greatly enhanced the provision of healthcare services in Connecticut during the COVID-19 pandemic and thereby fundamentally improved the state’s ability to protect public health at critical time.”
Continue Reading Connecticut Authorizes Out-of-State Health Care Practitioners to Render Assistance for Remainder of COVID-19 Pandemic
Massachusetts continues to issue directives and guidance for health care providers in response to COVID-19. In this post we highlight Orders and Guidance issued by Massachusetts Governor Baker and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH). The guidance addresses topics including collection of COVID-19 demographic information, use of alternative space for provision of health care treatment, health professional licensing, EMS transport of patients, hospital policies for returning exposed health care personnel to work, use of PPE and equipment, and updates for pharmacies.
Continue Reading Massachusetts Issues COVID-19 Orders and Guidance for Providers
Massachusetts government agencies have issued recent guidance and updates concerning the COVID-19 emergency. A summary is provided below.
Allowing Health Care Personnel with Potential Exposure to COVID-19 to Continue to Work
On March 19, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health issued the following Guidance for Health Care Personnel with Potential Exposure to Patients with COVID-19…
On March 18, 2020, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order (Executive Order) related to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Significant provisions of the Executive Order are as follows:
Continue Reading NY Governor Cuomo Issues New COVID-19 Executive Order
On July 15, 2019, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo signed into law “An Act Relating To Businesses and Professions – Physician Assistants” (H5572/S0443), which significantly revises the supervision requirements and expands certain aspects of the scope of practice for physician assistants (PAs) in Rhode Island, effective immediately. Among other things, the Act removes the current supervision requirements for PAs, changes the nature of the relationship between PAs and physicians to a “collaborative” arrangement, and removes the requirement that hospitals and other health care practices have written PA supervision agreements on file for PAs.
Continue Reading Rhode Island Removes Supervision Requirements for PAs in Favor of Expanded “Collaboration” Standard for PA Practice
Most states, including Connecticut and Massachusetts, have laws that allow hospitals and other health care institutions to establish confidential peer review programs to oversee the quality of care provided by their health care professionals without the threat those proceedings will be subject to discovery. Menorah Medical Center (“Menorah”), in Kansas, had such a program for its nurses. The Peer Review Committee (“Committee”) would investigate allegations of substandard care and, if substantiated, report the breach to the Kansas Board of Nursing.
Continue Reading No Right to Union Representation for Non-Mandatory Participation in Peer Review Proceedings – DC Circuit Court Overrules NLRB