As previously addressed on this blog, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont recently signed into law the state’s fiscal year 2023 budget (HB5506) (Act). Among other things, the Act prohibits homemaker-companion or home health agencies from contractually preventing their clients from hiring agency employees. The Act deems such “no-hire” clauses as against public policy.

Continue Reading Connecticut Prohibits No-Hire Provisions in Homemaker and Home Health Agency Contracts

On May 7, 2022, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed into law the state’s fiscal year 2023 budget (HB5506) (Act) which implements the state budget and makes various changes to certain Connecticut statutes. Among the changes, the Act provides various new authorities to the Office of Health Strategy (OHS) and makes modifications to the certificate of need (CON) process in the state.

Continue Reading New Connecticut Laws Include Certificate of Need Changes

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed the Personal Data Privacy and Online Monitoring Act (CPDPA) into law on May 10, 2022, making Connecticut the most recent state to pass its own privacy law in the absence of comprehensive federal privacy legislation. Connecticut follows in the steps of Nevada, California, Virginia, Colorado and Utah in enacting its own comprehensive privacy legislation, with more pending in various state legislatures.

Continue Reading Connecticut’s Privacy Law Signed by Governor

On May 7, 2022, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed into law the state’s fiscal year 2023 budget (HB5506), which includes the elimination of certain taxes on ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) in Connecticut. Since October 1, 2015, ASCs have been required to pay a quarterly tax of six percent on their gross receipts (subject to certain exclusions). Under current law, the gross receipts tax will sunset on July 1, 2023, and be replaced with a three percent tax on an ASC’s net revenue (subject to certain exclusions). As of July 1, 2022, this new law sunsets the ASC gross receipts tax and repeals the ASC net revenue tax. 

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

Certain COVID-19 emergency declaration blanket waivers are being phased out by the federal government, and health care providers should take steps to determine whether current arrangements are compliant. As background, in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency CMS previously enacted extensive temporary COVID-19 Emergency Declaration Blanket Waivers for Health Care Providers. However, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have now determined that various regulatory requirements must be restored in order to protect the health and safety of residents in long-term care facilities.

Continue Reading NOTICE TO PROVIDERS: CMS Phasing Out Certain COVID-19 Regulatory Waivers in Long-Term Care Facilities, Hospices, and ESRD Facilities

On April 27, 2022, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) published Advisory Opinion 22-08 (Advisory Opinion) in which it declined to impose sanctions against a federally qualified health center (Requestor) for an arrangement involving the loaning of smartphones to patients to allow those patients to receive telehealth services from the Requestor. The OIG concluded that although the arrangement would constitute prohibited remuneration under the Federal anti-kickback statute (AKS) and the beneficiary inducement prohibitions of the Civil Monetary Penalties Law (CMP), the limited scope of the arrangement and the safeguards in place did not warrant the imposition of sanctions.

Continue Reading Advisory Opinion 22-08: OIG Declines to Impose Sanctions for Loaning of Smartphones for Receipt of Telehealth Services

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently created a new webpage related to telehealth. The purpose of the webpage is to summarize the OIG’s telehealth oversight work to provide a summary of its findings and recommendations that can be used by policymakers and other stakeholders to evaluate potential changes to federal telehealth policies.

Continue Reading OIG Creates New Telehealth Resources Webpage

On March 24th, 2022, the Advanced Medical Technology Association’s (AdvaMed) Board of Directors approved updates to the AdvaMed Code of Ethics (Code), which provides guidance to the health care industry on interactions between medical technology companies and health care professionals (HCPs). The revised Code goes into effect on June 1, 2022.

Continue Reading AdvaMed Updates its Code of Ethics

On March 30, 2022, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Manual J. Bojorquez, the owner of a marketing company, was sentenced to 36 months’ probation and ordered to pay restitution of $3.3 million for his role in a kickback scheme. The sentencing follows a plea agreement by Mr. Bojorquez in which he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the federal anti-kickback statute. According to the DOJ and court documents, Mr. Bojorquez, through his company, provided marketing services to various compounding pharmacies. Mr. Bojorquez’s company conspired with the compounding pharmacies to pay kickbacks to physicians in exchange for those physicians referring prescriptions to the compounding pharmacies. The compounding pharmacies then paid Mr. Bojorquez (through various shell companies) a percentage (approximately 45%) of the fees generated from the prescriptions referred by the physicians. The pharmacies billed and received payment from the US Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Workers Compensation Program, which is a federal health care benefit program. Over the course of the conspiracy, the DOL paid over $8 million for the kickback-induced prescriptions.

Continue Reading Marketer in Kickback Scheme Involving Compound Pharmacies Sentenced to Probation and Order to Pay $3.3 Million

OSHA has partially reopened the rulemaking record and scheduled an informal public hearing to seek comments on several topics relating to the development of a final standard to protect healthcare and healthcare support service workers from workplace exposure to COVID-19. In June of last year, OSHA issued an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to protect workers in healthcare settings from occupational exposure to the virus. This ETS also served as a proposed rule and focused on healthcare workers most likely to have contact with people infected with the virus. Continue Reading OSHA Taking Comments on Proposed Permanent Healthcare COVID-19 Standard