COVID-19 Resources

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  1. Legal and compliance developments and the coronavirus

    Compliance Today - June 2020  | Authors: Gabriel L. Imperato, Romain Balard  | Published: June 2020 

    On January 31, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar declared a public health emergency.[1] Following President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency under the National Emergencies Act and emergency determination under the Stafford Act, the Secretary of HHS was allowed to issue waivers of certain Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program requirements pursuant to Section 1135 of the Social Security Act.[2] As a result, on March 13, 2020, the Secretary of HHS authorized the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to take waivers and modifications.[3] The...

  2. SEC eases regulatory rules during COVID-19 pandemic

    Compliance Today - June 2020  | Author: Sascha Matuszak  | Published: June 2020 

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) made slight regulatory changes[1] that could ease the burden for publicly traded companies. The changes deal primarily with disclosures, deadlines, and certain time-consuming requirements that are changed or suspended until midsummer 2020...

  3. COVID-19 and long-term care: Best practices and lessons learned

    Compliance Today - June 2020  | Authors: Lester Perling, Jamie Gelfman  | Published: June 2020 

    In mid-February 2020, Life Care Center of Kirkland—a Life Care Centers of America skilled nursing facility located in Kirkland, Washington—experienced an increase in residents and staff members demonstrating symptoms of febrile respiratory illnesses.[1] After several of the residents were initially tested for influenza, one of the residents, a 73-year-old female resident with a history of coronary artery disease and other underlying conditions, was transported to the hospital as her respiratory symptoms deteriorated. Although the resident reported that she had not recently traveled nor been in any known contact with anyone with COVID-19, she ultimately tested positive and passed away on...

  4. United States Department of Justice addresses antitrust issues during COVID-19

    Compliance Today - June 2020  | Author: Sascha Matuszak  | Published: June 2020 

    The coronavirus epidemic is forcing organizations, especially those in the healthcare field, to collaborate in ways that could violate US antitrust regulations. To head off any violations before they can happen, and to clarify existing and ongoing regulations, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Competition of the Federal Trade Commission issued a joint statement[1] on the matter...

  5. Mitigating risks in prescribing and dispensing chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19

    Compliance Today - June 2020  | Authors: Sarah M. Hall, Steven A. Block, Jamar T. King  | Published: June 2020 

    During his March 19, 2020, press briefing,[1] President Donald Trump called chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine a “game changer” in the battle against COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus that has caused a global pandemic. He went on to say, “It’s shown…very, very encouraging early results. And we’re going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately.” The next day on Twitter, he exclaimed that “it” [chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine] must “be put in use IMMEDIATELY.”[2]...

  6. With MA, Commercial Payer COVID-19 Changes, Hospitals Face New Payment Deliberations

    Report on Medicare Compliance Volume 29, Number 20. June 01, 2020  | Author: Nina Youngstrom  | Published: June 01, 2020 

    When hospitals and other providers bill Medicare Advantage (MA) plans and commercial payers for coronavirus tests, they’re supposed to be paid 100% of the negotiated rate or the default charge because the Families First Coronavirus Response Act,[1] as amended by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, And Economic Security (CARES) Act,[2] prohibits patient cost sharing. But with so many payers and payment arrangements, something may get lost in translation, and hospitals may not realize they weren’t paid the full amount and overcharge patients...

  7. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issues regulatory waivers for COVID-19 pandemic

    Compliance Today - June 2020  | Author: Sascha Matuszak  | Published: June 2020 

    The burden placed on hospitals during the coronavirus pandemic has spurred regulators to issue waivers and ease restrictions[1] on how healthcare organizations operate. A series of issuances on March 30 give greater flexibility to hospitals, including the ability to contract out to “non-traditional” healthcare entities, such as hotels, dormitories, ambulatory surgery centers, and inpatient rehabilitation hospitals in order to open up beds for patients suffering from COVID-19...

  8. High-risk privacy monitoring

    Compliance Today - June 2020  | Author: Dragon, Margaret  | Published: June 2020 

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, human coronaviruses are common and usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, such as the common cold. As cases of COVID-19 have spread worldwide, fear has grown among everyone, including healthcare workers. Some people are mistakenly comparing the COVID-19 pandemic to the influenza pandemic of 1918, which was responsible for millions of deaths worldwide, and others fear the asymptomatic carrier of the virus...

  9. OCR releases bulletin regarding the rights of people with disabilities

    Compliance Today - June 2020  | Author: Sascha Matuszak  | Published: June 2020 

    On March 28, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a bulletin[1] reminding healthcare organizations of their obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Age Discrimination Act, and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, which prohibit discrimination in HHS-funded health programs or activities...

  10. Be ready to change priorities

    Compliance Today - June 2020  | Author: Catherine Boerner  | Published: June 2020 

    Well, this column is titled “Exhale.” This is something we need to do now more than ever...

  11. Managing the unmanageable

    Compliance Today - June 2020  | Author: Gerry Zack  | Published: June 2020 

    I’m writing this in late March, and you’re probably reading it in June. I have no idea what will have happened between now and then in connection with COVID-19...

  12. Amazon under the gun

    ethikos Volume 34, Number 6. June 01, 2020  | Author: Sascha Matuszak  | Published: June 01, 2020 

    Amazon.com Inc. is facing scrutiny from lawmakers after a series of actions, including firing employees after they had raised workplace concerns[1] and purchasing equipment from blacklisted Chinese companies.[2] The demand for Amazon’s delivery services has also skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic.[3]...

  13. Even if Hospitals Drop Real Estate, Compliance Needs a 'Home Base'; Eyes Are on Workflow

    Report on Medicare Compliance Volume 29, Number 20. June 01, 2020  | Author: Nina Youngstrom  | Published: June 01, 2020 

    The money that health systems save on real estate may keep many of their employees working at home permanently to help make up for revenue losses related to COVID-19, but Samantha Karpenko, director of corporate compliance at MultiCare Health System in Tacoma, Washington, has asked leadership for a “home base” because “compliance needs a permanent physical presence.”...

  14. News Briefs: June 1, 2020

    Report on Medicare Compliance Volume 29, Number 20. June 01, 2020  | Author: Nina Youngstrom  | Published: June 01, 2020 

    ◆ The HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) has unveiled its “OIG Strategic Plan: Oversight of COVID-19 Response and Recovery.”[1] Its goals are protecting people, funds and infrastructure, and promoting effectiveness of HHS programs. For example, OIG will “identify and investigate suspected fraud, in coordination with Federal, State, local, and Tribal law enforcement partners, and exercise OIG’s administrative enforcement authorities when appropriate; conduct audits and evaluations to identify program integrity vulnerabilities and recommend safeguards; and alert HHS, enforcement partners, and industry stakeholders to potential fraud risks or schemes to steal funds.”...

  15. Compliance Tracker: Helping Hospitals Track Their Use of Blanket Waivers for Post-Public Health Emergency Compliance

    Report on Medicare Compliance Volume 29, Number 20. June 01, 2020  | Author: Nina Youngstrom  | Published: June 01, 2020 

    Kate Routledge, senior director of compliance support at the Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, developed this tool to help hospitals keep track of the COVID-19 blanket waivers[1] under Sec. 1135 of the Social Security Act.[2] When the public health emergency ends, regulatory requirements will resume, and hospitals will have to restore their original policies. If hospitals don’t go back to their normal processes, they will be noncompliant, Routledge said. Some may require no adjustment because “not every hospital is using every blanket waiver.” Contact Routledge at kroutledge@haponline.org...

  16. Lessons learned from an empty office

    CEP Magazine - June 2020  | Author: Gerry Zack  | Published: June 2020 

    As I write this column, we are in the midst of a terrible pandemic. I sincerely hope that, by the time you read this, things will have begun improving, but nobody knows for sure. The SCCE & HCCA office is empty, as are many of yours, as we operate under a state-imposed shelter-in-place order...

  17. Cybersecurity and compliance in a pandemic

    ethikos Volume 34, Number 6. June 01, 2020  | Author: Mac McMillan  | Published: June 01, 2020 

    Security has always had a love-hate relationship with compliance. The guiding principle of compliance is balance, and it, at some point, has a minimum—meaning sometimes even no security is acceptable if the mission is at risk, and when that mission is life or death, if necessary, no security is acceptable. That doesn’t mean it is desirable or appropriate to ignore protections or not important to seek compensatory measures. But when everyone is moving as fast as they can and still falling behind and even simple tasks become difficult or nearly impossible, everything that isn’t critical to the core mission becomes...

  18. How compliance can help respond to macro crises

    CEP Magazine - June 2020  | Authors: Brian K. Lee, Dian Zhang  | Published: June 2020 

    The past few months have reminded companies of the need to prepare for macro crises—the recent COVID-19 outbreak being the primary example. While companies grapple with the wide-ranging and increasingly prolonged effects on their businesses, compliance executives have a substantial role to play in helping to respond and manage through the crisis...

  19. Taking the bridge over troubled waters

    Compliance Today - June 2020  | Author: Nancy J. Beckley  | Published: June 2020 

    Is it June already? Already we have been through an incredible rolling healthcare crisis that will likely continue to ripple through the summer, into the fall, and as it snows here in Wisconsin. Hospitals, nursing facilities, rehabilitation facilities, and those providing home health and hospice in post-acute care alike have experienced the testing of their infection control policies and procedures, as well as their emergency preparedness plans, risk assessments, and general policies and procedures. We thought we learned a lot in 2017 when a nursing home left patients to deteriorate in the 99-degree sweltering heat of South Florida during Hurricane...

  20. The tough Corporate Sanctions Act is on Germany's horizon

    CEP Magazine - June 2020  | Authors: Marcus Reischl, Christoph Skoupil  | Published: June 2020 

    In August 2019, Germany’s Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection has unveiled the draft of a new Corporate Sanctions Act (Verbandssanktionengesetz), introducing corporate criminal liability in Germany. On March 6, 2020, the German government came to an agreement on final changes to the draft, and on April 22, it was published.[1] Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit Germany, the law was to be adopted before the political summer break. Although this timeline is now being called into question by current developments, it is very likely that the new law will actually be enacted...

  21. Meet Mike Sandulak: What a former FBI agent can teach us about compliance

    Compliance Today - June 2020  | Author: Gerry Zack  | Published: June 2020 

    Mike Sandulak, Director of Investigations at Providence St. Joseph Health in Portland, OR...

  22. Addressing the risk of modern slavery during the pandemic

    Report on Supply Chain Compliance Volume 3, Number 11. May 28, 2020  | Author: Sascha Matuszak  | Published: May 28, 2020 

    As the world enters the third month of the COVID-19 pandemic,[1] nations are experiencing the secondary effects of the crisis and beginning to plan for future scenarios. Economies are forced into recession, the unemployment rate rises,[2] supply chains are affected and companies take whatever measures are necessary to stay afloat...

  23. Supply chain considerations for a post-pandemic world

    Report on Supply Chain Compliance Volume 3, Number 11. May 28, 2020  | Author: Sascha Matuszak  | Published: May 28, 2020 

    By now, it has become clear that a hyperconnected world can be brought to its knees by a singular global event such as the COVID-19 pandemic. We have not yet seen the extent of the aftershocks. Food shortages, for example, may be on the horizon for countries around the world, with many of the most vulnerable populations slipping into famine.[1]...

  24. Are China and Australia inching toward a trade war?

    Report on Supply Chain Compliance Volume 3, Number 11. May 28, 2020  | Author: Sascha Matuszak  | Published: May 28, 2020 

    Australian Trade Minister Simon Birmingham called for an investigation into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has led to a trade row with China.[1] The minister said on May 13, “‘You’ve got hundreds of thousands of people who’ve died, millions who’ve lost their jobs and billions who’ve had their lives disrupted, the least the world can expect is that there be an investigation and Australia’s far from a lone voice in advancing that.’”...

  25. Now is the time to evaluate your compliance program

    Report on Supply Chain Compliance Volume 3, Number 11. May 28, 2020  | Author: Sascha Matuszak  | Published: May 28, 2020 

    Early in May, Affiliated Monitors Inc. conducted a webinar, “Crisis & Compliance in the Federal Marketplace,” that addressed the need to maintain and enhance compliance programs in the face of the global pandemic.[1] Participants included a government contracts attorney and representatives from various industries involved with government procurement...