June 02, 2020

Physician Contracting Issues Related to COVID-19

By Patsy Powers, Esq., Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP, Nashville, TN and Christopher Fete, Esq., MHA, Pinnacle Healthcare Consulting, St. Louis, MO

Introduction – The Landscape is Changing

On January 27, 2020, under the authority of the Public Health Service Act, U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex M. Azar II declared the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic a Public Health Emergency (PHE).2 Then, on March 13, 2020, President Trump declared the COVID-19 pandemic a national emergency under the Stafford Act.3 In response, under authority granted by Sections 1135 and  1812(f) of the Social Security Act, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an extraordinary amount of temporary regulatory waivers to enable beneficiaries to access care, collectively referred to as the 1135 Waivers.4 State government agencies also joined in issuing waivers of state law and regulation to expedite access to care. On the federal level, CMS implemented changes to the physician self-referral law (Stark Law),5 the Anti-Kickback Statute,6 the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA),7 the interim payment rules,8 and to a myriad of other aspects of the federal regulatory framework to eliminate regulatory hurdles so that patients can access necessary COVID-19 treatment.9

Premium Content For:
  • Health Law Section
Join - Now