Legislation and Public Policy

On September 30, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced that it issued guidance to clarify that the HIPAA Privacy Rule does not prohibit businesses from asking customers, clients or employees to disclose their COVID-19 vaccination status. OCR felt compelled to weigh in after chronic widespread ignorance of

On September 6, 2021, New York Governor Hochul announced that the New York Commissioner of Health had designated COVID-19 as a highly contagious communicable disease that presents a serious risk of harm to public health under the New York HERO Act (the “HERO Act”). This new designation requires all New York employers to implement workplace

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded $954 million to 1,292 community health centers across the U.S. for capital improvements. The funds, to be provided by HHS’s Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) under the American Rescue Plan Act, will advance health equity initiatives in medically underserved communities.

HHS’s press release

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently issued a policy statement confirming that vendors of apps and other connected devices that collect personal health information, such as glucose levels, heart rate, or fertility or sleep data, are subject to the FTC’s Health Breach Notification Rule. The rule, issued in 2009, requires vendors to notify consumers

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently issued a favorable Advisory Opinion on an arrangement that would allow a hospital to offer free items and services to patients who experienced certain complications after undergoing joint replacement procedures at the hospital. The arrangement only applied to a specific list

The federal government will delay for six months its enforcement of key portions of the Transparency in Coverage (TiC) final rule that goes into effect on January 1, 2022. The change was announced in guidance issued jointly by the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury on August 20.

The TiC

On August 16, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a favorable Advisory Opinion regarding an arrangement between a Medicare Supplemental Health Insurance (“Medigap”) plan and a preferred hospital organization (PHO). The arrangement in question incentivized Medigap policyholders to seek inpatient care from hospitals that participated in the

The Delta variant, which increased COVID cases and hospitalizations, also prompted new federal and local COVID rules and mandates, and required employers to revisit their existing COVID policies.

OSHA announced a new COVID Emergency Standard for health care employers to take effect in July 2021. This new Emergency Standard requires health care employers to address

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont recently signed into law “An Act Incentivizing the Adoption of Cybersecurity Standards for Businesses” (Public Act No. 21-119). Under the Act, “covered entities” that implement certain cybersecurity measures to protect against data breaches of “personal information” and “restricted information” will be insulated against the imposition of punitive damages arising

An article in the August issue of Healthcare Risk Management, “Healthcare Employers Can Mandate Vaccines, but Some Caution Necessary,” discussed recent federal guidance and court decisions that allow hospitals and other healthcare employers to require COVID-19 vaccines for their employees. Rivkin Radler’s Brian Conneely was quoted in the article.

“Based on recent