On December 28, 2017, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a Memorandum (the “Memo”), effective immediately, that represents a clear change to previous guidance on the use of SMS Text Messaging or “texting” by healthcare providers to transmit patient information to other providers that are part of a patient’s care team.
Like the digital healthcare industry, the medical and recreational marijuana (or Cannabis) industry, is both highly regulated and experiencing exponential rates of growth, innovation, and investment. Businesses in this space are sometimes referred to as "Cannabusinesses". According to a recent research report from Viridian Capital Advisors, investors pumped $1.23 billion into cannabusinesses during the first five weeks of 2018, nearly matching the entire amount invested 2016. That represents a nearly 600% increase as compared to the same five weeks in 2017.
The 2018 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule Final Rule (“2018 MPFS” or “Final Rule”) went into effect on January 1. Marked by new additions to the Telehealth codes and the un-bundling of Remote Patient Monitoring code CPT 99091, the 2018 MPFS provides plenty of opportunities for providers to grow their practice through digital medicine. This article outlines key changes to the new Rule.
On February 21, the Virginia House of Delegates voted 99-0 (1 abstention) to approve HB 1251, a bill that will dramatically expand the state’s medical cannabis laws. The bill was sent to Governor Ralph Northam for signature and – thanks to an emergency clause recommended by the Governor himself – will be effective immediately once he signs. With this bill, doctors will now be able to recommend the use of medical cannabis oil to patients with any diagnosed condition or disease that the doctor determines will benefit from such use.
Nixon Law Group, a Virginia-based boutique law firm representing clients in the healthcare industry exclusively, announced today that Kaitlyn O’Connor, Esq. has joined the firm as Counsel. Kaitlyn will be based in Nixon Law Group’s Richmond office, but will divide her time between Richmond and Williamsburg.
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 contains important changes to federal law related to reimbursement for and use of telemedicine, signaling Congress's continuing confidence in telemedicine's potential to improve care and reduce costs.
The Cures Act is aimed at modernizing and personalizing healthcare by encouraging innovation and streamlining the process for discovery, development, and delivery of new treatments and technologies to those suffering from illness. Importantly, the legislation provides for significant funding to advance these goals, to the tune of $4.8 billion to the National Institutes of Health ("NIH"), $500 million to the Food & Drug Administration ("FDA"), and $1 billion in grants to states for opioid abuse prevention and treatment. This article will provide an overview of key components of the Cures Act and highlight implications for the future of healthcare.
Join NLG Partner Rebecca E. Gwilt and telemedicine vendors, practitioners, and academicians from Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, New Jersey, West Virginia, North Carolina, and Kentucky at the Mid-Atlantic Telehealth Resource Center's (MATRC) 2018 Summit in Hershey, PA this April. Rebecca will be speaking alongside Brian Scarpelli with the Connected Health Initiative during the session: “Deconstructing Reimbursement for Chronic Disease Management”. (Monday April 16 from 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM)
On January 2, 2018, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (“SAMHSA”) issued a Final Rule, amending 42 C.F.R Part 2 (“Part 2”), creating new changes to the federal rules governing confidentiality and disclosures of patient substance use disorder (“SUD”) records for the first time since 1987. Part 2 protects the confidentiality of SUD records, which are subset of protected health information (PHI). This means that these records are subject to HIPAA, but are also protected by Part 2, which contains additional (and more stringent) federal protections. These overlapping standards can make the storage and disclosure of patient records administratively burdensome for healthcare providers, patients and their families. It is also a challenge for technology companies that store, analyze, and transmit patient records on behalf of providers and patients.
This is the latest Nixon Law Group summary in our series on the new Virginia assisted living regulations, which go into effect on February 1, 2018. In this summary, we continue to focus on key changes to the regulations related to staffing.