On December 12, 2018, Congress passed the 2018 Farm Bill (The “Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018” or the “Bill”), which includes provisions that exempt Cannabis plants with lower than 0.3% THC content (also called “Hemp”) from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Once signed into law, the Farm Bill effectively legalizes the production, commercialization, and interstate shipment and sale of hemp and hemp-derived products like cannabidiol or “CBD”. Each state (including Indian Tribes and U.S. Territories) will eventually be able to regulate hemp production like any other agricultural commodity, as long as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approves its plan to monitor and regulate the plant’s production.
The final 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (the “Rule”), released on November 1st, creates three new codes in the category of Chronic Care Remote Physiologic Monitoring (“CCRPM”) for (1) initial set-up and patient education, (2) initial device supply, and (3) monitoring data and interacting with patients or caregivers.
The final 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, released by CMS on November 1, 2018, includes a new code that physicians may use to bill for remote evaluation of images to determine whether or not an in-person office visit is necessary. Learn more about HCPCS Code G2010 and how it can be used in medical practices.
In its Final Rule for the 2019 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule released on Friday, CMS introduced a new code, HCPCS G2012, allowing physicians and other qualified healthcare professionals (“QHCPs”) to be reimbursed for “virtual check-ins” with patients who aren’t sure whether or not their symptoms warrant an in-office visit. Learn more about virtual check-ins and how they can be used by practices.
CMS recently released a Proposed Rule suggesting significant changes to the Medicare Shared Savings Program, aimed at accelerating the path for providers participating in a Medicare ACO to take on risk for the cost and care of their patient populations. The following is a summary of key changes proposed to the MSSP.
In April 2018, Governor Ralph Northam signed House Bill 793, which will allow Virginia nurse practitioners (NPs) with the equivalent of five years of full-time practice with a collaborating physician to be certified to practice independently. What does this mean for NPs in Virginia? Practically speaking, if a nurse practitioner meets the qualifications and makes the appropriate filings with the Board of Nursing, he or she can open up an independent practice to provide care in their community. This change aligns Virginia law with more than twenty other states across the country in adopting full practice authority and is expected to expand access to affordable primary care to thousands of Virginians.
Beginning on May 25, 2018, HIPAA won’t be the only healthcare data security standard with which U.S. companies have to comply. Medical practices, digital healthcare companies, and vendors (e.g., electronic health records companies, medical billing companies, and cloud services companies) that do business in the healthcare sector and collect data from European citizens will be required to comply with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”). A recent Reuters article called the implementation of these regulations “the biggest overhaul of online privacy since the birth of the internet.”
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.
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.
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.
The revised Virginia assisted living regulations go into effect February 1, 2018. This is the latest summary in Nixon Law Group’s series highlighting key changes under the new regulations. This summary is the first of two that will focus on some of the new staffing requirements, including qualifications, training, and records.