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Texas Court Rules Vaccine Mandates Are Legal

Texas’ Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is granted the authority to set immunization requirements by the Texas Education Code, Chapter 38. If you attended school from grades K-12, then you are familiar with these mandatory vaccines, e.g., measles, tuberculosis, tetanus, and polio. Vaccine mandates didn’t start with COVID-19, and they won’t end there, either. […]

MACs announce fix for HIPPS code payment error

Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) have addressed a payment error impacting some claims that were tied to the generic HIPPS code used on RAPs. The HIPPS code on the RAP is only used by the CMS system to pair RAPs with the final claim. Under PDGM, the CMS payment system is expected to determine the actual […]

HHS revises reporting requirements for Provider Relief Fund payments

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the Health Resources and Services Administration, is releasing revised reporting requirements for recipients of Provider Relief Fund (PRF) payments. This announcement includes expanding the amount of time providers will have to report information, aims to reduce burdens on smaller providers, and extends key deadlines for expending […]

Agency to pay $140,000 after overtime lawsuit from DOL

A Pennsylvania home health agency will pay $66,000 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages to 98 registered nurses and licensed practical nurses after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor noted a failure to pay overtime wages, including payment for ancillary work and work-related travel, according to a DOL news […]

CMS bolsters payments for in-home COVID-19 vaccinations

In an attempt to vaccinate homebound individuals, CMS announced June 9 an additional payment for administrating the COVID-19 vaccine in-home for Medicare beneficiaries who have a hard time leaving home. “There are approximately 1.6 million adults 65 or older who may have trouble accessing COVID-19 vaccinations because they have difficulty leaving home,” the CMS press […]

California HHS rebuffs CDC, extends mask guidance through mid-June

California state health officials announced this week that they will extend a mask mandate through June 15, despite Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines that lifted many of the restrictions for fully vaccinated people. “Until June 15, when California plans to fully reopen the economy, California will keep our existing guidance around masks in place,” California […]

Are employees required to divulge vaccination status?

Q: Can I require my employees to tell me if they are vaccinated and, if so, to provide proof? A: The EEOC’s COVID-19 guidance provides that asking for proof of an employee’s vaccinated status is not a disability-related inquiry and is permitted under the ADA. However, the EEOC cautions that asking an employee about the […]

Medical reviews begin for pandemic claims

Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) have resumed post-payment medical reviews on claims during the public health emergency, according to Palmetto GBA and the latest MLN Connects newsletter. Since August, MACs have limited medical reviews to claims with dates of service before March 2020. “MACs may now begin conducting post-payment medical reviews for later dates of service,” […]

Virtual Summit: Post-Acute NOW discusses rebalancing PDPM post-COVID

What will the new normal look like as the pandemic turns a corner? Skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) need to understand how payment was unique during the pandemic and how reimbursement might change moving forward. Understand what your SNF should be prepared for and how to look at the data to determine payment in the future. […]

EEOC Offers Clarifications, Cautions in New COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance

Updated technical assistance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) clarifies how employers can require or encourage employees to take a COVID-19 vaccine, but attorneys advising employers point out how the document also contains cautions. The EEOC updated its technical assistance on May 28 to address questions about how federal equal employment opportunity (EEO) laws may be […]