Nikki Golden

March 27, 2020

HHS Office of Civil Rights Enforcement Relaxes Enforcement Discretion on HIPAA

On March 17, 2020, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) that in light of the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency, it is exercising its enforcement discretion and, effective immediately, will not impose penalties on physicians using telehealth in the event of noncompliance with the regulatory requirements under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Physicians may seek to communicate with patients and provide telehealth services through remote communications technologies. Some of these technologies, and their use, may not fully comply with the requirements of the HIPAA Rules. The March 17 announcement means that physicians who want to use audio or video communication technology to provide telehealth to patients during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency can use any […]
March 27, 2020

Medicare Recommends Cancellation of Elective Surgeries in Response to COVID-19

On March 18, at the White House Task Force Press Briefing, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that all elective surgeries, non-essential medical, surgical, and dental procedures be delayed during the COVID-19 outbreak. These recommendations, and earlier CMS guidance and actions in response to the COVID-19 virus, are part of the ongoing White House Task Force efforts. Read the CMS press release here. Read the guidance here.
March 27, 2020

CMS Announces Waivers and Changes to Medicare QPP in Response to COVID-19

On March 22, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced it is granting exceptions from reporting requirements and extensions for clinicians and providers participating in Medicare quality reporting programs with respect to upcoming measure reporting and data submission for those programs. The action comes as part of the Trump Administration’s response to COVID-19. CMS is implementing policy exceptions and extensions for upcoming measure reporting and data submission deadlines for several CMS programs due to “the additional extreme and uncontrollable circumstances.” For those programs with data submission deadlines in April and May 2020, submission of those data will be optional, based on the facility’s choice to report. CMS recognizes that quality measure data collection and reporting for services furnished during […]
March 27, 2020

ISASS Provides Comments to ACOEM on Sacroiliac Joint Fusion Practice Guidelines for Workers Compensation Coverage

On March 6, ISASS sent a comment letter to the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicare (ACOEM) regarding their Sacroiliac Joint Fusion Practice Guideline that is used in many states for State Workers Compensation fee schedule and coverage policies. The ISASS letter asked the ACOEM Low Back Disorder Guideline committee overseen by ACOEM Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Kurt Hegmann, to consider inclusion of ISASS’ updated SI Joint Fusion policy statement and the ISASS recommendations for appropriate criteria for SI Joint Fusion procedures and criteria on non-surgical options. Dr. Hegmann acknowledged receipt of the input and indicated the committee would incorporate ISASS’ input into future reviews. Learn more about ACOEM Guidelines and Policies here. Read the ISASS comment letter to ACOEM. Read […]