HHS Announces Extension of Public Health Emergency Declaration On Thursday, July 23, 2020, as anticipated, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar extended for an additional 90 days the current COVID-19 public health emergency, which was set to expire on July 25. Many physicians had expressed concern about the impending deadline and the implication for various regulatory waivers implemented because of the pandemic, including those pertaining to telemedicine. Read the announcement here.
F-1 and M-1 Student and Exchange Visa Restriction Plan Rescinded by Trump Administration On July 6, 2020, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) announced modifications to temporary exemptions for nonimmigrant students taking online classes due to the public health crisis for the Fall 2020 semester. Specifically, SEVP announced that nonimmigrant F-1 and M-1 students attending schools operating entirely online could not take a full online course load and enter or remain in the United States. Several medical organizations submitted letters urging the Trump Administration to withdraw its modifications so that medical students seeking to study in the United States on an F-1 visa could enter or remain in the country. On July 14, 2020, the Trump Administration rescinded the directive. Read […]
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Offers Relief Exemptions from CMS Quality Initiatives for 2020 Due to Covid-19 Emergency This week, CMS announced that physicians will have the option to opt out completely or partially from the 2020 Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) program by completing a hardship exemption application and indicating it is due to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). Individual clinicians and group practices have until December 31, 2020, to complete the hardship application. CMS plans on providing physicians with a couple of options on the hardship exemption application. For example, a practice may submit a hardship application and indicate that they do not want to be scored on Cost and Quality and have their score calculated based […]