Move over, HIPAA and HITECH — there’s a new compliance hurdle in town.
For health care businesses, Coronavirus (COVID-19) will become one of the biggest compliance challenges in our lifetime. Disaster begets regulation, and the bigger the disaster, the vaguer and more onerous the regulations become.
The regulatory impact of COVID-19 will be gauged by the humanitarian and economic fallout.
American companies are saddled with state government orders mandating personnel and supply shortages. Not only are businesses scrambling to cope with the loss of workforce and mandatory closures, an executive order prohibiting stockpiling recently was issued, and the Department of Justice warned that knowingly spreading COVID-19 could result in terrorism charges.
As Coronavirus spreads and the federal government’s response thickens, we are sure to see additional, arduous regulations to prevent future diseases and to fine — or jail — those responsible for spreading COVID-19.
In addition to the obvious stipulations the government has adopted, many other compliance areas are sure to adapt in order to meet the needs of our changing environment. In particular, health care entities can expect Coronavirus compliance changes in nearly every area of government interaction.
Already, CMS (Medicare) has relaxed telemedicine guidelines and non-emergency inspections. State licensure requirements (such as those in Michigan and Florida) have been temporarily adjusted to boost the number of treatment providers.
Recently, U.S. Attorney General William Barr directed his prosecutors that “every U.S. Attorney’s Office is … directed to prioritize the detection, investigation, and prosecution” of any entity engaged in misconduct related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Entities not modifying their conduct to the emerging COVID-19 compliance measures may be investigated and prosecuted.
Health care entities that are stockpiling medications and personal protective equipment and failing to contain the spread of the virus may be investigated and prosecuted.
Meanwhile, non-health care businesses may be investigated and prosecuted for violating quarantine orders, failing to maintain a safe working environment, or engaging in coercive business practices such as price gouging or antitrust violations.
Over the past few weeks, our professional, licensed health care clients — such as health care facilities, general practitioners, nurses and medical assistants — have become inundated by the numerous changes and clarifications to health care compliance that have stemmed from Coronavirus.
Now more than ever, guidance is needed, especially with health care personnel on the front lines of the COVID-19 fight.
We at Chapman Law Group are staying alert to every new development. As lawyers for health care practitioners, we are here to provide you with legal guidance for following compliance and regulatory protocol as the COVID-19 situation continues.
If you are concerned about your practice’s compliance with emerging Coronavirus compliance procedures, contact the health law attorneys at Chapman Law Group today to discuss mitigating your compliance risk.
For a temporary period, continuing education fulfillment won’t be a factor for LARA to renew professional licenses for physicians, nurses and other licensed health care workers.
As the Coronavirus pandemic continues, Florida has ordered temporary changes to its professional licensure requirements as part of its State of Emergency and Public Health Emergency declarations.
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