COVID-19 News

  • CMS Expands the Accelerated and Advance Payments Program for Providers and Suppliers During the COVID-29 Emergency

    On March 28, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it was expanding its accelerated and advance payment program for Medicare providers. Accelerated and advance Medicare payments generally provide emergency funding based on historical payments when there is disruption in claims submission or claims processing. CMS has expanded the program for all Medicare providers during the public health emergency related to COVID-19. To qualify for accelerated or advance pay…

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  • OCR Issues Bulletin on Civil Rights Laws, HIPAA, and COVID-19

    On March 28, 2020, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a bulletin to remind health care providers of their obligations under laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age, sex, and exercise of conscience and religion. The OCR's guidance emphasizes that the civil rights laws that OCR enforces remain in effect in this time of emergency and urges health care providers to take…

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  • The New York State Department of Economic Development's Guidance on Essential Businesses

    The New York State Department of Economic Development, doing business as Empire State Development ("Empire State Development"), has issued guidance on the Executive Order 202.6 definition of "essential business." Businesses that were ordered to close on March 15, 2020 under the restrictions on any gathering with 50 or more participants, including but not limited to, bars, restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, casinos, auditoriums, concerts, conferences, worship services, sporting events, and phy…

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  • The U.S. Department of Labor Posts Q&A for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

    The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently posted Questions and Answers on its website regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The FFCRA is effective April 1, 2020, and the DOL will issue implementing regulations in the near future.  Visit the DOL's website to read about employer paid leave requirements under the FFCRA. Visit CCB Law's blog post on the FFCRA and New York's Paid Sick Time Plan. Please contact CCB Law to learn more about the FFCRA.…

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  • New York State Department of Health Provides Further Guidance Regarding Non-Essential Elective Surgeries and Non-Urgent Procedures

    On March 23, 2020, Governor Cuomo issued Executive Order No. 202.10 directing that the New York State Department of Health's ("NYSDOH") Commissioner of Health order all hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, office-based surgery practices and diagnostic treatment centers (each, a "facility") to increase the number of beds available to COVID-19 patients, including by canceling all elective surgeries and procedures. Complying with Executive Order 202.10, the NYSDOH issued such a directive, which…

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  • Onondaga County and Syracuse, New York Are Offering Relief for Small Businesses

    Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon announced that the county will offer zero-interest loans to small businesses shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.[1]  The purpose of the loan is to keep these small businesses afloat until they can receive funds from the U.S. Small Business Administration.[2]  Onondaga County has $500,000 available to lend.[3] The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering an Economic Injury Disaster loan to small businesses for up to $2 million at 3.75 percent …

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  • The Office for Civil Rights Is Exercising Enforcement Discretion for Telehealth During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

    On March 17, 2020, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S Department of Health and Human Services announced, effective immediately, that it will exercise its enforcement discretion and will waive potential penalties for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) violations against health care providers that serve patients through everyday communications technologies during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency. The exercise of discretion applies to widely avai…

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  • What Employers Need to Know About New York State and Federal Leave Laws Regarding COVID-19

    The New York State and federal governments have enacted laws to provide leave to employees affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). New York's Paid Sick Time Plan Effective March 18, 2020, New York’s Paid Sick Time Plan requires covered employers to provide paid and/or unpaid leave to every employee who is subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation issued by New York State or a governmental entity duly authorized to issue such order due to COVID-19. New Yo…

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  • Employers: Is Your Business Subject to a Workforce Reduction?

    On March 18, 2020, New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.6, directing all businesses and not-for-profit entities in New York State to utilize, to the maximum extent possible, telecommuting or work from home procedures. No later than March 22, 2020 at 8:00 p.m., each for-profit and not-for-profit employer (excluding state and local governments and authorities) must reduce the in-person workforce at each business/location by 100% from pre-state of emergency declarat…

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  • What Employers Need to Know About Furloughs and Layoffs

    Employers are facing several issues in the wake of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as several industries have been forced to shut down and discontinue work.  In the industries that have been forced to close their doors, employers face the difficult choice of whether to impose a furlough or whether to lay off their employees.   The choice employers make have real effects on an employee's ability to retain their healthcare and retirement benefits and collect unemployment. A furlough is a tempo…

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  • New York State and Federal Income Tax Filing Deadlines Extended to July 15, 2020

    On March 20, 2020, at the direction of the United States President Donald J. Trump, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that the deadline to file federal income tax returns has been extended from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020. Previously, on March 18, 2020, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service had announced that they were providing payment relief to individuals and businesses in response to the COVID-19 Outbreak by automatically extending the payment deadline, bu…

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  • CMS Broadens Access to Medicare Telehealth Services

    On March 17, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it had broadened access to Medicare telehealth services to allow beneficiaries to receive a wider range of services from their healthcare providers without having to travel to a healthcare facility.  CMS has granted this benefit on a temporary and emergency basis under the 1135 waiver authority[1] and Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act. Telehealth, telemedicine, and rela…

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