On July 13, 2022, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) issued guidance to the nation’s retail pharmacies about their nondiscrimination obligations to ensure access to reproductive health care services, including medications used to terminate pregnancies. As we previously discussed, the Biden Administration and OCR have been taking action as some states seek to restrict or criminalize abortion services in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.  

Continue Reading OCR Issues Anti-Discrimination Guidance for Pharmacies Related to Reproductive Health Care Services

The Biden Administration is taking action to support access to reproductive health care in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. This is occurring as some states seek to restrict or criminalize abortion services. So far, there has been action by the White House, through an Executive Order, and by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through guidance on HIPAA and privacy. 

Continue Reading Biden Acts to Protect Reproductive Health Care Services: Executive Order and Privacy Guidance

Last week, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released data—for the first time—reporting on mergers, acquisitions, consolidations, and changes of ownership of Medicare enrolled hospitals and nursing homes over the past six years. This data, expected to be updated on a quarterly basis moving forward, has been lauded as an important step in improving transparency around nursing facility ownership and enhancing nursing home safety and quality of care. In conjunction with the release of CMS’ data, HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) released a related report analyzing the data and examining trends in changes of ownership over the past six years. In its report, ASPE also offers preliminary insights into how the data on ownership changes can support implementing policies bolstering competition in health care as well as ensuring program integrity in Medicare and Medicaid.

Continue Reading Changing Hands, Not Washing Them: CMS’ First Report on Nursing Home M&A Data