New Legal Guidance and Resources to Expand Access to COVID-19 Vaccines for Elderly & Disabled

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the Administration for Community Living (ACL), and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have published several new resources to help states, vaccination providers, and others leading COVID-19 response activities improve access to vaccines for…

HHS updates Provider Relief Fund FAQs

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has updated its Provider Relief Fund FAQs related to “Terms and Conditions,” “Ownership Structures and Financial Relationships,” and “Use of Funds.” Specifically, the updates relate to recoupment of funds; the allowable timeframe to calculate COVID-19 expenses or lost revenue; oversight and enforcement mechanisms; conditions for accepting additional PRF payments;…

Cyber Alert: Mitigating Microsoft Exchange Server Vulnerabilities

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) is sharing the following Updated Alert on Mitigating Microsoft Exchange Vulnerabilities to assist HIPAA-covered entities and their business associates in addressing serious threats to Microsoft Exchange servers.  Organizations are encouraged to review the information below and take appropriate action. The…

Becerra Narrowly Confirmed as Next HHS Secretary

The United States Senate confirmed former California congressman and Attorney General Xavier Becerra to be the next Seceretary of Health & Human Services (HHS) by a vote of 50-49, with all Democrats voting to support the nominee and Susan Collins (R-ME) the sole Republican also voting to confirm. It is the narrowest confirmation of any…

HCBS News Roundup

Biden Addresses the Nation President Joe Biden delivered his first prime-time address to the nation last night, setting a timetable for a return to something resembling normality and almost begging Americans to take the COVID-19 vaccines and continue to abide by social distancing guidelines. Biden ordered states to make all adults eligible for the vaccine…

OIG Warns of COVID-19 Fraud

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General is alerting the public about fraud schemes related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Scammers are using telemarketing calls, text messages, social media platforms, and door-to-door visits to perpetrate COVID-19-related scams. Fraudsters are offering COVID-19 tests, HHS grants, and Medicare prescription cards in exchange…

Becerra Confirmation Hearings Cover Pandemic Plans, More Provider Funds

Congressional hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday (February 23, 24) of this week for Xavier Becerra, President Biden’s nominee to be the next Secretary of the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), revealed a core of Republican opposition to his confirmation, but it appears he has strong support from his fellow Democrats. If confirmed, Becerra…

Reports: Biden to Nominate Chiquita Brooks-LaSure as CMS Admin

According to reports, President Joe Biden will select Chiquita Brooks-LaSure to be the next administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the largest component of the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), with ten offices around the country, more than 6000 employees, and over $1 trillion in annual expenditures. CMS has…

HHS Proposes Changes To The HIPAA Regulations

On January 21, 2021 the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) issued proposed changes to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule to support individuals’ engagement in their care, remove barriers to coordinated care, and reduce regulatory burdens on the health care industry. Several of…

Webinar: Bridging the Digital Divide for HCBS Beneficiaries (Part I)

The Department of Health & Human Services will host an important new webinar, “Bridging the Digital Divide for HCBS Beneficiaries,”  produced by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). This webinar is part of a monthly series that invites subject matter experts and practitioners from across the…