The Coronavirus Crisis: The Impact of Federal Liability Immunity, Waivers, and Guidance on Health Care Providers

As novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases are identified daily, the federal government, through the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, continues to address the pandemic through various measures that affect health care providers.  

Recent federal government agency actions in response to COVID-19 include providing liability immunity for activities related to medical countermeasures against COVID-19, issuing specific 1135 waivers of certain federal regulations to provide additional flexibility to health care providers, providing guidance to health care providers on COVID-19 response efforts through state survey agency memoranda, updating available frequently asked questions related to COVID-19, developing new reimbursement codes for COVID-19 laboratory testing, and suspending many non-emergency CMS surveys to focus facility inspection resources on immediate jeopardy and complaints related to infection control and other serious health and safety threats.

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