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COVID-19 Viewpoints

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On August 4, CMS posted a proposed rule on CY 2021 Payment Policies, which included important updates about the expansion of Medicare covered telehealth services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we cover this and other important developments related to telehealth access during the pandemic and beyond.
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United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling recently announced that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Special Inspector General Brian D. Miller of the Office of the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery to investigate and prosecute fraud in the distribution of the funds authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security.
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Massachusetts Legislature Negotiating Extending the 2019-2020 Session Beyond July 31st

July 30, 2020 | Blog | By Steven Baddour, Daniel Connelly, Kaitlyn Sprague, Taylor Shepherd

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363 Sales as a Health Care M&A Tool, Part 1 – Overview

July 28, 2020 | Blog | By Deborah Daccord, William Kannel, Rachel Irving Pitts, Tim McKeon, David Chorney

Although health care may be well positioned to weather an economic downturn as an industry, certain sectors, including ambulatory surgery, vision, dermatology, dental, and other physician practices will bear the brunt of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders and patients delaying non-emergency care. While the onset of COVID-19 has delayed or derailed many transactions, strategic buyers should consider all of the different transaction tools available them to help maximize value and successfully get to closing. For knowledgeable investors and strategic buyers, now is the time to position yourself to acquire valuable health care assets at steep discounts.

For those unfamiliar with 363 Sales, a 363 Sale couples a flexible and fast process with ample liability protection for willing buyers. The primary benefit to a 363 Sale is that a buyer can acquire the debtor’s assets free and clear of virtually all liens, claims and encumbrances burdening the assets and the debtor. When a target is experiencing severe financial distress, the benefit of acquiring assets “free and clear of all liens” is extraordinarily valuable.
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The Future of Telehealth

July 24, 2020 | Video | By Sarah Beth Kuyers

Sarah Beth Kuyers discusses the actions taken at the federal and state level to increase access to telehealth in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and takes a look at the recent movement to make some of these changes permanent.  
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Beyond COVID: House Committee Advances Several FDA-Related Bills

July 23, 2020 | Blog | By Aaron Josephson, Margaret Jewett

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the House Energy & Commerce Committee continues work on several health policy issues, including Orphan Drug Act reform and continuous manufacturing.
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Securities & Capital Markets Viewpoints Thumbnail

Disclosure Considerations Regarding Operations, Liquidity, and Capital Resources

July 21, 2020 | Advisory | By Anne Bruno, Ginny H. Lee

This advisory discusses the SEC’s recent guidance on operations, liquidity, and capital resources disclosure that companies should consider in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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On July 2, a bipartisan group of six senators introduced legislation to waive 340B eligibility requirements for hospitals participating in the program during the COVID-19 pandemic. S. 4160 permits hospitals that are 340B-eligible based on their disproportionate share (“DSH”) adjustment percentage to maintain eligibility even if their DSH adjustment percentage falls below the requisite threshold.
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Securities & Capital Markets Viewpoints Thumbnail
This advisory summarizes recent proxy advisor guidance on and strategies for adjusting annual performance goals in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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On July 14, the federal government’s rescinded its July 6 modification to a student exchange program that would have required nonimmigrant students to leave the U.S. while pursuing a course of study entirely online.
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COVID-19 Relief Programs: Recent Criminal Enforcement and Anticipated Trends

July 9, 2020 | Blog | By Eoin Beirne, Nicole Henry

Leading up to a webinar on July 15, 2020, we are publishing a blog series covering the risks of enforcement against companies that received COVID-19 relief funds under the CARES Act and strategies for mitigating those risks.  This third, and final, installment of our series discusses emerging and anticipated criminal enforcement involving COVID-19 relief programs.
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Real Estate, Construction & Infrastructure Viewpoints Thumbnail
On July 6, 2020, Massachusetts entered Phase 3 of its four-phased approach to reopening.  The Administration also updated its Sector Specific Workplace Specific Safety Standards for Office Spaces to Address COVID-19, which were originally released on May 18.  
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Employment, Labor, and Benefits Viewpoints Thumbnail
On July 6, Massachusetts moved into Phase III of its reopening plan, which allows many businesses and offices spaces to return to the physical workplace. With Phase III comes a new mandatory safety standard: screening employees for COVID-19 or close contact at the beginning of each shift. While the Office Spaces Safety Standards are geared toward office workplaces, we interpret this requirement to encompass an employer’s obligations to both employees and visitors to the office.
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Lobbying and Public Policy Viewpoints Thumbnail

Senate & House Advance PPP Extension: Setting Stage for Next COVID-19 Stimulus Package

July 2, 2020 | Blog | By Alexander Hecht, R. Neal Martin, Anthony DeMaio

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COVID-19 Relief Programs: The Anticipated Wave of False Claims Act Cases and Oversight Agency Enforcement Activities

July 2, 2020 | Blog | By Brian Dunphy, Geoffrey Friedman, Caitie Hill, Jane Haviland, Karen Lovitch

Leading up to a webinar on July 15, 2020, we are publishing a blog series covering the risks of enforcement against companies that received COVID-19 relief funds under the CARES Act and strategies for mitigating these risks.  This second installment of our series discusses our predictions related to litigation and enforcement activities. We expect a substantial number of False Claims Act (“FCA”) investigations and lawsuits initiated mainly by whistleblowers (also known as “relators”). The FCA remains the government’s primary enforcement tool for pursuing alleged fraud by recipients of government funds, and FCA claims present substantial risk because the statute permits treble damages and significant per-claim penalties. For example, an erroneous $100,000 loan under the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) can result in $300,000 in FCA damages, or more.
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