This time of year, numerous bills get passed and approved by the New Jersey Legislative Branch and Governor. This year is no different. This update focuses on several bills impacting health care that have recently become law. We will issue another update that addresses other bills that have also become law.
On January 19, 2022, New Jersey Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 283, which requires workers at health care and high-risk congregate settings to be up‑to‑date with their COVID‑19 vaccinations, including any booster shots for which workers are eligible. There is no testing alternative.
CMS Issues Final Rule on Adjusting DMEPOS Fee Schedule
86 FR 73860: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) has issued a final rule establishing methodologies for adjusting the Medicare durable medical equipment, prosthetics, orthotics, and supplies (“DMEPOS”) fee schedule amounts. This final rule also classifies adjunctive continuous glucose monitors as durable medical equipment (“DME”) under Medicare Part B.
Yesterday, on January 11, 2022, Governor Phil Murphy issued Executive Order No. 280, reinstating the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency for the State of New Jersey which had been previously terminated. This action comes as a result of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus.
On December 28, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) updated its policy mandating the vaccine for healthcare workers.
The Provider Relief Fund Reporting Portal was recently updated to reflect a notification from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services that the Reporting Portal will be reopened for the completion or submission of reports for Reporting Period 1 from 9:00 am on December 13, 2021 to 11:59 pm on December 20, 2021.
On December 10, 2021, President Biden signed the bipartisan Protecting Medicare and American Farmers from Sequester Cuts Act, delaying the impending Medicare pay cuts facing physicians in 2022. Specifically, the bill continues to exempt Medicare from sequestration, which is the process of automatic, across-the-board spending reductions under which budgetary resources are permanently cancelled to enforce specific budget policy goals, until March 31, 2022.
CMS Halts Enforcement of COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate
On December 2, 2021, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released a memorandum announcing that it will not enforce the new rule requiring vaccination of healthcare workers within Medicare and Medicaid‑certified facilities.
Conflicting Rulings in 340B Contract Pharmacy Challenges
On November 8, 2021, federal judges from the District of New Jersey and District of Columbia issued conflicting opinions as to whether pharmaceutical companies are required to offer discounts to third-party pharmacies under the 340B federal drug-pricing program. As to New Jersey, the Court concluded that “drug companies cannot unilaterally restrict sales of products discounted under the 340B program to contract pharmacies.”
Federal Court Halts Vaccine Mandate for Healthcare Workers
A federal judge in the District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri granted an injunction yesterday that temporarily halted the implementation of the federal COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers. The Court found, among other things, that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) had no clear authority from Congress to enact the vaccine mandate for providers and that the mandate could lead to staffing shortages.