CMS Administrator Seema Verma said HHS is extending the implementation deadlines because the health care industry needs flexibility while combating the country's coronavirus epidemic, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Wisconsin.
- District of Columbia: HHS on Tuesday said it is giving providers, health plans, and health IT developers extra time to meet new interoperability requirements under rules that CMS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT finalized in March. CMS Administrator Seema Verma said HHS is extending the implementation deadlines because the health care industry needs flexibility while combating the country's coronavirus epidemic. Separately, HHS' Office of Inspector General on Tuesday proposed a rule for levying financial penalties on entities that violate information-blocking requirements called for under the final rules (Pifer, Healthcare Dive, 4/21; Drees, Becker's Health IT, 4/21; Kim Cohen, Modern Healthcare, 4/21).
- Maryland: Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on Monday announced that Maryland has purchased from South Korea 500,000 tests to screen patients for the new coronavirus, as the state faces a shortage of the tests. Maryland will pay $9 million for the tests, which will come from South Korea-based LabGenomics (Nirappil et. al., Washington Post, 4/20; Wood/Broadwater, Baltimore Sun, 4/20).
- Wisconsin: Wisconsin's Legislature on Tuesday filed suit against Gov. Tony Evers (D) over the lockdown order issued by the state's Department of Health Services over the new coronavirus. The state's Legislature in the lawsuit argues that the department did not follow proper procedures when issuing the order, which has closed a number of businesses and orders Wisconsin residents to stay home unless they're seeking necessary services through May 26, and that Evers didn't seek state lawmakers' input on the order (Barrett, Wall Street Journal, 4/21).