Governor Cuomo confirmed that he will sign an Executive Order allowing outpatient elective procedures to begin April 28, 2020 in facilities located in counties that have been least hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, counties which have twenty five percent (25%) hospital bed capacity and less than ten (10) COVID-19 hospitalizations in the prior ten (10) days (the “Criteria”) are eligible to begin elective surgeries. Restrictions on elective surgery WILL REMAIN IN PLACE in the following counties: Bronx, Queens, Rockland, Nassau, Clinton, Yates, Westchester, Albany, Richmond, Schuyler, Kings, Suffolk, New York, Dutchess, Sullivan, Ulster, Erie, Orange and Rensselaer Counties.

A facility that is located within an eligible county but individually fails to meet the Criteria (e.g., if a hospital in an eligible county has had more than ten (10) COVID-19 admissions within ten days) is not eligible to perform elective procedures. Furthermore, a facility that is initially eligible must cease performing elective procedures if at any time the facility fails to meet the Criteria (e.g., if a hospital’s bed capacity drops below twenty-five percent (25%)).

It is not yet known if this authority to restart elective procedures will apply to ambulatory surgery centers and office based surgery facilities as well as hospitals. It is anticipated that additional information will become available when the Executive Order is officially posted.

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Should you have any questions regarding the above, please contact the Garfunkel Wild attorney with whom you regularly work, or contact us at info@garfunkelwild.com.  

Click Here to download the Legal Alert.

 

Strafford CLE Webinar – National Practitioner Data Bank: Hospital Reporting Obligations, Reporting Immunity, and Physician Strategies

April 22, 2020

Speaker: Leonard M. Rosenberg

Garfunkel Wild Partner/Director Leonard M. Rosenberg will present at the Strafford Webinar – National Practitioner Data Bank: Hospital Reporting Obligations, Reporting Immunity, and Physician Strategies on April 22, 2020.

This CLE webinar will guide healthcare counsel on the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) reporting obligations for hospitals. The panel will address navigating through the gray areas of reporting and examine how the courts have dealt with immunity from liability for reporting, and discuss the physician’s perspective.

Click here for details.

 

On April 14, 2020, Governor Murphy signed S-2333/A-3910 into law, which provides civil and criminal immunity to certain health care professionals and health care facilities during the Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency declared by the Governor in Executive Order 103 of 2020 for certain conduct. The new law also authorizes temporary reinstatement and recertification of certain professional certifications to assist with the response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (“COVID-19“) pandemic.

Immunity: Under the new law, (1) a health care professional will not be liable for civil damages for injury or death alleged to have been sustained as a result of an act or omission by the health care professional in the course of providing medical services in support of the State’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic during the Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency; and (2) a health care facility or a health care system that owns or operates more than one health care facility will not be liable for civil damages for injury or death alleged to have been sustained as a result of an act or omission by one or more of its agents, officers, employees, servants, representatives or volunteers, if, and to the extent, such individual is immune from liability pursuant to the new law.

Immunity also includes any act or omission undertaken in good faith by a health care professional or healthcare facility or health care system to support efforts to treat COVID-19 patients and to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during current State of Emergency, including but not limited to engaging in telemedicine or telehealth, and diagnosing or treating patients outside the normal scope of the health care professional’s license or practice.

The new law does not grant immunity to medical doctors and healthcare workers in New Jersey for all inpatient or outpatient procedures or any medical treatment rendered in the ordinary course of business unrelated to the COVID-19 emergency. The purpose of this new law is to ensure that there are no impediments to providing medical treatment related to COVID-19 and that all medical personnel supporting the COVID-19 response are granted immunity.

The immunity granted pursuant to this provision shall be retroactive to March 9, 2020.

Temporary Reinstatement and/or Reciprocity of EMTs and Paramedics: Emergency medical technicians (“EMTs”) and paramedics whose professional certification have expired, regardless of whether such professional has satisfied the requirements for reinstatement of an expired certification, may apply to the Department of Health for provisional certification to last for up to six months from the date of issuance, unless otherwise determined. The Department of Health may also grant temporary reciprocity to any paramedic who is not certified to practice in New Jersey but is either provisionally certified as a paramedic by the National Registry of EMTs or is certified as a paramedic in any other state or the District of Columbia, provided that the paramedic has not had a paramedic certification revoked by the Department of Health, does not currently have a paramedic certification under suspension by the Department of Health, and satisfies all other general requirements, for up to six months from the date of issuance, unless otherwise determined.

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Should you have any questions regarding the above, please contact the Garfunkel Wild attorney with whom you regularly work, or contact us at info@garfunkelwild.com.  

Click Here to download the Legal Alert.

 

On April 14, 2020, Governor Murphy signed legislation that revises the Millville Dallas Airmotive Plant Job Loss Notification Act (the “NJ WARN Act“), including recent amendments that were to take effect in July 2020. The NJ WARN Act requires businesses to give employees proper notice before taking certain employment actions, including business closures and mass layoffs. In light of the COVID-19 crisis, the State of New Jersey modified certain provisions of the NJ WARN Act in the event of a mass layoff or the termination of operations. Specifically, the recent amendments to the NJ WARN Act are now to take effect 90 days after the termination of Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 103 concerning the current Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency relating to the COVID-19 crisis. Some of the amendments key features are:

Expanded Definition of “Mass Layoff”: The definition of “mass layoff” now excludes a mass layoff that is necessary because of a fire, flood, natural disaster, national emergency, act of war, civil disorder or industrial sabotage, decertification from participation in the Medicare and Medicaid programs as provided under Titles XVIII and XIX of the federal “Social Security Act” (42 U.S.C. 1395 et seq.) or license revocation of a New Jersey health care facility. This means that layoffs due to national emergencies, including the COVID-19 crisis, do not trigger the NJ WARN Act. Before this amendment, the “national emergency” exception only applied to a “termination of operations.” This modification is effective retroactive to March 9, 2020, meaning that COVID-19 layoffs that occurred on and after that date are excluded from the definition of “mass layoff.”

Lower Threshold for Mass Layoffs: A mass layoff that impacts 50 or more employees triggers the NJ WARN Act, even if fewer than 33% of the employees are impacted. The existing NJ WARN Act provided that a layoff must result in the discharge of at least (1) 500 employees at the establishment, or (2) 50 employees representing at least 33% of the total workforce of the establishment. The amendment eliminates the 500 employee requirement and the 33% requirement from the 50 employee requirement.

New Notice and Severance Requirements: Employers with 100 or more employees must provide at least 90 days’ notice before the first employee is discharged as part of a mass layoff, termination of operations, or transfer of operations. The existing NJ WARN Act requires only 60 days’ notice. Employers must also provide discharged employees, including, part-time employees, with “severance pay equal to one week of pay for each full year of employment.” The existing NJ WARN Act obligated an employer to pay severance as a penalty if it failed to provide the required amount of notice.

Should you have any questions regarding the above, please contact the Garfunkel Wild attorney with whom you regularly work, or contact us at info@garfunkelwild.com.  

Click Here to download the Legal Alert.

 

Garfunkel Wild Complimentary Webinar – Personal Advance Care Planning in a Pandemic: How can I get my health care proxy, living will and estate planning documents in order?

Thursday, April 23, 2020
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT

Speakers:  Eve Green Koopersmith and Doris L. Martin

Garfunkel Wild’s  Eve Green Koopersmith and Doris L. Martin will present the webinar  “Personal Advance Care Planning in a Pandemic: How can I get my health care proxy, living will and estate planning documents in order” on April 23, 2020.

During the current public health emergency, it is more important than ever to make a plan to ensure that your wishes and instructions will be followed and financial affairs managed in the event something happens to you and you are not able to do so yourself.  In this webinar, we will discuss the different types of documents and advance directives that can be made to ensure that your health care wishes and preferences will be honored. We will explain the different types of advance directives available, including a health care proxy, living will, DNR and MOLST. We will also explain how to plan for management of your finances with a power of attorney and how to make a will to govern disposition of your assets after death. We will discuss how to sign these types of documents while staying safe at home.

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