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COVID-19 Legal/Regulatory/Authorities Resources
Topic Collection
July 9, 2020

Topic Collection: COVID-19 Legal/Regulatory/Authorities Resources

This Topic Collection focuses on plans, tools, templates, and other immediately implementable resources to help with COVID-19 preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation efforts, focusing on legal and regulatory authorities.

Please refer to CDC’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 webpage for the most up-to-date clinical guidance on COVID19 outbreak management.

If you have COVID-19 best or promising practices, plans, tools, or templates to share with your peers, please visit the ASPR TRACIE Information Exchange COVID-19 Information Sharing Page (registration required) and place your resources under the relevant topic area. Resources specific to legal and regulatory authorities can be placed under the COVID-19 Legal/Regulatory/Authorities Resources Topic.

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This document is detailed list of actions that hospitals and healthcare providers may take to protect their employees, patients, and communities during the COVID-19 response. Actions are listed under eight steps: 1) continue to assess preparedness, 2) properly screen and identify patients for COVID-19, 3) care for infected patients, 4) report to public health officials, 5) protect and manage hospital employees, 6) develop or review vaccination policies, 7) manage communications, and 8) properly bill Medicare. It also includes links to additional resources.
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This document provides an overview of the COVID-19 pandemic along with a rapid legal preparation checklist covering the following issues: communications, privacy, key supplies and services, provider issues for physicians and allied professionals, due diligence for critical contract terms, negotiating gaps, facility authorities, and emergency legal partners.
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American Hospital Association. (2020). Making Telehealth Flexibilities Permanent: Legislation or Regulation? (Added 6/29/2020)
This document summarizes telehealth flexibilities available during the COVID-19 public health emergency via legislation or regulation. Flexibilities are organized by provider/patient location, eligible providers and facilities, types of services, technologies, and billing, payment, and coverage.
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Knowing what kinds of patient information can be released, to whom, and under what circumstances, is critical for healthcare facilities in disaster response. This guide is designed to answer frequently asked questions regarding the release of information about patients following an incident.
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This ASPR TRACIE TA response provides information on CMS waivers and declarations for COVID-19.
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Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. (2013). Emergency Authority and Immunity Toolkit.
This toolkit contains a review of key emergency authority and immunity concepts; a summary of federal laws and policies pertaining to emergency planning and response; and a series of fact sheets addressing fundamental issues or legal authorities, issue briefs, and state analysis guides.
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Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. (2020). ASTHO Legal Preparedness Series Scope of Practice Toolkit-FACT Sheet *.
This fact sheet highlights modified scopes of practice in select states due to COVID-19; Illinois, Massachusetts, and New York authorized licensed dentists to administer seasonal and H1N1 vaccine.
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Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2020). Coronavirus Waivers & Flexibilities.
This summary page provides a listing of all CMS waivers and flexibilities related to the current COVID-19 public health emergency, as well as topic-specific fact sheets and summary documents.
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Congressional Research Service. (2020). Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). (Added 7/9/2020.)
Congressional Research Service reports related to COVID-19 are listed on this page under the categories of: global issues, public health, economic impacts on individuals, impacts on business and the U.S. economy, executive branch response, congressional response and legislation, and legal analyses.
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COVID-19 Healthcare Resilience Task Force. (2020). COVID-19 Hospital Resource Package.
This document lists key COVID-19 guidance and resources for hospital administrators, hospital emergency planners, and infection control practitioners in the following topical areas: hospital surge, crisis standards of care, staffing surge and resilience, workforce protection, regulatory relief, equipment supply surge, and telemedicine. Each section contains links to Federal and non-Federal guidance to help hospitals prepare for and respond to a COVID-19 outbreak.
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Florida Court Education Council’s Publication Committee. (2020). Pandemic Influenza Benchguide: Legal Issues Concerning Quarantine and Isolation.
This bench book provides Florida judges with information they need for when they are presented with public health cases. The document begins with an introduction of public health law in the context of a public health emergency, executive powers in a public health emergency, and Florida Executive Branch procedures in an emergency. It then goes into the role of Florida Courts, and other legal issues for the Courts to consider during a public health emergency. It also provides guidance for maintaining essential court functions during a pandemic.
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McLaughlin, P., Mitchell, M., and Thierer, A. (2020). A Fresh Start: How to Address Regulations Suspended during the Coronavirus Crisis. (Added 6/4/2020.) George Mason University, Mercatus Center.
This policy brief suggests that rules and regulations suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic be reviewed for their effectiveness to determine whether they should be suspended permanently, modified, or reinstated.
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This toolkit provides guidance to state health agencies to engage pharmacies in supporting the response to influenza pandemics and other vaccine-related public health emergencies. It describes steps to take and templates to use in developing an MOU between public health agencies and pharmacies.
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Network for Public Health Law. (2020). Emergency Legal Preparedness: Novel Coronavirus.
This PowerPoint presentation provides a primer on the novel coronavirus, including a timeline of activities and an overview of relevant legal emergency preparedness and response issues.
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This web page includes links to waivers that allow suspension of licensing and other requirements for various health professionals and healthcare settings.
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The COVID Tracking Project. (2020). COVID-19 Data. (Added 4/24/2020.)
The COVID Tracking Project is a volunteer organization launched by The Atlantic to collect U.S. data on COVID-19 testing and patient outcomes. The page provides data by state on number of tests completed, hospitalizations, intensive care unit patients, patients on ventilators, patients who have recovered, and deaths. It also provides grades on the quality of each state’s data.
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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR). (2020). HIPAA, Civil Rights, and COVID-19.
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued several Notifications of Enforcement Discretion to announce that it will not impose penalties for violations of the HIPAA Rules against covered entities or business associations in connection with certain activities related to the nationwide public health emergency. This webpage provides a complete list of OCR’s Notifications related to COVID-19.
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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response and Office for Civil Rights. (n.d.). Public Health Authority Disclosure Request Checklist. (Accessed 4/22/2020.)
This guidance provides information to help covered entities determine when it is permissible to disclose information to public health authorities during a public health emergency.
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Washington State Department of Health. (n.d.). Legal and Regulatory Framework for Emergency Public Health Medical Response. (Accessed 3/26/2020.)
This document outlines the authorities of local health officers, the State Board of Health, the state health officer, and the governor during an emergency. It also addresses state liability protections for providers, volunteers, and facilities during emergencies; the Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners Act; federal emergency management authorities; and emergency credentialing and licensure verification. It concludes with questions and answers on regulatory flexibilities during medical surge incidents.
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This table provides a summary by practitioner type of licensing pathways, the requirements and process, estimated time to receive approval, and applicability to telehealth and virtual care. While intended for healthcare workers in the state of Washington, some of the content may apply in other states.
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Agencies and Organizations


American Bar Association. COVID-19 Resources.
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American Health Law Association. Coronavirus Pandemic.
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Federation of State Medical Boards. COVID-19.
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The Network for Public Health Law. COVID-19.
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