News & Insights


May 22, 2023

Health Headlines – May 22, 2023

Fifth Circuit Stays Texas Ruling That Blocked ACA Preventative Care Mandate – On May 15, 2023, a unanimous three-judge panel for the Fifth Circuit issued a per curiam order temporarily staying the Texas U.S. District Court decision by Judge O’Connor which held that the ACA preventative care mandate (Mandate) is unenforceable. The Mandate requires coverage of medical treatments and screenings recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, including cancer and diabetes screenings and pregnancy and postpartum care. The Fifth Circuit panel granted the federal government’s request to stay Judge O'Connor's March decision pending appeal.

A copy of the Fifth Circuit order can be found here. More information regarding the March decision by Judge O’Connor can be found here.

Reporter, Amy O’Neill, Sacramento, +1 916 321 4812,

DEA Extends COVID-19 Telehealth Flexibilities – On May 10, 2023, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) extended by up to 18 months the authorization, established during the now-ended COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE), for certain healthcare practitioners to prescribe controlled substance medications without first having conducted an in-person medical evaluation of a patient.  Pursuant to DEA’s temporary rule, a DEA-registered practitioner may issue through November 11, 2023, a telemedicine prescription for a Schedule II-V controlled substance in accordance with the PHE prescribing standards (e.g., must be for a legitimate medical purpose; issued using a specified, interactive telecommunications system).  Thereafter, telemedicine prescribing can continue for one additional year (through November 11, 2024) in telemedicine relationships established by November 11, 2023.  In parallel, DEA will continue to evaluate the more than 38,000 comments submitted concerning its March 2023 proposed permanent rules to establish telemedicine prescribing standards for controlled substances.  The temporary rule extension is intended to accommodate very significant practical limitations on having telemedicine patients complete in-person medical evaluations, yet also seeks to “disincentivize [due to the period’s brevity] the creation of telemedicine companies that may seek to engage in problematic prescribing practices.”

The temporary rule can be found here. King & Spalding’s Client Alert on the March 2023 proposed rule is available here.

Reporter, Chris Markus, Washington, D.C., +1 202 626 2926,