Elizabeth F. Hodge

Elizabeth F. Hodge

Akerman LLP

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Illinois’ Largest Health System Agrees to Stringent HIPAA Breach Settlement

The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced on August 4, 2016, a settlement agreement with Advocate Health Care Network, an integrated healthcare system with ten hospitals and a...more

8/10/2016 - Civil Monetary Penalty Data Breach Health Care Providers Healthcare HHS HIPAA HIPAA Breach Hospitals OCR Personally Identifiable Information PHI

Business Associates Beware! OCR Is Coming For You

Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced the first HIPAA settlement involving a business associate. Catholic Health Care Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia...more

7/8/2016 - Business Associates HIPAA HIPAA Breach OCR PHI Settlement

Lights, Camera, Settlement: OCR says a picture is worth $2.2 million

A New York hospital has settled with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) for $2.2 million after allowing a TV crew for the ABC documentary series “NY Med” to film patients...more

4/26/2016 - Covered Entities Film Industry HHS HIPAA Hospitals OCR Patient Privacy Rights PHI Prior Authorization Settlement

Shhh….OCR Releases New HIPAA Audit Protocol

Just in time for the Phase 2 audits, the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) quietly posted the updated HIPAA Audit Protocol on its website. The new audit protocol has been updated to include...more

4/12/2016 - Business Associates Covered Entities Health Care Providers HIPAA HIPAA Audits HIPAA Breach OCR PHI

Phase 2 of HIPAA Audits Is Underway – Covered Entities and Business Associates Beware

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (OCR) recently announced that it has started obtaining and verifying entity contact information to identify covered entities and business associates for...more

3/23/2016 - Breach Notification Rule Business Associates Covered Entities Health Care Providers HIPAA HIPAA Audits HIPAA Breach OCR

OCR Issues New Guidance on “Reasonable and Cost-Based” Fees Associated with Medical Record Copying and Access

On February 25, 2016, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) released a set of FAQs directed at healthcare providers and plans that are required to comply with the HIPAA Privacy Rule (the Privacy Rule). The guidance emphasizes that...more

3/17/2016 - Fees Health Care Providers HIPAA OCR PHI Privacy Rule

New CMS rule clarifies when 60-day overpayment clock starts ticking

Four years after publication of its proposed rule related to reporting and returning overpayments within 60 days, CMS has issued a final rule that responds to comments and provides greater clarity. The published rule is under...more

2/16/2016 - 60-Day Rule Affordable Care Act CMS False Claims Act (FCA) Health Care Providers Medicaid Medicare Overpayment Recovery Time Limits

HIPAA Privacy Rule Now Permits Reporting for Firearms Background Checks

On January 4, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule that modifies the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule. This modification expressly...more

1/12/2016 - Background Checks Firearms Gun Laws HIPAA NICS Privacy Rule

Medical Devices And Risks Of Unauthorized Disclosure Of Protected Health Information

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) kicked off the holiday season by publishing a settlement agreement under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)...more

12/2/2015 - Healthcare HIPAA Medical Devices Personally Identifiable Information Popular Settlement Agreements

Can We Talk? Florida Court Rejects Latest Challenge to Med Mal Presuit Authorization Law

In the latest challenge to a Florida law designed to promote early settlement of meritorious medical malpractice claims, the Florida First District Court of Appeal recently rejected a plaintiff’s arguments that 2013...more

7/24/2015 - Florida Healthcare HIPAA Medical Malpractice Negligence PHI Preemption

Recent HHS Settlement Highlights Risks of Electronically-Sharing Protected Health Information

On July 10, 2015, the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced its second settlement of the year for violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act...more

7/16/2015 - Compliance Data Breach Data Protection Data-Sharing Health Information Technologies Healthcare HHS HIPAA Hospitals Laptop Computers OCR PHI Settlement

IRS Says Hospitals Must List Physicians in Financial Assistance Policies

On June 26, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued guidance to clarify how charitable hospitals may comply with regulations issued by the Department of Treasury under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act...more

7/14/2015 - Affordable Care Act Charitable Organizations Compliance Covered Providers Financial Assistance Policies Health Care Providers Healthcare Hospitals IRS Physicians Section 501r Tax Exempt Entities

HHS Settlement: Dumpster-Diving Leads to Settlement for Improper Disposal of Documents Containing Protected Health Information

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (HHS) recently announced that it has reached an agreement with a small pharmacy to resolve potential HIPAA violations. The settlement arose from the...more

4/30/2015 - Covered Entities Document Destruction HIPAA Pharmacies PHI Popular Retailers Settlement

Talk Amongst Yourselves: HIPAA Does Not Preempt Florida Med Mal Presuit Authorization Law

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently concluded that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) does not prevent the application of a Florida law requiring...more

10/20/2014 - Data Protection EHR HIPAA Medical Malpractice PHI

Talk Amongst Yourselves: HIPAA Does Not Preempt Florida Med Mal Presuit Authorization Law

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently concluded that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) does not prevent the application of a Florida law requiring...more

10/15/2014

Florida Information Protection Act of 2014 - Florida Means Business When It Comes to Protecting Customers' Personal Information

On June 20, 2014, Governor Rick Scott signed into law the Florida Information Protection Act of 2014 ("FIPA"), which became effective July 1, 2014. FIPA expands the obligations of businesses and government entities that...more

7/29/2014

New OIG Special Fraud Alert Aimed at Laboratory Payments to Referring Physicians

On June 25, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a Special Fraud Alert entitled "Laboratory Payments to Referring Physicians."...more

7/11/2014 - Fraud Healthcare Healthcare Fraud HHS OIG Physicians

Florida Information Protection Act of 2014 - Florida Means Business When It Comes to Protecting Customers' Personal Information

On June 20, 2014, Governor Rick Scott signed into law the Florida Information Protection Act of 2014 ("FIPA"), which became effective July 1, 2014. FIPA expands the obligations of businesses and government entities that...more

7/11/2014 - Breach Notification Rule Data Breach Data Protection Personally Identifiable Information

Patient Records: Increasing Exposure for Privacy Breaches

Healthcare providers and businesses that store or process protected health information ("PHI") face increased scrutiny and significant fines for data privacy breaches and security lapses in the coming months....more

7/9/2014 - Popular

The Downside To Sharing – Two Hospitals To Pay Largest HIPAA Fine Yet

On May 7, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights ("OCR") announced the largest settlement to date under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 ("HIPAA"). New...more

5/9/2014 - Data-Sharing Healthcare HIPAA Hospitals Non-Judicial Settlement Agreements OCR Patient Confidentiality Breaches Patient Privacy Rights

The Government Is Here To Help: HHS Releases HIPAA Security Risk Assessment Tool For Small Providers

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS") has just released a new security risk assessment ("SRA") tool to assist small and medium sized health care practices (one to ten providers) conduct a HIPAA risk...more

4/1/2014 - HHS HIPAA Risk Assessment Small Business

CMS Now Requiring Qualified Health Plans To Accept Premium Payments From Certain Third Parties

As previously reported on November 13, 2013 and February 20, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ("CMS") has attempted to provide guidance as to when it is appropriate for issuers of "qualified health plans"...more

3/27/2014 - CMS Healthcare Premiums Qualified Health Plans

Unique Data Breach Settlement – A Sign Of Things To Come?

A judge in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida has approved a $3 million data breach class action settlement agreement between AvMed, Inc. and plaintiffs. The settlement arises out of a...more

3/5/2014 - AvMed Class Action Data Breach Data Protection Settlement

35 Days And Counting - R.I.P. Windows XP

Effective April 9, 2014, Microsoft will no longer provide technical support or security updates for the Windows XP operating system. According to Microsoft, personal computers running Windows XP after April 8, 2014 should not...more

3/3/2014 - Cybersecurity Data Breach HHS HIPAA Microsoft Risk Assessment

HHS Allows Third-Party Premium Payments By Tribes And Non-Profits

We previously reported that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS") has discouraged hospitals and other third parties from paying patients' premiums or cost-sharing. HHS stated in its November 4, 2013 FAQ...more

2/21/2014 - Affordable Care Act AIDS HHS Hospitals Indigenous Peoples Native American Issues Non-Profits Qualified Health Plans

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