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First Stand-Alone Telemedicine Legislation Close to Becoming Law

The Expanding Capacity for Health Outcomes (ECHO) Act (S.2873) was sent to the President for approval on December 8, 2016. The ECHO Act was passed by the House on December 6, 2016, and prior to that, by the Senate on November...more

New POS Code for Telehealth Distant Site Providers

A new Place of Services or POS code for Telehealth services (POS 02) will go into effect on January 1, 2017. The descriptor for the code, which is for use by the physician or other clinician furnishing telehealth services...more

CMS Clarifies Its 855R Policies

Recently CMS issued Change Request (CR) # 9552 clarifying certain Medicare provider enrollment policies in Chapter 15 of the CMS Program Integrity Manual (Pub. 100-08). The clarifications relate to the function of the 855R...more

Recent HHS Report Provides Insight into Government’s View of the Challenges of and Need for Expanded Telemedicine

The Department of Health and Human Services has issued, at Congress’s request, a report on the Department’s progress and efforts in the telemedicine arena, which has yet to be fully integrated within the government’s health...more

Is Your Health Care Facility Prepared for an Active Shooter? [Video]

How prepared is your health care facility for the unimaginable? No one wants to think an active shooter situation could occur on their hospital campus or in their medical facility. But, the more prepared you are, the better...more

Proposed Cardiac, Hip, and Femur Episode Payment Models Are Next Generation from BPCI and CJR

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule on July 25, 2016, entitled, Advancing Care Coordination Through Episode Payment Models (EPMs); Cardiac Rehabilitation Incentive Payment Model; and...more

Telemedicine Gains Further Acceptance

Last month the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted ethical guidance related to the practice of telemedicine and telehealth which further expands upon the policy report on Coverage and Payment for Telemedicine [PDF] it...more

OCR Clarifies Parameters of Covered Entities' Fees for PHI Copies

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently released new guidance and FAQs (OCR Guidance) addressing individuals’ rights to access their protected health information (PHI) under the Health Insurance Portability and...more

Proposed Changes to the Part 2 Regulations: Another Example of Necessary Flexibility in the Wake of Changes to Health Care...

On February 9, 2016, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) published a proposed rule to update and modernize the Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records regulations governing...more

All Right Stop, Collaborate and Listen! CMS Is Back with Its Brand New Invention, Preparing for CJR Gainsharing

Understandably, there is anticipation surrounding the April 1st start date for CMS’s newest bundled payment program, the Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement (CJR) program. As participant hospitals consider gainsharing...more

WEBINAR: Protecting Your Patients, Workforce and Visitors from Workplace Violence and Active Shooters

The Ober|Kaler Health Care General Counsel Institute presented this webinar on key considerations for health care facilities in protecting patients, workers and visitors from workplace violence and active shooter situations....more

Limited Modifications in Final ACO Fraud and Abuse Waivers Most Notably Include Cut of Gainsharing CMP Waiver

Nearly four years after publishing their joint interim final rule with comment period, effective November 2, 2011 (IFC), the OIG and CMS (Agencies) have finalized the waivers of various fraud and abuse laws in the context of...more

OIG Pushes OCR to Step Up HIPAA Enforcement

In two recent reports, each with a specific focus, the OIG strongly recommended that the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) step up its HIPAA oversight and enforcement activities. One report assessed the OCR’s oversight of covered...more

Proposed 2016 Physician Fee Schedule Would Impact Medicare Shared Savings Program

The proposed Physician Fee Schedule for 2016 [PDF] contains several provisions that are likely to have an impact on the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP). These provisions focus in large part on quality measures and the...more

Medicare Shared Savings Program - 2015: What's Changed, What's New, and What's to Come?

The most recent Shared Savings Program final rule, published in the Federal Register on June 9, 2015, finalizes a number of the revisions to the original November 2011 final rule that CMS proposed on December 8, 2014. In...more

Expedited Licensure Process Supports the Continued Growth of Telemedicine

All signs show that the use and acceptance of telemedicine within the health care industry is growing. Until recently, state medical boards were not as quick to support the provision of medical services across state lines....more

Preparing for an Active Shooter Incident in a Health Care Facility

The Ober|Kaler Health Care General Counsel Institute presented this webinar discussion of key considerations in addressing an active shooter situation, including specific considerations within health care facilities. Not only...more

OHCQ Mandates Submission of Policies on Resident Access to Medical Records

Maryland nursing homes must submit their policies and procedures for resident access to and requests for medical records to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's Office of Health Care Quality (OHCQ) by...more

Audits and Appeals: A Routine Cost of Doing Business with Medicare

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has unleashed an alphabet of auditors to identify overpayments. These auditors are armed with the authority to conduct pre-payment reviews, and post-payment audits, as well as...more

The Trend of Stricter State Data Breach Laws Continues with Florida

Florida’s new Florida Information Protection Act, Fl. Stat. § 501.171, became effective July 1, 2014. The new law repeals and replaces Florida’s existing data breach notification requirements (Fl. Stat. § 817.5681) with more...more

WEBINAR: Preparing for the HITECH September Deadline - Tips for Negotiating Effective Business Associate Agreements under HIPAA

Business Associate Agreements (BAAs), in the current regulatory and technological environment, require careful review and negotiation of the implementation of the regulatory requirements. In meeting the September 23, 2014...more

The Self-Referral Disclosure Protocol: Settlement and Enforcement Trends (Presentation)

The Self-referral Disclosure Protocol (SRDP) permits health care providers to voluntarily disclose violations of the federal physician self-referral law, also called the Stark law. Emily Wein has presented a webinar...more

OCR Clarifies Permitted Disclosures, Including Mental Health Care

The disclosure of mental health records and other disclosure-related issues tends to be less than clear for providers in their efforts to comply with the federal privacy rules. Such issues relate to appropriate disclosures to...more

Self-pay Confidentiality Rights: How Far Do Those Rights Go?

The HIPAA Privacy Rule has always provided an individual patient the right to request special, confidential treatment of his or her protected health information (PHI). That right is not absolute, however. Covered entities...more

First HIPAA Settlement with County Government

On March 6, 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights settled potential HIPAA violations with the Skagit County Public Health Department in Washington State for $215,000. Initially, OCR’s...more

3/28/2014  /  Data Protection , EHR , Healthcare , HIPAA , PHI , Settlement
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