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Antidotes for America’s Addiction Crisis

Opioid addiction and abuse has exploded into a national epidemic. Every three weeks, America faces a death toll equivalent to the September 11th attacks due to drug overdoses, 75 percent of which are from opioid use. ...more

The Doctor Is In – or Better Be to Satisfy PA’s New Informed Consent Requirements

With the increased presence of qualified staff members in a physician’s office and the constant time-pressure on physicians, many patients rely heavily on individuals other than the physician to answer questions about...more

Anchors Away! Physical Therapists Rejoice (and Book a Tropical Getaway) as CMS Extends Locum Tenens Arrangements

Even doctors get sick sometimes, or need to take a vacation, and when they do, patients are not seen and billing does not happen. Cue locum tenens – a system used by providers to ensure continuity of care and revenue when...more

Organizations Want to Cry After WannaCry Ransomware Attacks

Earlier this month a massive ransomware attack spread throughout 150 countries, infecting 300,000 computers and crippling businesses across the globe. The ransomware, called “Wannacry,” infiltrated a variety of institutions,...more

Securing ePHI in a Mobile Health World

Could a lost cell phone or laptop cost your organization millions of dollars? Mobile devices have enabled vast improvements in the efficiency and quality of healthcare delivery. ...more

Beware of the Man-In-The-Middle: Malicious Eavesdroppers on the Internet

Imagine this: Dr. Primary is treating Patty Patient for substance abuse and emails Patty Patient’s protected health information (PHI) to a treatment clinic. Before the email arrives at the clinic, it is intercepted by a third...more

Medical Marijuana Act Clouds the Rights of Employers to Establish and Enforce Marijuana Policies

Pennsylvania’s recently passed Medical Marijuana Act (MMA) has left employers dazed and confused about whether they may continue to enforce zero tolerance drug policies. The MMA, which provides qualifying patients with access...more

CMS Grants Eleventh Hour Extension for Attesting to Meaningful Use

Providers participating in the Medicare Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program now have an additional thirteen days to register and attest to meeting the meaningful use requirements for 2016. The Centers for...more

Time is of the Essence When Reporting a Breach of PHI

The failure to timely report a breach of unsecured protected health information (PHI) has cost Presence Health (one of the largest health systems in Illinois) almost half of a million dollars. Earlier this month,...more

Countdown to Compliance for Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

If you are an entity covered by Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Section 1557), you have less than a week to prepare your non-discrimination notices and taglines. The final rule implementing...more

The Doctor Will See You Right Now: Understanding Urgent Care Centers

In today’s busy world, convenience is a prized commodity. From pre-ordering and paying online for your favorite Starbucks drink to pulling up instantaneous directions on Google Maps, people value solutions that save time and...more

Record-Breaking HIPAA Settlement Sends Strong Message to Covered Entities

This month marked the largest HIPAA settlement to-date for a single entity. Advocate Health Care Network (“Advocate”) agreed to pay $5.5 million and adopt a corrective action plan after an investigation by the Department of...more

HIPAA Compliance Is a Health Care Entity’s Secret Weapon in Preventing and Combating Ransomware Attacks

One of the fastest growing areas of cybercrime is ransomware. Ransomware is a type of malicious software that encrypts data and makes it inaccessible to authorized users. The hackers who orchestrate ransomware attacks demand...more

Breach of ePHI Results in $2.7 Million Fine

Oregon Health & Science University (“OHSU”) has paid $2.7 million to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) to settle allegations that it violated the Health Insurance Portability...more

Ask the Health Law Gurus™: Can a Prison Forcibly Medicate an Inmate with a Psychotropic Drug against the Inmate’s Will?

Question: Can a Pennsylvania prison forcibly administer a psychotropic medication to an inmate against the inmate’s will? Answer: In Pennsylvania, a prison’s ability to forcibly medicate an inmate with a psychotropic...more

Ask the Health Law Gurus™: What is a Non-Compete Clause in an Employment Contract? Is it Enforceable?

Question: I have heard about non-compete clauses being negotiated in employment agreements with physicians. What is a non-compete clause? What does it mean if my contract has a non-compete clause?...more

False Claims Act Penalties Moving Full Steam Ahead

By August 1, 2016, all federal agencies must adjust their civil monetary penalties, including penalties required by the False Claims Act (“FCA”), to account for inflation. Last month, the Railroad Retirement Board, which...more

Spring Showers Bring HIPAA Breaches

OCR has announced several recent settlement agreements to resolve violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”). These settlement amounts range from $25,000 to $3.9 million dollars and...more

SOS Answered: New Guidance on HIPAA for App Developers

Amidst criticism that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) lags behind technological innovation, the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) released new guidance to aid app developers in determining how...more

Ask the Health Law Gurus™: What Is a Civil Monetary Penalty and How Is It Different from an OCR Settlement?

The Health Law Gurus™ are here to help you stay current on issues and breaking news in health law. To help you stay up-to-date, we are excited to announce our new segment, “Ask the Health Law Gurus™.” Each month, we will...more

Historic Moment: Husband Reports Wife’s HIPAA Violation Triggering Six Figure Penalty Against Employer

For the second time in history, the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) has imposed a civil monetary penalty (“CMP”) against a covered entity for violations of the Health Insurance and Portability Act (“HIPAA”). Lincare, Inc., a...more

False Claims about Encryption Cost an Arm, a Leg, and a Tooth

Earlier this month, Henry Schein Practice Solutions, Inc. (“Schein”), a provider of office management software to dental practices, learned the hard way that exaggerating the capabilities of its products can be very costly....more

Traveling for Medical Care — The Increasing Popularity of Medical Tourism

Medical tourism is the term used to describe the movement of patients across international borders in pursuit of medical care and treatment. While in the United States the term is usually associated with Americans leaving the...more

Looking Ahead to 2016 and Beyond: Could the Precision Medical Initiative Revolutionize the Way Patients Receive Medical Treatment?

The Precision Medicine Initiative (“PMI”) was officially unveiled in President Obama’s January 2015 State of the Union address. Precision medicine is an emerging approach for disease prevention and treatment that considers an...more

Are Wearable Devices a Privacy Nightmare?

Wearable devices, such as fitness trackers and smart watches, have taken the United States technology industry by storm. In the past three years, there has been a 500% increase in the number of fitness bands and activity...more

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