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On The Eighth Day of Privacy, Health Care Systems (Over)Shared Data

When is “sharing” too much of a good thing? And will it get worse for health care systems in 2015? Data sharing has become a point of sharp focus in the efforts to improve the quality and efficiency of health...more

CMS’s Proposed Changes to the MSSP Aim to Grow Two-Sided Risk Models and Modify Processes for Evaluating and Facilitating Care...

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has published long-awaited changes to the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP). The official version of the proposed rule (the Proposed Rule), released December 8th, 2014,...more

Provider Beware: HIPAA and State Privacy Laws May Inform Negligence Suits

A recent opinion from the Connecticut Supreme Court illustrates that HIPAA is not the only law that covered entities and business associates must worry about if an unauthorized disclosure of protected health information (PHI)...more

Illinois Legislature Passes Anti-Markup Law Applicable to Pathology Services

Last Thursdday both chambers of the Illinois legislature voted to override the Governor’s amendatory veto and passed Public Act 098-1127, which prohibits a physician from charging a markup on anatomic pathology services if...more

OCR’s New Bulletin on Ensuring Privacy in Public Health Emergencies

This week, the HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) issued a bulletin (Bulletin) to remind covered entities and business associates that “the protections of the Privacy Rule are not set aside during an emergency.” The...more

Fraud and Abuse Waivers for MSSP ACOs Extended Another Year

Fridays are for fraud and abuse news-related releases, yet again. Last Friday, the HHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released a notice (Notice) informing the public that it has delayed the release of a final rule...more

Mintz Levin Health Care Qui Tam Update - Recent Developments & Unsealed False Claims Act Cases: October 2014

Trends & Analysis - Between our last Qui Tam Update and the end of June, 65 health care–related qui tam cases were unsealed (28 in April, 18 in May, and 19 in June). Within those 65 cases...more

Proposed Rule Issued by OIG Realigns Its Enforcement Views with Health Care Reform Goals

Fridays never seem to be slow in the health care regulatory world. On Friday, October 3rd, the HHS Office of the Inspector General (OIG) issued a highly anticipated proposed rule (the Proposed Rule) that provides amendments...more

Cliff Notes from the Joint OCR/NIST HIPAA Security Conference

As a service to our readers, we have distilled last week’s joint HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) and National Institute of Standards in Technology (NIST) conference, “Safeguarding Health Information: Building Assurance...more

10/1/2014  /  Encryption , HHS , HIPAA , NIST , OCR , Risk Assessment , Training

CMS Releases MSSP and Pioneer ACO Data on Shared Savings and Losses – Where Do We Go From Here?

On September 16, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced key shared savings and losses results of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) that began participating in the Medicare Shared Savings...more

NIST Vetting Guidance Valuable for Health Care Organizations Seeking to Use Third-Party Apps

The mobile app and wearables market in health care is booming, most recently evidenced by Apple’s entry into the market with its widely-anticipated “HealthKit,” a purportedly secure platform that allows mHealth apps to share...more

NIST Issues Draft Report Enumerating Risks and Protections to Consider When Evaluating Mobile Apps for Your Enterprise

As the world recovers from the excitement leading up to Tuesday’s Apple Live Event announcement of the new iPhone 6 and Apple Watch, mobile app developers are chomping at the bit to create software that leverages the new...more

New Connecticut Pharmacy Rewards Disclosure Bill Took Effect July 1

On June 12th, Connecticut governor Dannel P. Malloy signed into law ”An Act Concerning Pharmacy Rewards Programs And Protected Health Information“. The law went into effect July 1st, and applies to pharmacy retailers in the...more

Five Lessons from OCR’s Report to Congress on Breaches and HIPAA Rules Compliance

Last week, the HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) released two reports required by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act: (i) the Annual Report to Congress on Breaches of Unsecured...more

The ONC’s Health IT Vision Plan: A Building Under Construction

The HHS Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) released its report “Connecting Health and Care for the Nation: A 10-Year Vision to Achieve an Interoperable Health IT Infrastructure” (the “Vision Plan”) last week to help...more

6/13/2014  /  EHR , Healthcare , HHS , HITECH , Medicaid , Medicare , ONC

Connecticut Pharmacy Rewards Program Disclosure Bill Could Cause Headaches

The Connecticut State Senate recently passed a bill that would impose additional disclosure and consent requirements on retailers offering pharmacy rewards programs to consumers. If the bill passes the Connecticut House and...more

State Data Security Breach Notification Laws

The general definition of “personal information” or “PI” used in the majority of statutes is: An individual’s first name or first initial and last name plus one or more of following data elements: (i) Social Security number,...more

Compliance is No Joke: OCR Releases Security Risk Assessment Tool

On March 28, 2014, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) announced the release of an online and iPad app-based security risk assessment (SRA) tool. The tool is intended to help health care providers in small to medium sized...more

4/1/2014  /  Compliance , HIPAA , OCR , Risk Assessment

Five Key Decisions for ACOs Looking to Participate in the 2015 MSSP

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced the upcoming deadlines for the third round of new applications to the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP). Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) that...more

3/31/2014  /  ACOs , Affordable Care Act , CMS , Healthcare

For New Recovery Audit Contracting Cycle, CMS “RAC”s up Changes

Last month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced important changes to the Recovery Audit Program. The agency had already begun the procurement process to find new Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs) in...more

3/19/2014  /  CMS , Home Health Care , OMHA , Recovery Audit

Avoid the Anti-Corruption “Blacklist:” Chinese Agency Guidance

On March 1, 2014, Circular No. 50, which the Chinese National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) recently promulgated to regulate the conduct of pharmaceutical and medical device companies that do business in...more

En Español: HHS Agencies Issue Model Notices of Privacy Practices in Spanish

Last week, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and Office for the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) issued model Notices of Privacy Practices (NPPs) in...more

Mintz Levin Health Care Qui Tam Update - Recent Developments & Unsealed False Claims Act (FCA) Cases

Trends & Analysis: •We have identified 23 health care–related qui tam cases unsealed since last month’s Qui Tam Update. Only six of those cases were filed in 2013. The majority (13 cases) were filed in 2011 or 2012,...more

Health Care Reform Goals Fail to Persuade Court in Antitrust Challenge to Acquisition

On January 24, 2014, a federal district court judge validated the trend of recent increased Federal Trade Commission (FTC) scrutiny of physician practice consolidations and acquisitions by upholding the agency’s antitrust...more

Data Breach Wall of Shame: 2013's Highlights and Lessons

Since 2009, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) has posted all large data breaches – those that involve 500 or more individuals – online on its so-called “Wall of Shame.” In 2013, 160 large data breaches were reported to...more

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