Health Updates

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Health issues written by leading professionals.
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UPDATE: Got Data? Actual Harm Not Required for FTC Enforcement Action for Lax Security Measures

As anticipated, things are getting even more exciting with the case previously covered in Password Protected. Specifically, LabMD is appealing the landmark data security case between it and the Federal Trade Commission...more

CMS Postpones Pre-Claim Review Demonstration for Home Health Services

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it would postpone the initiation of the CMS Pre-Claim Review Demonstration for Home Health Services (the “Demonstration”) in Florida, which was scheduled to...more

Yuba Sutter Medical Center Hit With Ransomware

Yuba Sutter Medical Center in California (Yuba Sutter) has notified its patients that it has suffered a recent ransomware attack that caused parts of its network to be incapacitated. As a result, patient files were unable to...more

Appellate Court Notes

Appellate Court Advance Release Opinions: AC37588 - Prime Locations of CT, LLC v. Rocky Hill Development, LLC - When a commercial condominium unit owner’s association refused to grant their approval for a...more

Ugly details emerge on how Big Pharma fueled painkiller scourge

New information has surfaced about Big Pharma’s relentless campaign to sell the public on prescription, opioid painkillers-powerful, addictive drugs whose wide availability and abuse now has become a killer scourge that...more

Massachusetts Hospital Licensing Regulations Proposed Amendments – Key Take-Aways

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) has released for public comment proposed amendments to DPH’s Hospital Licensure Regulations (105 CMR 130.00) (the “regulations”). The proposed amendments are designed to...more

Precarious steps: patent eligibility for healthcare IT

The healthcare IT market, comprising electronic medical records, diagnostic systems and medical devices, is expected to top $100 billion this year. But this growth is tempered by an often hostile landscape for patenting,...more

Also In The News - Health Headlines - September 2016 #3

CMS Rejects Ohio’s Section 1115 Medicaid Demonstration Waiver Application – On September 9, 2016, CMS denied Ohio’s application for a new demonstration section 1115 Medicaid waiver, citing concerns over the State’s request to...more

Review of International Regulation of Social Media Promotions at the 2016 RAPS Conference

The Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS) held its annual Convergence conference last week in San Jose. The event certainly illustrated RAPS’s global influence given that the attendees represented many of the...more

Half a Loaf: Court Rejects ADA "Safe Harbor" But Approves Pre-Regulations Wellness Program as "Voluntary"

The EEOC’s attack on employee wellness programs as unlawful under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) that began in 2014 with three lawsuits, and continued with...more

Summer Fraud and Abuse Roundup

Now that the kids are back in school and summer vacations are in the rearview mirror, it’s time to catch up on recent fraud and abuse developments. The federal government was busy this summer negotiating a pair of settlements...more

News from Second and State

Yesterday was the first day of fall, and it seems the summer is truly behind us. The House of Representatives reconvened this week for the final stretch of the 2015-2016 legislative session. This week most of the action...more

New Nondiscrimination Rules Impact Health Care Providers and Health Plans

Earlier this year, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) finalized regulations under Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”). Section 1557 prohibits certain “covered entities”...more

Let’s Eat: New Calorie Disclosure Requirements Coming to an Ontario Restaurant Near You

Big changes are coming to Ontario’s restaurant landscape. As of January 1, 2017, the Healthy Menu Choices Act (Act) will require food service chains with 20 or more locations in Ontario to disclose calorie information for...more

Do CMS Ratings Punish Hospitals for Serving the Poor?

Does the CMS star rating system reward hospitals for serving the affluent and punish those that serve the poor? The answer is a resounding yes, according to a recently published analysis by Bloomberg BNA. The analysis...more

New Federal Telemedicine Grants Announced; Florida Not Listed

The U.S. Department of Agriculture just announced new grant funding awarded to seven telemedicine and 11 distance learning projects across 16 states to use technology to expand access to health care, substance misuse...more

Wisconsin Court Rejects Employer’s Argument That Wellness Programs Are Insulated from Disability Law

Trial to Be Scheduled on Retaliation Claim - MILWAUKEE - A federal court has ruled in favor of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in a disability discrimination case involving wellness programs filed...more

OIG Report Highlights MFCU Achievements

The OIG has released its Medicaid Fraud Control Units Fiscal Year 2015 Annual Report, which compiles data on investigations and prosecutions by the 50 MFCUs. According to the OIG, MFCUs attained 1,553 convictions in FY 2015,...more

Energy and Commerce Committee Clears Public Health Bills - September 2016

On September 21, 2016, the House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously approved the following public health bills: ..H.R. 4365, Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medications Act – to amend the Controlled...more

House Approves Medicare ESRD Coverage, Rural Hospital Supervision Bills

On September 21, 2016, the House of Representatives approved HR 5659, the Expanding Seniors Receiving Dialysis Choice Act of 2016, which would allow Medicare beneficiaries with end stage renal disease (ESRD) to enroll in...more

OIG Releases Series of Reports Focusing on Improper Medicaid EHR Incentive Payments

In August 2016, OIG released a series of reports focusing on the Medicaid electronic health record (EHR) incentive program for hospitals in West Virginia, Ohio, and Oklahoma. This continues a recent trend of reports focusing...more

Congressional Hearings Focus on Health Policy Issues - September 2016

A number of recent Congressional hearings have focused on health policy issues, including: ..Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearings on laboratory testing in the era of precision medicine, and...more

HHS Proposes Changes to State Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Rules

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of Inspector General (OIG) have proposed amendments to the regulations governing State Medicaid Fraud Control Units (MFCUs). The proposed rule would reflect...more

Can Antitrust Prevent Excessive Drug Price Increases?

The antitrust agencies are often asked to intervene in markets where pricing appears to be excessive to help protect consumers and stabilize markets. In the drug arena, healthcare providers, consumers and politicians have...more

Employee’s Wife Pleads Guilty to Charges After He Stole Patient Information

The Manhattan District Attorney announced this week that a former employee of Lenox Hill Hospital’s wife plead guilty to grand larceny, identity theft in the first degree, and criminal possession of stolen property after her...more

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