Health Updates

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Behind the Curtain: Shkreli was NOT the Big Story on the Hill Today

Congress’s complex relationship with prescription drugs was on display today in the House of Representatives. In the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (OGR), Martin Shkreli pleaded the 5th at a hearing...more

Government Reports Compile Medicaid, Dual Eligible Beneficiary Spending, Enrollment Data

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report on trends in Medicaid managed care spending, enrollment, and oversight. Notably, the GAO reports that over 10 years (FY 2004 through 2014), federal Medicaid...more

CMS Issues Guide on Avoiding Readmissions in Diverse Medicare Populations

The CMS Office of Minority Health has released a “Guide to Preventing Readmissions among Racially and Ethnically Diverse Medicare Beneficiaries.” The guide highlights data indicating that racial and ethnic minority...more

Latest OCR Enforcement Action: Underbed Storage is Not Appropriate for PHI

Recent enforcement actions by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) have highlighted that, not surprisingly, Covered Entities should not leave medical records in a...more

Do the Restrictions on Advertising with Nutrition and Health Claims also Apply to Communications Addressed Exclusively to Health...

The Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) will soon decide on the issue of whether the restrictions on promoting foodstuffs with nutrition and health claims also apply to communications addressed exclusively to health...more

Health Care Outlook for 2016

In 2016, the Affordable Care Act will continue to be a contentious issue involving opposing legislative efforts and presidential debates. It has already been a major talking point in the campaigns of multiple 2016...more

President Obama Establishes “White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force” Led by VP Biden, Calls for $1 Billion Investment in Cancer...

President Obama recently signed a memorandum formally establishing a White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force to coordinate and strengthen federal and private efforts to support cancer research and treatment. The Task Force,...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

Governor Christie’s Veto of Hospital Fee Bill Tees Up Additional Litigation

On January 19, 2016, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed bipartisan legislation that sought to establish hospital “community service contributions” (“CSCs”) in hopes of avoiding litigation concerning the tax burden of...more

CMS Releases Guide to Preventing Readmissions Among Racially and Ethnically Diverse Medicare Beneficiaries

On January 26, 2016, the CMS Office of Minority Health released a new Guide to Preventing Readmissions among Racially and Ethnically Diverse Medicare Beneficiaries (Guide). The purpose of the Guide is to assist hospital...more

Senate Bill Would Strengthen Mandate That People With Disabilities Be Integrated in the Community

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) recently introduced the Disability Integration Act of 2015 (DIA) in the U.S. Senate. If passed, the bill would require states and health insurers to provide services to people with disabilities...more

FTC Supports Easing Dental Hygienist Restrictions, Increasing Access to Underserved

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC or Commission) released a statement on January 29 in support of a Georgia state bill that would further relax supervision requirements for dental hygienists. The proposed bill would expand...more

Senate Considering Bill to Speed Medicare Claims Appeals

In early December of last year, Orrin Hatch (Senate Finance Committee Chairman, R-UT) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) introduced the Audit and Appeals Fairness, Integrity, and Reforms in Medicare Act of 2015 (AFFIRM Act). The purpose of...more

Electronic Monitoring Notification and Consent Form Released

The Illinois Department of Public Health has released the Electronic Notification and Consent Form on Friday, January 29, 2016. The Authorized Electronic Monitoring in Long-Term Care Facilities Act (Public Act 099-0430)...more

HHS Publishes Guidance on Patient Access to Records under HIPAA

On January 7, 2016 the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) released a fact sheet and a series of frequently asked questions to help to clarify an individual’s right to access and obtain a copy of his or her health...more

Health Alert (Australia) - January 25, 2016

In This Issue: -Judgments; Legislation; and Reports -Excerpt from Judgments Commonwealth. Fair Work Commission 15 January 2016 - Lawrence v Calvary Home Care Services Ltd [2016] FWC 175 This...more

Taking the Temperature of Immigration Policy for Nurses

As we enter the throes of cold and flu season, thoughts naturally turn to matters of health and so it seems fitting that HRLegalist takes a look at visa options for foreign RNs, which has traditionally been more difficult...more

Telemedicine Momentum Picking up Steam as New Legislation Introduced in U.S. Senate

On February 3, 2016, a bipartisan group of Senators led by Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) have unveiled legislation that would expand the use of telemedicine and remote patient monitoring under...more

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

CMS Finalizes Medicaid Prescription Drug Rule – On January 21, 2016, CMS finalized a rule detailing reforms to the rebate and reimbursement systems for Medicaid prescription drugs, which the agency estimates “will save...more

Is This The Year Florida Recognizes Direct Primary Care?

Florida House Bill 37 and Florida Senate Bill 132, similar bills aiming to expressly authorize and regulate direct primary care medical home plans in the State of Florida (“DPCs”) and both stating that DPCs are not...more

Partnering with nonprovider sites: Tips to keep in mind

Provided applicable requirements are met, the Medicare program reimburses teaching hospitals for resident training that occurs both at the hospital itself and at clinical nonprovider locations, including, for example,...more

Final WHO Biosimilar Naming Proposal Resembles FDA Approach

On January 26, 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) unveiled the final version of its proposal for a worldwide biosimilar naming convention. The WHO proposes to add a “biologic qualifier” (BQ) suffix, which consists of...more

Drug Manufacturer Discount Cards: Accept With Caution

Pharmaceutical manufacturer discount card usage by government program beneficiaries has been an active area for government action in recent years. In a September 2014 Special Advisory Bulletin, the U.S. Department of Health...more

Outliers: CMS Explains its Reasoning for FY2004 Fixed Loss Threshold Calculation

In accordance with the order issued by the D.C. Circuit in District Hospital Partners, LP v. Burwell and related cases, on January 22, CMS issued an explanation of the methodology it used to calculate the fixed-loss threshold...more

CMS Announces Changes to Medicare Meaningful Use Hardship Exception Application Process

On Jan. 22, 2016, CMS issued a new application and sweeping changes to the Medicare Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Program hardship exception application process. The changes are intended to temporarily ease the...more

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