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FCC Creates an Annual $400 Million Healthcare Connect Fund for Broadband Services and Infrastructure

On Dec. 21, the FCC released its long-awaited Report and Order reforming its funding mechanisms for rural health care by creating a Healthcare Connect Fund (HCF) of $400 million annually....more

Health Care E-Note - December 2012

In This Issue: - Health Care Data Breaches Becoming Major Concern - Hospitals, Doctors Giving Patients Access Through Web Portals - Number of Concierge Doctors Increases 30 Percent in 2012 - Hospitals Battle for...more

CLIENT ALERT: HHS Announces More Than $1 Million Each In Penalties For HIPAA Security Rule Violations

Businesses subject to HIPAA rules should take note of recent penalties imposed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”). Penalties of more than $1 million each were leveled as a result of Security Rule...more

Health Reform + Related Health Policy News - December 12, 2012

In This Issue: - CMS Clarifies ACA's Federal Match Linked to Full Medicaid Expansion - SCOTUS to Decide Pay-for-Delay Issue - Two More Lawmakers Introduce Drug Compounding Legislation - AHRQ Report Finds Teamwork...more

Telemedicine: Physicians Need to Know State Requirements

As telemedicine grows in popularity, it is important for physicians to be aware of the state-by-state requirements when practicing in this revolutionary area of healthcare....more

OIG Recommends Additional Oversight of EHR Incentive Programs

A November 29, 2012 report from the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) sets forth several recommendations to improve CMS’s oversight of the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs. Specifically, the report expresses...more

Clock Running on Comment Period for Meaningful Use Stage 3 Measures

On Nov. 16, 2012, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released a request for comment regarding Stage 3 meaningful use measures, taking a step forward in the ongoing effort to define...more

HHS Data-Scrubbing Guidance Backs Strict Privacy Definitions By Allison Grande

Originally published in Law360 on November 29, 2012 The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently affirmed the validity of the current methods for scrubbing patient records of identifying data under...more

Amendments to CLIA’s Proficiency Testing Provisions Passed by Congress

The Senate approved the previously House-passed Taking Essential Steps for Testing Act (also known as the “TEST Act”) this week, clearing the way for President Obama’s signature and enactment. The legislation, which amends...more

Reimbursement Issues Facing Molecular Pathology Services in Calendar Year 2013 and Beyond

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services recently issued final regulations and a final payment guidance that address reimbursement for laboratories furnishing molecular pathology services. While the publications answer...more

2012 Privacy and Security Year in Review

In 2012, there has been a continuation of the trend toward heightened regulation and enforcement of the privacy and security requirements under the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act ("HIPAA") and under...more

Physician Payment Sunshine Act: Challenge for Companies, Tool for Enforcers

Pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, and biotech companies are gearing up for the January 1, 2013 deadline set by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) for companies to begin collecting...more

HHS OIG Identifies Shortcomings in CMS’s Response to Data Breaches and Medical Identity Theft

Yesterday the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) released the results of a study entitled CMS Response to Breaches and Medical Identity Theft. OIG had two objectives for commencing...more

Fiscal Year 2013 Work Plan Highlights OIG’s Medicare Parts C and D Priorities

Last week, the OIG published its FY 2013 Work Plan. The Work Plan summarizes new and ongoing reviews and activities that the OIG plans to pursue with respect to HHS programs and operations during FY 2013 and...more

HHS-OIG Releases 2013 Work Plan, Outlining New Areas of Scrutiny for Providers and Payors

Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) released its Work Plan for Fiscal Year 2013 (Work Plan), detailing the areas OIG will be scrutinizing in 2013. On the Medicare side,...more

Meaningful Use Mash-Up: Update on Deadlines, Changes for Stage 2, and the Start of MU Audits

The march towards electronic health records (“EHRs”) and health information exchange continues. It is worth noting a number of recent changes to the Medicare and Medicaid Meaningful Use programs governing incentives for...more

Hospitals Face Tougher Fraud Scrutiny Amid Shift To E-Records

Originally published in Law360, New York (September 25, 2012, 7:57 PM ET) The federal government's Monday warning to hospitals not to abuse their new electronic health records to charge Medicare higher rates serves as a...more

Joint CMS, DOJ Letter on EHR’s Potential for Billing Fraud; AHA, AAHC Respond

Secretary Sebelius and Attorney General Holder issued a joint letter to the American Hospital Association and four other associations representing hospitals and medical centers, warning of indications that some providers are...more

The Comments Are In: Stakeholders Categorize Genomic Tests

This is the third white paper in a series documenting Medicare’s efforts to begin using 100-­-plus new CPT codes for molecular diagnostic tests. The codes were approved by the AMA CPT editorial panel in October 2010 and...more

CMS Releases Final Stage 2 “Meaningful Use” Regulations for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records Incentive Programs

On September 4, 2012, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published final regulations (Final Regulations) establishing the Stage 2 meaningful use criteria for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health...more

ONC Issues Revised Certification Criteria for EHR Technology Used to Earn Incentive Payments

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology coordinated its September 4, 2012, release of the 2014 Edition Electronic Health Record (EHR) Certification Criteria with the Centers for Medicare &...more

CMS Seeks Improved Quality of Care, Patient Engagement Through Stage 2 Meaningful Use Criteria

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services published the final rule establishing the Stage 2 meaningful use criteria of the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs. Eligible provider...more

CMS and ONC Move Forward With Meaningful Use--Stage 2

On August 23, 2012, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (“ONC”), both agencies of the Department of Health and Human Services...more

Docs Face Tricky Task In Patient Access E-Records Goals

Originally published in Law360, New York on August 27, 2012. A federal push to give patients online access to their own medical records and their doctors will bring the health care industry a step closer to more...more

Industry Groups Call for Final Sunshine Act Rule

On August 14, 2012, four industry groups sent a letter to Marilyn Tavenner, the Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), asking CMS to publish the final rule implementing the Physician...more

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