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Deadline Approaching to Secure Health Plan Identifier (“HPID”)

Certain group health plans are required to obtain a 10-digit Health Plan Identifier ("HPID") from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services ("CMS") by November 5, 2014. Currently various users of the health care system...more

Government Conference Highlights Need for Protecting Health Information

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently highlighted the importance of protecting health information at the...more

Unique Ebola-Related Legal Issues Facing Health Care Providers

As compared to non-health care employers, health care providers face several unique considerations when developing and implementing policies and procedures to prepare for an infectious disease outbreak. For good reason, the...more

EEOC Lawsuits Shine a Spotlight on Wellness Programs

These days, many large employers have some form of wellness program, designed to help their employees address medical and lifestyle issues. Many employers reward employees who participate with discounts on insurance premiums...more

OCR Issues Guidance on Application of HIPAA Privacy Rule after Windsor

The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional in United States v. Windsor prompted many businesses to review and revise their employee benefit plans. However, the...more

Gubernatorial Writer's Cramp: 2014 California Employment Legislation Affecting Private Sector Employers

Does his hand hurt? Between signing and vetoing bills this year, California Governor Jerry Brown exercised his executive signature on the highest number of bills sent to a California governor since 2008. The California...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

Employee Benefits Developments - September 2014

CASES - Post-Retirement Medical Benefits Under Siege. A recent spike in retiree benefit litigation is evidence of a growing interest among employers in strategies designed to contain, reduce, and eliminate the current...more

Recent Changes to California Laws - the Healthcare Perspective

Workers’ Compensation Insurance for Professional Athletes - AB 1309; Labor Code §3600.5 - The efforts made by professional athletes seeking workers’ compensation benefits for injuries that they sustained on the...more

Health Update - September 2014

Engaging Patients While Addressing Their Privacy Concerns: The Experience of Project HealthDesign - Patients are using the Internet, personal health records (PHRs) and mobile applications or “apps” to collect and...more

Employee Taking Protected HIPAA Information Not Protected Under ADEA

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires health care providers and other businesses to protect the confidentiality of certain patient information. Last month in an unpublished decision, the...more

Business Associate Agreements May Require Amendment

The Omnibus Final Rule (the "Omnibus Rule") under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 ("HIPAA"), was issued in January, 2013 effective March 26, 2013, but with a general compliance deadline of...more

Post on Personal Facebook Page May Violate the ADA

A recent federal court decision underscores the importance of ADA compliance and medical confidentiality. In this case, an employer could end up being liable because an employee posted confidential medical information...more

Federal Prosecutors Bring Criminal Charges against Individual for Alleged HIPAA Violation

Federal prosecutors in the Eastern District of Texas recently brought criminal charges under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) against a former East Texas hospital employee. The former...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 21: Self-Funded Group Health Plans, the Affordable Care Act...

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) ushered in broad national standards aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the U.S. health care system. Referred to generically as...more

News from the Health Law Gurus™

Former Walmart Exec to Help Manage HHS — Leslie Dach, former Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs for Walmart, will assume the role of Senior Counsel of the HHS, according to a press release on Wednesday. ...more

Midyear Check on Health Plan Compliance

If you sponsor or administer a group health plan, you are almost certainly taking steps to prepare for legal requirements that will become effective on or before January 1, 2015. New rules under HIPAA, the Affordable Care Act...more

A Whistleblower Hotline can protect against medical identity theft

Last year, medical identity theft affected nearly two million Americans - 32% more than the year before. This is a staggering number! And considering that today, medical identity theft accounts for 43% of all identity theft...more

The Affordable Care Act – Where are We Now

With the passing of the March 31st deadline for the initial open-enrollment under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA” or “ObamaCare”), the resignation of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and the...more

So, Are You Really Compliant With HIPAA?

As covered entities under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”), healthcare providers are intimately familiar with the strict privacy and security requirements imposed on them by HIPAA and...more

HHS announces new risk assessment tool for HIPAA security compliance

Recently, the Department of Health and Human Services released an interactive security risk assessment tool intended to assist employers who sponsor self-insured group health plans in complying with their HIPAA security rule...more

Minimum Necessary and the Breach Standard

When the new HITECH rules came out OCR specifically said, “...uses or disclosures that impermissibly involve more than the minimum necessary information...may qualify as breaches.” But what exactly is the minimum necessary...more

HIPAA Impaired Providers and the ER - What Happens When Your Employee Becomes Your Patient?

I was speaking this week at IAHIMA’s Annual Conference on the issues relating to HIPAA audits and recent updates from OCR and ONC. As part of my program we typically solicit questions prior to the presentation, most of which...more

Health Update

Ten Years In: Charting the Progress of Health Information Exchange in the U.S. - HITECH: Federal Dollars Spur Adoption and Use: The modern era of HIE-related public policy began in May 2004 with the appointment...more

Take 5 Newsletter: 5 Employment Law Considerations in "The Cloud"

What is "the cloud," and what on Earth (pun intended) does cloud computing have to do with employment law? While many definitions abound, cloud computing at its core is a form of remote electronic data storage,...more

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