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Health Care Update - December 2014 #4

Let’s Get to Work: OIG Releases 2015 Work Plan, Focusing on Long-Term Care and Health Reform - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)--Office of Inspector General (OIG) released its 2015 Work Plan (Work...more

Employer Liability for Employees’ Privacy Violations: What your organization should learn from Walgreens’ expensive lesson (hint:...

You may already have read the scintillating facts surrounding a jury award of $1.44 million (recently challenged unsuccessfully on appeal) against Walgreen Co. (Walgreens) following its pharmacist’s alleged inappropriate...more

Wellness Watch

According to reports, more than half of all businesses with over 200 employees ask employees to participate in biometric screening, and nearly 10% of them provide a financial incentive for employees to participate. As a part...more

Quirky Question #247, An Update on Wellness Programs

Question: Our company has been considering implementing financial incentives for employees to participate in biometric screening as part of an employee wellness program. Are there legal issues we should be...more

Ebola Outbreak Prompts HHS Bulletin on Application of HIPAA During Emergencies

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was enacted by Congress and signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the HIPAA Privacy Rule...more

Encryption and Securing BYO Devices at the Heart of Massachusetts AG $100,000 Settlement

The Massachusetts Attorney General announced Friday that her office had reached a settlement with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) surrounding a 2012 data breach in which a physician’s unencrypted personal laptop...more

Ebola: best practices for US employers – 6 questions to ask

The 2014 Ebola outbreak is the largest one of its type in history and the first in West Africa. A severe and often fatal disease in humans, Ebola symptoms include fever, headache, joint and muscle aches, weakness, diarrhea,...more

EEOC Attacks Another Wellness Program

EEOC Files Lawsuit and Motion for TRO and Injunction. Last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Minnesota to prevent Honeywell International Inc. (Honeywell)...more

Privacy Tuesday – November 2014 – Five Things to Start Your Week

Welcome to Privacy Tuesday – here are five privacy & security bits and bytes to start your week: 1) California AG’s Data Breach Report: Who Is Handling Your Patients’ Confidential Health Information? - The...more

How To Analyze A HIPAA Breach

The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act) and subsequent regulations have changed several aspects of compliance with HIPAA, including the way covered entities should think about...more

Ebola and infectious disease control: key points for hospitals and health systems

Dr. David Relman, a professor of infectious disease, microbiology and immunology at Stanford University's medical school, was quoted recently saying of the Ebola virus: “As best we can tell right now, it is quite possible...more

Ebola: Key employment legal issues for multinational employers

As the number of Ebola cases hits the 10,000 mark, employers the world over are looking to put in place plans to prepare in the unlikely event that an employee becomes exposed to or ill with the virus. Is your business...more

Final Regulations for ACA Excepted Benefits

On October 1, 2014, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Treasury issued final regulations that address the treatment of dental, vision and employee assistance programs (EAP) as "Excepted Benefits" under...more

Six Considerations For Employers Faced With The Ebola Virus Or Other Infectious Diseases

As the Ebola virus has spread to a second city in the United States, and with the potential for additional cities to be affected, many businesses are faced with the difficult task of determining how to properly handle their...more

Employers: How Prepared Are You for Ebola?

Rapidly changing circumstances raise workplace questions. The Ebola epidemic in 2014 has already been confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as the worst in history. The extent of this outbreak is...more

eBenefits Alert: Enforcement Delay Announced for HPID Nov. 5 Deadline

On Oct. 31, 2014, the Office of e-Health Standards and Services, which is charged with HIPAA compliance, announced an enforcement delay to the regulations requiring the use of the Health Plan Identifiers (HPIDs) in HIPAA...more

DELAYED! HPID Deadline Is No Longer November 5

This past weekend the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) indefinitely delayed enforcement of the requirement that all self-insured health plans obtain a Health Plan Identifier number (HPID). ...more

Indefinite Delay of Health Plan Identifier Rules

On Halloween, the Department of Health and Human Services announced an indefinite delay in enforcement of the health plan identifier (HPID) rules. As a result, large health plans are no longer required to choose whether to...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 8: Breaking HPID News

In a surprise move, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced an indefinite delay in enforcement of regulations pertaining to “health plan enumeration and use of the Health Plan Identifier (HPID) in HIPAA...more

REMINDER: HPID Deadline is November 5th

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is requiring all self-insured health plans to obtain a Health Plan Identifier number (HPID) as part of its compliance efforts under the Health Insurance Portability and...more

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

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