SZD Health Law Strategist: Vigorous HIPAA Privacy Rule enforcement; Impact of Sunshine Law on physicians


Vigorous HIPAA Privacy Rule enforcement

With the announcements of Cignet’s $4.3 million civil monetary penalties and two recent resolution payments, HHS’ Office of Civil Rights sent a clear message that it is serious about enforcement of HIPAA’s Privacy Rule.

Impact of Sunshine Law on physicians

In response to growing concerns that physicians’ financial relationships with pharmaceutical and medical device companies create inappropriate conflicts of interest in research and patient care, Section 6002 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act implements the Physician Payments Sunshine Act.

OIG advisory opinion allows hospital’s complimentary transportation service

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General issued a favorable advisory opinion regarding a complimentary local transportation arrangement whereby a hospital would transport patients from physician offices located on (or contiguous to) the hospital’s campus to the hospital if the patients require further treatment and cannot transport themselves.

Federal District Court dismisses case against former drug company lawyer

A federal district court judge issued a surprise ruling dismissing a criminal case against a former in-house lawyer for GlaxoSmithKline. The decision is significant for health care lawyers and their clients because it reaffirms the importance of the attorney-client privilege, which many in the corporate defense bar thought was under attack as a result of the government’s case.

Ohio’s apology statute: Sorry seems to be the hardest word

In a ruling that is extremely unfavorable to physicians, the Ohio Ninth District Court of Appeals recently held that Ohio’s apology statute protects expressions of sympathy but does not protect statements admitting liability in a malpractice case.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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