Akerman LLP - Health Law Rx

New HIPAA Guide to Privacy and Security of Electronic Health Information

The HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) recently released Version 2.0 of its Guide to Privacy and Security of Electronic Health Information (Guide)…more
| Consumer Protection, Privacy, Health, Science, Computers, & Technology

OIG Issues Compliance Guidance for Healthcare Governing Boards

Members of healthcare governing boards now have direction from the OIG as to what is expected of them as they oversee the regulatory compliance of their organizations. And the good news is that the board members don’t have to…more
| Administrative Law, Business Organizations, Commercial Law & Contracts, Health

Religious Freedom and the Affordable Care Act

The fascinating interplay that weaves between the First and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues to march on…more
| Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Health

The Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns for Healthcare Organizations in 2015

The Emergency Care Research Institute, (ECRI) Patient Safety Organization (PSO) has issued its 2015 “top 10 list” of safety concerns for multiple healthcare settings, such as hospitals, ambulatory care centers, doctor’s offices…more
| Consumer Protection, Privacy, Health, Professional Malpractice, Science, Computers, & Technology

HHS Settlement: Dumpster-Diving Leads to Settlement for Improper Disposal of Documents Containing Protected Health Information

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (HHS) recently announced that it has reached an agreement with a small pharmacy to resolve potential HIPAA violations. The settlement arose from the…more
| Administrative Law, Consumer Protection, Privacy, Health, Insurance

Food Recalls Increase in First Quarter of 2015

Food producers are reporting a sharp rise in food recalls so far this year. During the first quarter of 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published notices of 118 food recalls (excluding pet foods), and the U.S…more
| Administrative Law, Communications & Media Law, Consumer Protection, Health, Products Liability

Charitable Hospitals: Financial Assistance Policies

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued the final section 501(r) regulations, implementing the amendments to the Internal Revenue Code under the Affordable Care Act and providing regulatory guidance for tax-exempt…more
| Health, Taxation, Nonprofit Law

Divestiture of St. Luke's Acquisition Upheld Despite Transaction's "Laudable" Goals

On February 10, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) achieved a historic victory when a U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that a hospital's acquisition of a physician's group – the transaction challenged by the FTC – ran afoul of…more
| Antitrust & Trade Regulation, Consumer Protection, Mergers & Acquisitions, Health

Divestiture of St. Luke's Acquisition Upheld Despite Transaction's "Laudable" Goals

On February 10, 2015, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) achieved a historic victory when a U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that a hospital's acquisition of a physician's group – the transaction challenged by the FTC – ran afoul of…more
| Antitrust & Trade Regulation, Consumer Protection, Mergers & Acquisitions, Health

ACA Issues for Employers to Stay Aware of in 2015

With the Affordable Care Act's Employer Mandate (Pay-or-Play penalties) now officially in effect, employers with 50 or more full-time or full-time-equivalent employees should have already made all significant changes to their…more
| Labor & Employment Law, Health, Taxation

HHS Announces First Timeline For Medicare Pay Reforms

On Monday, January 26, 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS") announced a timeline for moving physicians and hospitals into new payment systems and tying Medicare reimbursements to quality of care…more
| Health

CMS Announces Enforcement of EHR Payment Adjustments in 2015

On December 17, 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ("CMS") announced that there would be reductions in Medicare reimbursement for health care providers who do not meet the CMS electronic health record ("EHR")…more
| Health

A Quick Look at Healthcare Issues Expected to Make News in 2015

As we look into our crystal balls, we do not expect a lot of new issues in 2015. Rather, we believe that most of the significant issues will be a continuation of issues that arose in 2014 or earlier…more
| Privacy, Health, Science, Computers, & Technology

Social Media Use for Clinical Trial Recruitment

Social media can be an effective and easy way to connect with friends and professional contacts. However, it can also serve as a tool for institutions and principal investigators involved in enrolling subjects in clinical…more
| Communications & Media Law, Health

Justice Department Continues to Target Health Care Providers with "Barrier-Free" Initiative

The Department of Justice's recent settlement with a Chicago-based hospital system is the latest reflecting the agency's continuing pursuit of claims against health care providers – small and large -- who fail to provide…more
| Civil Rights, Health
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