News & Analysis as of

New HIPAA Tool Released by the Federal Government – Makes Assessing Risks Easier and It Won’t Cost You a Dime

Do you lie awake at night wondering if you or the health care entity for which you work is complying with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”)? If so, you will be happy to hear that a good night’s...more

Paying the Price: Physician Group Faces Hefty Penalty and OCR Oversight After Failure to Conduct Security Risk Assessment and...

What you need to know: The Office for Civil Rights of the US Department of Health & Human Services is continuing its trend toward more aggressive enforcement of HIPAA violations. Small provider entities are not immune...more

Privacy and Security Alert: January 9th, 2014

On December 5, 2013, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) reported on the Office for Civil Rights’ (OCR) compliance as of May 2011 with oversight and enforcement of the Security Rule and compliance with federal cybersecurity...more

Final EHR Donation Rules Issued in Time for the New Year

On December 27, 2013, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued final rules revising the Stark exception (42 CFR...more

Medical practice agrees to payment due to HIPAA data breach

One day after Christmas, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) announced that a Massachusetts-based dermatology practice (Practice) agreed to a $150,000 payment and entered into a...more

The Long Sunset: EHR Donations May Continue Until 2021 (With a Few Changes)

Under long-awaited final rules recently published by the federal government, hospitals and other “protected donors” may continue to “donate” interoperable electronic health record items and services without incurring...more

HHS Closes Out 2013 with 6th Resolution Agreement

Throughout 2013, HHS OCR has stated that covered entities of all sizes need to give priority to securing ePHI. In addition, HHS OCR has recommended that covered entities identify and mitigate risks before an incident occurs....more

Health Care Law Update: Anti-Kickback Safe Harbor Rule for Electronic Health Records Extended Through 2021

The anti-kickback safe harbor concerning electronic health records (EHR) items and services, which defines certain conduct that is protected from liability under the federal anti-kickback statute (Section 1128B(b) of the...more

Conference Spotlight: How Big Data and Data Analytics are Revolutionizing Health Care Delivery

At the O’Reilly Strata Rx Data Makes a Difference Conference in Boston last week, top minds from the data technology, life science and healthcare industries discussed how big data, a term commonly used to describe very large...more

OIG Issues Favorable Opinion Regarding Post-Discharge Services Arrangement

The Department of Health & Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently issued a favorable advisory opinion regarding an electronic health record vendor’s plan to provide services to hospitals to help manage...more

HIPAA security violations result in $1.7 million settlement

On July 8, 2013, WellPoint, Inc., a managed care company (“WellPoint”), agreed to pay a $1.7 million fine to settle a self-reported breach of HIPAA, a key federal health privacy law, that led to the unauthorized disclosure of...more

Electronic Health Records Donations: Proposed CMS And OIG Rules Revise Stark Exception And Anti-Kickback Safe Harbor

On April 10, 2013, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (‘‘CMS'') and the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services (‘‘OIG'') published twin proposed rules that amend and extend...more

CMS Releases New Data on Medicare Spending and Utilization, Hospital Outpatient Charges

CMS released on June 3, 2013, county-level data on Medicare spending and utilization, which, according to a corresponding press release, marks the first time the agency has made this information public. ...more

HHS Empowers Consumers to Know (and Enforce) their Rights Under HIPAA

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) published on its website a series of factsheets designed to educate consumers unfamiliar with their rights under the Health Insurance...more

HHS Revokes Certification of Two EHR Products

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on April 25, 2013 that it has revoked the certification of two electronic health records (EHR) products. The products, EHRMagic-Inpatient and EHRMagic-Ambulatory,...more

CMS, OIG Propose to Extend EHR Stark Exception and Anti-Kickback Safe Harbor

On April 10, 2013, CMS and the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) each published proposed rules to extend the sunset dates for the Stark exception and anti-kickback statute safe harbor permitting donations of EHR software...more

OIG Proposes Amendments to the Electronic Health Records Safe Harbor

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the Department of Health and Human Services announced and solicited comments to proposed rule changes to the Electronic Health Records Safe Harbor (EHRSH) under the federal...more

CMS and OIG Propose Extension of Federal Stark Exception and Anti-Kickback Safe Harbor for Electronic Health Record Donations

On Wednesday, April 10, 2013, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) and the Office of the Inspector General (“OIG”) of the Department of Health and Human Services published complementary proposed rules in the...more

Birmingham Medical News: I-Phone Or HIPAA-Phone?

With the recent issuance of the long-awaited final rule by the Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS"), the protection of patient information has been a hot topic among the health care industry the past few months....more

Health Care Reform Update -- March 19, 2013

In This Issue: Leading the News – Budgets and the Continuing Resolution (CR); Implementation of the Affordable Care Act; Other Congressional and State Initiatives; Other HHS and Federal Regulatory Initiatives; Other...more

Breaking Down The HIPAA Rule Changes: Part 5 Of 5 - Changes To Patients' Rights Under The Final Rule

In This Issue: - Right to Access Protected Health Information - Restrictions on Health Plan Disclosures - Guidance on How to Comply With the Expanded Patient Rights ..Evaluate Electronic Systems ..Revise...more

A Detailed Analysis of Changes to HIPAA and the Implications for Healthcare Providers and Others in the Healthcare Industry: HIPAA...

Changes to the HIPAA Security Rule Background: The HIPAA Security Rule protects electronic PHI by requiring Covered Entities to implement certain administrative, physical, and technical safeguards surrounding...more

The Omnibus Final HIPAA Rule Is Here

On January 17, 2013, the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the omnibus final rulemaking (Omnibus Rule). According to HHS, this Omnibus Rule is needed to strengthen...more

OCR Releases Sample Business Associate Agreement Provisions

The Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has posted on its website sample business associate agreement provisions to help covered entities and business associates comply with the new business...more

Final Rules Under HIPAA/HITECH Impact Employer Plans

Modifications to the rules require action by group health plan sponsors and their vendors, including revisions to policies and procedures and new privacy notices. On January 17, the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S....more

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