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News & Analysis as of

Healthcare Compliance: Juggling Risk Mitigation Strategies

Healthcare organizations – ranging from physician practice groups to large, multi-state hospital systems – face a variety of risks, including fraud and abuse, as well as HIPAA privacy issues. Starting from a baseline risk...more

When and Where Can the "Line" Be Drawn? NLRB Considers When Off-Duty Employees May Picket a Hospital Employer

The National Labor Relations Board (the “Board”) recently addressed hospital employers’ ability to prohibit picketing by off-duty employees on their own premises. Although the Board concluded that a hospital employer may...more

Corporate E-Note - August 2016

In a “Table of Experts” series published on July 15, 2016 by the Birmingham Business Journal, Ed Christian provides his insight into a series of questions related to mergers and acquisitions. Please see full E-note below...more

US Supreme Court False Claims Act Decision in Escobar Has Significant Implications for Contractors

On June 16, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the matter of Universal Health Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar, 136 S. Ct. 1989 (2016), changing the legal landscape for False Claims Act qui tam claims...more

Missed Opportunity by The Supreme Court to Address the Erosion of Hospital Self-Review Privileges

In Tibbs v. Bunnell, the U.S. Supreme Court recently denied a hospital’s petition for certiorari to review the scope of the patient safety work product privilege. The hospital appealed from a Kentucky Supreme Court decision...more

Locky Ransomware Continues to Hit Health Care Entities

FireEye Labs has reported that the Locky ransomware continues to hit the health care industry hard, and has increased in the month of August. Although the telecommunications, manufacturing and aerospace/defense...more

Agencies Encourage New Privacy Regulations to Close the mHealth Black Hole and Keep Pace with Evolving Technologies

On July 19, 2016, the ONC submitted a report to Congress which suggests that health privacy regulations soon may be revised to catch up with the universe of mHealth technologies that now use and share personal health data....more

HHS Issues Final Non-Discrimination Rules for Healthcare Providers

Healthcare providers and others who receive federal financial assistance are now subject to new non-discrimination rules and notice requirements under the Affordable Care Act. The new regulation prohibits discrimination in...more

Two New England States Pass Legislation Restricting Physician Non-Competes

We’ve written a lot this summer about the Massachusetts legislature’s latest failed attempt at non-compete reform. Two other states in New England, however, are able to claim accomplishments in that regard. Specifically,...more

Ransomware and Malware Continue to Plague Health Care Organizations

We continue to warn health care organizations about the real and serious risks associated with ransomware and malware, but organizations don’t prepare for it adequately and are getting hit hard. Just this past week,...more

CMS Cracks Down On Social Media Abuse By Nursing Home Staff

On August 5th the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a memorandum to all state survey agencies requiring that during the next standard survey of a nursing home, whether a Traditional or Quality Indicator...more

Get Off My Lawn (Or Gurney): Off Duty Employees Allowed To Picket on Hospital Employer’s Property

Seyfarth Synopsis: In a split decision, the NLRB ruled that off-duty employees of an acute care hospital had the right to picket the hospital’s main lobby entrance. After the collective bargaining agreement between acute...more

The Department of Justice Ups the Ante: Per Claim Penalties for False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute Violations Nearly...

On June 30, 2016, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) published an interim file rule that dramatically increases the per claim penalties for violations of the False Claims Act (“FCA”) and the Anti-Kickback Statute (“AKS”) among...more

Alabama CON Report

I. Certificate of Need Program - A. AL2016-023, RehabCare Group East, Inc., Birmingham, AL: Proposes to relocate the existing multi-service outpatient rehab center from 100 Shadow Wood Park, Ste. B, Birmingham, Shelby...more

CMS Proposes OPPS Reimbursement Adjustments: What Hospital Outpatient Providers Need to Know

In early July, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) reimbursement rule changes that will impact reimbursement payment amounts and requirements for...more

Illinois’ Largest Health System Agrees to Stringent HIPAA Breach Settlement

The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced on August 4, 2016, a settlement agreement with Advocate Health Care Network, an integrated healthcare system with ten hospitals and a...more

The Physician’s Self-Referral Law – Are Changes Finally Coming?

The Physician Self-Referral Law, also known as the Stark law, prohibits a physician from referring federal health care program patients for “designated health services” to an entity in which the physician (or an immediate...more

HHS Final Rule Extends Anti-Discrimination Protection to Transgender Patients

This past May, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin,...more

JCAHO Delays Decision Allowing Physicians To Text Orders

We previously reported that the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) lifted its ban on allowing health care providers to use texts for physician orders....more

NIOSH Offers Free Training Program to Help Employers Address Safety Risks Faced by Home Healthcare Workers

Seyfarth Synopsis: NIOSH releases a comprehensive training curriculum that home healthcare employers can use to minimize safety risks and prevent OSHA citations. We had blogged previously about OSHA’s “Strategies and...more

Mega-Mergers Highlight Risk to Health Care Providers

Consolidation in health insurance markets can injure hospitals and doctors by creating buyer-side market power that can force providers to accept below-market prices, limit patients’ access to care, and reduce innovation in...more

Pin Pricks and Aching Backs: When Nursing Injuries Become Serious

The American Nursing Association (ANA) has reported that nurses face a high risk of back injuries and other musculoskeletal disorders. The ANA also learned that a nationwide survey of more than 700 nurses found that...more

Behavioral health provider StarCare Specialty notifies 2,900 patients of breach of PHI

StarCare Specialty Health System, located in Lubbock, Texas, is notifying 2,900 patients “who received Intellectual Developmental Disabilities program services, Behavioral Health program services, and Therapeutic Treatment...more

Check Up on Healthcare Fraud Prosecutions

Chief compliance officers face an overwhelming level of risk in the healthcare sector. I do not mean to belittle the risks of corruption, AML, sanctions and other risks typically associated with global companies. Healthcare...more

Hospital/Physician Leases Compliance Checklist

LEGAL REQUIREMENTS: A "no" answer to any of the following questions may mean your lease is out of compliance with applicable laws. Is the lease in writing? Is the lease signed by both parties? Does it...more

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