Health Care Providers Dept. of Health and Human Services

News & Analysis as of

Telemedicine for All, As Lame Duck Session Winds Down

Even with the federal legislators poised to head home at the end of the week, two significant telehealth measures continue to work their way through the House and Senate, further evidence that telehealth services have become...more

Practical Considerations for Medical Practices Considering Converting Their Vascular Access Centers Into Medicare-Certified...

On November 2, 2016 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) Final Rule. Although the impact of the Final Rule on nephrology reimbursement is projected to be...more

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

After months of debate and partisan wrangling, the House on Wednesday voted 392-26 to pass the “21st Century Cures” bill designed to accelerate the development of new drugs and medical devices as well as increase federal...more

OCR Alerts Listservs About Fake Phishing Email to Covered Entities and Business Associates

On November 28, 2016, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued an Alert to its listservs that a phishing email is being circulated on “mock HHS Departmental letterhead under the signature of OCR”s Director, Jocelyn Samuels”...more

Beware of Phishing Email Disguised as Official OCR Audit Communication

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has posted an alert (and a follow-up alert) warning health plans, health care providers, and their vendors of a mock communication...more

The Federal Government Holds Individuals Responsible for Involvement in Corporate Healthcare Fraud and Abuse

In September 2016, three corporate officers in two healthcare fraud and abuse cases settled allegations that they were personally liable for violations of federal fraud and abuse laws. These settlements come one year after...more

OIG FY 2017 Work Plan Released: New Areas of Focus for Skilled Nursing Facilities, Hospices, and Home Health Agencies

In early November, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) released its 2017 Fiscal Year Work Plan, which summarizes new and ongoing reviews and activities that OIG plans to pursue with respect to Health and Human Services...more

New OIG Investigations to Look at Wide Range of Medicare, Medicaid Services in FY 2017

The HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) has issued its FY 2017 Work Plan, which lays out the OIG’s current audit, evaluation, and other legal and investigative priorities. The largest number of new initiatives by far target...more

OCR Guidance Underscores Importance of Authentication under HIPAA

In its tenth OCR Cyber Awareness Newsletter of the year (Newsletter), the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) reminded HIPAA-covered entities and business associates of the importance of selecting an appropriate authentication...more

OCR Reminds Companies that Authentication is Key

In non-election news, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the Department of Health and Human Services recently released its November Cyber Awareness Newsletter. This month’s newsletter focuses on the topic of...more

New Nondiscrimination Requirements Under ACA Section 1557: Do You Have to Comply?

This summer, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) issued final regulations under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), which impacts entities principally engaged in providing or administering...more

HHS Issues Final Rule Implementing Section 1557 of ACA

Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. While the provision has been in effect since the ACA was passed in 2010, the US...more

Blog: OIG Issues 2017 Work Plan – PAMA, Open Payments, Drug Manufacturer Rebates Among Areas of New Focus

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued today its 2017 Work Plan. This annual publication summarizes new and ongoing reviews and activities by the OIG related to various...more

ACA Nondiscrimination Requirements - Are You In Compliance?

Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 ("ACA") prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in certain health programs or activities. The U.S....more

Health-Related Facilities That Receive Federal Financial Assistance Now Required to Post Non-Discrimination Notices

Health-related facilities that receive Federal financial assistance (e.g., Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement) have been required to comply with Federal, as well as State, non-discrimination laws in the provision of services....more

Federal Court Enjoins U.S. Agency’s Nursing Home Arbitration Agreement Ban

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency within the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, recently issued a final rule prohibiting nursing homes and other long-term care facilities from utilizing...more

GAO Report Criticizes HHS’ HIPAA Cybersecurity Guidance and Program

Recently, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reviewed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) security and privacy oversight and identified significant gaps in the cybersecurity guidance provided by...more

Cloud Service Providers Beware, You May Be Subject to HIPAA Without Knowing It

The use of cloud service providers has exploded in the past several years. According to estimates from Gartner, the market for cloud services is expected to reach $204 billion in 2016. But the use of cloud service providers...more

Court Enjoins CMS’s Ban on Arbitration Agreements

In the earlier publication CMS Final Rule Prohibits Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreements at Long Term Care Facilities, we noted that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency within the Health and Human...more

The Empire Strikes Back – Nursing Homes Enjoin Government’s Rule Barring Arbitration Clauses in Agreements with Residents

The way to stop a runaway train is to push the brake. The way to stop a runaway horse is to pull the reins. The way to stop a runaway jury is to demand arbitration. This September, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid...more

HHS Designates Cloud Service Providers as Business Associates Under HIPAA

Cloud service providers that process electronic protected health information (ePHI) are business associates under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), even if the PHI is encrypted and the...more

Confusing Joint Guidance published by OCR and FTC on HIPAA Authorization Forms

There are arguments that there is a dearth of guidance by both the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC), so when guidance comes out, we listen. But the most recent guidance jointly issued by the...more

Clouding the Issue: Impact of Cloud-Based Software Service Providers on HIPAA Covered Entities and Business Associates

The message from patients to healthcare providers is clear: increase the quality of health services while decreasing cost.  The message from the federal government to healthcare providers and their business associates is even...more

Managing the Transition to Transformation: Old Dog, New Tricks: Fraud and Abuse in the Age of Payment Reform

McDermott’s Managing the Transition to Transformation series is designed to help health systems and other health care industry leaders address the many challenges presented by the transformation in payment and care delivery...more

Restrictions on Fees Permitted Under HIPAA for Copies of Medical Records

When health care providers provide copies of medical records to an individual patient or to third parties at the direction of that individual patient, they are permitted under HIPAA to recover “a reasonable, cost-based fee.”...more

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