Health Care Providers Dept. of Health and Human Services

News & Analysis as of

What Covered Health Care Entities Need to Do to Prepare for Looming ACA Section 1557 Deadlines

As our colleagues reported earlier this month, on May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) issued a final rule titled “Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities” (“Final Rule”)...more

Small-Breach Focus Shows Growing Scope Of HIPAA Probes

Flexing yet more enforcement muscle under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, on Aug. 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights announced that it will more widely...more

Billing Companies Beware – OIG Signals a Crackdown on Fraud and Abuse at All Levels

In an unprecedented administrative action, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of the Inspector General (“HHS-OIG”) penalized a medical billing company for preparing and submitting claims to Medicare for...more

Medicare Providers - Beware! CMPs are Increasing

On September 6, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services published an interim final rule which became effective immediately. The new regulation adjusts for inflation the maximum civil monetary penalty (CMP) amounts...more

Taking Measure of HIPAA Enforcement

Last month, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced the largest settlement to date for alleged violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)....more

Penalties For Health Care Law Violations Surge

The civil monetary penalties for violations of myriad health care laws continue to rise. In June, we discussed the enormous increase in penalties under the federal False Claims Act (“FCA”). Through an interim final rule, the...more

Health Care Employers Heads Up: What You Need to Know About Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act

As the current presidential administration winds up its time in office, the administrative branch is hard at work completing its regulatory agenda. Part of this effort is implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act...more

Recent HHS Report Provides Insight into Government’s View of the Challenges of and Need for Expanded Telemedicine

The Department of Health and Human Services has issued, at Congress’s request, a report on the Department’s progress and efforts in the telemedicine arena, which has yet to be fully integrated within the government’s health...more

Also In The News - Health Headlines - September 2016

Interim Final Rule Increases Civil Monetary Penalty Amounts – On September 2, 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released an interim final rule that “adjust[s] for inflation the maximum civil monetary...more

Former Home Health Agency Owner Sentenced to 20 Years for $57MM Medicare Fraud

The US Department of Justice announced that Khaled Elbeblaswy, the former owner and manager three Miami-area home health agencies, was sentenced to 20 years in prison and ordered to pay $36.4 million in restitution for his...more

OIG Work Plan: A Roadmap to Identify Health Care Compliance Risk

Each year, the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) issues a Work Plan that summarizes new and ongoing OIG reviews and areas of focused attention for the coming year and beyond....more

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

OIG Releases Revised Guidance on Independent Review Organization Independence and Objectivity

On August 22, 2016, the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services (OIG) released updated guidance on Independent Review Organization (IRO) independence and objectivity (the “Guidance”). The...more

Led by Texas, Several States Challenge Section 1557’s Gender Identity Protections in HHS’s Final Rule

On August 23, 2016, several States and three faith-based healthcare providers filed suit in the Northern District of Texas against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) over HHS’s interpretation of “sex” in...more

Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act Requires Healthcare Providers to Take Certain Steps in 2016 to Promote Equity

Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act aims to advance healthcare equity. This statutory provision provides that current non-discrimination laws, such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964, will now apply to individuals and...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

HSS Issues New Guidance on Ransomware Attacks Against HIPAA-Covered Entities

Ransomware attacks at hospitals and other healthcare facilities have dramatically increased over the last several years, putting healthcare providers in the uncomfortable position of having to consider paying thousands of...more

HIPAA Hat Trick: Security Violations Lead to Three Major Settlements

Look no further than the last three weeks for proof that HIPAA enforcement is on the rise. Failure to maintain the security of information systems containing patient information has cost healthcare providers over $10...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

Illinois Revises Data Privacy Statute

Earlier this year, Illinois enacted a number of changes to the Illinois Personal Information Protection Act (“PIPA”). The amendments to PIPA, among other things, expand the definition of personal information subject to...more

Ransomware Reporting Requirements & New HHS Guidance

Ransomware is malicious software that denies access to data, usually by encrypting the data with a private encryption key that is only provided once a ransom is paid. Sometimes the ransomware will actually destroy, steal, or...more

Health Update - July 2016

The Vulnerability of Healthcare Information - According to a report the Brookings Institute issued in May 2016, 23% of all data breaches occur in the healthcare industry. Nearly 90% of healthcare organizations had some...more

New Affordable Care Act and Medicaid Regulations Will Require Covered Entities Providing Healthcare Programs and Services to Have...

There has been a proliferation of ADA lawsuits alleging that websites are not accessible to the blind or deaf. Individuals who are blind or have low vision may require assistive devices and specialized software to access the...more

BYOD Risks under HIPAA – Does Your HIPAA Compliance Program Adequately Address the Ever Increasing Use of Portable Electronic...

Many U.S. employers are now allowing employees to use their own personal handheld devices and laptop computers for work-related purposes. As the age of employer-provided devices is coming to an end and “bring your own device”...more

Entity Fined $650,000 in First HIPAA Settlement with a Business Associate

The possibility of business associates potentially being audited, investigated, and ultimately fined is now a reality. On June 24, 2016, the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Civil Rights...more

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