News & Analysis as of

‘Health Care’-Related Calls: Ambiguity at the Intersection of HIPAA and TCPA

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has established exemptions from certain requirements of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) for health care messages regulated under the Health Insurance Portability and...more

Recent 11th Circuit Cases Provide Important HIPAA Guidance - Healthcare Providers Should Be Proactive by Reviewing Their HIPAA...

On Oct. 10, 2014, the 11th Circuit opinion in Murphy v. Dulay provides significant guidance regarding HIPAA authorization forms. One of the most important provisions of the opinion focuses on the fact that HIPAA...more

HITECH Act Assures Meaningful Use & Care Coordination…For Some

The passage of the ARRA HITECH Act in 2009 fostered significant advancements in patient engagement and care coordination by incentivizing primarily physical health providers and acute care hospitals to make smarter use of...more

Ex Parte Communications between Treating Physician and Attorneys

Under HIPAA, physicians are permitted to disclose “protected health information” to their attorneys for purposes of their own healthcare operations. This allows physicians sued by patients for malpractice to provide their...more

Business Associate Compliance With HIPAA: Findings From a Survey of Covered Entities and Business Associates

The delivery of health care – and payment for that care – is a complex endeavor, and health care providers and health plans rely on third parties to help them operate as businesses and fulfill their responsibilities to...more

Starting Oct. 6, Patients Can Access Test Reports Directly From Clinical Laboratories

On Oct. 6, 2014, a final rule issued jointly by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Office for Civil Rights (OCR) will require all HIPAA-covered labs...more

“Access Denied” – Understand How Your Electronic Health Records Are Controlled

Earlier this week, my colleague Dianne Bourque commented on a small medical practice’s inability to access its patients’ medical records one July day after its EHR vendor blocked the practice from pulling the data stored in...more

Lawmakers Call to Clarify HHS’ Mobile Medical App Regulation

The mobile medical application marketplace has developed into a $68 billion industry; however, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has not yet updated guidance regarding the Health Insurance Portability and...more

Business Associate Agreement September 22 Deadline; Same Sex Marriage Guidance Released

There are two important updates with respect to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). First, on September 17, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued guidance to...more

Mishandling Medical Records Turns Into an $800,000 HIPAA-Compliance Mistake

A non-profit healthcare company agreed to pay $800,000 as part of a settlement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for allegedly mishandling 71 boxes of medical records in violation of the privacy rule...more

Healthcare Legal News: Volume 4, Number 3 - Special Issue: HIPAA Update

Recent Trends in HIPAA Liability - Since the passage of the 2013 HIPAA Omnibus Rule, there has been a substantial increase in HIPAA enforcement actions brought by the Department of Health and Human Services, including...more

Deadline to Update Business Associate Agreements for HIPAA is Approaching

The deadline for updating your health plan’s existing business associate agreements is rapidly approaching. The final regulations issued on January 25, 2013 under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act...more

OCR Reveals Information about Upcoming HIPAA Audits

At the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (“HIMSS”) Privacy and Security Forum this week, health information privacy senior advisor for the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) Linda Sanches revealed certain...more

Illinois Court Dismisses Plaintiffs Privacy Claims Arising out of HIPAA Breach

On July 10, 2014, a Kane County, Illinois Circuit Court granted a motion to dismiss with prejudice in favor of Advocate Health & Hospitals Corporation (Advocate) in a class action case arising out of a breach of patients'...more

Business Associate Agreements May Require Amendment

The Omnibus Final Rule (the "Omnibus Rule") under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 ("HIPAA"), was issued in January, 2013 effective March 26, 2013, but with a general compliance deadline of...more

News from the Health Law Gurus™

Chinese Hackers Infiltrate Health System Network Affecting 4.5 Million Individuals – Community Health Systems, Inc. (“CHS”) reported this week that the information of approximately 4.5 million individuals has been affected by...more

FBI Warning to Health Care Sector Holds True

In April of this year, the FBI issued a Private Industry Notification (PIN) to the health care industry warning of the “likely increase [in] cyber intrusions against health care systems.” In the same month, and into June of...more

Community Health Systems' HIPAA Breach: Significant Lessons for Health Care and Non-Health Care Companies

On August 18, 2014, Community Health Systems, Inc. (CHS) publicly confirmed, in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (CHS filing), that its computer network was attacked between April and June 2014 by hackers...more

Unnecessary Surgeries Put Hospital in Three-Front War

When the government accuses a hospital of committing Medicare fraud by billing for unnecessary surgeries, the hospital has a real problem on its hands. It’s at war with the government, and that’s expensive, as well as...more

New ICD-10 Compliance Date Set for October 1, 2015

On July 31, 2014, CMS issued a final rule moving the ICD-10 compliance date from October 1, 2014 to October 1, 2015, and requiring HIPAA covered entities to continue to use ICD-9 through September 30, 2015. The final rule...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 21: Self-Funded Group Health Plans, the Affordable Care Act...

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) ushered in broad national standards aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the U.S. health care system. Referred to generically as...more

Upcoming Health and Welfare Plan Requirements Checklist for Employers

As the mid-way point of 2014 approaches, employers should actively turn their attention to several upcoming compliance obligations for the health and welfare benefit plans they sponsor. Below is a checklist of upcoming...more

WEBINAR: Preparing for the HITECH September Deadline - Tips for Negotiating Effective Business Associate Agreements under HIPAA

Business Associate Agreements (BAAs), in the current regulatory and technological environment, require careful review and negotiation of the implementation of the regulatory requirements. In meeting the September 23, 2014...more

Nursing Facility Survey Trends - Directed Plans of Correction, Privacy Violations and FTag 520 Quality Assurance Committee...

Directed Plans of Correction, or DPOCs, have long been part of the arsenal of enforcement sanctions available to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for survey deficiencies, just like civil money penalties (CMPs);...more

ACOs And Pay for Value … About the Data

It has been over three years since the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced its proposed rule and guidance on the development and implementation of Accountable Care Organizations. About four million...more

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