News & Analysis as of

Health Alert (Australia) - Week of August 25, 2014

In This Issue: Judgments; Legislation; and Reports. Excerpt from Reports: Australia. Department of Health & Ageing Media releases - 20 August 2014 - New Centre to Deliver More Health...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

EEOC Sues Employer for Requiring Medical Details as Part of Sick Leave Approval

Employers that provide paid sick leave benefits often require doctors’ notes confirming the employee’s need to be out of work. Last month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit against a Pennsylvania employer...more

Audit Trails: Pitfalls of Electronic Medical Records, Part III

I do not profess to be an expert in the complexities of metadata in an electronic medical record (EMR). In simple terms, it is analogous to leaving footprints in the sand; although these do not wash away with high tide. In...more

It’s No Surprise: Health Care Data Breaches Are on the Rise and So Is Government Enforcement

In This Issue: - The Take-Aways for Covered Entities and Business Associates - For More Information - Excerpt from The Take-Aways for Covered Entities and Business Associates: As a majority of the...more

Medicaid Claims And Health Care Fraud: As The Data Flows, New Cracks Emerge

As we noted in two of our prior posts in the Insider blog, the government has long touted its ability to rely upon data mining as a means of detecting fraud in the federal health care system, and has initiated a host of...more

10 Popular Reads Covering Latest European Union Developments

Recap of popular updates covering latest developments in the European Union....more

Worthless Services/Substandard Quality of Care Criminal Prosecutions May Be on the Rise

If you are an operator of a skilled nursing facility (SNF), you might have faced the reality of insufficient medical staff and how it impacts your ability to deliver quality patient care to your residents. Or, you might have...more

HIPAA Violation Results in $4.8 Million Settlement

While most healthcare providers know to pay close attention to the HIPAA rules when setting up their information technology systems, recent events have demonstrated that this close scrutiny should also be applied to computer...more

HIPAA Data Breaches

HIPAA has been on the books since 1996. With the advent of electronic health records, HHS adopted security regulations to require covered entities to protect the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of electronic...more

eHealth closer with electronic health privacy rules

eHealth is closer to become a reality in Italy with the approval by the Italian Data Protection of the decree providing the requirements for electronic health records systems. We had already discussed in this post...more

D’oh! OCR Confirms that Medical Records Should Not be Left in the Driveway

The most recent Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) HIPAA enforcement action serves as an important reminder to health care providers of the security risks associated with a mishandled medical records custody transfer and the...more

Health Update - Jun 2014

Removing Regulatory Barriers to Accelerate EHR Adoption - Recognizing the potential long-term value of EHRs for improving care and reducing costs, many hospitals considered offering physicians financial support to...more

Health Law Alert: The Deadline for Amending Business Associate Agreements is Quickly Approaching

A key change from 2013’s HITECH “Omnibus” Rule was a requirement that Business Associate Agreements (“BAAs”) be modified to reflect revisions to HIPAA regulations. When the rule was issued on January 25, 2013, Covered...more

Five Lessons from OCR’s Report to Congress on Breaches and HIPAA Rules Compliance

Last week, the HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) released two reports required by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act: (i) the Annual Report to Congress on Breaches of Unsecured...more

The New "Meaningful Use" Landscape: A Transition from Incentives to Penalties - CMS Begins Enforcing Penalties for Failure to...

Starting in 2015, eligible physicians and hospitals participating in the Medicare Electronic Health Records Incentive Program who do not adopt "meaningful" use" certified electronic health record (EHR) technology will no...more

House committee questions authority of a DHHS staff division to regulate health IT

Is the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) overstepping its statutory authority in pursuing enhanced regulatory activity? A June 3, 2014 letter from the House Committee on Energy and...more

Health Law Alert: HIPAA Enforcement on the Rise, as OCR Audit Program Moves Forward

A recent settlement from New York—involving the largest fine levied to date in the history of HIPAA enforcement, a staggering $4.8 million imposed on two public hospitals—should remind health care providers, health plans and...more

Perspectives - June 2014

In This Issue: - Staying in Compliance While Giving or Receiving Electronic Health Record Systems - When Donations Cross the Line - House Bill 296 Signed into Law to Increase Access to Epinephrine Autoinjectors...more

CMS Proposes Change to 2014 “Meaningful Use” Rules

In the May 23, 2014 issue of the Federal Register (79 FR 29732), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) published a proposed rule (the “Proposed Rule”) that would change the so-called meaningful use stage...more

Human Error Biggest Threat to Patient Data Security and Privacy

Human error remains the biggest threat to healthcare data privacy, according to the latest study on patient privacy and data security by the Ponemon Institute. Healthcare organizations also continue to struggle with...more

CMS and ONC Propose Rule to Help Providers Make Use of EHR and to Extend Timeline for Meaningful Use

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) announced a proposed rule, on May 20, 2014, that would allow providers more flexibility...more

Proposed modifications to EHR Incentive Programs

Last year, HHS revised policies and definitions surrounding what constitutes certified EHR technology—required for meaningful use incentive program payment eligibility—from the 2011 Edition criteria to the 2014 Edition...more

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