Dept. of Health and Human Services

The United States Department of Health and Human Services is a federal executive department established in 1953, as part of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. The Agency became independent in 1980... more +
The United States Department of Health and Human Services is a federal executive department established in 1953, as part of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare. The Agency became independent in 1980 and was renamed The Department of Health and Human Services at that time. HHS is charged with protecting and improving the health of the American population, as well as providing essential services.    less -
News & Analysis as of

EEOC Proposes Regulatory Clarification on the Application of the ADA to Employer Wellness Program Incentives

Action Item: Employers who already have, or are considering implementing, wellness programs that involve cost-sharing reductions or other financial incentives for participants should carefully review their programs given the...more

GAO Calls for Tighter Reins on Section 1115 Demonstrations

A recent GAO report examined expenditure authorities in “section 1115” demonstrations approved by HHS between June 2012 and October 2013. Section 1115 of the Social Security Act gives HHS broad authority to approve...more

GAO Report on Oversight of Medicaid Payments to Hospitals

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a report entitled “Medicaid: CMS Oversight of Provider Payments Is Hampered by Limited Data and Unclear Policy.” The report examines how state Medicaid payments to...more

New HIPAA Guide to Privacy and Security of Electronic Health Information

The HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) recently released Version 2.0 of its Guide to Privacy and Security of Electronic Health Information (Guide)....more

Also In The News - Health Headlines - May 2015 #2

CMS Publishes Corrected Comment Deadline for FY 2016 IPPS and LTCH Proposed Rule; Comments Due by June 16, 2015 – On May 5, 2015, CMS published in the Federal Register a corrected comment period for the FY 2016 Medicare IPPS...more

Sen. Health Committee Chairman Blasts “Whimsical” Health Agency Guidance

Sen. Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Senate Health, Education & Labor Committee, has issued letters to the Department of Health & Human Services and a number of federal agencies, requesting information about their procedures...more

"HHS OIG Issues New Compliance Oversight Guidance for Boards of Directors"

On April 20, 2015, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published its “Practical Guidance for Health Care Governing Boards on Compliance Oversight” (the Guidance).1...more

Guidance Clarifies Preventive Care Requirements

Recent guidance issued jointly by the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury clarifies how the Affordable Care Act's requirement to provide cost-free coverage for preventive care applies to...more

Medigap Insurer's Contract with Preferred Hospital Network Approved (Yet Again)

On April 22, 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued Advisory Opinion 15-05 [PDF], approving a Medigap insurer’s proposed contract with a preferred hospital network. The...more

ONC Releases Privacy and Security Guidance Geared Toward Small Providers

The HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (“ONC”) recently released a new and improved version 2.0 of their Guide to Privacy and Security of Electronic Health Information. This revamped...more

GAO Report Analyzes Options for Medicare Card Technology

Historically, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS“) issues all Medicare beneficiaries a paper card that includes the beneficiary’s name, Medicare number and eligibility status. Beneficiaries present the cards...more

Wellness Programs and the EEOC, Part One

On May 29, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services finalized rules regarding wellness programs offered in conjunction with group health...more

OCR Enforcement of HIPAA Affects Entities of all Sizes Small Pharmacy Enters into Latest Settlement

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced late last week that Cornell Prescription Pharmacy (Cornell) agreed to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996...more

OCR Announces Another HIPAA Settlement and Warns Not to Forget About Paper Records

On April 27, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced that Cornell Prescription Pharmacy (“Cornell Pharmacy”) had entered into a resolution agreement to settle,...more

HIPAA Rules and Procedures in the Event of a Data Breach, Part Two

My last post focused on the discovery and investigation of a data security breach to determine if breach notification is needed. Today’s post now turns to the requirements of breach notification triggered by a data security...more

HHS Issues Proposed Rule for Stage 3 of EHR Incentive Program

On March 30, 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) published its proposed rule for Stage 3 the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program (the “EHR Program”). The EHR Program is a three stage program that...more

Wellness Watch: Guidance Is (Almost) Here

In December 2014, we highlighted the challenges that employers have been facing in ensuring that their wellness programs are not in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Genetic Information...more

OCR Settles Alleged HIPAA Violations with Small, Single Location Pharmacy for $125,000 – Emphases Importance for Secure Disposal...

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) announced yesterday a new settlement relating to potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996...more

New Regulations Permit Employers to Offer Limited Wraparound Health Coverage as Excepted Benefit - McGuireWoods Healthcare Reform...

This is the 48th in a series of WorkCite articles concerning the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and its companion statute, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (referred to collectively as the...more

Colorado Compounding Pharmacy Enters Six-Figure Settlement Agreement to Settle Alleged HIPAA Privacy Rule Violations

On April 27, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that Cornell Prescription Pharmacy (CPP), a single-location pharmacy in the Denver, Colo. metropolitan area, agreed to settle alleged HIPAA...more

HIPAA Rules and Procedures in the Event of a Data Breach, Part One

As discussed in my prior post, recent massive data breaches at major retailers and health insurance providers paint a bleak picture of modern data and emphasize the importance of strong security safeguards and plans for...more

Blog: Colorado Pharmacy Reaches HIPAA Settlement with OCR Following Improper Records Disposal

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced that Cornell Prescription Pharmacy of Denver, Colorado (“Cornell Pharmacy”) has agreed to settle potential violations of...more

New Postings on the Reed Smith Health Industry Washington Watch Blog - April 2015

The Reed Smith Health Industry Washington Watch blog has been updated to report on recent health policy developments, including the following...more

HHS releases HIPAA guidance on workplace wellness programs

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently issued guidance on “HIPAA Privacy and Security and Workplace Wellness Programs.” The guidance helps employers determine whether or not the health information it may...more

Pharmacy Pays $125,000 for Failure to Properly Dispose of Paper Records

Cornell Prescription Pharmacy (“CPP”), a Colorado single-location pharmacy, has agreed to pay $125,000 to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights to settle alleged violations of the...more

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