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

HHS Proposes Rules to Eliminate Backlog … in 5 Years

On June 28, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a series of regulatory changes in the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) designed to curtail the massive backlog of Medicare claim appeals....more

HHS Releases Guidance On Ransomware And HIPAA

On July 11, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) published new guidance on the how HIPAA applies to ransomware prevention and attacks. Specifically, the guidance lays out...more

HHS: Ransomware Attacks Can Trigger Reporting Requirements

On July 11, 2016, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released new HIPAA guidance regarding ransomware. The Fact Sheet, issued by OCR on July 11, covers various issues relating to ransomware, including reporting...more

Cybersecurity News & Notes – July 2016 #4

In Case You Missed It: U.S. Major party platforms address cybersecurity. The two major parties have released their 2016 election platforms, both of which include cybersecurity planks. The Republican platform’s perspective...more

HHS OCR Guidance on Ransomware Attacks: They Constitute a “Security Incident” and Are Likely a Data Breach

On July 11, 2016, the HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) released guidance on HIPAA covered entities’ responsibilities in a ransomware attack, a type of cyber-attack that has targeted the health care sector extensively in...more

Congress and Obama Administration Take Steps to Ease Buprenorphine Access

On Friday, July 22, President Obama signed the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (CARA). Following on federal, state and local trends, CARA seeks to expand access for persons needing opioid treatment....more

New Materials Help Covered Entities Comply with Nondiscrimination Rules

Last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) released new materials for covered entities to use to comply with Section 1557, the nondiscrimination provision of the Affordable Care Act. Section 1557...more

Ransomware Attack is a Breach – Unless You Can Prove Otherwise

Ransomware is the fastest growing malware threat in the United States, targeting simple home computers to elaborate corporate IT networks. The Federal Bureau of Investigation recently reported an increase in ransomware...more

Stand Alone, Fixed-Indemnity Plans Are Back, Maybe

In Central United Life Ins. Co. v. Burwell, D.C. Cir. No. 15-5310 (July 1, 2016), a D.C. Circuit panel affirmed, 3-0, a trial court injunction barring enforcement of the 2014 HHS regulation permitting individual...more

House Appropriations Labor Legislation Blocking the Labor Department's Fiduciary Rule and Other Regulations Moves Forward

On Thursday, July 7, the House Appropriations Labor Subcommittee approved a FY2017 appropriations bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. The bill would provide $12 billion for the Labor...more

Regulatory Authorities Launch The Second Phase Of The HIPAA Compliance Audit Program

As a part of its continued efforts to assess compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification Rules, the Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for...more

The Long Anticipated HIPAA Audits Are Here!

Phase 2 HIPAA Audits, which the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Civil Rights ("OCR") announced had "launched" back in March of this year, have now officially begun. On Monday, July 11, 2016, the first round...more

Ransomware Attacks on ePHI May Be a Data Breach Under HIPAA

On July 11, 2016, the Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) at the Department of Health and Human Services issued new HIPAA guidance regarding the growing epidemic of malicious computer software known as “ransomware”....more

OCR Issues New Guidance on Ransomware and HIPAA

In response to a rising number of ransomware attacks on healthcare systems, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has issued new ransomware guidance on the HIPAA obligations of...more

HHS Issues New Guidance on Ransomware

On July 11, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) issued guidance on ransomware attacks. The guidance clarified that a ransomware attack involving electronic protected...more

Obama Administration, Congress Take Steps to Fight Opioid Epidemic

HHS has announced a series of actions to address the nation’s opioid epidemic, as Congress has cleared the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act for the President’s signature. As part of the HHS activities, the Substance...more

Cybersecurity News & Notes – July 2016 #3

In Case You Missed It: Court certifies class in suit against Apple. On July 15, 2016, U.S. District Judge Jon S. Tigar certified a class of users of the mobile app Path, who allege that Apple facilitated the app’s access...more

OIG Permits Copayment Coupon Arrangement for Statutorily Non-Covered Drug in Advisory Opinion 16-07

On June 20, 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a favorable Advisory Opinion 16-07 regarding a savings card program (Card Program) under which Medicare Part D...more

OCR Begins HIPAA Phase 2 Audits

What covered entities and business associates can do to prepare for the next round of audits. On July 11, the HIPAA Phase 2 audits commenced when 167 covered entities received notice of a desk audit from the Department...more

Addressing the Opioid Crisis

Following the July 13 U.S. Senate's passage of Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), providers, families and communities should evaluate the act's impacts. The reform, S. 524, is viewed as a comprehensive approach...more

Washington Healthcare Update

This Week: Double Issue — Congress leaves for seven weeks, Congress sends opioid legislation to the President…More co-ops fail…The Supreme Court rules on Texas Abortion Case and Washington state Pharmacists and Religious...more

HHS Proposes Rules to Streamline the Medicare Appeals Process to Address Backlog

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a proposed rule intended to address the significant backlog resulting from “an unprecedented and sustained increase” in Medicare appeals. According to HHS, its...more

Health Care Fraud Prosecutions: Strong Seas and High Winds Ahead for Individuals and Corporations

During the past nine months, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has made several significant policy pronouncements that impact health care organizations and individual providers. These directives and initiatives reflect...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

Facility Policies Can Become a Basis for Assessing Civil Monetary Penalties

In Brenham Nursing & Rehab. Ctr. v. U.S. Dep't of Health & Human Servs., No. 15-60272, 2016 WL 454320 (5th Cir. Feb. 4, 2016), the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld a Final Agency Decision of the...more

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