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

GAO Takes Aim at GPOs

The GAO had drawn a bead on GPOs. In a report issued yesterday the Government Accountability Office expressed concern over the effect of GPOs (group purchasing organizations) on Medicare rates. The report recommended that...more

Caught Between Laws: Challenges for Health Care Providers in Using Criminal History Information in Employment Decisions

In an effort to increase protection for vulnerable patient populations, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) creates incentives for states to strengthen the employment background check programs available to long-term care providers....more

Preparing for HIPAA Compliance Audits

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the office responsible for administering and enforcing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), will...more

HIPAA Privacy in Emergency Situations

In light of the Ebola outbreak and other events, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, released a bulletin to ensure HIPAA covered entities are aware of the ways in which patient...more

No Sanctions for Basic Life Support Service Provider

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently issued Advisory Opinion 14-09 [PDF] and concluded that a town that uses tax revenues to cover out-of-pocket expenses owed for basic life support (BLS) emergency ambulance...more

Health Headlines: Also in the News - November 2014 #3

HHS Releases Bulletin Clarifying HIPAA Privacy Rule in Emergency Situations – In light of the recent Ebola outbreak, HHS released a bulletin on November 10, 2014 “to ensure that HIPAA covered entities and their...more

Another Lawsuit Adds to Uncertainty About ACA

On November 21, House Republicans filed a lawsuit to challenge certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The suit disputes two actions by the Obama Administration in implementing the law: a delay in the...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 5: Health and Human Services (HHS) Wastes No Time Issuing...

Over the last couple of months, we have followed and reported on a particular ACA compliance strategy under which an employer subject to the Affordable Care Act’s employer shared responsibility (or “pay-or-play”) rules...more

OIG's 2015 Work Plan Highlights Departmental Priorities

Each year the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General (OIG) issues its Work Plan to identify for the provider community the key fraud and abuse issues on which it will focus on in the coming...more

HRSA Withdraws Proposed “Mega Rule” for 340B Drug Pricing Program

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has withdrawn a proposed omnibus rule, referred to as the “mega rule,” for the 340B Drug Pricing...more

Health Update - November 2014

“Healthcare-Related” Calls: Ambiguity at the Intersection of HIPAA and TCPA - Editor’s Note: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has established exemptions from certain requirements of the Telephone Consumer...more

Employment Law - November 2014

State Voters Pass Paid Sick Leave, Wage Increases - Why it matters: The polls have closed and the votes are in: The midterm elections will have a significant impact on employers across the country as voters in multiple...more

D.C. Circuit Upholds Contraceptive Coverage Mandate

Last week, a unanimous three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit upheld the religious accommodation to the Affordable Care Act’s (“ACA”) contraceptive coverage mandate (Priests for Life v. HHS, D.C. Cir. No. 13-5368, Nov. 14,...more

ACO Fraud and Abuse Waivers Extended Through November 2, 2015

On October 17, 2014 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) and Office of Inspector General (OIG) within the Department of Health and Human Services published a continuation notice in the Federal Register extending the...more

HHS Issues Special HIPAA Guidance for Ebola Outbreak

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS"), Office for Civil Rights ("OCR"), released a bulletin last week addressing how covered entities (including certain health care providers and employer group health...more

HHS Extends November 17 Deadline to Submit Covered Lives Data under Reinsurance Program

The Health Care Reform Act created the transitional reinsurance program, which requires most self-insured health plans to make contributions to HHS for the 2014, 2015, and 2016 calendar years, in an attempt to stabilize...more

Government turns up the heat with the False Claims Act – 5 action steps for healthcare providers

Forbes magazine has dubbed 2014 “The Year of the Whistleblower.” For healthcare providers, this designation has translated into millions of dollars in fines and penalties and the initiation of criminal investigations. ...more

HRSA Withdraws 340B Program Proposed Rule

On November 14, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) withdrew a proposed rule that would have provided guidance on a variety of topics related to the...more

Data, Privacy & Security Practice Report – Also in the News: November 2014

Office for Civil Rights Releases HIPAA Bulletin in Light of Ebola Outbreak – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights released a bulletin today reminding HIPAA covered entities and...more

HRSA Abandons Plans for “Mega-Rule” for 340B Drug Pricing Program

Based on a notice posted on its Office of Pharmacy Affairs (OPA) website, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) intends to issue in 2015 proposed guidance addressing key policy issues raised by the various...more

The 340B Mega-Reg is Dead

With all due credit to the Coroner from the Wizard of Oz, like the Wicked Witch of the East crushed by Dorothy’s house, the 340B Drug Discount Program mega-reg is “not only merely dead, it’s really most sincerely dead.” And...more

HHS Withdraws Proposed 340B Drug Pricing Program "Mega Regs": Further Guidance Forthcoming

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has withdrawn its greatly anticipated 340B Drug Pricing Program (340B Program) proposed regulations. The proposed regulations, nicknamed the 340B Program “Mega-Regs,” had been...more

Do You Have A Health Plan Identifier?

Do You Even Know What It Is? With great focus on healthcare reform, you may have missed a current requirement for health plans to apply for and obtain a Health Plan Identifier (HPID). This requirement does not come...more

Why Providers Should Think About the Impact of ICD-10 on Managed Care Reimbursement Now

ICD-10 implementation has been delayed by Medicare until October 2015. Many believe it may be delayed again and are putting off thinking about its impact until it is clear that the updated code set will be implemented by...more

The Game Plan for Health Care Enforcement: Office of Inspector General Releases 2015 Work Plan

The Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) within the federal Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) is charged with protecting the integrity of HHS programs by combating fraud, abuse and waste. On Halloween of 2014,...more

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