Dept. of Health and Human Services Compliance

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

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

OIG Proposes Updates to Exclusion and CMP Authority

The Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently issued a pair of proposed regulations to update its exclusion and civil monetary penalty (CMP) authority. The proposed regulations...more

Pricing Issues Affecting Laboratories

Craig Holden co-presented "New Compliance Red Flags Workshop," a workshop hosted by G2 Intelligence. Over the past five years, the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services have recovered $19.2 billion from...more

Policyholders Face Heightened Scrutiny Under OCR’s New Permanent Audit Program

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) has notably increased enforcement of compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) and Health Information...more

HHS OIG Releases Proposed Rules Regarding Increased Authority to Combat Fraud and Abuse under the ACA

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services proposed two new rules last week in order to expand its enforcement authority, implementing changes adopted as part of the Patient...more

Health Law Insights Newsletter - April 2014

In This Issue: - Federal Updates - State Updates - HIPAA Updates - Excerpt from Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Issues Guidance for Meaningful Use Hardship Exception: The Centers...more

HHS announces new risk assessment tool for HIPAA security compliance

Recently, the Department of Health and Human Services released an interactive security risk assessment tool intended to assist employers who sponsor self-insured group health plans in complying with their HIPAA security rule...more

Physical Therapy Provider Enters into HIPAA Settlement

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently announced yet another enforcement action. Specifically, OCR opened a compliance review of Concentra Health Services (Concentra) upon...more

Free HIPAA Help

Health care providers, health plans, business associates, and other entities affected by the federal HIPAA privacy and security regulations are quickly running out of excuses for not having a robust HIPAA compliance program...more

HHS's New Security Risk Tool for HIPAA Compliance

On March 28, 2014, the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), in conjunction with the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR), released a Security Risk Assessment tool (SRA tool) to assist...more

Hospital Executive Indicted for Allegedly Lying about Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records

A hospital executive was recently indicted for allegedly submitting a false attestation regarding a hospital’s “meaningful use” of electronic health records (“EHR”) technology through the Medicare EHR incentive program. This...more

DHHS Gearing Up to Begin HIPAA Audits of Business Associates

The office of US Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius recentlyannounced plans to perform "pre-audit" HIPAA compliance surveys of 800 Covered Entities and 400 Business Associates. Under the...more

HHS Reports First HIPAA Settlement with a County Government

According to a HHS press release issued last Friday, Skagit County, Washington, has agreed to a $215,000 settlement with the agency to resolve allegations that the county’s HIPAA compliance program was deficient. The Skagit...more

HIPAA Audits Set to Begin in 2014: Another Enforcement Mechanism for HIPAA Compliance

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is expected to launch its long-awaited HIPAA audit program sometime in 2014. The audit program will be run by HHS’ Office of Civil Rights (OCR), which is likely eager to get...more

HIPAA Housekeeping - Don't Forget Your Annual Report of Small Breaches

If you are a "covered entity" under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ("HIPAA") and suffer a breach of protected health information, one of your first reactions should be to count the number of affected...more

Privacy And Data Security For Life Sciences And Health Care Companies

Pepper Hamilton Health Care-Life Sciences Webinar - The explosion of mobile technology and Web applications linking patients with doctors, pharmacies and medical devices is undergoing scrutiny by the FDA, FTC, HHS and...more

The Healthcare Industry And Chief Compliance Officers

The healthcare industry has been an innovative leader in developing compliance tools and strategies. They have come by it honestly – prosecutors and HHS-OIG have been pounding on pharmaceutical companies, medical device...more

Health Care Self-Disclosure Protocols – Is It Worth It To Self-Report?

In recent years the federal government has aggressively investigated and prosecuted pharmaceutical companies and health care providers for possible violations of anti-fraud, anti-kickback and other laws. These efforts have...more

Be Prepared – HIPAA Audits are Coming in 2014

Later this year, the Department of Health and Human Services (“DHHS”) is expected to launch its permanent HIPAA Audit Program. The HIPAA Audit Program is authorized under Section 13411 of the HITECH Act, and is designed to...more

Does Your Wellness Plan Need a (Legal) Check-Up?

Wellness plans must comply with complex final regulations that were issued last year by the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury (collectively, the “Departments”). To help plans from falling off...more

Health Care Enforcement in 2013: A Year in Review

In 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”), Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (“HHS-OIG”), and other federal and state agencies continued to aggressively prosecute health care fraud and related...more

Privacy and Security Alert: January 9th, 2014

On December 5, 2013, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) reported on the Office for Civil Rights’ (OCR) compliance as of May 2011 with oversight and enforcement of the Security Rule and compliance with federal cybersecurity...more

It’s Not Enough to Notify: Don’t Forget the Policies, Risk Analyses, and Training

HIPAA compliance ended with a bang in 2013, with the feds issuing the first settlement involving a health provider’s failure to have breach notification policies and procedures in place. On Dec. 24, 2013, the Department of...more

HHS Gives A Thumbs Down For Stolen Thumb Drive

On December 26, 2013, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (HHS) announced that it had reached an agreement with a Northeastern dermatology practice to settle potential HIPAA violations...more

OIG Releases Five-Year Strategic Plan – Providers Need To Keep Compliance Focus

The federal government invests significant resources in combating health care fraud and abuse. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) recently released its Strategic Plan...more

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