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Category Archives: Compliance Issues

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Countdown to Compliance for Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Posted in Affordable Care Act (ACA), Compliance Issues
If you are an entity covered by Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Section 1557), you have less than a week to prepare your non-discrimination notices and taglines. The final rule implementing 1557 requires that by October 16, 2016, healthcare providers and other covered entities publish and disseminate non-discrimination notices, including… Continue Reading

SOS Answered: New Guidance on HIPAA for App Developers

Posted in Business Associates, Compliance Issues, Covered Entities, HIPAA, Technology, Trends
Amidst criticism that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) lags behind technological innovation, the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) released new guidance to aid app developers in determining how HIPAA may apply to the products they are building and developing. OCR explained that the guidance is intended to “reduce some of the uncertainty… Continue Reading

Hospital Pays $218,400 to OCR for HIPAA Violations

Posted in Compliance Issues, Covered Entities, HIPAA, Privacy, Security
St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center (“SEMC”), a tertiary care hospital in Brighton, Massachusetts, has agreed to pay $218,400 to the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) to settle alleged violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”). SEMC will also implement a corrective action plan. The settlement stems from a 2012 complaint to… Continue Reading

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

Posted in Compliance Issues, Covered Entities, HIPAA, Privacy, Security
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 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”). CPP will also adopt a two-year corrective action plan. The settlement is the… Continue Reading

Millions Affected by Hackers’ Attack on Health Insurer Anthem, Inc.

Posted in Compliance Issues, Health Insurance, Privacy, Technology
“Anthem was the target of a very sophisticated external cyber attack,” announced Joseph Swedish, Anthem’s President and CEO. Anthem, Inc., formerly known as WellPoint, Inc., is one of the largest health insurance companies in the United States. The exact number of affected individuals is still unknown, but initial estimates indicate that tens of millions of… Continue Reading

TOP FIVE RESOLUTIONS FOR COVERED ENTITIES AND BUSINESS ASSOCIATES IN 2015

Posted in Business Associates, Compliance Issues, Covered Entities, HIPAA
The New Year is here. It is time to make those 2015 resolutions, and not just those for getting fit and healthy. Resolve now to improve your organization’s compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”).   HIPAA requires entities that create, receive, maintain, or transmit protected health information (“PHI”) to protect that… Continue Reading

Anchorage Community Mental Health Services to Pay $125,000 in Newest HIPAA Settlement: Covered Entities and Business Associates Must Update Unpatched and Unsupported Software, Says OCR

Posted in Compliance Issues, HIPAA
Anchorage Community Mental Health Services, Inc. (“ACMHS”) will pay $125,000 to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) to settle alleged violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”). The settlement arises from a breach of unsecured electronic protected health information (“PHI”) due to malware that compromised… Continue Reading

HIPAA in the Time of Ebola

Posted in Business Associates, Compliance Issues, HIPAA, Privacy, Regulations, Trends
Ebola has recently been the source of much concern, and health care providers and hospitals are taking steps to prepare themselves for the possibility of treating patients with Ebola. In addition to all of the medical preparations underway, covered entities and business associates must also continue to be aware of the protections in place that… Continue Reading

September 22, 2014 – HIPAA Compliance Deadline for Business Associate Agreements Is Just Around the Corner

Posted in Business Associates, Compliance Issues, HIPAA, Regulations
All business associate agreements (“BAAs”) must be updated and compliant with current Health Insurance Accountability and Portability Act (“HIPAA”) regulations by September 22, 2014. Failure to meet this deadline could result in large penalties for covered entities and/or business associates if there is a breach of protected health information (“PHI”) or a government audit. If… Continue Reading

News from the Health Law Gurus™: Week of August 17, 2014

Posted in Affordable Care Act (ACA), Compliance Issues, False Claims Act, Fraud and Abuse, Health Insurance, HIPAA, News from the Health Law Gurus, Stark Law
News from the Health Law Gurus™ is a weekly summary of notable health law news from around the country with helpful links to related content. Check back every week for the latest health law news stories. Chinese Hackers Infiltrate Health System Network Affecting 4.5 Million Individuals – Community Health Systems, Inc. (“CHS”) reported this week… Continue Reading

Chinese Hackers Infiltrate Health System Network – Information of 4.5 Million Individuals Stolen

Posted in Compliance Issues, HIPAA, Privacy
Community Health Systems, Inc. (“CHS”) reported yesterday that the information of approximately 4.5 million individuals has been affected by a Chinese cyber-attack. CHS and its affiliates own and operate 206 hospitals in 29 states. CHS stated in a report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday that the attackers, believed to be a… Continue Reading

News from the Health Law Gurus™: Week of August 3, 2014

Posted in Affordable Care Act (ACA), Compliance Issues, Fraud and Abuse, News from the Health Law Gurus, Technology, Trends
News from the Health Law Gurus™ is a weekly summary of notable health law news from around the country with helpful links to related content. Check back every week for the latest health law news stories. ICD-10 Compliance Deadline Is Now October 1, 2015 – Health care providers, health plans, and health care clearinghouses (“Health… Continue Reading

ICD-10 Compliance Deadline Is Now October 1, 2015

Posted in Compliance Issues, Regulations, Technology
Health care providers, health plans, and health care clearinghouses (“Health Care Entities”) are required to comply with ICD-10 (which stands for the International Classification for Diseases, 10th Edition) on October 1, 2015, according to a new final rule (“Final Rule”) released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”). This means that Health… Continue Reading

Lab Arrangements under the Microscope: OIG Issues New Fraud Alert

Posted in Compliance Issues, Fraud and Abuse
Arrangements between laboratories and referring physicians/physician group practices (the “physicians”) have long been subject to scrutiny by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (“OIG”). On June 25, 2014, the OIG released additional guidance on certain types of these arrangements in a Special Fraud Alert titled “Laboratory Payments to Referring Physicians”… Continue Reading

News from the Health Law Gurus™: Week of June 22nd, 2014

Posted in Affordable Care Act (ACA), Compliance Issues, Health Insurance, HIPAA, News from the Health Law Gurus, Privacy, Regulations
News from the Health Law Gurus™ is a weekly summary of notable health law news from around the country with helpful links to related content. Check back every week for the latest health law news stories. Pa. Supreme Court Weighs in on Medical Record Charges—In Wayne M. Chiurazzi Law v. MRO, Chief Justice Ronald D.… Continue Reading

$800,000 Medical Records Dumping Settlement: Expensive Reminder that HIPAA Applies to Paper Records, Too

Posted in Compliance Issues, HIPAA
A 2009 incident involving the dumping of 71 boxes of medical records will cost an Indiana-based health system, Parkview Health System, Inc. (“Parkview”), $800,000 for alleged violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”). HIPAA requires health care providers and other health care entities, called “Covered Entities,” to safeguard individuals’ protected health information… Continue Reading

News from the Health Law Gurus™: Week of June 8th, 2014

Posted in Anti-Kickback Statute, Compliance Issues, False Claims Act, News from the Health Law Gurus, Technology
News from the Health Law Gurus™ is a weekly summary of notable health law news from around the country with helpful links to related content. Check back every Friday for the latest health law news stories. Burwell Confirmed as HHS Secretary—Last week, the Senate approved of the Obama Administration’s nominee for Secretary of Department of… Continue Reading

News from the Health Law Gurus™: Week of May 4th, 2014

Posted in Affordable Care Act (ACA), Compliance Issues, HIPAA, Privacy
News from the Health Law Gurus™ is a weekly summary of notable health law news from around the country with helpful links to related content. Check back every Friday for the latest health law news stories. Massachusetts to Start from Scratch with Health Insurance Website—Massachusetts plans to abandon its health insurance exchange website in favor… Continue Reading

Server Breach Makes ePHI Accessible on Google, Costs Covered Entities $4.8 Million

Posted in Compliance Issues, HIPAA, Privacy
It would be pretty unsettling if your patient status, vital signs, medications, and laboratory results were available for the world to see on Google, wouldn’t it? According to recent settlement agreements announced by the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) on May 7, 2014, that’s exactly what happened when New York and Presbyterian Hospital… Continue Reading

News from the Health Law Gurus™: Week of April 20th, 2014

Posted in Compliance Issues, FDA, HIPAA, Medicare, News from the Health Law Gurus, Privacy, Regulations
News from the Health Law Gurus™ is a weekly summary of notable health law news from around the country with helpful links to related content. Check back every Friday for the latest health law news stories. Passwords Affected from Heartbleed – HealthCare.gov, the website for the federally-facilitated health insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act,… Continue Reading

To Encrypt or Not to Encrypt—A $2 Million Question with a Simple Answer, HHS Says

Posted in Compliance Issues, HIPAA, Privacy, Technology
The Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) just announced a pair of settlements arising out of the theft of two laptops containing protected health information (“PHI”).  Two entities, Concentra Health Services (“Concentra”) and QCA Health Plan, Inc. of Arkansas (“QCA”), have agreed to pay the HHS Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) nearly $2 million… Continue Reading

New HIPAA Tool Released by the Federal Government – Makes Assessing Risks Easier and It Won’t Cost You a Dime

Posted in Compliance Issues, HIPAA
Do you lie awake at night wondering if you or the health care entity for which you work is complying with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”)? If so, you will be happy to hear that a good night’s sleep might be in your future. The government recently released a new software tool,… Continue Reading

I’ll Be Watching You: Medicare Billing Info on over 880,000 Providers Released by CMS to Improve Transparency

Posted in Compliance Issues, Fraud and Abuse, Medicare
Every payment you take, every claim you make, someone will be watching you. No, we don’t mean Sting. We mean all the consumers and businesses that will have greater access to physician billing information now because today the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released billing and payment information for over 880,000 practitioners. This… Continue Reading

Counties Beware – Your Governmental Status Does Not Protect You from Liability for a HIPAA Breach

Posted in Compliance Issues, HIPAA, Privacy
As a county government, you may think that you have the protection of sovereign immunity and protection from other governments penalizing you. Your status does not protect you. The Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) wants local governments to know that they are not immune from scrutiny for violations of the Health Insurance Portability… Continue Reading