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Showing 8 posts from February 2014.

2014 Work Plan for SNFs, Hospice & Home Health Services

If you are a physician and want to know the specific initiatives in the OIG’s 2014 Work Plan applicable to you, check out the post from earlier this week. Today, we will be examining the OIG’s enforcement priorities for skilled nursing facilities (“SNF”), hospice, and home health services. More >

2014 Work Plan Highlights for Physicians

On January 31, 2014, the Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) finally released its Work Plan for fiscal year 2014. The Work Plan is a dense summary of the OIG’s various enforcement priorities for the year. This overview is specifically for physicians, hospitals, and other health care providers. Some of this year’s plan’s significant focus areas are discussed below. More >

More Patient Access, but Less Understanding?

On February 3, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) issued a Final Rule granting a patient, or his/her personal representative or designee, direct access to the patient’s completed laboratory test reports, if so requested. In addition, the Final Rule eliminates the exception under the HIPAA Privacy Rule to an individual’s right to access his or her protected health information when it is held by a CLIA-certified or CLIA-exempt laboratory. More >

New Rule Brings Sweeping Changes to Physician Privacy, Part II

Earlier this week, we discussed the new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) policy on disclosure of Medicare reimbursement to individual physicians.  The policy, set to take effect on March 18, 2014, enables the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to evaluate requests for physician pay information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and, in some cases, release the data. This new policy marks a fundamental shift in HHS’ commitment to protect physician privacy. More >

New Rule Brings Sweeping Changes to Physician Privacy

On January 17, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) would begin granting Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for Medicare reimbursement to individual physicians on a “case-by-case basis.”  The new policy, effective March 18, 2014, is a departure from CMS’ long-standing practice of withholding information on physician reimbursement under the Medicare program. More >

The Affordable Care Act & Small Business Recap

On February 4, McBrayer and Business Lexington presented a panel discussion on how small businesses can navigate the Affordable Care Act. I was honored to moderate the event and hope that attendees benefited from the panel’s real-world advice on how to traverse the new landscape of health insurance. A huge thank you to the panelists: Jon Carroll, Beverly Clemons, Betsy Johnson, Cris Miller, and Garry Ramsey. More >

Small Devices & Big Consequences: Why Medical Practices Need Encryption

On Tuesday, I shared information about the U.S. Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office of Civil Rights’ (“OCR”) first settlement with a medical practice for alleged violations of the breach notification provisions of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (“HITECH”) Act. The $150,000 settlement was made with Adult & Pediatric Dermatology, P.C., (“the Practice”) after the entity reported a stolen jump drive that contained PHI of approximately 2,200 patients. More >

Coming to a Medical Practice near You: HIPAA and Hi-Tech Audits

On December 26, 2013, the U.S. Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced  its first settlement with a covered entity for not having policies and procedures in place to address the breach notification provisions of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (“HITECH”) Act. Adult & Pediatric Dermatology, P.C., (“the Practice”) of Concord, Massachusetts agreed to settle potential violations with a $150,000 penalty and corrective action plan. More >

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