The Davis Brown Health Law Blog is dedicated to the legal and business issues facing health care providers. Topics include regulatory developments, employment law updates, and compliance trends of importance to a wide variety of providers, including hospitals, physician practices, surgery centers, long-term care facilities and rural providers.
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The Office of Civil Rights for Health and Human Services is launching a nationwide review of the language access policies of critical access hospitals following a 10 state review in 2012. Read More »
Yesterday the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) released a special fraud alert addressing physician ownership in entities that derive revenue from implantable medical devices. Read More »
A small non-profit hospice in Idaho agreed to pay $50,000 to settle allegations that it violated the HIPAA security regulations. The allegations stemmed from a report made to HHS by the hospice after a laptop containing protected health information of 441 patients was stolen. Read More »
The new standard for assessing whether or not a reportable breach has occurred shifts the burden of proof to the covered entities or BA to show that there is a "low probability of risk" that the information has been "compromised." But what exactly is compromised information? Read More »
It has always been difficult to make determinations regarding what information can be provided to a family member once a patient or long-term care resident has passed away. Items such as a Durable Power of Attorney or Healthcare Power of Attorney expire at the time that the patient dies and who is the patient representative can be an emotionally complex question. The state based rules on who can access information can be complicated, particularly when there are competing claims on multiple claimants.
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Under the revised HIPAA regulations published on 01/25/2013 business associates and their subcontractors become specifically liable for most of the security and privacy regulations under HIPAA and the HITECH Act. Read More »
On Jan. 15, Leon Rodriguez, Director of the Office of Civil Rights, released a letter to the nations' healthcare providers reiterating adherence to what many commonly refer to as the Tarasoff standard. Tarasoff was a California case which basically set forth the provision that if a patient would cause imminent harm or risk to another then the standard rules of confidentiality did not apply in terms of providing information to law enforcement or others who could prevent the harm. Mr. Rodriguez's letter reiterates this standard as found in the HIPAA Privacy Rule at 45 CFR §164.512(j) and clearly states that providers may provide information to law enforcement or others to prevent significant harm. Read More »
Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the long-awaited final rules implementing changes to the HIPAA privacy and security rules enacted in 2009 by the HITECH Act. Read More »
Yesterday, the OIG released Advisory Opinion No. 12-15 addressing whether a hospital's per diem payment to specialty physicians for call coverage violated the Anti-Kickback Statute. Ultimately the OIG determined the proposed on-call arrangement did not violate the Anti-Kickback Statute. Read More »
CMS recently issued guidance to state surveyors to assist them in assessing a skilled nursing facility's compliance with end of life care planning requirements. The guidance, which includes training materials, can be accessed here. Read More »
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