CMS Emergency Preparedness Rule Takes Effect Nov. 15

In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, the November 15, 2017 deadline for new Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regulations on emergency preparedness seems all the more critical. Hundreds of facilities were devastated by flooding and damage, leaving them without vital patient data and at risk of security breaches and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act violations. [...]

By |2017-10-13T10:37:21-07:00October 10, 2017|

Medicare Fraud Strike Force Sends Strong Message on Fraud and Abuse

Highlighting its continued focus on cracking down on Medicare fraud and abuse practices, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced this month the largest ever health care fraud enforcement action precipitated by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force. As part of this national health care fraud takedown, the government charged 412 defendants with approximately $1.3 billion [...]

By |2017-10-10T13:03:18-07:00July 27, 2017|

OIG Expands Exclusion Authorities Under Final Rule

On January 12, 2017, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued its Final Rule regarding its authority to exclude individuals and entities from participation in the Federal health care programs. The Final Rule, which takes effect on February 13, 2017, clarifies and expands the OIG’s exclusion authority under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Statute [...]

By |2017-01-26T09:03:48-07:00January 24, 2017|

HHS and CMS Adjust Civil Monetary Penalties by More Than Double

Maximum civil monetary penalties for skilled nursing providers, home health agencies and clinical labs more than doubled under a final rule released by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The rule, which implements the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015, adjusts the penalties to reflect inflation and “maintain their [...]

By |2017-03-14T15:36:04-07:00October 28, 2016|

Don’t Hit Reply: Why Your Company Could Violate HIPAA by Responding on Social Media

Does your health care company have a website, Yelp or Google profile, Facebook page, or a Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn account? Do your patients have the ability to post or make comments on these different social media platforms? If you answered yes to both of these questions, your company should be concerned about potential exposure to the Health Insurance Portability [...]

By |2016-12-27T11:06:24-07:00May 23, 2016|

DHS Enhances Opportunities for H-1B1, E-3, CW-1 Nonimmigrants and Certain EB-1 Immigrants, Final Rule Posted

On January 15, the Department of Homeland Security announced policy changes affecting H-1B1, E-3 and CW-1 nonimmigrant workers and EB-1 immigrant workers. The regulations went into effect on February 16. The department’s stated intention is that by removing needless obstacles which disadvantage these workers in relation to similarly-situated but alternatively-classified counterparts, employers and workers will benefit. Among nonimmigrants, the changes affect highly-skilled [...]

By |2016-12-27T11:06:27-07:00March 8, 2016|

New Guidelines Make It Easier for Patients to Access Medical Records

Most of us have heard of HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, and know that it provides strong protection for the privacy of personal medical information. It also grants patients broad access to their own personal health information. Or at least it’s supposed to do that. Officials at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) [...]

By |2016-12-27T11:06:28-07:00February 2, 2016|

DOJ Formalizes Focus on Corporate Wrongdoing in ‘Yates Memorandum’

Before I left the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Counsel to the Inspector General (“OIG”) in late 2013, the Federal government’s focus on holding corporate officials accountable for fraud was already in the making. So it was not with any great surprise that the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), through U.S. Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, formalized its [...]

By |2017-03-14T15:36:15-07:00November 11, 2015|

Encouraging Compliance Key to Achieving Compliance Goals

For governing boards, creating a compliance program is the first step in achieving compliance goals, but encouraging compliance is key to ensuring the program will be effective. The Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services recently published “Practical Guidance for Health Care Governing Boards on Compliance Oversight,” in collaboration with a number of leading [...]

By |2016-12-27T11:06:37-07:00June 11, 2015|

Practical Guidance for Health Care Governing Boards on Compliance Oversight

The Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services recently published “Practical Guidance for Health Care Governing Boards on Compliance Oversight” in collaboration with a number of leading health care organizations. Previous guidance from the OIG has emphasized the need for governing boards to be fully engaged in the oversight of their organization’s compliance program.  [...]

By |2015-06-04T08:43:19-07:00June 3, 2015|