On December 10, 2020, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced proposed changes to the regulations implementing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
Like many states, the Alabama legislature passed, and Governor Ivey signed into law, a bill that provides civil liability protections to Alabama businesses and healthcare providers related to COVID-19.
On January 19, 2021, the Office for Civil Rights ("OCR") at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS") announced that it will exercise its enforcement discretion and will not impose penalties for violations of the HIPAA Rules in connection with the good faith use of online or web-based scheduling applications (collectively, "WBSAs") when used for scheduling individual appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency.
As if hospitals don't have enough challenges with the fallout from COVID-19, they also need to comply with the new Hospital Price Transparency Rule (See 45 C.F.R. Part 180) which is effective January 1, 2021.
Although HIPAA is probably best known for its privacy and security provisions, it also affords certain essential rights to ensure that individuals have access to their medical records.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, employers are taking a second look at even the most routine of workplace situations. Where multi-employee Monday morning watercooler gatherings once took place, empty spaces with social distancing reminders have appeared.
There have been a number of recent enforcement actions announced by the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights ("OCR") regarding alleged discrimination during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Food and Drug Administration has issued a proposed rule that would allow states to pursue pilot programs to import drugs from Canada and a draft guidance that would allow drugmakers to import their own products and sell them under different drug codes.
On October 9, 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services ("CMS") proposed sweeping changes to the federal Physician Self-Referral Law, commonly referred to as the Stark Law.
Driven by Federal Health Care Reform and a desire to remain independent of hospitals and health care systems, physician groups are actively exploring different collaborative and alignment options, including the formation of independent practice associations (IPAs), integrated care networks (ICNs), and participation in accountable care organizations (ACOs).
On May 21, 2019, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued the final regulations referred to as the Federal conscience and anti-discrimination laws.
Make no mistake, the federal government intends to hold health information technology ("HIT") companies accountable for failures to develop HIT in accordance with federal certification standards and compliance with federal fraud and abuse laws, including payments for customer referrals.
This December, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Healthcare & Public Health Sector Coordinating Councils issued voluntary guidelines to assist healthcare providers assess cybersecurity risks and suggestions for mitigating those risks.
Starting January 1st, Medicare will put the competitive bidding program (CBP) on durable medical equipment on hiatus. For patients and businesses alike, this opens the door to easier access and a larger market in Birmingham for the sales and rentals of anything from nebulizers to prosthetics to home hospital beds.
If you ask a healthcare provider to state the healthcare laws and regulations that give them a headache, you are likely to receive a range of responses.
We recently reported that Michael Granston, Director of the Civil Fraud Section of the Department of Justice (DOJ), made comments during a November 2017 healthcare compliance conference suggesting that in cases where the DOJ has determined allegations in a qui tam (or "whistleblower") lawsuit lack merit, the government may more aggressively exercise its statutory authority - rarely used in the past - to dismiss such cases.
The battle over 340B continues as hospitals serving some of the nation's most vulnerable patients worry what will happen if $1.6 billion in cuts go through.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently made a surprising announcement that it may begin seeking dismissal of meritless qui tam cases brought under the False Claims Act.
Last year drew to a close with promises for the swift repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act after the inauguration of Donald Trump.
During last year's Alabama legislative session, Senator Trip Pittman introduced a proposal to rein in the costs of malpractice suits. Senate Bill 413 would have replaced the trial-based system with a no-blame, administrative one.
As providers who are currently undergoing a Medicare claims appeal know, there is a lengthy delay to having an appeal actually heard by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). Some estimates indicate that it will currently take over 10 years to have an appeal heard.
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