Attorneys & Physicians Explore Cutting-Edge Legal Issues -- Physician-Legal Issues Conference in Chicago, June 14-15
This year, the ABA has partnered with the Chicago Medical Society and will be offering both CME and CLE. Highlights include:
- A candid dialogue among physicians, the government and their attorneys
- Special guest speaker Stephen Ondra, M.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Northwestern Medical Hospital
- Unexpected challenges with physicians and HIPAA breaches
- An exploration of hospital acquisition and employment
- Case studies in how billing and coding issues can become criminal, False Claims Act and Civil Monetary Penalties Act violations
- Updates from the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services and U.S. Surgeon General’s Office
- Complimentary diversity reception on racial disparities in healthcare
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Early Results from New HIPAA Audit Pilot Reveal Emphasis on Policy Documentation and Business Associate Agreements
By Richard B. Wagner, IVANS, Stamford, CT
Covered Entities and Business Associates, beware. This year marks the embryonic phase of a new initiative spearheaded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (“HHS”) Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) in an attempt to curb violations of the Privacy and Security Rules of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) through the use of randomized audits. All of the HIPAA audits performed this year are part of a pilot program expected to be expanded in 2013 and beyond, and the information gathered thus far has been branded by OCR as “a new opportunity to examine mechanisms for compliance [and to] identify best practices…” Despite these benevolent overtures, covered entities should nonetheless be on guard should their organization be selected for a pilot audit. Moreover, in order to survive audits in future years, covered entities and business associates alike must establish appropriate policies now.
The OFCCP Rescinds Directive Which Sought to Expand Federal Contractor Status to Many Healthcare Providers
By Karen M. Buesing, Akerman Senterfitt LLP, Tampa, FL
and Martin R. Dix, Akerman Senterfitt LLP, Tallahassee, FL
Hospitals, medical facilities, medical professionals, pharmacies and others who participate in networks that provide medical services to TRICARE beneficiaries and federal employees can breathe easier. The Office of Federal Contractor Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) has rescinded Directive 293, which could have made those facilities and professionals subject to the maze of regulations governing federal contractors.
What is a Breach Under the HITECH Breach Notification Regulations?
By Judith A. Eisen & Stacey L. Gulick, Garfunkel Wild, P.C.,
Great Neck, NY
Since the Interim Breach Notification Regulations under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (“HITECH”) Act (the “Breach Notification Rule”) became effective on September 23, 2009, there have been thousands of breach notifications sent by covered entities and reported to the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”). To date, nearly 450 of those reports have involved incidents that impacted more than 500 individuals, which, under the Breach Notification Rule, triggers more onerous disclosure requirements and heightened scrutiny.
Health Insurance Exchanges: Contrasts Between Utah and Massachusetts
June M. Sullivan, Halloran & Sage LLP, Hartford, CT
Although many Americans obtain their health insurance through their employer or a family member’s employer, others are either self-employed or do not have access to employee health benefits. These individuals and small businesses often lack competitive purchasing power to obtain reasonable health insurance rates because they cannot pool their health insurance risks with others. During the creation of the latest round in our nation’s healthcare reform, the government acknowledged this problem and took steps to address it.
4th Circuit Sets Aside $45 Million Judgment Against Tuomey Hospital
By Anna C. Watterson, J.D., Sumter, SC
The United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s $45 million judgment against Tuomey Healthcare System, Inc. (“Tuomey”) on Friday, March 30, 2012, finding that the district court violated Tuomey’s Seventh Amendment right to a jury trial. While reversing on procedural grounds, the Fourth Circuit also shed light on the Stark Law issues presented on appeal.
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