A Look Back at Our 2020 Healthcare Compliance Educational Webinars

Healthcare HIPAA compliance training

Webinars have always been vital in our educational outreach here at First Healthcare Compliance. In this unprecedented year where COVID-19 reached all our communities, we were happy to be there, wherever you were, keeping you abreast of the latest healthcare topics, laws, and changes as they happened with our highly informed, expert presenters through our complimentary webinars.  Here is a look back at our educational webinars in 2020 and a highlight of our top webinar and presenter.

Presenter of the Year:


Stephen Bittinger, partner with K&L Gates in the firm’s Charleston office and a member of the health care/FDA practice group, presented the top webinar of 2020 titled The TeleHealth Revolution to Fight COVID-19 and had the highest number of registrants. Learn the sweeping changes that occurred in telehealth across all payors to fight COVID-19 and how to implement these services.

Mr. Bittinger focuses his practice on health care reimbursement compliance, defense and litigation, with a focus on government and private payer disputes on behalf of providers, vendors, and manufacturers involved in the United States health care system. He has extensive experience representing large provider groups, home health agencies, medical facilities, ancillary service providers, medical labs, revenue cycle management companies, and drug and device manufacturers in matters including Medicare and Medicaid audits, private payer audits, federal regulatory termination and exclusion proceedings, False Claims Act prosecutions, and health care revenue issues.

Custom Link TeleHealth-COVID-19This year, Stephen also led The Biggest Health Care Scams in 2019 and How to Avoid Being a Target in 2020. We learned the mechanics of some of the largest health care fraud scams of 2019, how many providers became victims of these scams, and how to avoid these types of risks in the future.

Stephen was featured on our radio show 1st Talk Compliance with host Catherine Short, provided his expertise in numerous blogs and webinars, and presented at our 2020 Virtual Healthcare Compliance Symposium with Widener University Delaware Law School. Congratulations Stephen!

Our 2020 Educational Webinars and Presenters:

Rachel V. Rose, JD, MBA, principal with Rachel V. Rose – Attorney at Law, P.L.L.C., Houston, TX presented The New AKS and Stark Laws Final Rules – Key Take-Aways. On November 20, 2020, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a Final Rule related to the Medicare Physician Self-Referral Law (Stark Law). Nearly simultaneously, the Office of the Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS-OIG), released a Final Rule, which amends various safe harbors to the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS). The changes appear to be based, in large part, on value-based healthcare delivery and payment systems. The webinar highlighted the key changes, along with the similarities and differences in the language between the two Final Rules.

Rachel’s HIPAA Compliance for Business Associates webinar focused on business associates and subcontracts and the potential threats that can exploit vulnerabilities and trigger costly reporting to government agencies, as well as private lawsuits, risk mitigation strategies, and some key items during the COVID-19 pandemic.

She presented HHS Final Rules, Patient Access to PHI & Health Apps Intersect. On March 9, 2020, HHS announced the promulgation of two final rules – the ONC Final Rule and the CMS Final Rule. The fundamental objective is to expand an individual patient’s control over his/her health data. The webinar covered these final rules, along with requirements regarding sharing health data and provider liability in light of the Healthcare Apps Guidance issued by HHS.

Rachel discussed the coronavirus pandemic and its application to HIPAA, Telecommuting and Force Majeure provisions in the webinar Coronavirus and Its Impact on HIPAA, Telecommuting, and Patient Care.

Feisal Nanji, CEO and Executive Director at Techumen LLC presented the webinar Why are Security & Governance for Health Data Analytics Vital? Data analytics can substantially help reduce costs by analyzing vast amounts of payor, patient, and provider data. In using data analytics, everyone in the health care supply chain must be ready to securely manage vast patient data sets that will move in high volume and at high velocity. If such activities are not governed correctly, a breach of a single data set will result in a very large breach and a serious dent to reputation and the possibility of severe sanctions.

The webinar Securing Your Data Analytics Program, Feisal discussed key controls for data analytics, identifying potential threats, and balancing risks versus rewards.

Cindy Groux, CHBME/Board Member at HBMA and CEO, President and Owner of Health Care Practice Management, presented CPT Code & Documentation Changes, Including E/M for 2021 – CMS & AMA Come Together to Benefit Providers. This webinar addressed new CPT codes for 2021 to include prolonged services and clinical staff services, documentation changes to reduce the administrative burden, decreased needs for audits and how to promote coding consistency, and new rules for time billing.

Trevor Brown, Vice President of Business Development at Relatient, presented Hybrid Patient Care Models: How Medical Practices Thrive After COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic complicated healthcare delivery as healthcare organizations limited procedures and in-office visits to essential care only and quickly spun up Telehealth services to treat patients remotely, protecting both patients and staff. This webinar covered hybrid care models in action, strategies for powering them effectively, and steps for getting started or refining what’s already in place.

Rebecca L. Rakoski, co-founder and managing partner at XPAN Law Group, a boutique law firm focusing exclusively on all aspects of the law that involve the transfer and sharing of data including, cybersecurity, data privacy, and electronic discovery, presented Vendor Management In Healthcare: The High Cost of Failing to Triage Your Vendors. The webinar focused on vendor management in the healthcare industry, vendor-related data breaches, issues presented by COVID-19, and the regulatory framework healthcare-related businesses need to understand.

Grant Elliott, President & CEO of Ostendio, a collaborative integrative risk-management SaaS platform, covered in-depth all aspects of HIPAA and why it is relevant today in the webinar HIPAA: A Timely Overview & Update.

How Workplace Communication Mitigates Harassment, led by Warren Cook, President and Co-Founder of SymbianceHR explored the various communication strategies and practices necessary to develop a culture that inherently minimizes harassing behavior in the workplace.

 Emily A. Johnson, and Courtney Tito, Members, at McDonald Hopkins LLC led Federal Healthcare Fraud and Abuse Framework. This presentation reviewed the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute, Stark Law, Anti-Markup Rule, EKRA, and False Claims Act, state fraud and abuse laws, and an overview of fraud and abuse compliance in light of COVID-19.

Emily and Courtney led COVID 19: Testing, Reimbursement, and Provider Relief Funds: a discussion of laboratory testing for COVID-19, including the types of tests available, requirements for testing, operational and business considerations for offering testing, employer-mandated testing, and reimbursement for testing. Additionally, this program discussed the Provider Relief Funds issued pursuant to the CARES Act and enforcement of the terms and conditions of that program.

Steve Wilder Senior Consultant & COO of Sorensen, Wilder, and Associates discussed how a healthcare facility is one of the easiest “soft targets” the active shooter can find…countless open doors on the perimeter make it an easy target in Active Shooter in a Healthcare Facility-Planning for Responding to & Recovering from the Unthinkable.

Lauren E.M. Russell, Counsel at Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP led Returning to Work Safely: What You Need to Know in the “New Normal.” Protecting your employees and your business as we find our new normal, during the coronavirus pandemic.

Melody W. Mulaik, MSHS, FAHRA, CRA, RCC, RCC-IR, CPC, CPC-H is the President of Revenue Cycle Coding Strategies LLC and led Appropriate Use Criteria: What you Need to Know. As organizations continue to bridge the gap with imaging facilities, it is important that everyone be on the same page throughout the CMS implementation and testing period. Additionally, any physician practices that perform and bill for diagnostic services must ensure compliance through correct billing practices.

Melody led Diagnosis Coding: The Cost of One and Done. This session focused on key areas of concern to balance compliance with operational efficiency. Understanding how diagnosis codes are utilized by insurance payers and other industry stakeholders is vital to ensuring that your organization receives appropriate recognition and credit for quality care.

Patricia Clendening, President of HR Strategies, LLC led Navigating COVID and Preparing for Reentry to the Workplace that will help your organization navigate the current pandemic as well as prepare for reentry to the new normal. The topics covered are: COVID’s Impact on your Business, We have FFCRA, now what? OSHA Compliance, Preparing for Reentry, Unemployment Highlights, ADA, & HIPAA Compliance Best Practices

Andrea Tinianow, Chief Legal Officer and Tom Allen, Healthcare Director for Transparency Registry (TR), an online platform that tracks distressed consumer debt to ensure compliance with HIPAA and debt collection regulations, presented Medical Debt: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. The presentation explained the issues and opportunities related to medical debt, including the regulatory framework that serves as a backdrop to the discussion.

Channing D. Sheets, MSEd, RVT, RBP, Senior Safety Engineer Division of Occupational Safety & Health, San Francisco District Office led Aerosol Transmissible Disease Standard (ATD) using California Standards as a Model. This presentation described the elements of an ATD plan and reviews published case studies.

Channing presented COVID-19 for Healthcare Workers, which reviewed background information on the coronavirus, its etiology, quarantine measures, and control measures for the healthcare setting.

Neil Johnson, Managing Partner, & David Opalek, Director of Lawrence, Evans & Co., LLC led Funding in the Time of COVID-19. This webinar provided a discussion on the current financial markets and impact of businesses during COVID-19, including a summary of CARES Act funding and where to go to take advantage of government financing and include a discussion on alternative financing options.

Sonal Patel, Health Care Coder and Compliance Consultant for Nexsen Pruet led this webinar, Compliant Coding & Billing For TeleHealth During COVID-19.This webinar, based on interim final rule issued 3/31/2020, is provided for clarity, and to dispel confusion providers, practice managers, coding and billing personnel have encountered over the past few weeks since CMS has relaxed the previous, and pre-COVID-19 rules and regulations for telehealth services.

Bob Chaput, Founder and Executive Chairman of the Board of Clearwater led How to Conduct an OCR-Quality Risk Analysis. This webinar has been designed to help covered entities and business associates understand and act on the specific Risk Analysis requirements included in the HIPAA Security Final Rule and OCR Final Guidance.

John Shegerian, cofounder and Executive Chairman of ERI, the largest fully integrated IT and electronics asset disposition provider and cybersecurity-focused hardware destruction company in the United States led Health Industry Data Protection in the Age of Hardware Hacking. This presentation reviewed how data management in healthcare is at a crossroads of dual responsibility – keep old devices out of landfills while responsibly and efficiently achieving data destruction that meets and exceeds compliance and regulatory goals.

C.Trey Scott, Coordinating Attorney at Kennedy, Attorneys & Counselors at Law led I Fought The Law: What To Do When Facing A Potential/Actual Lawsuit. This presentation helps healthcare organizations understand important actions that happen when facing a potential lawsuit and what to do when a suit is filed.

Markus Cicka, Esq., owner of the Law Office of Markus P. Cicka, LLC presented Making Your Referral Sources Legal. This presentation discussed the various federal and state laws impacting your marketing and referral source activities, as well as the application of federal and state law to specific provider types.

Raymond Ribble, founder of SPHER Inc. and co-founder of Fusion Systems Co., Ltd., led Surviving an OCR Audit. This presentation provided an overview of what steps a Covered Entity and Business Associate would take to prepare their groups to respond to an OCR or external Audit of their privacy and Security procedures.

Webinars are complimentary and are typically held twice a month.  Close to 23,000 complimentary continuing education units (CEUs) were attained courtesy of PAHCOM and PMI during 2020, which was more than double the over 10,000 we gave out last year. First Healthcare Compliance clients have the benefit of access to CEUs from 16 separate respected industry organizations on several dozen topics from within our training zone.

Catherine Short

If you have a topic to share with our loyal and large number of attendees, we are currently seeking webinar proposals.  Please contact our webinar host and host of our nationally syndicated radio show, 1st Talk Compliance, Catherine Short, Partnership Marketing Manager at catherineshort@1sthcc.com.