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Meaningful Use Ends In 2016?

Due to the challenges of implementing Meaningful Use, it is unsurprising the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS) is finally rethinking the plan.  The goal of Meaningful Use (MU) to achieve nationwide electronic health record (EHR) interoperability and ultimately improve overall healthcare remains intact. Until further details and a formal announcement, certain steps will

HIPAA Privacy Rule Changes Address Gun Control

On January 4, 2016, the Obama administration rolled out a number of executive actions addressing gun control, one of which impacts the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). To this end, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final rule narrowly modifying the HIPAA Privacy Rule to allow certain covered entities

Individual’s Rights to Access PHI

An individual’s right to access their protected health information (PHI) should be nothing new to covered entities. In 1996, HIPAA Privacy Rule detailed an individual’s right to access PHI. As part of HITECH and the Final Omnibus Rule, modifications to the Privacy Rule have included additional requirements for covered entities and business associates. Unfortunately, recent

Jumpstart Your Compliance Program

The beginning of the New Year is a popular time for new initiatives. Many healthcare organizations are looking for ways to improve quality and reduce risk. A compliance program is an effective way to detect, deter and prevent wrongdoing in the healthcare setting and an ongoing system assures conformity with governing laws and regulations. An

EEOC Guidance to Healthcare Providers Regarding Patients with HIV

On December 1, 2015 (World AIDS day) the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued the following two separate fact sheets addressing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protections for individuals with HIV. Healthcare providers should pay careful attention to these documents to understand their duties under the ADA and the medical documentation that may

Is Your Compliance Program Effective?

Having a compliance program in place is a start but having an effective compliance program is the goal. Proactively assessing the effectiveness of one’s own compliance program is better than the Department of Justice making a determination of the adequacy as a result of an investigation for alleged misconduct. To set benchmarks for an effective

Beware of Individual Liability: Yates Memo

On September 9, 2015, the Department of Justice (DOJ) Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates released a policy memorandum, titled “Individual Accountability for Corporate Wrongdoing,” also known as the “Yates Memo.” To read the full contents of the Yates Memo, click here. Essentially, the Yates Memo shifts the DOJ’s approach to fighting corporate fraud and misconduct

Overview of a Corporate Integrity Agreement (CIA)

Health care fraud recoveries for fiscal years 2009- 2014 exceeded previous records with five straight years of more than $2 billion in annual recovery from cases involving fraud and false claims against federal health care programs such as Medicare and Medicaid.  Most healthcare providers are aware of significant civil liability due to recent enforcement. However,

Are You Prepared for the HIPAA Phase 2 Audits?

After reviewing the HIPAA Privacy case investigations from 2009-2011, the Office of the Inspector General sent a strong message to the Office of Civil Rights in regard to the administration and enforcement of the HIPAA Privacy Rule. The OIG recommendation is clear in the September 2015 executive summary, “OCR Should Strengthen Its Oversight of Covered

Don’t Pay for Free Workplace Posters That Are Required By Law

Employers are required to advise employees of their federal rights in the form of displaying federally required posters in the workplace. Compliance with these federal requirements is necessary to avoid strict fines and penalties. Unfortunately, many employers pay unscrupulous companies for these posters when they are offered for free on the respective government websites. In