ONC Releases Updated Guide to Privacy and Security of Electronic Health Information

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The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (“ONC”) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) recently released Version 2.0 of the Guide to Privacy and Security of Electronic Health Information (“Guide”). The Guide is a tool intended to assist providers as they work to comply with federal programs’ requirements administered through HHS and its various offices (such as ONC).

Last published in 2011, the new 2015 version of the Guide provides updated information about compliance with the Medicare & Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs (also called “Meaningful Use” Programs) as well as the changes made by the Health Information Technology and Economic Health Act (“HITECH”) as implemented by the Omnibus Final Rule. Continue reading this entry

Insurer Wrongfully Passed Sequestration Cuts Through to Providers

CMS Releases Medicare Part B Supplier Billing and Payment Data

A Pennsylvania judge found, on May 6, 2015, that a Medicare Advantage Plan had no right under its participation agreements to pass CMS sequestration reductions through to participating providers. Judge R. Stanton Wettick Jr. in the Allegheny Court of Common Pleas granted summary judgment to a group of hospitals that sued Highmark Inc. and its affiliate Keystone Health Plan West, Inc. for passing along the 2% sequestration payment cut. Continue reading this entry

DOJ Pursuing Therapy Providers Under the FCA

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As most recently spotlighted by the Department of Justice’s intervention in whistleblower claims against ManorCare, DOJ is increasing its enforcement of the False Claims Act (FCA) against therapy providers. In particular, DOJ has increased both civil and criminal investigations into the billing and providing of therapy minutes. At least five FCA cases involving therapy minutes settled in the millions in 2014 and 2015, and at least two of those cases settled for over $30 million each. The magnitude and increased frequency of these settlements implies there are almost certainly many still-confidential investigations being conducted country-wide, and DOJ’s recent intervention in the whistleblower case against ManorCare confirms DOJ remains ready and willing to litigate these cases. Continue reading this entry

Health Care Big Data - Share Your Insights

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As health care industry participants, we invite you to complete a two-question survey from Foley & Lardner LLP and The Health Management Academy regarding your organization’s use of Big Data.

For purposes of the survey, we define “Big Data” as follows:

“Big Data is a process to deliver decision-making insights. The process uses people and technology to quickly analyze large amounts of data of different types (traditional table structured data and unstructured data, such as pictures, video, email, and social media interactions) from a variety of sources to produce inferences that are not discernable from the data when analyzed individually.”

Take the Survey

Why the Health Care Industry Needs to Focus on Data-Flow Restrictions in China

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U.S. health care providers, device manufacturers, lab managers, health information technology and telemedicine/telehealth project investors, and other industry members involved in projects in China, need to be aware of a long and growing list of China-specific data-flow and content restrictions.  These restrictions are increasingly concerning in light of the health care industry’s growing use of cloud technology and need for financial and other systems that protect medical record, insurance data and other sensitive information, but that are efficient, and that provide unimpeded online access. Continue reading this entry