Category Archives: Digital Health

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Is Telemedicine Change Coming to Congress? The Medicare Telehealth Parity Act of 2017 Among Several New Federal Bills

Congress is reconsidering a nationwide telehealth coverage bill, named the Medicare Telehealth Parity Act of 2017, designed to introduce an incremental, though significant, expansion of coverage for telehealth services under the Medicare program. The bipartisan Act is sponsored by Representative Mike Thompson (D-CA), with seven co-sponsors to date (four Republican, three Democrat). If enacted, the … Continue reading this entry

Prescribing Controlled Substances Without an In-Person Exam: The Practice of Telemedicine Under the Ryan Haight Act

Editor’s Note: This article is the second in a series addressing telemedicine prescribing and controlled substances, designed to give some much needed practical guidance and orientation to established healthcare providers, hospitals, and entrepreneurs alike. The first article addressed federal rules for prescribing controlled substances under the Ryan Haight Act.  Subsequent articles will discuss the prescribing … Continue reading this entry

Telemedicine Prescribing and Controlled Substances Laws

Editor’s Note: This article is the first of a series addressing telemedicine prescribing and controlled substances, designed to give some much needed practical guidance and orientation to established health care providers, hospitals, and entrepreneurs alike. As providers become more comfortable with delivering care via telemedicine, telehealth, and digital health technologies, some are exploring services beyond … Continue reading this entry

Key Takeaways From FHA’s Health Law Summit

Foley recently co-hosted the Florida Hospital Association’s (FHA) 2017 Health Law Summit, which brought together more than 40 in-house attorneys and compliance officers from FHA member hospitals to discuss the current state and future direction of the health care industry.… Continue reading this entry

The Joint Commission Bans Text Messaging for Patient Care Orders

Telemedicine
The Joint Commission, which accredits hospitals and other health care organizations, recently announced it will not permit hospitals and other health care organizations to use secure text messaging platforms to transmit orders. The announcement is the most recent in a back-and-forth series of guidance statements regarding the use of secure messaging in hospitals and other … Continue reading this entry

Top 5 Takeaways from New Michigan Telehealth Law

Michigan is ringing in 2017 with a new telehealth law. Governor Rick Snyder signed into law SB 0753 on December 21, 2016, imposing new telehealth practice standards, including restrictions on prescribing controlled substances via telemedicine. The new Michigan telemedicine law will take effect March 21, 2017 (a 90-day delay from signature to effective date).  Previously, … Continue reading this entry

Wisconsin Issues New (and Improved!) Telemedicine Rules

Following a public hearing last month, the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board approved new rules for the practice of telemedicine.  The rules differ notably from its first set of rules proposed in 2015 and considered at a public hearing in January 2016.  After receiving criticism on its first set of rules, the Board withdrew them for … Continue reading this entry

Medical marijuana might be legal, but you won't get a prescription this way

Below is an article that originally appeared in the South Florida Business Journal, featuring Foley Partner, Nate Lacktman. The Florida Board of Medicine proposed on Dec. 8 a regulation that will, at least for the foreseeable future, divert the paths of two industries emerging into Florida’s business mainstream: medical marijuana and telemedicine. It’s been proposed … Continue reading this entry

Florida: No Telemedicine Exams for Medical Marijuana

The Florida Board of Medicine issued a proposed amendment, on December 8, 2016, to its telemedicine regulations to clarify that physicians may not order medical cannabis or low-THC cannabis via telemedicine. The Board’s current telemedicine rules were originally issued in the Spring of 2014. The amendment would add a new Section (5) to the Standards for Telemedicine … Continue reading this entry

10 Things You Need to Know About Health Care Bankruptcies in 2017

The coming year will likely continue to be a tumultuous year for health care providers, suppliers, and payers, as they adapt to meet new challenges and market forces, particularly in light of the open questions as to the viability and continued existence of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and recent comments made by members of … Continue reading this entry

Update: Arkansas (Again!) Medical Board Approves Telemedicine Rules

Author’s note: Yesterday’s post included a reference to an “originating site” definition under Regulation 38.  This post below corrects that reference, noting how the proposed regulation does not change the statutory definition of originating site. The Arkansas State Medical Board on Thursday voted unanimously to pass Regulation 38 establishing key definitions for telemedicine practice in the … Continue reading this entry

ONC Releases Enhanced Regulatory Requirements to Improve Transparency for Health Information Technology Products

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (“ONC”) has operationalized regulatory requirements to improve transparency in health information technology (“health IT”). The regulations, which were finalized in October 2015, clarified in December 2016, and effective as of January 14, 2016, apply to all health IT products and services certified to the 2014 Edition … Continue reading this entry

Ransomware Reporting Requirements & New HHS Guidance

New York Office of the Medicaid Inspector General Releases 2014-2015 Work Plan
Ransomware is malicious software that denies access to data, usually by encrypting the data with a private encryption key that is only provided once a ransom is paid. Sometimes the ransomware will actually destroy, steal, or export data from information systems. Ransomware has become a significant threat to all U.S. businesses and individuals, and a … Continue reading this entry

Hospital Text Messaging Rules Placed on Hold by Joint Commission

The Joint Commission, which accredits hospitals and other health care organizations, hit pause on its prior May 2016 announcement to allow secure text messaging in hospitals and other health care organizations. The use of text messaging in Joint Commission accredited organizations is delayed until September 2016. In the interim, The Joint Commission will collaborate with … Continue reading this entry

Report Warns Providers of HIPAA Violations When Responding to Negative Online Reviews

ProPublica, a public interest investigative newsroom, recently identified more than 3,500 one-star medical reviews on Yelp in which patients complained about privacy issues. ProPublica determined that “in dozens of instances, responses to complaints about medical care turned into disputes over patient privacy.” For example, ProPublica noted consumers giving providers negative reviews on Yelp and providers … Continue reading this entry

Health Care IT Program Discusses Alternative Payment Model Opportunities

A distinguished panel of providers, consultants and IT firms convened on Tuesday, June 21st  in New York at the Foley and Lardner LLP offices to share a discussion focused on the convergence of IT spend and new value based purchasing models (“VBP”) coming out of CMS in increasing frequency—ACOs, BPCI, CJR and CCM.  Key Takeaways … Continue reading this entry

New York Legislation to Require Payment Parity for Telehealth Services

New York introduced a new bill designed to ensure commercial health plans pay for telehealth services at the same rate the plans pay for in-person services. The legislation, SB 7953, comes on the heels of New York’s long-awaited telehealth coverage law and seeks to add payment parity language to the State’s existing telehealth coverage statute. See … Continue reading this entry

Are You Effectively Training Employees in The Battle Against Ransomware?

No health care organization or provider is safe from ransomware threats, and a slew of recent noteworthy attacks have driven the point home. The results of an attack can be devastating to the organization, and hundreds of millions of dollars in damages have already been reported. Health care providers, particularly senior executives, officers, and directors, … Continue reading this entry

FDA Outlines Future Medical Device Coordinating Center

The federal Food and Drug Administration’s planning board (Planning Board) for a medical device evaluation system (NMDES) recently recommended the creation of a centralized Coordinating Center to develop a national system to evaluate medical devices. Convened in 2014 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Brookings Center for Health Policy, the Planning … Continue reading this entry

Federal Agencies Provide User-Friendly Guidance on Compliance with Data Privacy Laws

How federal privacy laws apply to mobile health applications has been an area of significant ambiguity. Recently, the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights (OCR), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) … Continue reading this entry

Telemedicine Going Global in 2016

International markets – particularly developing countries with a need for the depth of expertise offered by U.S. health care providers – will play a significant role in driving telemedicine growth and continued health care transformation in 2016. Arrangements between U.S. health care providers and overseas medical institutions are becoming an increasingly important pathway to new … Continue reading this entry

Recent Enforcement Shows the Importance of Encrypting Mobile Devices Containing Protected Health Information

With headlines every day announcing another release of Protected Health Information (PHI), providers are asking themselves – is there a way to protect against these breaches? Beyond improving the security of large systems, attention is needed to protect PHI contained in laptops and other mobile devices, which account for a large percentage of PHI breaches.… Continue reading this entry

Top 3 Cybersecurity Misconceptions - Is Your Company at Risk?

Cybersecurity is an issue that should be top-of-mind for all companies. But there are three misconceptions about cybersecurity that can put companies at significant risk. In this video, Foley Partner Michael Overly discusses these misconceptions and how companies should change their views of and approaches to cybersecurity.… Continue reading this entry

Deconstructing Cyberinsurance Coverage: Lessons From the Travelers Case

The American Health Lawyers Association last week published an analysis of one of the first cases involving a cyber liability insurance policy. The e-alert is republished below. Please note that any further reproduction of this work requires the advance written permission of the American Health Lawyers Association. On May 11, the U.S. District Court for the … Continue reading this entry