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Keeping you afloat amidst the rising sea of regulations

Do Physicians Get Jury Trials in Retaliation Claims?

A recent California Supreme Court ruling could significantly impact trials of physician “whistleblower” claims under California Health & Safety Code Section 1278.5 – maybe.  

What’s in a Name? A HIPAA Violation: Texas Health System Settles with HHS for $2.4 Million

On May 10, 2017, the US Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced a settlement with Texas-based Memorial Hermann Health System (MHHS) for $2.4 million due to MHHS’s unauthorized disclosure of patient protected health information (PHI). HHS also announced that HHS and MHHS entered into a Resolution Agreement, and MHHS agreed to a corrective action plan. 

In A Must Read, New OIG Guidance Provides Practical Ways to Evaluate Compliance Program Effectiveness

The Department of Health and Human Services recently issued an important new compliance guide, called Measuring Compliance Program Effectiveness: A Resource Guide. The Guide is a combined effort of HHS’s Office of Inspector General and the Health Care Compliance Association and provides guidance on evaluating compliance program effectiveness based on the input of 40 compliance professionals and OIG staff.

Counsel's Corner: Making Stark Self-Disclosures in 2017

Health Care partner Linda Baumann and associates Hillary Stemple and Kathryn Steffen authored an article for Bloomberg BNA’s Health Law Reporter on the revised Voluntary Self-Referral (Stark) Disclosure Protocol, which the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services posted on March 28, 2017.

FCC Paving the Way for Advancement of Telehealth

What’s New?The Federal Communications Commission recently solicited public comment on how it can better facilitate broadband-enabled health care solutions by adopting new policies or removing existing regulatory barriers. Initial comments are due on May 24, while reply comments are due June 8 of this year. 

New Director, Same Direction for OCR HIPAA Enforcement

What’s New?On Monday, the US Department of Health & Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights announced that CardioNet has entered into a $2.5 million HIPAA settlement.

Chemical & Life Sciences Litigation: Year In Review

As in previous years, 2016 brought us a combination of both expected and unexpected holdings by the Supreme Court and the Federal Circuit.

The Ninth Circuit Speaks on Health Care Providers’ ERISA Rights

A recent decision from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in DB Healthcare, LLC v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Inc., No. 14-16518, 2017 WL 1075050 (9th Cir. Mar. 22, 2017) reaffirms that health care providers are not health plan “beneficiaries” with the ability to sue under ERISA. Health care providers may sue under ERISA’s civil enforcement provisions only when armed with robust assignments of benefits and rights from patients and where the governing Plan documents do not prohibit assignments.  

CMS Announces New Rules for Stark Self-Disclosures

On March 28, 2017, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) posted a revised Voluntary Self-Referral (Stark) Disclosure Protocol (SRDP), which replaces the prior version of the protocol.