Archives: Hospitals and Health Facilities

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Don’t Forget HIPAA’s “Minimum Necessary” Rule When Making Health Information Disclosures

When Covered Entities or Business Associates or their counsel analyze whether a particular disclosure of Protected Health Information (or “PHI,” as defined in HIPAA) is permissible, they should be sure also to analyze whether the disclosure complies with HIPAA’s Minimum Necessary Rule (“MNR”), which is oft forgot. This issue arises when disclosing PHI in response … Continue Reading

Is Your Surgery Center Ready for California’s Surprise Medical Billing Law?

A new California law (AB 72) limits the amount that out-of-network surgeons and other health care professionals may bill patients for covered non-emergency services provided at a contracted facility, such as an ambulatory surgery center.  California’s “surprise medical bill” law went into effect on July 1, 2017.  It is intended to prevent a consumer from … Continue Reading

Press Release Mistake Leads to $2.4 Million HIPAA Penalty for Health System

On May 10, 2017, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced an agreement whereby Memorial Hermann Health System (“MHHS”) will pay a $2.4 million penalty for releasing a patient’s name in a press release.  According to the resolution agreement, in September 2015, a patient at an MHHS clinic presented … Continue Reading

Mealtime Waiver Decision is Good News for California Healthcare Employers Hungry for Clarity

In a rare move, the California Court of Appeal reversed itself and validated a California hospital’s policy of allowing healthcare workers to waive an otherwise mandatory second meal period on shifts longer than 12 hours.  In reversing itself, the California Court of Appeal in Gerard v. Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center (Gerard II) held that … Continue Reading

Stable or Fable: Will the Trump Administration Proposed Rule Save the Exchanges or Hasten Their Demise?

A proposed rule intended to stabilize the individual and small group insurance markets was issued on February 17, 2017, only a week after the Senate confirmed Tom Price as the Secretary of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department (HHS).[1] Although the proposed rule is intended to stabilize these markets, it may make it more difficult for … Continue Reading

What’s in Your Local Transportation Policy?

The Anti-Kickback Statute Those in the business of providing healthcare services to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries are all too familiar with the federal Anti-kickback Statute (AKS). Among other dreadful sanctions, it imposes criminal penalties on those individuals or entities that knowingly and willfully offer, pay, solicit, or receive remuneration in order to induce or reward … Continue Reading

To the MOON and Beyond: Hospitals Must Provide Notice of Observation Status

There may be no noticeable difference between a hospital patient occupying a bed as an inpatient or one in observation status.  Yet, state and federal legislators have been concerned that the difference can have important consequences for the patient.  “Observation care” is considered by Medicare to be an outpatient service.  Patients classified as outpatients in … Continue Reading
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