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HHS-OCR Announces Settlements Totaling $999,000 to Resolve HIPAA Violations Stemming from the Filming of “Boston Med”

Posted on September 25, 2018, Health Care

On September 20, 2018, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (HHS-OCR) announced that Boston Medical Center (“BMC”), Brigham and Women’s Hospital (“BWH”), and Massachusetts General Hospital (“MGH”) will pay HHS-OCR a combined $999,000 to settle allegations that the three hospitals each violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) […]

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HHS-OIG Requests Information Regarding Possible Changes to the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute and Civil Monetary Penalties Law

Posted on September 25, 2018, Health Care

On August 27, 2018, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) published a request for information (“RFI”) pertaining to possible changes to the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (“AKS”) and Civil Monetary Penalties (“CMP”) for beneficiary inducements. In the RFI, HHS-OIG outlines broad goals to contribute to transforming healthcare in the U.S. […]

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Federal Court Dismisses Lawsuit Alleging That a Louisiana Hospital Racially Discriminated Against a Former Employee

Posted on September 25, 2018, Health Care

On September 10, 2018, Chief U.S. District Judge S. Maurice Hicks, Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana dismissed a lawsuit alleging a Louisiana hospital violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act by racially discriminating against a former employee. The case was Lawson v. PHC Minden, L.P. The plaintiff […]

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CMS Proposes Potential Changes to Documentation Requirements for E/M Visits

Posted on July 30, 2018, Medicare and Medicaid

On July 27, 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) published a proposed rule containing numerous potential changes to the Medicare physician fee schedule and other Medicare policies. See 83 Fed. Reg. 35704 (July 27, 2018). The proposed rule is intended to update Medicare’s payment systems to better reflect the relative value of […]

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Fourth Circuit Revives Employer’s Claims for Retaliation Over Supervisor’s Alleged Abuse

Posted on July 30, 2018, Employment Law

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion reversing summary judgment for the employer and allowing an employee’s claims for retaliation in connection with reporting her supervisor’s abuse to proceed to trial. The case was Strothers v. City of Laurel, Maryland. The plaintiff in the case is Felicia Strothers, an African-American woman who […]

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South Carolina Company to Pay $53,000 to Settle EEOC Religious Discrimination Allegations

Posted on June 26, 2018, Employment Law

On June 20, 2018, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that it has reached a settlement with J.C. Witherspoon, a South Carolina-based logging company, over religious discrimination allegations. The EEOC charged that J.C. Witherspoon violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act when it fired a truck driver after refusing to accommodate his […]

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HHS-OCR Issues Guidance on HIPAA Requirements for Workstation Security

Posted on June 26, 2018, Health Care

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Civil Rights (HHS-OCR) recently issued a newsletter regarding compliance with the HIPAA Security Rule’s requirements for physical security The newsletter notes that covered entities and business associates too often overlook HIPAA’s requirements to secure protected health information (PHI) contained on “workstations.” HIPAA regulations define a […]

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Skilled Nursing Company Agrees to Pay Over $30 Million to Settle False Claims Act Allegations

Posted on June 26, 2018, White Collar Crime

Signature Healthcare, a Kentucky-based company that operates over 100 skilled nursing facilities in multiple states, recently reached an agreement to pay more than $30 million to settle allegations that it submitted false claims to Medicare for medically unnecessary rehabilitation therapy services. The government’s allegations centered on claims that Signature set unrealistic financial goals and implemented […]

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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Class Action Waivers as Enforceable

Posted on May 30, 2018, Business Litigation Employment Law

On May 21, 2018, the United States Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, held that arbitration agreements containing class action waivers are enforceable and do not violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). This decision resolved three separate cases before the Court that all involved plaintiff-employees who had pursued […]

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Federal Jury Convicts Physician for Unlawfully Sharing Patient Information in Violation of HIPAA

Posted on May 30, 2018, Health Care

On April 30, 2018, a federal jury in Boston convicted Dr. Rita Luthra, a gynecologist, of obstructing a criminal healthcare investigation and violating HIPAA’s criminal provisions. The government’s investigation of Dr. Luthra grew out of an earlier investigation into the marketing practices of drug company Warner Chilcott. In 2015, Warner Chilcott agreed to pay $125 […]

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