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HHS Publishes Guidance on Health Industry Cybersecurity Practices

Posted on March 25, 2019, Health Care

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) recently published guidance entitled “Health Industry Cybersecurity Practices: Managing Threats and Protecting Patients,” which lays out a “common set of voluntary, consensus-based, and industry-led guidelines, best practices, methodologies, procedures, and processes” to aid the health industry in improving cybersecurity. This guidance was produced by the contributions […]

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EHR Vendor Agrees to Pay $57 Million to Resolve Alleged Violations of the False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute

Posted on March 25, 2019, Health Care

Last month, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Greenway Health, an electronic health records (EHR) software vendor, had agreed to pay close to $57 million to settle allegations that the company caused its customers to submit false claims to Medicare and Medicaid in violation of the federal False Claims Act (FCA). The […]

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HHS-OCR Reports Record-Breaking Year for HIPAA Enforcements in 2018

Posted on February 26, 2019, Health Care

In 2018, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) settled ten cases and won summary judgment from an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), all of which resulted in recoveries totaling $28.7 million from HIPAA enforcement actions. The previous record was from 2016 when OCR recovered $23.5 million from its HIPAA enforcement […]

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DOJ Files “First-of-Its-Kind” Action Against Pharmacies to Combat Opioid Crisis

Posted on February 26, 2019, Health Care

On February 7, 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a “first-of-its-kind” civil complaint against two Tennessee pharmacies because of their alleged illegal dispensing of opioids that have been linked to at least two deaths and numerous overdoses. The DOJ has reported that this is the first time it has filed such an action […]

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Colorado Hospital Agrees to Pay Over $100,000 to Resolve Potential HIPAA Violations

Posted on January 28, 2019, Health Care

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights recently announced that Pagosa Springs Medical Center (“PSMC”) in Colorado has agreed to pay $111,400 to resolve allegations that it potentially violated HIPAA’s Privacy and Security Rules. OCR opened its investigation into PSMC over allegations that a former employee of PSMC had obtained […]

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Former Hospital Director Pleads Guilty for Her Role in an Alleged $1 Billion Health Fraud Scheme

Posted on January 28, 2019, Health Care

On January 23, 2019, a former director of a Florida hospital pled guilty to one count of conspiring to defraud federal healthcare programs by paying and receiving kickbacks as part of an alleged $1 billion healthcare fraud. The case, U.S. v. Esformes et al., is in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of […]

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HHS-OCR Publishes Guidance for Healthcare Organizations to Improve Cybersecurity

Posted on December 27, 2018, Health Care

In a recent Cybersecurity Newsletter, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) published guidance on basic cybersecurity safeguards for healthcare organizations to implement in order to promote cyber resilience and mitigate the impact of attempted cyberattacks. The electronic protected health information (ePHI) of patients is very valuable, and hackers are […]

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Eleventh Circuit Holds That Civil Whistleblowers Cannot Collect Awards from Criminal Forfeiture Proceedings

Posted on November 22, 2018, Health Care

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion affirming a district court’s ruling that a civil whistleblower was not entitled to an award arising from criminal forfeiture proceedings where the government decided to criminally prosecute the defendant. The case is United States v. Couch. In Couch, the whistleblower (legally known as a “relator”) […]

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Anthem Agrees to Pay a Record $16 Million to Settle Allegations That It Violated HIPAA

Posted on November 22, 2018, Health Care

On October 15, 2018, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (HHS-OCR) announced that Anthem, Inc. has agreed to pay a record-breaking $16 million to settle allegations that it violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) after multiple cyberattacks led to the largest ever data breach of health information […]

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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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