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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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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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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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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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DOJ and HHS-OIG Announce $2.6 Billion In Healthcare Fraud Recoveries for Fiscal Year 2017

Posted on April 19, 2018, Health Care

On April 6, 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that its combined efforts with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) resulted in $2.6 billion in recoveries for healthcare fraud and abuse enforcement actions in fiscal year 2017. The DOJ and HHS-OIG use multi-disciplinary teams of law […]

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2018 Bipartisan Budget Act Revises Stark Law

Posted on April 19, 2018, Health Care

In February’s newsletter, CCLB reported that the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (the “Act”), signed into law by President Trump on February 9, 2018, modified the Civil Monetary Penalties Law and the Anti-Kickback Statute by increasing certain fines and penalties for violations of those statutes. The Act also amended the federal Stark Law in several […]

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