Category Archives: Hospitals & Health Systems

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Did You Know Medicare Implemented New Provider and Supplier Enrollment Requirements?  

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has revised certain payment policies under the Medicare physician fee schedule, and updated provider and supplier enrollment regulations. CMS recently published a final rule (the Final Rule) effective January 1, 2024. Technical and typographical errors in the Final Rule were later corrected by a subsequent final rule … Continue Reading

Rx for Safety: Workplace Violence Policies in Healthcare Settings

Hospitals, urgent care clinics, doctors’ offices — these are the places we go when we are sick and want to get better. Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers are the people who treat us, help us recover, and even save our lives in medical emergencies.… Continue Reading

OCR Will Focus on You if You Don’t Focus on Cybersecurity

With a couple of “firsts,” the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is signaling that it is cracking down on healthcare organizations that fail to identify and address cybersecurity vulnerabilities as required by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA Rules). On October 31, 2023, … Continue Reading

Compliance Officers: Read the New OIG General Compliance Program Guidance!

The Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (the OIG) recently released an updated General Compliance Program Guidance document (GCPG). The GCPG has been anticipated since the OIG announced on April 25, 2023, that it planned to modernize the accessibility and usability of its publicly available resources, including the … Continue Reading

THE NO SURPRISES ACT: Hoping for an End to the Surprises

By looking at the events that have transpired since the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which includes the No Surprises Act (the Act), was signed into law, it is clear that the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury (collectively, the Departments) have lost their way. The United States District Court for the Eastern … Continue Reading

Surprise… No Surprises Act Arbitration Is Too Expensive

Providers finally obtained court ordered relief to the $350 administrative fee each party was required to pay as part of the Federal Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR) Process under the No Surprises Act. Until the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury (collectively, the Departments) set a new administrative fee amount, the administrative … Continue Reading

OCR’s Proposed Rule Finds Fertile Ground for Enhanced Reproductive Privacy Protection

The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a proposed rule on April 17, 2023, to amend provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) to strengthen privacy protections for individuals’ protected health information (PHI) related to reproductive healthcare (the Proposed Rule). The Proposed Rule would … Continue Reading

Stop – Go – Stop Again – Now GO… Surprised by the No Surprises Act?

We are not surprised by the continued stop-and-go regarding guidance surrounding the No Surprises Act. Most recently, a Texas court vacated portions of the No Surprises Act’s updated final rule (the final rules were discussed in our most recent blog on the subject). This created a domino effect, leading to the Departments of the Treasury, … Continue Reading

May Resident Physicians Use Hospital DEA Registration Numbers Off-Site?

A Florida “resident physician” is someone who has completed their internship and graduated from medical school but is not yet licensed as a Florida medical doctor or osteopathic physician and who registers with the Department of Health as a resident physician. Resident physicians have to complete at least a one-year residency before they can take the … Continue Reading

Fix Your Weak Links in Your Medicaid Claims

Medicaid providers and suppliers have likely discovered this the hard way. A provider’s or supplier’s enrollment in the Medicaid program may be insufficient to assure that their provision of a covered and medically necessary good or service to a Medicaid patient will be deemed reimbursable. That is because the Medicaid program will also look at … Continue Reading

Finally, More Certainty and Fewer Surprises – Final Rules Issued Under the No Surprises Act

The Departments of the Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (the Departments) issued final rules related to the No Surprises Act on August 26, 2022, to be effective October 25, 2022 (Final Rules).  These Final Rules come after months of uncertainty and legal battles regarding the Federal Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR) process, as we … Continue Reading

Florida Medicaid Providers: Action is Required by October 1, 2022

Check your mailboxes.  AHCA is sending out postcards to existing Florida Medicaid providers (Providers) alerting them to upcoming changes in the Florida Medicaid program.  These changes require Providers to pay certain of their employees a minimum wage of at least $15.00 per hour.  Governor Ron DeSantis’s “Freedom First Budget for Fiscal Year 2022-2023” includes funding … Continue Reading

More Turbulence for the No Surprises Act Thanks to Air Ambulance Providers

Given the trajectory, it is no longer surprising that the No Surprises Act (the Act) continues its turbulent path through implementation. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, on July 26, 2022, again vacated provisions of the Federal Independent Dispute Resolution (IDR) process, this time relating to air ambulance payment disputes. (LifeNet, … Continue Reading

Healthcare Providers: Add OCR’s Latest Right of Access Settlements to Your Summer Reading List

The Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced on July 15, 2022, that it has resolved 11 investigations conducted under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) Right of Access Initiative. These settlements remind providers that, as OCR Director Lisa J. Pino stated, “OCR is … Continue Reading

Healthcare Cyber Insurance? Fortify Your Defenses

Healthcare breaches, including ransomware attacks, continue to increase. As a result, many healthcare organizations seeking cyber coverage to help defray the costs associated with a ransomware attack or other data incident may find that carriers have increased premiums, reduced coverage, and tightened underwriting requirements. Healthcare organization leaders should understand that implementing reasonable administrative, technical, and … Continue Reading

OCR Releases Guidance on HIPAA Compliance When Providing Audio-Only Telehealth

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) recently released new guidance (the “Guidance”) to help ensure that individuals may continue to benefit from audio-only telehealth services and clarify for health care providers and health plans how they can provide such services while complying with the HIPAA Privacy, Security, … Continue Reading

Biden Administration Signals MHPAEA Enforcement a Priority with Fiscal 2023 Budget

The Biden Administration’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2023 serves as a warning to all plan issuers and administrators that enforcement of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) is a top priority for the federal government. The proposed budget reflects a substantial and sustained commitment to ramp up enforcement efforts, with specific … Continue Reading

Must Watch Summer Viewing Coming Soon: OCR’s Upcoming Video Presentation on the HITECH Act’s Recognized Security Practices

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced June 10, 2022 that it is producing a video presentation on “recognized security practices” as set forth in the recent amendment of the Health Information Technology for Economic Health Act (HITECH Act) and is seeking questions from the public that … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Holds Healthcare Entities Not Liable for Emotional Injury Damages Under Certain Anti-Discrimination Statutes

Healthcare facilities and other entities receiving federal financial assistance can breathe a little easier after a U.S. Supreme Court decision issued last week barring the recovery of emotional damages for certain discrimination claims. Many federal anti-discrimination statutes allow recovery for “emotional injuries” that include humiliation, trauma, mental anguish, anxiety, depression, and other non-physical symptoms a … Continue Reading

“The No Surprises Act” a/k/a “The Act that Continues Surprising Providers”

The No Surprises Act (the “Act”) continues muddling through its implementation period. We have discussed the Act in prior posts, and most recently on March 8, 2022. The surprises have continued, with new updates coming out almost daily! There has been legal movement as health care providers and facilities (collectively, “Providers”) have brought lawsuits against … Continue Reading

UPDATE: No Surprises Here – Portions of the No Surprises Act Regulations Invalidated

The No Surprises Act (the Act) continues to bump through its initial implementation phase. As we discussed in our prior blog, out-of-network physicians and facilities (OON Providers), and their allies, are pushing back against portions of the recently issued interim final rule with comment period (the Interim Rule). Most recently, they succeeded in doing so … Continue Reading

Healthcare Discrimination Based on Disability – Still Prohibited in the Pandemic!

It may seem as though the pandemic is coming to an end, but while COVID cases are declining,  they have not ceased. As the pandemic continues, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights issued new guidance on February 4, 2022 to remind healthcare providers that federal disability laws remain in … Continue Reading

Florida Continues Pursuit of Improved Patient Safety

Florida is continuing its efforts to improve patient safety in hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs).  The Florida Legislature previously approved a requirement that hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs) conduct patient safety surveys and tasked the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) with implementing a rule specifying the submission process for these surveys.  AHCA’s … Continue Reading

CMS Is Here To Help Healthcare Entities Comply with Its Vaccination Rule

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) recently published an infographic to help Medicare and Medicaid facilities and providers determine if they or some members of their workforce are subject to the Omnibus Health Care Staff Vaccination Interim Final Rule (“Vaccine Rule”).  CMS has also issued FAQs to assist healthcare providers in assessing whether … Continue Reading
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