President Trump Takes Steps When Senate Won’t President Donald Trump signed an Executive Order that potentially weakens the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As quoted by the White House Press Office “The time has come to give Americans the freedom to purchase health insurance across state lines, which will create a truly competitive national marketplace that will bring costs way down and provide far better care.” Association Health Plans The Order is intended to allow employers to join together to form “association health plans” that can cross state lines. The Order also calls for expanded availability for lower cost, short-term policies, and increased use of… Read more
By: Kate Bongiovanni Monday, September 23, 2013 is an important HIPAA compliance deadline because the changes made under the final HIPAA “omnibus” rule (the “Omnibus Rule”) become effective on this date. Generally, the Omnibus Rule makes a number of changes to the rules regarding business associates, breach notification obligations, and HIPAA enforcement. As a result, employers sponsoring group health plans and health care providers (i.e., “covered entities” under HIPAA) should review and update their HIPAA-compliance materials. The following summarizes a few of the most significant changes under the Omnibus Rule: Required Changes to Notices of Privacy Practices (“NPPs”). The Omnibus… Read more
In a session at the AHLA annual conference updating attendees on HIPAA breach notification and OCR enforcement activity, the panelists presented an interesting statistic- while only 22% of large data breaches are caused by business associates, they impact 56% of affected individuals. The panelists stated that it is very important that covered entities have strong business associate agreements that contain specific provisions regarding notification of potential breaches to the covered entity. According to Adam Greene, JD, MPH, breach notifications may represent the biggest risk for covered entities. All covered entities should be vigilant in the negotiations with business associates.
Authored by: Kate Bongiovanni On June 3, 2013, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury, and Labor released final regulations implementing the changes to employer-sponsored wellness programs under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”). The final regulations adopt the distinction between the following types of wellness programs: Participatory Wellness Programs – wellness programs that do not condition a reward on an individual satisfying a health standard (or do not provide a reward at all) (e.g., reimbursements for fitness center membership costs); and Health-Contingent Wellness Programs – wellness programs that require an individual to satisfy a standard related… Read more
Authored by: Laura Miller Andrew To all interested parties, we have implemented this new blog to discuss all things health care, including health care reform, HIPAA, and compliance with health care related laws. Next week, I will be live blogging from the American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA) annual conference in San Diego on topics of interest to health care professionals. Follow our blog to be kept informed on the latest news and trends about health care. Your comments are welcome and we look forward to hearing from you.