HHSC – Learning Collaborative Summit

HHSC has posted information on the August 27th - 28th Statewide Learning Collaborative Summit, including the livestream link and agenda, on the Dates and Deadlines page. Visit us at Garlo Ward, PC … [Read more...]

Institute of Medicine to Conduct Year-Long Study in HIT Safety

Under the HITECH Act of 2009, the Medicare and Medicaid electronic health record ("EHR") incentive programs provide a financial reward for the meaningful use of qualified, certified EHRs to achieve health and efficiency goals. In July, CMS announced regulations outlining the initial requirements that eligible health care providers must meet to demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology for the Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments program, which CMS will administer.  Also in … [Read more...]

Introducing GINA New Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008

President Bush is expected to sign into law the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) passed last week by Congress. The new law, which has been debated in Congress for 13 years, adds to current federal anti-discrimination laws (including Title VII) prohibitions on employers and insurance companies using genetic tests showing people are at risk of developing cancer, heart disease or other ailments to reject their job applications, promotions or health care coverage, or in setting … [Read more...]

HIPAA–Stonewalling Families is NOT the Law

HIPAA continues as the gift that just keeps giving--to lawyers at any rate. Apparently, it is being misconstrued around the country to be an obstacle to families seeking to ascertain the condition of their loved ones. From an interesting editorial in the Idaho Mountain Express: American medicine and its practitioners are among the finest anywhere in the world. However, getting to that treatment through the maze of government and insurance paperwork and waiting for an appointment is … [Read more...]

National Provider Identifier

A National Provider Identifier (NPI) is a 10-digit number used to identify providers under the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, there are only 151 days left to comply with the NPI requirement. From the site: If you are a health care provider who bills for services, you probably need an NPI. If you bill Medicare for services, you definitely need an NPI! Getting an NPI is easy. Getting an NPI is … [Read more...]

Fifth Circuit: No Private Cause of Action for HIPAA Violations

While HIPAA protects the health information of individuals, it does not create a private cause of action for those aggrieved (65 Fed. Reg. 82566).  This is made abundantly clear from the commentary to the regulations and HIPAA’s legislative history. And while many federal district courts have dismissed individual plaintiffs’ lawsuits under this rule, the Fifth Circuit, in the case of Acara v. Banks (5th Cir. Nov.13, 2006), has become the first federal appellate court to affirm the ruling.  … [Read more...]

HIPAA and Emergency Preparedness

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) protects individuals' Private Health Information (PHI) held by "covered entities," like health plans, health care providers, and health care clearinghouses, and regulates the use and disclosure of PHI. In order to help emergency preparedness and recovery planners stay in compliance with HIPPA while accessing and using protected health information for the disabled, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) … [Read more...]

You’d Think They’d Have Better Things to Do: The FBI and HIPAA

Brett Mendel, Senior Analyst at Byte and Switch Insider is reporting that the FBI is apparently investigating security breaches regarding data security and HIPAA:"It is happening with HIPAA," says Mark Diamond, president and CEO of data storage consulting firm Contoural Inc. "If you do not maintain security of data, you will be investigated by the FBI."Say what?You bet. While the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) monitors compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and … [Read more...]