Compensation for Advance Care Planning Services Proposed

The CY 2015 proposed physician fee schedule which will be published in the Federal Register on July 15, 2015, contains a proposal to include separate reimbursement for advance care planning, including the discussion of advance directives by physicians or other qualified health professionals. CPT Codes 99497 (first 30 minutes face-to-face advance care planning) and 99498 (additional 30 minutes) would be used to report the advance care planning services which could include the explanation and completion of standard forms. CMS noted… Read More >

Senate Bill Would Enable Veterans Affairs Nurse Practitioners to Practice Independent of Physicians

As reported by Modern Healthcare, the Senate is considering legislation that would allow nurse practitioners across the Veterans Affairs Department (VA) to practice independently of physicians, regardless of the state law where they are practicing. The bill, known as Frontlines to Lifelines Act of 2015, would allow advanced practice registered nurses – specifically nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and clinical nurse specialists in mental health care – to practice independent of physician supervision regardless of the limitations in place under state… Read More >

Alaska Woman Sentenced to Prison in HIPAA Criminal Case

While HIPAA criminal cases are rare, KTVA in Alaska recently reported that an Anchorage woman was sentenced to two concurrent 24 month prison terms.  The case is being reported as the first prosecuted HIPAA criminal case in the state. Stacy Laulu illegally accessed medical records of two patients at the hospital where she worked.  The patients were victims of assault and Ms. Laulu obtained information for the perpetrator to determine what the victims had told police and hospital staff about… Read More >

Guest Post: If my employer pays my student loans directly, is that tax free to me?

Guest Post by Cory Lee, CPA, CVA, of Silverman, Kaplan & Sakwa, CPA’s PC: Client Question: If my employer pays my student loans directly, is that tax free to me? If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.  In general, whether your employer pays you directly or makes a payment on your behalf, that payment will be considered taxable income to you, and will need to be included on your annual income tax return in some form… Read More >