Home Health Agencies and Skilled Nursing Facilities Among Those Providers Included in the OIG’s Compendium of Priority Recommendations

The March 2014 edition of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG’s) Compendium of Priority Recommendations lists the OIG’s 25 “priority recommendations.” Some of the provider types that are specifically mentioned in the report, and likely to see increased scrutiny from the OIG, include: 1. Home Health Agencies. The OIG alleges that one in every four home health agencies (HHAs) exhibited “questionable billing.” Recommendations include implementing and improving claims processing edits to prevent “inappropriate payments,”… Read More >

OCR Announces HIPAA Settlements Related to Theft of Unencrypted Laptops: 4 Important Lessons to Take Away

Two HIPAA settlements were announced April 22, 2014 by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (OCR).  The settlements for alleged violations of the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules for Concentra Health Services and QCA Health Plan of Arkansas collectively totaled $1,975,220. According to the OCR press release, the review of Concentra Health Services resulted from a breach report involving the theft of an unencrypted laptop from the company’s Springfield Missouri Physical Therapy Center.  OCR stated… Read More >

HHS Emphasizes Contingency Planning in Promoting PrepareAthon! National Day of Action on April 30

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is promoting PrepareAthon! National Day of Action on April 30 with an emphasis on health care providers meeting the HIPAA Security Rule requirement for Contingency Plans. In an April 11, 2014  press release, HHS announced the PrepareAthon! as a campaign to ensure every community’s ability to withstand disaster.  While much of the press release encourages individuals and communities to participate, the press release also announces the HHS Office of the National Coordinator… Read More >

OIG Report Calls for Greater Oversight of Home Health Face-to-Face Requirement

A recent report from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) for Health and Human Services (HHS), is calling upon CMS to increase scrutiny of home health claims – specifically the required face-to-face documentation.  According to a report released April 9, 2014 on the OIG’s website, 32 percent of 644 randomly selected home health claims reviewed did not have documentation meeting the Medicare requirements for a face-to-face visit.  The OIG alleged that the insufficient documentation amounted to 2 billion dollars worth… Read More >