Senate Report Finds Medicare Audit Programs Have Failed to Reduce Improper Payment Rate

The Senate Special Committee on Aging recently issued a report addressing the current Medicare audit programs, the impact of these programs on reducing improper payment rates and the burden providers face when undergoing a Medicare audit. The report outlines inefficiencies related to the lack of coordination among the audit contractors and the failure to effectively target problem providers or problem areas. The report notes that in fiscal year (FY) 2013, CMS reported an estimated $50 billion in Medicare fee-for-service improper… Read More >

Criminal Indictment for HIPAA Violation

Prosecution of criminal violations of HIPAA are rare, but on July 3, 2014 the U.S. Department of Justice announced the indictment of a former employee of an East Texas hospital for HIPAA violations.   The employee, Joshua Hippler, was charged with Wrongful Disclosure of Individually Identifiable Health Information.   Mr. Hippler can face up to ten years in prison if found guilty. 42 U.S.C. §1320d-6 provides for the criminal prosecution of individuals who knowingly use a unique health identifier, obtain individually identifiable… Read More >

New Kentucky State Law Grants Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) Prescribing Authority

As reported by Modern Healthcare, a new Kentucky state law expanding prescribing authority for advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) took effect on July 15, 2014. After years of debate, the law was the result of compromise on behalf of various stakeholders including the Kentucky Medical Association, Kentucky Academy of Family Physicians and the Kentucky Coalition of Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Midwives. The new law permits nurse practitioners to prescribe independently after they have prescribed under physician supervision for four years…. Read More >

Recent White Paper addresses HIPAA and Michigan State Law Considerations When Responding to Subpoenas and Warrants for Protected Health Information

Health care providers are often faced with questions regarding the appropriate response to a subpoena or warrant requesting patient medical records. Given that most health care providers and the businesses that support them qualify as either “covered entities” or “business associates” subject to HIPAA, attorneys advising healthcare clients must take both HIPAA and state privacy laws into account when addressing the legal considerations for responding to requests for protected health information (PHI). Together with attorney Julie Markgraf of the North… Read More >