Proposed Legislation Would Remove the “Pass-Fail” Approach to Meaningful Use Attestation

Legislation introduced on July 30, 2015 by Congresswoman Renee Ellmers seeks to eliminate the “pass-fail” approach to meaningful use attestation.  The proposed Further Flexibility in HIT Reporting and Advancing Interoperability Act (Flex-IT 2 Act) would require the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish a method to determine whether an eligible professional is a “partial meaningful user consistent with a linear scale.”  The legislation would also require HHS to take into consideration differences among professionals, such as differences… Read More >

HHS Publishes Fact Sheet on HIPAA Privacy, Security and Breach Notification

Working in conjunction with CMS, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) published a fact sheet on HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification Rules. The fact sheet provides general information for HIPAA covered entities, which as noted on the first page of the fact sheet includes business associates of covered entities.  This information is part of the training materials available on the OCR website, including educational programs for providers that may be utilized as Continuing Medical Education credits. Providers and business… Read More >

Ohio Court Upholds Arbitration of Qui Tam Claims

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Western Division, in the case of U.S. v. ex rel. Hicks v. Evercare Hospice recently granted a stay on certain qui tam claims pending arbitration. The Relators were registered nurses who worked for the Defendant hospice and alleged that the Defendants admitted patients without mandatory consent and/or power of attorney designations, billed for continuous care that was not reasonable or necessary and provided inadequate services to Medicare patients. The Relators… Read More >

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 >