OCR Releases Final HIPAA Rules

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) — the folks who brought us the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) –has released new and far-reaching changes to the HIPAA privacy, security and enforcement rules.

The new, final HIPAA rules are, according to an HHS press release, “designed to increase flexibility for and decrease burden on regulated entities.”

The new rule will be published in the Jan. 25 Federal Register and will implement statutory requirements that were enacted in the HITECH Act as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Among other things, the rule clarifies when breaches of unsecured health information must be reported to HHS. It eliminates the prior breach notification rule’s “harm standard” and replaces it with “a more objective standard.”

Although the new rule is effective March 26, 2013, covered entities and business associates have until Sept. 23, 2013 to comply with its provisions.

Click here to read the HHS press release.

Jodi Laurence talks with AMN Healthcare about what’s new for 2013 in healthcare reform

Jan  5, 2013 – The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012–passed by Congress on January 1, 2013, and signed by President Obama the next day to extend several tax cuts and help avert the so-called “fiscal cliff”–postponed the sustainable growth rate cuts to physicians, but “roughly $15 billion of the cost of this measure will be funded by hospitals in the form of reduced payments over the next decade.”

Congress may revisit those cuts, because hospitals are “up in arms,” said attorney Jodi B. Laurence, a founding partner of the Florida Health Law Center in Davie.

Click here to read the full story.

Lee Lasris featured in South Florida Legal Guide

Florida Health Law Center co-founder Lee Lasris is among South Florida’s top health care lawyers featured in the October issue of the South Florida Legal Guide.

The article titled “Navigating Healthcare’s Changing Financial Landscape” has Lasris, and other health care attorneys, discussing the impact the Affordable Care Act is having on providers, payors and investors.

Click here to read the article.

8 Points of Survival for Surgery Centers After ACOs

Oct. 17, 2012 – Florida Health Law Center co-founder Jodi Laurence was interviewed by Becker’s ASC Review about why surgery centers are assessing whether they should join accountable care organizations, or if it would make more sense to go in a different direction.

“We do know there will be healthcare reform in some way and I would think ASCs need to figure out how they will survive in this new healthcare regime,” said Laurence.

Click here to read the entire story.

Lee Lasris interviewed about DOJ guidelines dealing with the medical necessity of ICDs.

Sept. 26, 2012 – This past August, the U.S. Department of Justice sent guidelines to hospitals that dealt with the medical necessity of implantable cardioverter defibrillators, or ICDs.

The guidelines were released to help with the settlement of claims stemming out of the DOJ’s investigation on ICDs that were placed in Medicare beneficiaries between 2003 and 2010 at hospitals. Hundreds of hospitals stand to face False Claims Act penalties for improper use of ICDs as a result of the investigations, which as most hospitals going through fraud and abuse measures right now know can be a very costly process. Click here to read the full story.

Efforts to Stifle Patients’ Online Comments May Not Hold Up in Court

Sept. 7, 2012 – It used to be that word of mouth – good or bad – was the only thing healthcare professionals had to worry about when it came to a patient sullying their reputation. But the explosive growth of the internet and proliferation of websites that urge patients to rate and comment on the care they receive has caused some physicians to fight back by asking patients to sign a “mutual agreement to maintain privacy.”

Click here to read more of Lee Lasris’ article  in the September issue of South Florida Hospital News.


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