Month: March 2017

OCR Update on Monitoring and Reporting Cyber Threats

OCR Update On Monitoring and Reporting Cyber Threats   As technology advances, the number of data breaches and cyber threats faced by HIPAA covered entities continues to increase. In response, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) released new guidance on reporting and monitoring cyber threats in February 2017. The guidance was prefaced by the fact that, as reported in September 2016 by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (“GAO”), yearly data breaches impacting health care records of 500 or more individuals increased five-fold between 2010 to 2015.   The new guidance encourages collaboration...

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New Proposed Bill Would Allow Employers To Demand Employee’s Genetic Test Results

New Proposed Bill Would Allow Employers To Demand Employee’s Genetic Test Results   A new federal bill, known as H.R. 1313, would allow companies to require their employees to choose between undergoing genetic testing – and giving their employers access to the results – or paying thousands of dollars in penalties.  The bill was approved by a House Committee on March 8 by a party-line vote of 22 Republicans in support and 17 Democrats in opposition. Overshadowed by the current debate over House GOP proposals to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), H.R. 1313 carries its own...

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Article of the Week: Is the Cash-Only Payment Model for Doctor Services the way of the future?

With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, many Americans saw their out-of-pocket insurance costs rise dramatically. Insurance companies adjusted premiums and deductibles to compensate for their coverage of a larger and more expensive patient population. With these changes came another: the rise of the direct pay or cash-based business model for medical services. This article from TIME Health explains the direct pay model and how it may only continue to gain popularity. As Republicans work to repeal and replace parts of the Affordable Care Act while supporting provisions for coverage of people with pre-existing conditions, the direct pay...

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CMS Implements New Incentive Payment Model Addressing Quality Over Quantity

CMS Implements New Incentive Payment Model Addressing Quality Over Quantity   On January 3, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued a final rule implementing three new episode payment models (“EPMs”) under Medicare Parts A and B, and a Cardiac Rehabilitation (“CR”) Incentive Payment Model. The stated goal of these new EPMs is to improve the quality of care provided to beneficiaries while reducing episode spending through more emphasis on financial accountability.   Traditionally, Medicare makes payments to providers for items and services under the fee-for-service (“FFS”) program over the course of treatment, which is considered an...

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