Information Technology and EMR

Is your office photocopy machine a HIPAA time-bomb?  Affinity Health Plan recently learned that the answer is yes, to the tune of a $1.2 million settlement with the US Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR).  Affinity is a not-for-profit managed care organization which includes one of the New York metropolitan area’s largest Medicaid managed care
Continue Reading Photocopiers and HIPAA – Health Plan Settles with HHS for $1.2 Million

On January 2, 2013, the US Department of Health and Human Services announced a $50,000 settlement with Hospice of North Idaho for a data breach involving the theft of a lost, unencrypted laptop computer containing the health information of 441 patients.

This settlement is the first for a reported breach affecting fewer than 500 individuals.   HHS Office of Civil Rights

Continue Reading First HHS Settlement for Small HIPAA Breach

   The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (the “HITECH”) Act of 2009 aims to have all hospitals and physicians use electronic health records (“EHRs”) for all persons in the United States by 2014.  Federal and State financial incentives, electronic billing requirements, and the need for ever-increasing collaboration and sharing of information among providers have lead to a

Continue Reading Electronic Health Records Come Under OIG Scrutiny

In order for an accountable care organization to succeed, there must be a workable method for collaboration among the providers.  How do providers of care effectively communicate amongst one other?  What is the optimum means of memorializing a patient’s medical history and present health status so that all providers of care are basing their decisions on the same data?  And
Continue Reading Accountable Care and Collaboration Among Providers

The US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) recently released its HIPAA audit protocol.  Audits of HIPAA compliance were mandated by the 2009 Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (“HITECH”) Act, which amended many parts of HIPAA and included breach notification requirements.

The OCR conducted a number of pilot audits of compliance with
Continue Reading Feds Release HIPAA Audit Protocol

The recent increase of prescription drug abuse led both chambers of the New York State Legislature to pass the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing (I-STOP) Act on June 11, 2012.  The legislation seeks to tighten control over certain controlled substances in an effort to decrease criminal diversion and abuse of such prescription drugs which can result in addiction, violence, family
Continue Reading NYS Legislature Passes Prescription Drug Reform Package