Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Electronic Data Breach Leads to
Largest HIPAA Settlement to Date

The Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services recently entered into a $4.8 million dollar settlement with two New York-based health care organizations after a data breach involving electronic protected health information occurred.  The agreement is the largest HIPAA settlement thus far.

New York and Presbyterian and Columbia University are covered entities that participate in a joint arrangement in which CU faculty members serve as attending physicians at NYP.  The entities operate a shared data network and a shared network firewall that is administered by employees of both entities. The shared network links to NYP patient information systems containing ePHI.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

All Eyes on Hospice Care

In 2013, the Department of Justice and Office of Inspector General charged the nation’s largest for-profit hospice chain, Vitas Innovative Hospice Care, with false Medicare billings, inappropriately luring patients with “aggressive marketing tactics,” and misleading patients and families about Medicare hospice benefits. This suit is just one of many recently filed against hospice providers, indicating that they are being watched keenly by enforcement authorities and government agencies.