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OCR to Advance Investigations of Breaches Affecting Fewer Than 500 Individuals

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has announced that it will begin to more actively investigate breaches of Protected Health Information (PHI) affecting fewer than 500 individuals in order to evaluate the primary, and likely, causes of such incidents, and develop appropriate corrective action. Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), breaches of under 500 affected individuals are reported to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)...

OCR’s Phase Two HIPAA Audits Have Begun

Earlier this year, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), the entity responsible for enforcing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), issued Pre-Audit Questionnaires to covered entities and business associates alike. These Questionnaires were used to develop separate "pools" of similarly situated entities from which OCR would randomly select and evaluate using both desk and on-site audits. On Monday July 11, 2016, 167 notifications were sent to covered entities,...

DOD Leads the Way in Telemedicine Expansion

In February the Assistant Secretary of Defense elected to allow Military Health System (MHS) providers to offer telemedicine services to patients in locations other than military health treatment facilities. With the intent to expand telemedicine, the Secretary authorized patients' homes as acceptable sites for the receipt of telemedicine services, if deemed appropriate by the treating physician. This expansion imposes two additional requirements on MHS providers. First, the provider must be...

Teladoc Success over Texas Medical Board

Last month, the Texas Medical Board's (TMB) motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Teladoc, Inc. was denied. The lawsuit involved a challenge to a TMB regulation restricting the use of telehealth services in the State of Texas. Teladoc, the nation's leading provider of telehealth services was recently selected by Meridian Health, a non-profit health care organization in New Jersey, to provide telehealth services to its residents. Based on the...

New York Telehealth Reimbursement Parity Law

Effective January 1, 2016, New York put into effect its expanded telehealth reimbursement parity legislation. New York was the 22nd state to develop such a parity, which requires commercial insurers, as well as the state’s Medicaid program, to provide reimbursement for telehealth services in a manner consistent with medical services provided in a face-to-face encounter. While New York places restrictions on the use and mandatory reimbursement of telehealth services, many...