COVID-19: OCR Issues New HIPAA Guidance for Contacting Recovered Patients

The United States Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued updated guidance regarding contacting former COVID-19 positive patients about blood plasma donation, as related to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) privacy protections.  The guidance allows healthcare providers and covered entities to use protected health information (PHI) to identify and contact former COVID-19 positive patients to provide information on donating blood plasma to treat patients with COVID-19, as long as the information is not used for marketing purposes (“marketing” as defined by HIPAA).

Changes to HIPAA Privacy Rule

The HIPAA Privacy Rule allows covered entities or their […]

By |2020-10-02T17:05:08-04:00September 10th, 2020|Regulatory|

How the CARES Act Affects Health Care

On March 27, 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide $2.2. trillion in federal funding in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. These funds are available to small businesses, individuals, gig and freelance workers, retail and restaurants, hospitals and public health organizations, as well as large corporations and educational organizations.  While the majority of the relief is to individuals and businesses, a portion of these funds are directed towards expansion of health care delivery in response to the crisis. This Act follows two other pieces of legislation, The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and an emergency funding bill.

The CARES Act […]

By |2020-09-10T16:55:26-04:00April 9th, 2020|Regulatory|

Summary of The American Health Care Act

This summary is written using the House Ways and Means Committee’s summary and the Kaiser Family Foundation sources.  This bill repeals the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the health care provisions of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, effective January 1, 2016.  This bill has several steps to move through before it becomes law.  The two bills that compromise the AHCA were introduced into the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Ways and Means Committee and passed both on March 9, 2017.  The bill next goes to the House Budget Committee then the Rules Committee before going for a vote on […]

By |2020-09-10T16:56:03-04:00March 21st, 2017|Regulatory|

SCOTUS Sides Against Vermont

The Supreme Court ruled 6-2 on March 1st that self-insured employee plans cannot be forced to disclose to the state data regarding what they pay in medical claims (Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. No. 14-181, March 1, 2016). SCOTUS decided that Vermont overreached in contradiction of federal reporting requirements in trying to gather and analyze the claims data from Liberty Mutual’s self-insured employee plan. Justice Kennedy, writing for the court, said that Vermont’s reporting law was inconsistent with federal goals of a “uniform national scheme” for collecting claims data. Vermont had argued that they needed the data from all payers, including self-funded employee plans, in order to […]

By |2020-09-10T16:56:13-04:00May 12th, 2016|Regulatory|