December 10, 2018 | Blog | By Sarah Beth Kuyers
Last week, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced that it had reached a settlement with a contract physician group based in Florida to resolve potential HIPAA violations relating to the sharing of protected health information (PHI) with a vendor. The physician group, Advanced Care Hospitalists PL (ACH), agreed to pay $500,000 and to adopt a corrective action plan to address the alleged conduct.
December 5, 2018 | Blog
On November 26, 2018 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a proposed rule, Modernizing Part D and Medicare Advantage to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Expenses. This proposed rule is the Trump Administration’s latest action to curb prescription drug prices. The proposed rule outlines a number of provisions to for lowering drug prices and reducing out-of-pocket costs in the Part D program that build off the Administration’s Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs.
December 5, 2018 | Blog | By David Chorney
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently announced a no-fault settlement, including a $125,000 penalty and a two year corrective action plan for Allergy Associates of Hartford, P.C. The settlement was reached after a physician at Allergy Associates disclosed protected health information (PHI) about a patient to a local television station.
December 4, 2018 | Blog | By Emma Zimmerman
On November 20, 2018, Virginia submitted an application to CMS for a Section 1115 demonstration program entitled Virginia COMPASS (Creating Opportunities for Medicaid Participants to Achieve Self-Sufficiency). The application comes after Virginia voted in June 2018 to expand its Medicaid program to cover newly eligible non-disabled, non-pregnant adults ages 19 to 64 with income up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL), on the condition that the expansion include a work requirement and other measures. This waivers implements work requirements and other provisions linked to the state’s Medicaid expansion.
December 4, 2018 | Blog | By Aaron Josephson
Major legislation impacting FDA often accompanies user fee reauthorizations every 5 years. However, Congress has acted to address public health issues between user fee cycles. FDA regulates 20¢ of every U.S. consumer dollar spent on products ranging from heart valves to insulin to breakfast cereal, so there’s always something Congress can do in the realm of FDA’s statutory authorities. Many FDA-related bills are often bipartisan, too, which suggests action regardless of which party is in power. Here are a few key medical product issues we’ll be tracking in 2019.
DOJ Announces to the Supreme Court That it Will Seek to Dismiss False Claims Act Case, and Affirms Position on Materiality Under Escobar
December 3, 2018 | Blog | By Brian Dunphy, Laurence Freedman
December 3, 2018 | Blog | By Eli Greenspan
This week, Congress is expected to pass a two-week extension to avoid a partial government shutdown.
November 30, 2018 | Blog
As we previously discussed, in October the Trump Administration issued guidance related to 1332 waivers. This guidance outlines how the Trump Administration interprets the ACA 1332 waiver guardrails. On November 29th, CMS built off that guidance and outlined four concepts that states can utilize in 1332 waivers. Below is a discussion of these concepts and their potential effects.
November 27, 2018 | Blog | By Aaron Josephson
On November 26, 2018, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and device center director Jeff Shuren issued a statement outlining a plan to modernize the 510(k) premarket review program to bolster medical device safety. The 510(k) program relies on a device being compared to a legally marketed predicate device; i.e., a similar device that was already determined to be legally marketable.
Strategies to Unlock AI’s Potential in Healthcare Part 6: Commercialization of AI Tools in Healthcare – the Challenge of Securing Adequate Data Rights
November 26, 2018 | Blog | By Julie Korostoff
In this sixth post in our series on artificial intelligence in health care, Julie Korostoff highlights the importance of securing adequate data rights to commercialize an AI technology. The post addresses the contractual commitments that a developer of a healthcare AI tool should secure in order to have the data rights necessary for development and commercialization.
November 26, 2018 | Blog | By Eli Greenspan
This week, Congress returns to Washington with 10 working days to prevent a partial government shutdown by December 7th. Reaching an agreement on funding is the highest priority of the Lame Duck, and it could prove contentious given some controversial issues lurking around the corner. Also this week, the Senate will continue to look at health care costs in its ongoing hearing series and, will consider several legislative items.
November 19, 2018 | Blog | By Bridgette Keller
In its favorable Advisory Opinion 18-11, the OIG explains how a managed care organization’s proposed incentive program to pay network providers to increase the amount of Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT) services provided to Medicaid beneficiaries would not violate the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS). What is interesting about this Advisory Opinion is that the OIG finds that the health plan’s proposed arrangement would be protected by the managed care safe harbor for eligible managed care organizations (ECMOs), and there are not many opinions addressing this safe harbor.
November 19, 2018 | Blog | By Eli Greenspan
This week, Congress is on recess for the Thanksgiving holiday. While we can expect action from Congress when they return as it relates to funding aspects of the government, this week our preview looks at the future of the Senate Finance Committee with its new Chairman, Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa.
November 15, 2018 | Blog | By Laura Stefani
Emerging medical imaging technologies being developed for the terahertz spectrum may face regulatory hurdles from an unexpected Federal agency: the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has jurisdiction over medical devices with respect to safety and effectiveness – including premarket approval, inspection of manufacturing facilities, and monitoring of post-market adverse events – the FCC has jurisdiction over certain technical and spectrum use requirements for medical devices that operate on radiofrequency (RF) spectrum. Medical device developers need to be aware of the current state of play at the FCC in these areas.
November 13, 2018 | Blog | By Samantha Kingsbury, Laurence Freedman
In a three-sentence order issued on October 29th, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals declined to grant a Request for Rehearing in the closely watched Polukoff case. One of the questions raised in the Request was whether, by submitting a claim for reimbursement and certifying the medical necessity of the charged service, providers also certify that the claim meets all of the standards set forth in the Medicare Program Integrity Manual (MPIM).
Strategies to Unlock AI’s Potential in Health Care, Part 5: Product Liability Prevention for AI Product Designers—and Their Lawyers
November 13, 2018 | Blog | By Yalonda Howze
As our use of AI technology becomes more frequent, interconnected, and integral to daily life, the liability exposure to AI product designers and manufacturers continues to escalate. There are more potential liability risks, including product liability risks, in our current environment than ever. With AI technology embedded in interconnected software and hardware products, gone are the days where we can neatly separate data security and privacy from product liability exposure.
November 12, 2018 | Blog | By Eli Greenspan
This week, Congress returns to Washington for its lame duck session with uncertain expectations for what gets done between now and the next funding deadline of December 7, 2018. There are a number of legislative items that passed one chamber and not the other, and watch to see which bills make it across the finish line.
All-Payor Kickback Statute Included in the Recently Passed Opioid Legislation Applies Broadly to Laboratories
November 12, 2018 | Blog | By Karen Lovitch, Laurence Freedman, Benjamin Zegarelli
The Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act (the “SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act”) – which is intended to combat the spread and pernicious effects of opioid abuse – contains an all-payor kickback prohibition that applies to laboratories, recovery homes, and clinical treatment facilities.
November 8, 2018 | Blog | By Jordan Cohen
Last week, HHS unveiled its new Health Security Cybersecurity Coordination Center, known as "HC3." HC3 will replace the beleaugered Healthcare Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (HCCIC) which had lost top officials last fall. The HC3’s role is to work with the sector, including practitioners, organizations, and cybersecurity information sharing organizations to understand the threats it faces, learn the attackers' patterns and trends, and provide information and approaches on how the sector can better defend itself.
November 6, 2018 | Blog | By Xavier Hardy
On October 19, 2018, a New Mexico district judge rejected a request from HHS to reconsider a February decision that had briefly led to the suspension of the ACA’s risk adjustment program. In February, District Judge James Browning ruled that HHS’s use of statewide average premium to calculate risk adjustment payments, and the fact that the program was administered as budget-neutral, were arbitrary and capricious.
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