Keeping an eye on health care law trends. Thoughts and comments on the health care industry, privacy, security, technology and other odds and ends. Actively posting from 2004-2012 and now "restarted" in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic as a source for health care and legal information.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Lets Go Mountaineers . . .
This clip is a year old but I just saw it after my dad sent it to me. What a great commercial. For those of you who don't get the commercial check out this Google search.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Learning: Privacy and Security Monitoring, Audits and Investigations
Also speaking at the seminar will be (read full bios):
- Terri Barrett, the assistant chief privacy officer at the West Virginia Health Care Authority in Charleston
- Mike Harmon, compliance officer for the West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Agency who oversees HIPAA compliance for PEIA and the Department of Administration
- Jack Shaffer, CIO for the Community Health Network of West Virginia who has experience in all aspects of technology, including systems development, enterprise application integration, networking, telecommunications, data center operations, database administration, disaster recovery, security and mobile computing.
|9:00 am – 10:30 am||Legal Overview of HIPAA Privacy and Security Enforcement|
|Robert L. Coffield, Esq.|
|10:30 am – 10:45 am||Break|
|10:45 am – 11:30 am||Preparing for an Audit|
|Michael T. Harmon, CIPP/G|
|11:30 am – 12:30 pm||Lunch (On Your Own)|
|12:30 pm – 2:30 pm||Technologies and Procedures for HIPAA Compliance|
|Jack L. Shaffer Jr.|
|2:30 pm – 2:45 pm||Break|
|2:45 pm – 3:45 pm||The Role of the Privacy Officer|
|Terrisita Barrett, CIPP|
|3:45 pm – 4:30 pm||Panel Discussion, and Questions and Answers|
|Terrisita Barrett, CIPP, Robert L. Coffield, Esq.,|
|Michael T. Harmon, CIPP/G, and Jack L. Shaffer Jr.|
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
The Beauty of West Virginia
Monday, August 27, 2007
CMS Stark III Regulations Now Available
The Phase III Stark Final Rule (CMS-1810-F) is officially titled, "Medicare Program; Physicians' Referrals to Health Care Entities With Which They Have Financial Relationships (Phase III)". The regulations will be effective 90 days after the publication date which is expected to be September 5, 2007. Read the CMS press release.
UPDATE: CMS has also provided an unofficial redline version of the Stark regulations showing the existing regulations and incorporating in the new Stark III changes.
UPDATE (7/5/07): The official version was published in the Federal Register on September 5, 2007. A complete copy of the regulations can be found here. The effective date of Phase III Final Rule is December 4, 2007.
UPDATE (11/11/07): David Harlow reports that certain provisions of Stark III will be delayed for up to a year (December 4, 2008).
Below is a copy of the rule summary and the table of contents directly from the final rule:
Summary: This final rule is the third phase (Phase III) of a final rulemaking amending our regulations regarding the physician self-referral prohibition in section 1877 of the Social Security Act (the Act). Specifically, this rule finalizes, and responds to public comments regarding, the Phase II interim final rule with comment period published on March 26, 2004, which set forth the self-referral prohibition and applicable definitions, interpreted various statutory exceptions to the prohibition, and created additional regulatory exceptions for arrangements that do not pose a risk of program or patient abuse (69 FR 16054).
In general, in response to public comments, in this Phase III final rule, we have reduced the regulatory burden on the health care industry through the interpretation of statutory exceptions and modification of the exceptions that were created using the Secretary’s discretionary authority under section 1877(b)(4) of the Act to promulgate exceptions for financial relationships that pose no risk of program or patient abuse.
II. General Comments
B. Compliance with the Anti-kickback Statute
C. Fair Market Value
D. “Incident to” Services
E. Physician in the Group Practice
F. Radiology and Certain Other Imaging Services and Radiation Therapy
H. Rural Area
IV. Group Practice--§411.352
V. Prohibition on Certain Referrals by Physicians and Limitations on Billing--§411.353
VI. Financial Relationship, Compensation, and Ownership or
C. Special Rules on Compensation
VII. General Exceptions to the Referral Prohibition Related
to Both Ownership/Investment and Compensation--
A. Physician Services
B. In-office Ancillary Services
C. Services Furnished by an Organization (or Its Contractors or Subcontractors) to Enrollees
E. Academic Medical Centers
F. Implants Furnished by an Ambulatory Surgical Center
G. EPO and Other Dialysis-related Drugs Furnished in or by an End-Stage Renal Dialysis Facility
H. Preventive Screening Tests, Immunizations, and Vaccines
I. Eyeglasses and Contact Lenses Following Cataract Surgery
J. Intra-family Rural Referrals
VIII. Exceptions to the Referral Prohibition Related to
Ownership or Investment Interests--§411.356
A. Publicly-traded Securities and Mutual Funds
B. Hospitals Located in Puerto Rico
C. Rural Providers
D. Ownership Interest in a Whole Hospital
IX. Exceptions to the Referral Prohibition Related to
A. Rental of Office Space
B. Rental of Equipment
C. Bona Fide Employment Relationships
D. Personal Service Arrangements
E. Physician Recruitment
F. Isolated Transactions
G. Remuneration Unrelated to Designated Health Services
H. Group Practice Arrangements with a Hospital
I. Payments by a Physician
J. Charitable Donations by a Physician
K. Nonmonetary Compensation
L. Fair Market Value Compensation
M. Medical Staff Incidental Benefits
N. Risk-sharing Arrangements
O. Compliance Training
P. Indirect Compensation Arrangements
Q. Referral Services
R. Obstetrical Malpractice Insurance Subsidies
S. Professional Courtesy
T. Retention Payments in Underserved Areas
U. Community-wide Health Information Systems
X. Reporting Requirements--§411.361
XI. Miscellaneous (Other)
XII. Provisions of the Final Rule
XIII. Technical Corrections
XIV. Collection of Information Requirements
XV. Regulatory Impact Analysis
A. Overall Impact
B. Anticipated Effects
C. Alternatives Considered
Comments on the new regulations:
- Brian Peterson at his West Virginia Legal Weblog provides insight into the new regulations clarification of physician recruitment agreements and restrictive covenants in physician employment agreements.
Thanks to the AHLA Stark Law listserve for the tip on the final rule.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Physicians vs. Patient: Rating-Permission Contracts
According to Medical Justice's CEO the goal is to "regain control of the flow of information." Just more evidence of the dynamic shift we are seeing in the health care industry as a result of some of the health 2.0 initiatives.
New models are being developed to allow patient/consumers to rate, report and compare the quality and cost of health care services. As these services become more widely adopted and used by consumers, traditional health care delivery system models and the perceptions of health care professionals are being challenged.
Note: Don't miss reading the reader comments in the WSJ Blog post.
UPDATE: More from Dr. Val on the potential value of online physician rating. I completely agree with her comment that sometimes all that is available is a "health insurance company's list of in network professionals."
Sunday, August 19, 2007
HHS Secretary Leavitt Joins The Blogosphere
I am impressed by his goal to keep the blog personal (not relying on staff or the PR department to write his posts) outlined in his About this Blog summary and introductory post. I'm hoping that he enjoys the experience and has the time to continue to blog past his initial trial phase. In my mind he gets the idea behind blogging -- a communication utility which is used to think and understand, share his observations, engage ideas and as he says, create a "dynamic online conversation." These characteristics are what makes blogging something more than just another way to create traditional media/PR web content. It's the reason why I enjoy the blogging process.
Question to readers: Is Secretary Leavitt the highest ranking U.S. official to date to have a blog which is personally written? Are there any other Federal Executive Department Secretary level bloggers?
Thanks to iHealthBeat for its article announcing Secretary Leavitt's blog.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Latest on CMS's Challenge to WV Oxycontin Settlement
Larry Messina's article in today's Herald Dispatch, "Feds threaten $4.1M in Medicaid funds over Oxy Settlement".
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Why We Need A Health Care Revolution
Don't miss the rest of this week's Grand Rounds hosted at Med Journal Watch.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
NYT Looks At Dr. Google and Dr. Microsoft
The entry of these two tech giants along with a slew of other health-technology companies are likely to cause disruption in the health marketplace traditionally controlled by historic models (physicians, hospitals, insurers, etc.) Whether there will be enough momentum to bring change and whether patients are willing to trust these new models is the question that has yet to be answered.
Interestingly, the article mentions a little more about what Google Health might look like. The Google Health prototype focuses on the health consumer:
The welcome page reads, “At Google, we feel patients should be in charge of their health information, and they should be able to grant their health care providers, family members, or whomever they choose, access to this information. Google Health was developed to meet this need.”
A presentation of screen images from the prototype — which two people who received it showed to a reporter — then has 17 other Web pages including a “health profile” for medications, conditions and allergies; a personalized “health guide” for suggested treatments, drug interactions and diet and exercise regimens; pages for receiving reminder messages to get prescription refills or visit a doctor; and directories of nearby doctors.
The article also mentions West Virginia native, David Brailer, former Bush administration National Coordinator for Healthcare Information Technology, who now heads up Health Evolution Partners. Note: Yesterday Matthew Holt posted at The Health Care Blog that Dr. Brailer will be joining the list of speakers at the Health 2.0 Conference to be held next month. Mr. Bosworth of Google will also be on the consumer aggregator panel being moderated by another top health care thinker, Jane Sarasohn-Kahn.
UPDATE: Interested in learning more about Google Health? Check out this post by Jeff O'Conner at the Health Care Information System Blog with links to the Clinical Cases and Images Blog with links to screen shots of the prototype.
Also check out what Doc Searls perspective at ProjectVRM Blog.
UPDATE2: Good insightful follow up post, Here comes Google and Microsoft, from Tony over at Hospital Impact. I especially agree with the last two paragraphs:
Of course, all the same old data issues have to be worked out - privacy, malpractice, storage, interoperability, and security . . . Plus, there's a little problem with funding and business model (hopefully we will never see a Google banner ad within our medical record!) . . . Make no mistake about it- this is not a continuation of the Google vs. Microsoft War that's been going on for years. This is Google or [insert brave company name here] against the most powerful force of them all: the healthcare industry status quo.
Thursday, August 02, 2007
Almost Heaven . . . eBay
Skip Lineberg at Maple Creative has some additional thought on what this means for Charleston business? Jeff James at CreateWV provide more commentary in the post, "Is eBay the Killer App to Drive WV Broadband Adoption?"