This Week in Washington – May 1, 2015

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Committee Releases Discussion Draft of 21st Century Cures Legislation On April 29, the House Energy and Commerce Committee released the 21st Century Cures draft bill to accelerate the development and marketing of drugs and medical devices. The draft bill comes after eight committee hearings on the 21st Century Cures initiative since... Continue Reading →

HHS Settles with Colorado Pharmacy over Disposal of Patient Records

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On April 27, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced that it entered into a settlement with a Colorado pharmacy (“Pharmacy”) arising from alleged violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) Privacy Rule.  Under the settlement, the Pharmacy agreed... Continue Reading →

Oh the Profanity! NLRB Protects Vulgar Comments Again

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The NLRB has again decided that using profanity-laced Facebook postings specifically aimed at management is legally protected.  This decision by two members of the NLRB, despite one strong dissent, continues the pattern of granting legal protections to employees who use profanity in exercising their protected rights in support of a... Continue Reading →

OIG Issues New Guidance for Health Care Boards on Compliance Oversight

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On April 20, 2015, the Office of Inspector General (“OIG”), in collaboration with the American Health Lawyers Association, the Association of Healthcare Internal Auditors and the Health Care Compliance Association, released Practical Guidance for Health Care Governing Boards on Compliance Oversight (the “Board Guidance”). The Board Guidance offers practical tips... Continue Reading →

This Week in Washington – April 24, 2015

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CMS Releases Proposed Hospital Payment Rule Late last Friday, April 17, CMS released the proposed FY 16 Medicare payment rule for inpatient and long-term care hospitals. CMS estimates the proposed rule would increase Medicare payments to 3,400 acute care hospitals by about 0.3 percent, or $120 million, in 2016 compared... Continue Reading →