The FCC has opened the comment period on three Rural Health Care Program participants’ appeals of Universal Service Administrative Company decisions denying Healthcare Connect Fund (“HCF”) support for Illinois Rural HealthNet, Colorado Telehealth Network and Oregon Health Network (see our previous blog post on the subject). At issue is whether health care provider service locations that are urban, but are not licensed bed hospitals (or other eligible entities), are eligible locations under the HCF. The locations at issue primarily consist of employed physician offices. Comments are due December 20, 2013, and reply comments are due January 3, 2014.
The Oregon Health Network (“OHN”) has appealed to the FCC an adverse ruling by USAC regarding whether health care provider service locations that are urban, but are not licensed bed hospitals (or other eligible entities), will qualify for funding under the Healthcare Connect Fund (“HCF”). The determination of this issue will clarify whether the scope of the HCF is intended to include only urban hospitals or all participants in the continuum of care and will likely affect the scope and design of networks that rely on the HCF for subsidy in order to provide advanced telehealth services to the rural population. The full text of the OHN appeal is located here. Continue Reading →
If you are facing a meaningful use audit, you are not alone. Medicare private contractors are out in force as they carefully review supporting documentation for a meaningful use attestation. Providers who are utilizing a certified electronic health record (“EHR”) technology may find surprising challenges as they attempt to extract necessary information from the EHR in response to auditor requests.
If you are facing a meaningful use audit or have questions regarding the deployment of a certified EHR technology in support of meaningful use, please contact Ammon Fillmore at 317-977-1492 or firstname.lastname@example.org or your regular Hall Render attorney.
Effective October 1, 2013, Texas Health and Human Services Commission (“HHSC”) will begin reimbursing eligible distant site professionals providing home telemonitoring services as a benefit of the Texas Medicaid Program, making it one of the first states to provide direct reimbursement for home telemonitoring services. Such services will be reimbursed in the same manner as reimbursement for Home Health Services (see Rule 355.7001 and Rule 355.8021). Continue Reading →
FCC Form 460 (Eligibility and Registration Form) is now available for use by health care providers (“HCPs”) to certify their eligibility to participate in the Healthcare Connect Fund (“HCF”) program.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is set to hear oral arguments this week in Verizon v. FCC. At issue is “net neutrality” and to what extent the FCC is allowed to regulate Internet traffic. The case is the latest stage in a long-running legal battle over the idea that Internet providers should not be able to selectively limit the bandwidth of particular websites or applications. The FCC set out guidelines for Internet providers in the 2010 Open Internet Order, and Verizon challenged the Order on constitutional grounds. Continue to read the Hall Render Health Information Technology blog for updates on this important case.
If you have any questions about net neutrality, please contact William Dummett at email@example.com or your regular Hall Render attorney.
On August 1, 2013, bill H.R. 2957 was introduced to the House of Representatives, which would extend health information technology meaningful use incentives to behavioral health, mental health and substance abuse professionals and facilities. The term “additional eligible professional” would be added to meaningful use legislation to cover clinical psychologists providing qualified psychologist services. Such additional eligible professionals would receive meaningful use incentive payments on the same payment schedule as other eligible professionals but from years 2019 through 2022. The bill has been referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Committee on Ways and Means for consideration. Click here to see full text of the bill.
If you have any questions about this proposed legistation please contact Alisa Kuehn at 317-977-1475 or firstname.lastname@example.org or your regular Hall Render attorney.
Health information technology solutions that are remotely hosted or cloud based are becoming more common. In these scenarios, a health care provider is allowing its data – often times including protected health information (“PHI”) – to flow through or be stored in the vendor’s data center. If PHI is involved, the parties should determine whether a Business Associate Agreement (“BAA”) is necessary for HIPAA compliance. But knowing a vendor’s security standard – regardless of whether a BAA is in place – can provide the health care provider confidence that its data will be protected, with a lower risk of damaging breaches occurring. Continue Reading →
Under the Meaningful Use Stage 2 Measures both Eligible Professionals and Eligible Hospitals must use Computerized Provider Order Entry (“CPOE”) for medication, laboratory and radiology orders directly entered by any licensed health care professional who can enter orders into the medical record per state, local and professional guidelines. Previously, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) clarified that a licensed health care professional includes licensed nurses, as well as adding that credentialed medical assistants may also enter CPOE and have the order count towards meeting the applicable meaningful use measure. CMS does require that a credentialed medical assistant receive his or her credentiality from an organization other than the eligible provider. Continue Reading →
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality updated its website to include a new tool for eligible professionals and eligible hospitals to track the meaningful use requirements. The tool, available here, consolidates published meaningful use guidance including both the “Objectives” and the “Clinical Quality Measures.” Users can also download and create custom reports based on selected measures. Continue Reading →