Category Archives: Legal News

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COVID-19 Physician Private Practice Guidance

I. Introduction. The COVID-19 pandemic presents all physicians, but especially private practice physicians, with numerous clinical, liability and business challenges. We have chosen the following categories to organize and present recommended guidance and linked resources for your information: 1. Clinical Guidance 2. Malpractice Liability 3. Reimbursement 4. Employer/Workers Compensation 5. Telehealth II. Clinical Guidance. Many … Continue Reading

Workers’ Compensation Claims for Healthcare Professionals Exposed to COVID-19 in PA – Updated March 17, 2020

Just a few short weeks ago, the Center for Disease Control’s Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases warned that the spread of coronavirus in the U.S. was “not a question of if, but when.”  As of this updated posting, the entire country is locked in an unprecedented grip of uncertainty and … Continue Reading

Tucker Arensberg Attorneys to speak at the PBI Health Law Institute in March 2020

Tucker Arensberg is pleased to be a gold sponsor of the 26th Annual Pennsylvania Bar Institute (PBI) Health Law Institute taking place from March 11–12, 2020 in Philadelphia, PA. Jerry J. Russo, Chair of the White Collar Criminal Defense Group and Kathleen A. Nandan, a former litigator with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New … Continue Reading

Telehealth Update: Connect for Health Act

A bipartisan group of senators has introduced the Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act of 2019.  A summary produced by that bipartisan group is attached. If enacted, the CONNECT for Health Act solutions would be as follows: Create a bridge program to help providers transition to the goals … Continue Reading

Hospital Groups File Lawsuit Challenging Rule That Would Require Them To Disclose Prices Given To Insurers

Click on the link to an article published in the New York Times (12/4, Abelson) reporting the American Hospital Association and other hospital groups filed a lawsuit against the Trump Administration “over a new federal rule that would require them to disclose the discounted prices they give insurers for all sorts of procedures.” The hospital groups … Continue Reading

Trump Administration Announces Historic Price Transparency Requirements

Attached are links to the CMS Press Release and the Trump Executive Order on Improving Price and Quality Transparency in American Healthcare to Put Patients First. The Trump Executive Order was first issued on June 21, 2019. The CMS Press Release indicates action on two rules. First, the “proposed” transparency and coverage rule would require … Continue Reading

Anti-Kickback EHR and Cybersecurity Safe Harbor

As another part of the Regulatory Sprint to Coordinated Care, OIG proposed revisions to the existing EHR Anti-Kickback Safe Harbor and added a cybersecurity component. The initial EHR Safe Harbor was developed in response to President George W. Bush’s 2004 initiative to extend EHR nationwide within 10 years, i.e. 2014.  The proponents of those EHR … Continue Reading

$1,600,000 Civil Money Penalty for HIPAA Violations by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission

On November 7, 2019, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (“HHS”) announced a $1,600,000 civil money penalty for violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Security and Breach Notification Rules. According to HHS, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (TX HHSC) “operates state … Continue Reading

Regulatory Sprint to Coordinated Care: New Stark & Anti-Kickback Rules

On October 22, 2019, CMS and OIG (Office of Inspector General) released new proposed rules regarding Stark Law Exceptions and Anti-Kickback Safe Harbors in response to what has universally been christened as the “Regulatory Sprint to Coordinated Care”, first announced by HHS in June of 2018. As background, please remember that, although the Anti-Kickback Safe … Continue Reading

Federal Government Delays Hospital Transparency Regarding Commercial Rates

The federal government/Trump administration announced today a delay regarding a proposed rule requiring hospitals to disclose actual negotiated price rates.  See WSJ News. In January, 2019, as reported in the MedLaw Blog on January 10, 2019, CMS added a rule requiring hospitals to publish their standard charges beginning January 2019. As noted in that blog … Continue Reading

$2,154,000 Civil Money Penalty for Numerous HIPAA Violations by Jackson Health System

On October 23, 2019, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (“HHS”) announced a $2,154,000 civil money penalty for numerous violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Security and Breach Notification Rules between 2013 and 2016. According to HHS, Jackson Health System (“JHS”) is a … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Again Declines to Extend Consent Decree

The Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, on remand from the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, has again decided that the previously agreed termination date of the access provisions contained in the UPMC/Highmark Consent Decrees, i.e. June 30, 2019, is not a term subject to the modification provisions of those Consent Decrees, and is definite.  The adjudication of the Commonwealth … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Patient Test Result Information Act Update: Act 112

The Patient Test Result Information Act was effective December 23, 2018. The Act requires entities performing diagnostic imaging services, defined to include any medical imaging test intended to diagnose the presence or absence of a disease, to provide notice of the results to patients.  The operative language states: “When, in the judgment of the entity … Continue Reading

Commonwealth Court Declines to Extend Consent Decree

Although there have been a number of issues raised by the Pennsylvania Attorney General in the UPMC/Highmark situation, including UPMC’s status as a charitable institution, the primary issue in the Attorney General’s lawsuit was a request to extend the June 30, 2019 termination date for the UPMC-Highmark Consent Decrees. The Commonwealth Court declined to extend … Continue Reading
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