Certificate of Need New Rule Invalidated by Supreme Court

The Washington Supreme Court unanimously agreed with the Washington State Hospital Association that the new expanded Certificate of Need rule defining the "sale, purchase or lease" of a hospital exceeded the Department of Health's authority.  WSHA … [Continue reading]

Religious Accommodation & EEOC v. Abercrombie & Fitch – What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

Health care providers should be aware that whether and how to provide accommodations for the sincerely held religious beliefs and practices of employees and job applicants is a fast-developing workplace legal issue. On June 1, 2015, the Supreme Court … [Continue reading]

4 Ways That HIPAA Encourages the Disclosure of Health Information

What’s the first word that comes to mind when you see the term “HIPAA”? For many individuals in the healthcare market, the word is “NO.” “Just say no” is a common answer for covered entities and business associates when they are faced with a … [Continue reading]

Ready for an OIG Security Audit?

At HIMSS15 in Chicago I had the pleasure of speaking with my colleague, Dave Schoolcraft, regarding the OIG Security Audits. These in depth security audits conducted not by the OCR or CMS, but rather the Office of Inspector General, delve into the … [Continue reading]

Finally! Washington Has A Telemedicine Bill. But What’s In It?

After many years of effort, the Washington State Legislature has sent a telemedicine bill to the Governor for signature. It is an exciting achievement, but now that the bill has passed, we need to answer an important question: “What is actually in … [Continue reading]

The Myth of a HIPAA Compliant Product

Purchasing a “HIPAA compliant” technology product does not guarantee HIPAA compliance. There. I said it. In today’s healthcare marketplace, a vendor’s representation that its product is “100% HIPAA Compliant” is an important assurance for … [Continue reading]

You’ve Been Sued: 4 Non-HIPAA Claims in Data Breach Cases

“There is no private right of action under HIPAA.”  This oft-repeated rule is a source of comfort for many health care entities. Of course, patients can file complaints with the Office of Civil Rights or State Attorneys General, but a “HIPAA cause … [Continue reading]

Premera Breach: Is HIPAA Compliance Enough?

Many health care businesses assume that HIPAA compliance guarantees protection from data breaches. Unfortunately, this is not a correct assumption. The health insurance company Premera Blue Cross recently announced that it was the target of a … [Continue reading]

CMS Announces Intent to Modify Meaningful Use

CMS announced today its intent to make significant changes to the EHR Incentive Program beginning in 2015.  The proposed changes, though not yet codified in a proposed rule, include a much desired ease of the program requirements in 2015.  They … [Continue reading]

Washington House Bill Seeks to Prohibit Physician Noncompete Agreements

On January 14, 2015, House Bill 1173 (sponsored by Reps. Carlyle, Reykdal and Stanford) was introduced to prohibit noncompete agreements that restrict the right of physicians to practice in a geographic area for a period of time after termination of … [Continue reading]