Federal Regulation news
OCR Warns of Phishing Scam to HIPAA Covered Entities
Written by Editor   
Monday, December 05, 2016 12:00 AM

News Bite: While requiring that HIPAA covered entities be notified via email, the HHS has announced a phishing scam using official HHS letterhead and signatures.

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VA Chiropractic Residency Sites First in Nation to Receive Accreditation
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, November 09, 2016 12:00 AM

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) chiropractic residency programs have reached a historic first by receiving accreditation from the Council of Chiropractic Education.  These are the first residency programs in the nation ever to be awarded this distinction, a significant advancement in the evolution of chiropractic education.

In 2014, VA launched its chiropractic residency program as a three-year pilot project at five VA facilities located in West Haven, Conn.; Buffalo NY; Canandaigua, NY; St. Louis, Mo. and Los Angeles, Calif.  The programs provide postgraduate clinical training in integrated chiropractic practice, focused on team-based care and inter-professional education.

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HHS, Health IT and the Not-so-final, Final MACRA Rule
Written by Editor   
Tuesday, November 08, 2016 12:00 AM

With the release of two different final rules, the federal government is trying to make it easier for doctors to use electronic health records and to report data on practice outcomes.The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) outlined final rules issued for two sets of regulations: the Health IT Certification Program and the health information technology portion of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA).

The Health IT Certification Program rule addresses three areas, officials said: it allows the agency to directly review certified health IT products and take action — including decertification -- if health and safety issues or other problems arise; it establishes a way for the ONC to oversee accredited testing tabs for health IT programs; and it allows for health IT surveillance results to be made public.

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CMS Launches Final MACRA Rule
Written by Editor   
Sunday, November 06, 2016 12:00 AM

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released the long awaited final MACRA rule on physician payment.  Compared with a previous draft rule issued last April, it eases the reporting burden for clinicians and triples the "low-volume" threshold dollar amount for mandating participation, to practices that bill more than $30,000 in a year or care for more than 100 patients. CMS also announced an interactive website and additional resources and training for small and rural practices.

The overarching concept of payment reform under MACRA is to shift healthcare away from paying for volume to paying for value — improving care and outcomes through efficient and smart use of resources -- through a Quality Payment Program (QPP).

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SNF operator, execs pay $30M over improper Medicare and Tricare billing
Written by Editor   
Monday, October 10, 2016 01:00 PM

A skilled-nursing facility company and two of its executives will pay $30 million to settle allegations that they charged the government for medically unnecessary rehabilitation therapy services.

The U.S. Justice Department alleged that North American Health Care sought payment from Medicare and Tricare for medically unnecessary services provided at its 35 skilled-nursing facilities from 2005 to 2011, a violation of the False Claims Act. Under the terms of the settlement, NAHC will pay $28.5 million, while its board Chairman shells out $1 million and Senior Vice President of Reimbursement Analysis pays $500,000. 

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