HHS Releases Funding to Fight Opioid Crisis

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) just released the second year of funding to 50 states, four U.S. territories, and the free associated states of Palau and Micronesia, totaling $485 million to continue the nation’s efforts to combat the opioid crisis. “The Trump administration is partnering with states and territories to accelerate the […]

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States Move to Fill in the Voids in Trumpcare

The Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka Obamacare) is still the law of the land, but the Trump administration has modified so many of its provisions — including the elimination of a tax penalty for not having health insurance — that the remaining parts of the ACA are forcing some states, and even citizen initiatives, to […]

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HHS, DOJ Turn Up the HEAT* on Health Care Fraud, Recover $2.6 Billion

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and Attorney General Jeff Sessions today released a fiscal year (FY) 2017 Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program report showing that for every dollar the federal government spent on healthcare related fraud and abuse investigations in the last three years, the government recovered $4. Additionally, the report […]

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HHS Releases Guide on Obtaining One’s Health Records

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) today released the ONC Guide to Getting and Using your Health Records, a new online resource for individuals, patients, and caregivers. This new resource supports both the 21st Century Cures Act goal of empowering patients and improving patients’ access […]

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OCR Chief to Seek Changes to HIPAA Privacy Rule and Breach Enforcement

Roger Severino, director of the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) with enforcement powers over the HIPAA Privacy Rule and breach enforcement, announced he is looking to make some changes to both and will issue Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs) and Requests for Information (RFIs) before proceeding. Specifically, he told a HIPAA meeting in Arlington, Va., […]

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HHS to Monitor Controlled Substance Prescriptions as Part of Opioid Abuse Program

As part of President Trump’s Initiative to Stop Opioid Abuse and Reduce Drug Supply and Demand announced March 19, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will spend $10 billion to help states monitor opioid prescriptions electronically. Part of the proposal would “require states to monitor high-risk billing activity to identify and remediate abnormal […]

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HIPAA Violations Don’t End with the Closing of a Business, OCR Says

A receiver appointed to liquidate the assets of Filefax, Inc. has agreed to pay $100,000 out of the receivership estate to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in order to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule. Filefax, located in Northbrook, […]

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Notice of Small HIPAA Breaches from 2017 Due Today

Official notifications of HIPAA breaches affecting fewer than 500 individuals are due today at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Notices should be posted using the HHS website reporting tool. The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) within HHS handles breach oversight. A HIPAA breach is defined as “impermissible use or disclosure under the […]

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Much Delayed, Title X Family Planning Grants Now Available from HHS

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Friday, Feb. 23,  announced the availability of $260 million in a new funding opportunity for the Title X family planning program to help improve and expand quality care. The funding opportunity will assist in the establishment and/or operation of voluntary family planning projects that will offer a broad range of […]

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GOP to Seek ‘Incremental’ Health Care Reform

While Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R.-Wisc.) told Fox Business that the new Republican goal was to seek “incremental” health care reform rather than repeal-and-replace, House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R.-Texas) said separately that the employer shared responsibility mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would be high on the chopping block. […]

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