HHS to Soften Privacy Restrictions to Aid in Substance Abuse Fight

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced proposed changes to the federal regulations governing the confidentiality of patient records created by federally-assisted substance use disorder treatment programs, known as 42 CFR Part 2. The proposed rule establishes important revisions that support coordinated care among providers that treat substance use disorder (SUD), while […]

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HHS to Allow Importation of Cheaper Prescription Drugs

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today that HHS and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are publishing a Safe Importation Action Plan – PDF that outlines two potential pathways that would lay the foundation for the safe importation of certain drugs originally intended for foreign markets. “President Trump has been clear: […]

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Five Cities Sue Trump Administration Over Obamacare

A coalition of five cities has sued President Trump and officials at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for deliberately “sabotaging” the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare). The suit hinges on a clause in the Constitution and on the judicial review powers set forth in the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The clause […]

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Drug Companies Sue HHS to Block Price Rule

They’re mad as heck and they ain’t gonna take it anymore, so we’ll see you in court, says Big Pharma. Merck, Eli Lilly and Amgen are being joined by the National Association of Advertisers in suing the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) over a rule taking effect in July that will force manufacturers […]

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New Rules Could Shake Up Employment-Based Health Insurance

The Trump administration is rolling out rules that will allow employers to fund Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) so that their employees can purchase health insurance on their own. The rules, which take effect on Jan. 1, 2020, are currently being finalized by the departments of Treasury, Labor and Health and Human Services. The rules follow […]

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Judge Rules ACA Contraceptive Mandate Subject to Religious Objection

U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor of Ft. Worth, Texas, who last year ruled the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) unconstitutional, this past week ruled that individuals with religious objections must be allowed to buy insurance without the ACA-mandated contraceptive mandate. Judge O’Connor’s prior ruling is on hold pending a July 8 hearing before […]

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HHS Releases Fact Sheet on HIPAA Liability of Business Associates

The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued a new fact sheet that provides a clear compilation of all provisions through which a business associate can be held directly liable for compliance with certain requirements of the HIPAA Privacy, Security, Breach Notification, and Enforcement Rules (“HIPAA Rules”), in accordance with the Health Information Technology […]

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HHS Proposes to Reverse Transgender Protections under Obamacare

The Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) contains language prohibiting discrimination in health care based on sex, which was expanded under a 2016 rule by the Obama-era Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to include gender identity. Now the Trump HHS has proposed reversing that rule and confining ACA anti-discrimination protections to only the […]

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HHS to Base HIPAA Fines on Culpability

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in late April issued a notice of enforcement discretion regarding fines for violations of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) and its privacy, security and breach rules. The fine structure was established in 2009 with a piece of legislation titled  the Health Information Technology for Economic […]

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HHS Releases Additional Funding to Fight Opioid Crisis

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released an additional $487 million to supplement first-year funding through its State Opioid Response (SOR) grant program. The awards to states and territories are part of HHS’s Five-Point Opioid Strategy and the Trump administration’s tireless drive to combat the opioid crisis. Together with the $933 million in second-year, […]

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