Little Sisters of the Poor Beseech SCOTUS — Again

The Little Sisters of the Poor have once again filed a petition before the Supreme Court to restore their exemption from the contraceptive mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Catholic religious group first filed suit against the ACA in 2013 to seek exemption from having to pay for or provide contraceptive services for […]

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July Worst Month Ever for Medical Data Breaches

July was n historic month when it comes to breaches of health care data involving incidents affecting 500 or more persons, with a total of more than 50 such breaches reported to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) affecting more than 35 million individuals. According to HIPAA Journal, the “main reason for the increase in […]

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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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