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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HHS Chief Says He Will Uphold the ACA

Health and Human Services (HHS) head Alex Azar, when pressed about the legality of Idaho’s plan to market non-Affordable Care Act (ACA) health policies, affirmed his support for the 2010 legislation that in essence federalizes standards for health insurance. “I’m not aware that our opinions or views have been solicited,” Azar said. “There are rules, […]

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Indiana Joins Kentucky in Requiring Work for Medicaid

On Friday, Feb. 2, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) approved the Healthy Indiana Plan requiring some 130,000 state residents on Medicaid who aren’t already in compliance to work, enroll in school, undergo job training or volunteer for at least 20 hours a week over eight months each year. The plan follows closely on […]

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OCR Issues Newsletter Warning about Cyber Threats to PHI

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in January published a newsletter concerning cyber threats to entities storing PHI (protected health information), which is covered by the privacy and security rules of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The newsletter begins by nothing that “Organizations […]

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Azar Sworn in at HHS as Agency Touts Its Accomplishments

Former pharma executive Alex Azar has been sworn in as the head of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), following the release of an agency report touting its accomplishments under President Trump. At his swearing in this morning, Azar was tasked by President Trump to lower drug prices and wage a winning battle […]

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HHS Allows States to Ban Planned Parenthood from Medicaid

On Friday, Jan. 19, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced two major actions — in its words — “to protect life and the conscience rights of Americans.” HHS’ Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is issuing new guidance to state Medicaid directors restoring state flexibility to decide program standards. The letter […]

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