In the past week, HHS released the final rule for health
insurance exchanges; the White House coordinated events to be held
outside the Supreme Court during the March 26-28th arguments; and
New York State warned health insurers that they would lose state
contracts if women on Medicaid were denied their choice of
higher-cost, brand-name contraceptives.
IN THE COURTS
On Wednesday (3/7), White House officials summoned leaders of
nonprofit organizations that strongly back the Affordable Care Act
to help coordinate plans for a prayer vigil, press conferences and
other events outside the Supreme Court during the arguments, which
begin in two weeks.
AT THE AGENCIES
On Monday, HHS released the final rule for health insurance
exchanges. The long-awaited regulation stresses state and federal
flexibility. The regulation lays out state functions: certifying
"qualified health plans"; operating a website for
comparing plans; running a toll-free hot line for consumer support;
providing grants to "Navigators" for consumer assistance;
determining eligibility of consumers for enrollment in qualified
health plans; and helping with enrollment.
On Friday (3/9), Farzad Mostashari, the national coordinator for
health information technology at the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services, said the government is proposing that medical
providers have the capability to exchange patient data by 2014.
IN THE STATES
report released on Monday (3/5) by nine state attorneys general
says the Obama administration has broken the law and overstepped
constitutional bounds 21 times.
On Tuesday (3/6), in a speech to the Greater Boston Chamber of
Commerce, Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo offered business
leaders a preview of state legislation aimed at reining in health
care costs. Rep. DeLeo predicted the House proposal would make
"aggressive" changes in disclosure requirements for the
industry, give consumers and businesses more ability to make
informed health care choices, and encourage employers to offer
health and fitness incentives for workers.
On Thursday (3/8), Texas Gov. Rick Perry directed state
officials to begin looking for money to fund the Medicaid
Women's Health Program in case the Obama administration revokes
federal funding amid a fight over clinics affiliated with abortion
On Monday (3/5), New York State warned health insurers that they
would lose state contracts if women on Medicaid were denied their
choice of higher-cost, brand name contraceptives unless cheaper,
generic methods "fail first."
study published Monday (3/5) in Health Affairs challenges the
premise that electronic health records will reduce costs.
To view our compilation of recent health care reform
implementation news, clickhere.
A recently publicized settlement with the Office of Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services highlights that it is not only important to have a HIPAA-compliant form of business associate agreement, but also to train staff to identify and carefully analyze when a BAA is required.
North Memorial Health Care of Minnesota ("North Memorial"), a comprehensive not-for-profit health care system, has agreed to pay $1.55 million to settle charges that it potentially violated the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules.
We've thought a lot about the various secondary entities
that plaintiffs sometimes sue in prescription medical product
liability litigation – such as sales reps, physicians,
hospitals, pharmacies, distributors, and a number of others.
The US Department of Labor (DOL) has provided guidance on health plan provisions that could trigger a violation of the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA), as amended by the Affordable Care Act.
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