They Will Never Catch Me

On February 2, 2022 the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the conviction of a nurse practitioner from Georgia, Sherley Beaufils, for health care fraud, aggravated identity theft, and various other counts in connection with a huge telemedicine fraud scheme. In essence, her co-conspirators captured the identities of thousands of senior citizens and packaged that information […]

The Hits Just Keep Coming!

On November 6, 2020 the Office for Civil Rights issued a press release announcing the settlement of its Tenth investigation under the Right to Access Initiative. I have written about this initiative before in this blog but in light of the fact it seems like there is a new press release on the subject every […]

“Systemic Noncompliance” – The New OCR Buzz Phrase

privacy, security, HIPAA, compliance, OCR, fines, penalties, health information

On September 21, 2020, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a press release announcing a $1.5 million settlement with Athens Orthopedic Clinic.  The basis for the breach report that led to the settlement was the fact a journalist notified Athens Orthopedic a database of their patient records had been posted online for sale.  Two […]

A 003 Batting Average Isn’t Very Good!

On April 15, 2020 the Office of Inspector General released the results of its audit of the South Carolina Medicaid fee-for-service telemedicine program. The results were staggering. The OIG determined 97% of the payments for telemedicine were unallowable, primarily for lack of proper documentation. Of the 97%, only 2% were unallowable because they were billed […]

Who Really Pays the Freight?

For years hospitals and physicians have utilized third parties to manage their medical records and respond to requests for copies from patients, attorneys, insurance companies, etc. I will admit, at times it seemed like the charge imposed for obtaining copies of medical records hedged on outrageous. These companies made a great deal of money managing […]

Not Taking the Advice of the OCR Could Prove Costly

On November 27, 2019 the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a press release detailing a settlement agreement with Sentara Hospitals (Sentara) in the amount of $2.175 million. The matter that was the basis for the settlement started somewhat innocently when Sentara accidentally sent a bill to someone that contained the protected health information of […]

Encryption is Your Best Insurance

On November 5, 2019 the Office of Civil Rights announced a settlement with the University of Rochester Medical Center where URMC agreed to pay $3 Million Dollars to the OCR and take “substantial corrective action” to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).  It was alleged the actions of URMC […]