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Healthcare E-Alerts

Washington to the Rescue: Help to Hospitals in Wake of Cyberattack

In an attempt to address in some meaningful way the serious impact of last month’s cyberattack against Optum’s Change Healthcare—which went on to create ripples in the stability of the nation’s overall healthcare system—the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued this past Saturday an announcement that it was providing immediate help. The agency […]

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Cyber Attack Against Optum’s Change Healthcare: What Our Clients Need to Know 

As many of you know, Change Healthcare was the target of an apparent cyberattack this past Wednesday. The revenue cycle company, which is a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group’s Optum, indicated that it had managed to “isolate its systems” to mitigate further harm. Optum, UnitedHealthcare, and UnitedHealth Group (UHG) systems were not affected by the attack, […]

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Are Clinical Texts Acceptable? CMS Weighs in

We all do it. Unless you’re physically impaired or living off the grid in the wilds of Alaska, most adults will communicate by way of texting at some point in a given year. For many of us, it is a daily occurrence. Interesting how methods for delivering the written word have morphed over the years, […]

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New Final Rule from CMS: Improving Interoperability and Prior Authorization

The wheels never stop. The gears of government are always turning—churning out new rules for the rest of us to live by. Final rules are never final, and the last word is never spoken because there is always something more to say. The latest final rule addressed below provides a case in point. It acts […]

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Federal Focus on EMTALA: HHS Goes on the Offensive

On Jan 22, 2024, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) put out a press release, announcing that it will launch new initiatives in support of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA). The law, passed back in 1986, requires hospitals with emergency departments to adhere to a certain set of standards, to […]

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Hospital Mergers and Acquisitions: The Year in Review

Financial activity within the hospital sector started showing new signs of life beginning in 2022 with the waning of the pandemic across much of the United States. That activity became more palpable in 2023 as the public health emergency (PHE) came to an official end. This is the assessment reached by researchers at Kaufman Hall […]

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An Ounce of Prevention: The Increasing Priority of Compliance Programs

Among the maxims we Americans have heard and repeated over the decades is one that lauds a common-sense approach to preparedness and self-preservation: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” The old chestnut is actually profound for those who opt to ponder its ultimate meaning. “If only I had let the faucet […]

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Something’s Brewing: New Challenge to Web Tracking Rule

There’s trouble in Paradise . . . again. The federal government has created a rule that has upset many in the hospital community, resulting in legal action taken by the American Hospital Association (AHA), among other entities. The rule at issue involves the prevention of hospitals from utilizing third-party technologies in connection with hospitals’ webpages. […]

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Gone Phishing: Medical Group Penalized in Wake of Cyberattack

You’ve seen the old signs: “Out to lunch” or “Gone fishing.” Such messages placed conspicuously in front of small businesses may have been commonplace in the low-tech days of the last century, but these phrases now serve as a descriptor of either laziness or craziness. At the very least, careless disregard may be the modern-day […]

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