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How did a clerkship with Judge Merritt change the way Chris Climo approaches the practice of law? Find out more>

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Primary Care Providers Win Challenge of CMS Interpretation of Enhanced Payment Law

With the help and support of the Tennessee Medical Association, 21 Tennessee physicians of underserved communities joined together and retained Bass, Berry & Sims to file suit against the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to stop improper collection efforts. Our team, led by David King, was successful in halting efforts to recoup TennCare payments that were used legitimately to expand services in communities that needed them. Read more

Tennessee Medical Association & Bass, Berry & Sims

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Download the Healthcare Fraud & Abuse Review 2017, authored by Bass, Berry & Sims

The Healthcare Fraud & Abuse Review 2017 details all healthcare-related False Claims Act settlements from last year, organized by particular sectors of the healthcare industry. In addition to reviewing all healthcare fraud-related settlements, the Review includes updates on enforcement-related litigation involving the Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute, and looks at the continued implications from the government's focus on enforcement efforts involving individual actors in connection with civil and criminal healthcare fraud investigations.

Click here to download the Review.

Healthcare in the Cloud: Notes From Today's IAPP Summit

Publications

March 6, 2014

For our healthcare friends and colleagues, here are "bits and bytes" from this morning’s "Healthcare in the Cloud" presentation at the International Association of Privacy Professionals ("IAPP") Summit in Washington D.C.

Clarification: Cloud service providers ("CSP") are business associates ("BA"), requiring them to enter into Business Associate Agreements ("BAAs") with their healthcare customers who are Covered Entities ("CEs") or themselves BAs. This is the case whether or not the CSP actually accesses the customer's PHI; the key is whether the CSP maintains the PHI. The good news is that many large CSPs that have historically avoided BAAs are now recognizing this clarification and willingly entering BAAs.

Developments: The industry is seeing increased enforcement activity from multiple regulatory bodies. The HITECH Act gave the Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS") direct authority to audit and impose penalties against BAs in much the same way it has done with CEs. Many state attorneys general offices are also stepping up their oversight of PHI protection, often using state consumer protection statutes to supplement their authority and available penalties. The Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") is similarly using consumer protection laws to increase its involvement in the protection of PHI.

Takeaway: CEs and BAs that use cloud service providers need to acknowledge their Business Associate relationship, and be diligent in negotiating and executing BAAs. Make sure your BAAs address required items, including defining the CSP's: 1) permissible uses and disclosures of PHI; 2) use of and controls over subcontractors; 3) authority to aggregate or de-identify PHI; 4) duties to return or destroy PHI upon termination; and 5) duties and liabilities in the event of a security incident or breach. Most importantly, you must be diligent in selecting your vendors, and be wary of new vendors making unverifiable promises (e.g., there is no such thing as being "HIPAA Certified," though a subset of new companies is creatively using this designation, and a CSP cannot make a Covered Entity HIPAA compliant).

If you have questions about your company's BA relationships or need assistance with a BAA, please contact our healthcare partner, Elizabeth Warren, whose practice focuses on this area.

If you are interested in more notes from the IAPP Summit, click here.

Feel free to contact a member of our Data Privacy & Security team if you have questions about data security, privacy or cyberliability issues.


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