OIG 2019 Urine Drug Test

OIG 2020 Watch List: Urine Drug Test & SLP Claims Drive Audits

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) October 2019 reports added to its Workplan items that contractors will audit or evaluate with a more critical eye. If you bill for urine drug test or speech-language pathology services to Medicare beneficiaries, now’s the time to weigh your compliance risk and fix any issues. OIG 2019 Adds Urine […]
Stark Law 2020 CMS Proposed New Rule

CMS New Rule: Stark Law Promotes Care Over Self-Referral

The 80’s are back, but it’s not fashion you should worry about. First enacted in 1989, the Stark Law is getting significant updates from CMS that benefit patient care, according to a proposed rule issued in October 2019. Comply with these new regulations that open the door to areas previously restricted as conflicts of interest. […]
HIPAA Compliance

Legal Column: 3 HIPAA Compliance Cases Giving Attorney Nightmares – Heidi Kocher, Esq

There’s a lot at stake if healthcare professionals don’t comply with HIPAA and other government regulations. No one knows this better than myself – a healthcare attorney. The relationship between healthcare attorneys and the practices we serve is a paradox. On the one hand, the healthcare attorney is viewed as the institution’s life raft — […]
Compliance Practice Management Survey

Your Top Frustrations Are Staffing, Compliance Changes – Practice Management Survey

If staffing concerns keep you up at night, you’re not alone. Finding/​keeping staff and keeping up with compliance changes are the top practice management and compliance issues that practice managers and physicians face, according to the results of Training Leader’s Medical Practice Top Challenges Survey. Read on to see how you stack up to your […]
HIPAA Violation nurse giving patient medical records

First Medical Records Patient Access HIPAA Fine Issued

You may have recently seen the announcement that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) had their first patient access enforcement action. The $85,000 payment wasn’t recorded as an actual HIPAA violation, but as as settlement with Bayfront Health of St. Petersburg (Bayfront). So, why should […]
medical record subpeonas request for medical records

Responding to a Subpoena for Medical Records – Protect Your Practice

Protecting patient privacy when you release medical records requires careful attention to every detail — even small mistakes can have large financial and legal consequences. The process gets even more complicated when you’re responding to a subpoena for medical records. How you handle responding to a subpoena for medical records can make the difference between […]
Medical record retention law

New Medical Record Retention Law: Keep Patient Records for 10 Years

We normally look to the Supreme Court to make landmark decisions (like the Affordable Care Act), but the court rules on many smaller cases that — while they may not make it to the nightly news — still affect our daily lives. One of those is the May 2019 decision on Cochise Consultancy Inc. v. […]
abn form

Medicare’s ABN Form: Top 10 Mistakes You’re Making (and How to Fix Them)

Using Medicare’s ABN form, Advance Beneficiary Notice might be a routine part of your job, but are you sure you’re doing it correctly and compliantly? Providers and staff who treat Medicare patients must know exactly how and when to issue a CMS ABN form to avoid costly write-offs and penalties. If you’re like most providers […]
Documentation Checklist Bulletproof Your Claims

Documentation Checklist Can Bulletproof Your Claims

Provider documentation is your only defense if you’re faced with an audit. It must be rock-solid to support the claims you submit to payers. But how can you ensure this happens when each clinician has his or her own style and perspective when documenting a patient encounter? The answer is good basic, defensible documentation. Here […]