Compliance Update

Can employers require workers to take the COVID-19 vaccine? 6 questions answered

A patient care director in New York receives the coronavirus vaccine. Eduardo Munoz/Pool via AP   Editor’s note: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency in charge of enforcing laws prohibiting discrimination in the workplace, on Dec. 16 said that employers can require employees to get vaccinated before entering the workplace. Now that two COVID-19 vaccines have...

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HHS Proposes Revisions to HIPAA Privacy Rule

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) is seeking to revise the HIPAA Privacy Rule, a move it says will “remove barriers to coordinated care, and reduce regulatory burdens on the health care industry.” The proposed rule changes are part of HHS’ “Regulatory Sprint to Coordinated Care.” Among some of the recommendations: Strengthening individuals’ rights to...

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Healthcare Marketing: Measure Twice, Cut Once

Want to know how often we are asked whether the laws regarding healthcare marketing are really enforced? How often we hear “Everyone is doing it.” “Surely, they (the regulators) understand that every healthcare business has to market its services and item,” we are told. And when we start to educate people regarding the state and federal laws that pertain to marketing healthcare items and...

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Facility Visitors, Religious Freedom and COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented hospitals and health care facilities with challenges that go beyond providing comprehensive care to patients suffering from the virus. One of the most common challenges is how to handle patient visitors. Denying or limiting visitors could be seen as a violation of patient rights, and denying access to a visit by clergy could rise to the level of religious...

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Walmart an Opioid Villain? The Curious Case of a Deep-Pocketed Defendant

As the opioid crisis ravaged communities across the United States two years ago, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas at the time, Joe Brown, set about fixing blame on Walmart, alleging its pharmacies were filling prescriptions from “pill mill” doctors facilitating drug misuse and abuse by overprescribing narcotics. The Department of Justice has also had a long-running civil...

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Nursing Homes, ALFs and Other Long-Term Care Facilities Face Challenging Legal Times in the Age of COVID-19

The superintendent and former medical director of a state-run soldier’s home in Massachusetts have been indicted in what that state’s Attorney General described as the first criminal case in the country against nursing home operators related to the pandemic. Late last month, Attorney General Maura Healey announced that Superintendent Bennett Walsh and former Medical Director David Clinton of the...

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