Compliance Update

How Autonomous Practice Is the Biggest Business Opportunity for 2021

With the passage of autonomous practice ability for nurse practitioners in Florida this year, many are wondering how this will affect the healthcare industry in Florida. In a traditional sense, rural and underserved areas should have the opportunity for growth in healthcare providers. The autonomous practice law removes restrictions on certain nurse practitioners, granting them the ability to...

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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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