Thursday, March 25, 2010

Should HIPAA Business Associate Agreements be Modified to Comply with HITECH?

Elizabeth E. Hogue, Esq.
Office: 877-871-4062
Fax: 877-871-9739

Many providers have asked whether they should modify their business associate agreements to comply with the HITECH Act. There is, in fact, ongoing discussion and debate in the legal community about this issue. It seems fair to say that business associate agreements should be modified to comply with requirements of the HITECH Act regarding notification of breaches, since final regulations have been published implementing these requirements.

On August 19, 2009, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued an interim final rule entitled “Breach Notification for Unsecured Protected Health Information.” This rule describes how healthcare providers must notify patients when the security of their protected health information has been breached. Providers were required to comply with these new requirements beginning on September 23, 2009. Providers are also required to revise their internal policies to include these requirements.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Decision Health Home Health Coding Summit 2010 Sponsor

Daymarck is proud to be the title sponsor of the 2010 Decision Health Home Care Coding Summit, August 8-12 in Philadelphia. We hope to see you there as we share our learnings from the past year, collaborate with other home care leaders, and demonstrate how we can make your home care coding as pain free as possible.

Philadelphia is a fantastic city and we look forward to seeing you there.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Guest Post: Patients’ Right to Freedom of Choice of Hospices in Hospitals

Patients’ Right to Freedom of Choice of Hospices in Hospitals

Elizabeth E. Hogue, Esq.
Office:  877-871-4062
Fax:  877-871-9739

 All providers are required to abide by patients' right to freedom of choice.  There are a number of sources of this right as follows:

1)   All patients have a common law right, based upon court decisions, to control the care provided to them, including who renders it.  Thus, when patients voluntarily express preferences for providers, their choices must be honored, regardless of payor source, level of care, or type of treatment. 

2)   Federal statutes of the Medicare and Medicaid Programs guarantee Medicare beneficiaries and Medicaid recipients the right to freedom of choice of providers.  When Medicare and Medicaid patients voluntarily express preferences for post-acute providers of all types, these choices must be honored.

3)   The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (BBA) requires hospitals to develop a list of home health agencies and SNF’s, not hospices.  The list of home health providers must include agencies that:

a.       Are Medicare certified;

b.      Provide services in the geographic areas where patients reside; and

c.       Ask to be on the list.

In addition, if hospitals place the names of agencies in which they have a discloseable financial interest on the list, the relationship between the hospital and the agency must be disclosed on the list.

This list must be presented to all patients who may benefit from home health services so that they can choose agencies they wish to provide services to them.

4)   Hospital Conditions of Participation (COP's) include the basic requirements of the BBA described above.