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Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Akron Univ. School of Law

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Sunday, March 26, 2006

AHLA "Health Lawyers Weekly"

The March 24 issue of Health Lawyers Weekly is now available on the AHLA website.  It's a "free" member benefit and, week in an week out, it's one of the best reasons I can think of to be a member of the American Health Lawyers Association.  Here's this week's table of contents:

  • Top Stories
    • DHHS Computer System Weaknesses Leave Medical Data Vulnerable, GAO Finds -- Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) computer networks have significant weaknesses, which increases the risk of unauthorized access to medical data, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found in a recent report. The report, “Information Security: Department of Health and Human Services Needs to Fully Implement Its Program,” (GAO-06-267), was issued in response to a request by Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA).
    • OIG Says CMS Needs To Improve Performance Evaluations Of Medicare Contractors Used To Fight Fraud  -- The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) needs to do a better job of evaluating the performance of the contractors it uses to detect and deter fraud in the Medicare program, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) found in a recent report. CMS’ contractor performance evaluation reports were missing key information about the results achieved by these contractors in detecting fraud and abuse, making it difficult to determine whether to renew their contracts, the OIG noted.
  • Articles & Analyses
    • Annual Increase In Hart-Scott-Rodino Thresholds -- By Alan D. Rutenberg, Partner, Foley & Lardner LLP
    • HIPAA Security Rule Compliance for Small Group Health Plans: A Step-By-Step Guide -- By Wendy Bunnell, Halleland Lewis Nilan & Johnson, PA
  • Current Topics
    • Antitrust
      • New Jersey Appeals Court Upholds Approval Of United Healthcare’s Acquisition Of Oxford Health Plans 
    • Employment and Labor
      • U.S. Court In Nevada Allows Nurse’s Claim Of Retaliation For Reporting Sexual Harassment To Go Forward 
      • Oregon Appeals Court Holds Physician Cannot Establish Wrongful Discharge Claim Without Identifying Public Duty Or Employment-Related Right 
    • Fraud and Abuse
      • Eighth Circuit Affirms Dismissal Of FCA Complaint For Lack Of Specificity
      • Update 
        • OIG Deputy Chief Counsel Highlights Fraud And Abuse Issues For Hospitals, Physicians At AHLA Program 
        • Grassley Asks DOJ And DHHS To Prevent States From Enacting Legislation That Undermines FCA Whistleblowers 
    • Healthcare Spending
      • Deficit Reduction Act Is Invalid, Lawsuit Alleges 
      • Senate Clears FY 2007 Budget Resolution 
    • HIPAA
      • Ohio Supreme Court Finds HIPAA Does Not Protect Records Required To Be Disclosed Under State Law 
    • Insurance
      • U.S. Court In Mississippi Finds Material Issues Remain Regarding Amount Of Subrogation Due Health Plan 
    • Medicaid
      • Study Examines States’ Use Of Clinical Evidence To Curb Medicaid Drug Costs 
        Medical Malpractice
      • California Appeals Court Holds Physician Was Acting As “Good Samaritan” And Therefore Immune From Suit 
    • Medicare
      • Schwarzenegger Requests Government Extend State Reimbursement For Emergency Drug Program 
      • Short Stay Outlier Policy For LTCHs Proposed By CMS Too Severe, MedPAC Says 
      • U.S. Court In Virginia Upholds DHHS Secretary’s Decision To Deny Additional Medicare Reimbursement Sought By Ambulance Service 
      • Medicare To Automatically Enroll About 1 Million Low-Income Beneficiaries In Part D 
      • Medicare Part D Enrollment Rises To 27 Million, DHHS Reports 
      • Revised Data Results In Lower State Clawback Payments, Report Says 
    • News in Brief
      • HealthGrades Provides Price-Comparison Website For Certain Hospital Procedures 
      • Medicare To Cover Additional Diagnostic Test For Patients With Cardiac Condition 
      • Wisconsin Governor Signs Medical Malpractice Damages Cap Legislation Into Law 
      • CMS Announces Expanded Opportunity For Physicians To Participate In Pay-For-Performance 
    • Physicians
      • Utah Supreme Court Holds Physician Cannot Claim Privilege For Patient Medical Records Subpoenaed By State In Fraud Investigation 
      • Kansas Supreme Court Finds Medical Board Did Not Err In Revoking Physician’s License In Absence Of Actual Patient Injury 
      • Percentage Of U.S. Physicians Providing Charity Care Continues To Decline
    • Quality of Care
      • DHHS Proposes Expanding Scope Of National Practitioner Data Bank 

© American Health Lawyers Association. Reprinted with permission.

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