Articles and Blogs

Health Information Technology

SAMHSA Releases Additional Changes to 42 CFR “Part 2” Substance Use Disorder Confidentiality Regulations

[01/26/18]

Posted on January 26, 2018 in Health Information Technology

Published by: Hall Render

On January 3, 2018, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (“SAMHSA”) issued final regulations (“Final Rule“)[i] intended to update and modernize the Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records regulations at Title 42 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 2 (“Part 2“).[ii]... READ MORE

SSAE 18 Replaces SSAE 16 Data Security Audit Standard – Practical Takeaways

[01/22/18]

Posted on January 22, 2018 in Health Information Technology

Published by: Hall Render

As hospitals and health-related entities, like other businesses, continue to shift application hosting and data storage to the cloud and to third party data centers, they should consider what obligations to place on vendors that provide such hosting and data storage services to promote data security. One such obligation may be to require hosting... READ MORE

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FCC Considering Overhaul to Funding for Health Care Broadband and Telecommunications Programs

[01/15/18]

Posted on January 15, 2018 in Health Information Technology

Published by: Hall Render

Annually, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) provides $400 million in funding to health care providers who serve rural populations through its Rural Health Care Program (“RHC Program”). The RHC Program is aimed at improving and reducing the cost of communications services that are used in providing health care services to residents of the rural... READ MORE

CMS Clarifies that Texting PHI Through Secure Platforms Is Permissible – But Not Orders!

[12/29/17]

Posted on December 29, 2017 in Health Information Technology

Published by: Hall Render

In a December 28, 2017, a memo (“Memo”) to state survey agency directors, CMS made clear that texting patient information is allowed as long as a secure texting platform is used, recognizing the importance of texting as an “essential and valuable means of communication among the team members” caring for patients. Providers must comply with... READ MORE

CMS Prohibition on Texting? Evaluating Next Steps for Your Organization

[12/28/17]

Posted on December 28, 2017 in Health Information Technology

Published by: Hall Render

For an update to this article, please click here. As stated in our previous blog, while there has been no official guidance from CMS regarding a broad prohibition on the texting of protected health information (“PHI”), there has been significant discussion in industry circles about CMS’s recently stated position against texting PHI. As reported in... READ MORE

CMS Appears to Forbid All Forms of Text Messaging

[12/19/17]

Posted on December 19, 2017 in Health Information Technology

Published by: Hall Render

For an update to this article, please click here. If your organization allows texting, consider recent CMS communications prohibiting all texting Hall Render has become aware that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) has been communicating to hospitals that texting is unacceptable, even through secure text messaging applications, due to concerns about the... READ MORE

Final FDA Guidance on Interoperable Medical Devices

[09/20/17]

Posted on September 20, 2017 in Health Information Technology

Published by: Hall Render

On September 6, 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) published final guidance (“Guidance”) summarizing its recommendations for medical devices that are connected to each other and to other technology (“interoperable medical devices”). The Guidance finalizes preliminary guidance from January 2016 and is intended to encourage rapid innovation in the marketplace by allowing... READ MORE

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Meaningful Use Hardship Exception Deadline Approaching

[09/14/17]

Posted on September 14, 2017 in Health Information Technology

Published by: Hall Render

Eligible Professionals participating in the Medicare Meaningful Use Electronic Health Record Incentive Program have until October 1, 2017 to submit a hardship application to avoid a downward payment adjustment in 2018. A participant may submit a hardship application if the Eligible Professional: Is a first-time Eligible Professional who intends to participate in the advancing care information performance... READ MORE

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eClinicalWorks Settlement – Impact on Providers

[06/08/17]

Posted on June 8, 2017 in Health Information Technology

Published by: Hall Render

The news of the $155 million settlement between eClinicalWorks (“eCW”), several eCW employees and the U.S. Department of Justice has left many current users of the eClinicalWorks EHR (“eCW EHR”) wondering what impact it will have upon them. First, the terms of the settlement provide several rights to current users. Second, actions taken to... READ MORE

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The MDLive Class Action: Understanding the Complex Relationship of Consumer Telehealth Platforms

[06/02/17]

Posted on June 2, 2017 in Health Information Technology

Published by: Hall Render

On April 18, 2017, a class action was initiated against MDLive, Inc. asserting that MDLive inappropriately collected and disclosed patient medical information. MDLive is a low acuity telehealth platform that enables patients to communicate with physicians via their smart phones, computers or other mobile devices. Without commenting on the merits of the specific claims... READ MORE