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Health Law Monitor

West Virginia Legislature Clarifies 1% Assessment Pursuant to W. Va. Code § 29-12D-1a

Since W. Va. Code § 29-12D-1a went into effect on July 1, 2016, there has been disagreement among counsel as to which party is responsible for paying the 1% assessment when a medical malpractice case is settled prior to trial.  According to W. Va. Code § 29-12D-1a(c)(3) (2016), “[f]or any assessment levied pursuant to this subsection on a settlement entered into by the parties, the date on which…

ONC Report on Policy Gaps for Privacy and Security of mHealth Data

In July, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (“ONC”) released a report that examines the oversight of the privacy and security of health data collected by entities not regulated by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”). The report primarily focuses on two areas of emerging technologies provided by entities that are not…

Recent Guidance on Ransomware, HIPAA, and Cyber Incident Reporting

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently released guidance for health care entities to better understand and respond to the increased threats of ransomware.  The guidance was published on July 11, 2016, and provides clarification regarding the interplay of ransomware and HIPAA, specifically that (1) a ransomware attack is a “security incident” under HIPAA, and (2) a…

Fourth Circuit - CGL Insurance Covers Health Data Breach Suit

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Virginia district court’s ruling that a commercial general liability policy (“CGL”) may cover a data breach. The case involved an electronic data storage company that posted confidential medical records on the internet, which exposed private medical information on the internet for four months.

While courts in Connecticut and New York have recently found…

Kentucky Insurer Placed Into Rehabilitation

Struggling insurance cooperative Kentucky Health Cooperative was placed into rehabilitation by the Department of Insurance late last week.  KYHC had already announced that it was ceasing operations and would not be writing any new business after end of year.  Now, the Department of Insurance will take over the company and oversee the winding up of KYHC’s affairs.

Rehabilitation is a…

EPA Proposes New Rule Governing The Disposal Of Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals At Healthcare Facilities

Introduction

On September 25, 2015, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) proposed a rule to address the management and disposal of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals at healthcare facilities. The proposed rule seeks to do the following:

  • Ban all drain disposal of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals at hospitals, pharmacies, clinics, dentists, and long-term care facilities
  • Clarify that…

IRS Releases Guidance For Charitable Hospital Organizations and ACA-Mandated Financial Assistance Policies

This month, the IRS released Notice 2015-46, which provides further guidance for charitable hospitals to comply with Treasury Regulation (“Treas. Reg.”) § 1.501(r)-4(b)(1)(iii)(F), which requires that a hospital facility include a provider list in its financial assistance policy (“FAP”) in order to maintain its tax-exempt status. Section 501(r)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code provides that a…

SCOTUS Rules In Favor Of ACA

In the landmark case of King v. Burwell, the United States Supreme Court has upheld the ability of federally-run insurance exchanges to offer federal subsidy monies to Americans seeking health coverage under the Affordable Care Act. The vote was 6-3, with Justices Alito, Scalia, and Thomas dissenting. Justice Kennedy joined Chief Justice Roberts and the majority from the National Federation of…

Ex-Parte Contacts with Treating Physicians in Kentucky

The Kentucky Supreme Court rendered an opinion on June 11, 2015, establishing the law in Kentucky on ex parte communications with a party’s non-expert treating physician, i.e. interviewing the Plaintiff’s treating physicians in advance of a deposition.  In Caldwell v. Hon. A.C. McKay Chauvin, the plaintiff in an underlying medical negligence action sought a writ from the Kentucky…

OIG and Industry Leaders Release New Compliance Guidance for Health Care Boards

On April 20, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (“OIG”), in collaboration with the American Health Lawyers Association (“AHLA”), the Association of Healthcare Internal Auditors (“AHIA”) and the Health Care Compliance Association (“HCCA”) released new compliance guidance for health care boards entitled “Practical Guidance for Health Care Governing…

Senate Bill 6 and its Impact on Health Care Professionals

The West Virginia Legislature recently amended the Medical Professional Liability Act, W.Va. Code 55-7B-1, et seq. (“MPLA”) through Senate Bill 6.  These amendments accomplished several things including broadening the statutory definitions of “health care provider” and “health care” to encompass a wider range of health care professionals, health care related activities, and provide MPLA…

 

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