Dena Feldman

Dena Feldman

Dena Feldman practices in the areas of health care, federal-state programs, and public policy and government affairs. Ms. Feldman advises clients on the federal rules and policies governing Medicare and Medicaid, including the new mandates of the Affordable Care Act. She has particular expertise regarding Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement for behavioral health services, including rules governing Medicare conditions of participation, institutions for mental diseases (IMDs), and treatment of forensic patients. Ms. Feldman also advises clients on health privacy issues arising under HIPAA, the HITECH Act, and state medical privacy laws.

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Twenty-First Century Cures Act Includes HIPAA Provisions

On December 13, 2016, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act (“Cures Act”), Pub. L. 114-255, which aims to expand medical research and expedite the approvals of drug therapies for patients.  The Cures Act also contains several provisions related to the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules.  None of these provisions make substantive changes to … Continue Reading

HHS Issues Guidance on HIPAA and Cloud Providers

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently published guidance on HIPAA requirements governing the use of cloud computing entities, specifically cloud services providers (CSPs). In this guidance, HHS explains that CSPs that create, receive, maintain, or transmit protected health information (PHI) on behalf of a covered entity or business associate are considered business … Continue Reading

Significant HIPAA Fine Follows Business Associate’s Stolen iPhone

The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced a significant settlement with Catholic Health Care Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (CHCS), a business associate under HIPAA, arising from a breach of protected health information (PHI) after the theft of an employee’s iPhone.  The iPhone … Continue Reading

FTC Releases Online Tool to Help Health App Developers Identify Applicable Laws

On April 5, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in conjunction with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), released a new web-based interactive tool to assist mobile health app developers in navigating applicable federal laws and regulations in the areas of advertising and marketing, medical devices, and … Continue Reading

CMS Expands Scope of Enhanced Match for Promotion of Health IT

On February 29, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a State Medicaid Directors Letter (SMDL) that expands the scope of expenditures eligible for the 90 percent federal match for activities to promote the use of a health information exchange (HIE) and the adoption of certified electronic health record (EHR) technology by … Continue Reading

CMS Proposes Changes to Recertification of Electronic Health Record Technology

Last week, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a request for information (RFI) seeking public comment regarding areas of certification and testing of health IT as part of the Electronic Health Records (EHR) meaningful use program. Beginning in 2018, participants in the Stage 3 Meaningful Use EHR incentive program must electronically report … Continue Reading

Health Care Providers Continue to Lag Behind Patient Demand for Digital Communications

While Americans continue the trend towards replacing the traditional phone call with email and texts, health care providers have yet to catch on when interacting with their patients. A recent survey by Nielsen Strategic Health Perspectives found that less than a third of Americans have access to digital communications with their physicians: The survey found … Continue Reading

HHS Launches Portal Seeking Questions from Mobile Health Application Developers

A new post on Covington’s Inside Medical Devices blog discusses a new portal recently launched by HHS seeking questions from mobile health application developers.  The platform allows for individuals to both submit and review questions on the HIPAA implications of these mobile health applications.  To read the post, click here.… Continue Reading

Hospital Fined for Using Unsecured File Sharing Application

A recent HIPAA enforcement action highlights the risk of health care providers using unsecured applications to store and share patient data. HHS reached a $218,499 settlement with St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton, Massachusetts, a tertiary care hospital that offers both inpatient and outpatient services. The enforcement action followed allegations made to HHS in 2012 … Continue Reading

ONC Releases Updated EPHI Guide

We recently posted on the Inside Privacy blog about an update to the Guide to Privacy and Security of Electronic Protected Health Information issued by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information (ONC).  The updated guide incorporates the most current standards in accordance with the new final rules, issued in 2013, under the Health Information … Continue Reading

New Efforts to Combat Health Information Blocking

A recent report by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) found that some health care entities are purposefully hindering the exchange of electronic health information (referred to as “blocking”) for reasons driven by economic and market incentives. Although the federal government has thus far invested $28 billion to facilitate the … Continue Reading

Cyber Attacks on Health Data Increasing, Primary Cause of Data Breaches, Group Finds

A new study out by the Ponemon Institute finds that criminal attacks, rather than accidents or technological failures, are the leading cause of data breaches. The report finds that cyber-criminals are increasingly targeting health care providers and business associates for the vast amounts of personal data held by these entities, and that these attacks are … Continue Reading

Continuing Developments on Telemedicine in the U.S. Senate

Last week, the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet held a hearing on “Advancing Telehealth through Connectivity.” The hearing explored the need to expand telehealth nationwide, with a particular focus on rural areas. Several experts lauded the benefits of telehealth, including helping to lower health care costs and improve patient outcomes. However, these … Continue Reading

Members of Congress Ask for Clarity on HIPAA and Mobile Devices

Last month, two Members of Congress wrote to Secretary Burwell of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, urging the agency to adopt new guidance on HIPAA compliance for mobile devices. In their letter, Representatives Tom Marino (R-PA) and Peter DeFazio (D-OR) note that much of HHS’s current guidance predates the proliferation of mobile … Continue Reading

OIG Releases Audit on State Medicaid Agency MMIS Vulnerabilities

On March 5, 2014, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued an audit report summarizing its review of electronic information system controls at 10 State Medicaid agencies.  The OIG reports that it found “serious vulnerabilities” in the 10 States’ Medicaid Management Information Systems (MMIS).  The OIG … Continue Reading

HHS Releases New Tool to Assist with HIPAA Risk Assessments

On March 28, HHS released new resources on risk analysis requirements under the HIPAA Security Rule.  The HIPAA Security Rule governs how electronic individually identifiable health information is maintained by covered entities and business associates.   In short, it requires covered entities and business associates to implement certain physical, administrative, and technical safeguards to protect the … Continue Reading
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