Employee Benefits Law Report

Tag Archives: HIPAA

Protected health information and health care plan design

On our sister blog — Employer Law Report — our partner Brian Hall wrote about the likely availability of an Alzheimer’s blood test, and the impact of new genetic testing in the context of employer sponsored group health care plans and wellness programs. Brian spoke of the “imaginary line” that separates protected health information from human resources decision-makers, supervisors and managers, and mentioned a plethora of employee protections, including HIPAA, GINA, ADA, and ERISA Section 510. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act also added another set of employee protections. Each of these laws sets forth different standards for burden … Continue Reading

HIPAA Omnibus Rule – September 23, 2013 Deadline Reminder

We hope you had a wonderful summer!  Back in May, we alerted our readers to the deadline for complying with the HIPAA Omnibus Rule:  September 23, 2013. That may have seemed like a long way off at the time, but here it is September already.  Health care plan sponsors who have not yet taken action to ensure compliance with the Rule need to make this a priority.  For example, plan sponsors may need to update and distribute new notices of privacy practices, revise and execute new and/or revised business associate agreements, and ensure that their privacy and security policies … Continue Reading

Summer is Coming, But Don’t Forget About the HIPAA Omnibus Rule

Summer is right around the corner, so you are probably thinking about cookouts, pool parties, and vacations.  HIPAA is probably the furthest thing from your mind (if not, you probably wish it was).  However, before you book those beach vacations, do not forget to mark September 23, 2013 on your calendars, as this is the general deadline for compliance with the new HIPAA Omnibus Rule.

In a recent blog post, we explained how the HIPAA Omnibus Rule alters business associate agreement requirements.  Unfortunately for plan sponsors, the impact of these new rules extends beyond business associate agreements.  For example, … Continue Reading

HIPAA Omnibus Rule Alters Business Associate Requirements for Covered Entities, Business Associates, and Subcontractors

Most covered entities (e.g., health plans and health care providers) are aware that they are obligated under HIPAA to have business associate agreements (“BAAs”) in place with their business associates who use or disclose protected health information (“PHI”) in carrying out their obligations to the covered entity (e.g., third-party administrators, claim processors, etc.). However, covered entities might not be aware that the Department of Health & Human Services (the “HHS”) recently issued the HIPAA Omnibus Rule, which alters the BAA content requirements (and makes other significant changes to HIPAA, which we will discuss in a … Continue Reading

Health and Welfare Plans Audits on the Rise, Are You Ready?

While audits of qualified retirement plans have become commonplace, audits of health and welfare plans have historically been much less common. Only a select group of “lucky” employers was subjected to health and welfare plan audits, and the scope of those audits was somewhat limited. Unfortunately, it appears that trend is ending. We are seeing a notable increase in the frequency of health and welfare plan audits, and the scope of these audits is becoming much broader. Employers have rights, and the agencies have rules the auditors are required to follow. We encourage employers who receive a phone call or … Continue Reading