Enforcement Trends to Expect Post-Lockdown

With the COVID lockdown, the law enforcement agencies, including the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), the local US Attorneys’ Offices, and the state enforcement agencies worked on a limited basis for much of 2020 and 2021 to present date. The slowdown in enforcement in 2020 due to the pandemic was reflected in the civil fraud recoveries for that year. The DOJ reported $2.2 billion in settlement and judgments for civil cases in the fiscal year 2020 (from October 1, 2019, to September 30, 2020), which was down from the over $3 billion recovered in the fiscal year 2019 and was the lowest civil fraud recovery in a decade. The percentage of healthcare recovery was higher, totaling approximately $1.8 billion in 2020, or over 80% of the recovery of all civil fraud cases.

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Ebola Preparedness Resource Center

In response to the rising concerns of awareness and safety among healthcare officials in the wake of the Ebola virus in the US, Breazeale, Sachse and Wilson has created an Ebola Preparedness Resource Center. The purpose of this resource center is to provide information from trusted sources that may be useful for healthcare providers and other participants involved in the healthcare industry. The resource center can be found at bswllp.com/ebola.

Can a Member of Local Bank Board Serve on the Board of a Hospital Service District?

According to the Louisiana Board of Ethics a bank board member can serve on the board of directors for a hospital service district.  See La Ethics Opinions 2002-094 and 2002-197, relying on La R.S. 39:1233.1.

In Ethics Opinion 2002-094, the Police Jury of Natchitoches Parish requested an advisory opinion as to the propriety of the Natchitoches Parish Police Jury appointing a person to the Natchitoches Parish Hospital Service District Board who was a major stockholder and who also served on the board of a bank that conducted business with the hospital. Continue reading

HIPAA and Baby Photo Boards

As the NY Times article and related AOL video demonstrate (links below), baby photographs are protected to the same extent as medical records, Social Security Numbers and other types of individually identifiable information. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protects all individually identifiable health information held or transmitted by a covered entity or its business associate, in any form or media, whether electronic, paper or oral. This is known as “protected health information (PHI).” See 45 C.F.R. § 160.103. Continue reading