Archive for 'Regulatory Trends'

Peek, You Pay: Case Provides Impetus for Shoring Up HIPAA Compliance

Posted on 28. May, 2010 by .

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HIPAA violation lands an employee federal prison time.

When training staff about the dangers of accessing people’s medical records without a legit reason, you might cite a recent case as a cautionary tale.

A hospital researcher recently received a four-month federal prison sentence for looking at patients’ medical records that didn’t apply to his line of work.

The former employee at the UCLA School of Medicine accessed patient records at the hospital over 300 times during a three-week period, mostly to peek at the private health records of celebrities, according to a Department of Justice release.

What the plea agreement reveals …

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DEA Clampdown on Controlled Medication Rules Taking a Toll on Pain Management in Nursing Homes

Posted on 16. Apr, 2010 by .

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Nursing home provider puts a face on delays caused by DEA restrictions on controlled meds.

Reportedly fueled by concerns over prescription drug abuse and diversion in nursing homes, the Drug Enforcement Administration has been taking a tougher stance in enforcing longstanding regs governing narcotic medications in nursing homes.

The rules require physicians or an employee acting on their behalf to directly provide a prescription to the pharmacy for a controlled med provided to a nursing home patient. Based on this strict interpretation, nurses in nursing homes can’t legally relay a doctor’s phone order for such a prescription.

And Senate lawmakers recently received an earful from frustrated nursing home providers weary of the extra red tape that the providers say is causing delays in managing residents’ pain.

In a Senate Special Committee on Aging “listening session” last month, one nursing facility administrator relayed how a resident in severe pain failed to get the pain relief she needed, even though it was readily available. The case involved an elderly woman admitted to the SNF on a Thursday in February 2010 after surgery to repair her lumbar (L2) vertebrae. The woman’s physician prescribed a Fentanyl patch, which provides continuous drug delivery, along with oral Percocet every four hours for break-through pain. By Saturday, however, the patient’s pain had escalated to the point that the facility staff realized that the patient’s supply of the Percocet would be gone much sooner than anticipated, the administrator told lawmakers.

Long story short …

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