Preparing Your Lab for the Next Round of Payer Audits (Richard Cooper and Jane Pine Wood)

Get the latest intelligence and timely information about all that is happening regarding how Medicare program officials and private health insurers are now auditing laboratories, challenging claims, and looking into medical necessity with an all-new webinar, “Preparing Your Lab for the Next Round of Payer Audits: Emerging Issues with Out-of-Network Billing, Medical Necessity, and Other Payer Concerns,” on Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, at 1PM EST.

Read full article

Shutts & Bowen and EXP Legal work together to bridge the World Fair Milan EXPO 2015 and Miami, by co organizing the March 12 Global Miami “Food, health & culture” conference

Expo Milano 2015, themed “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life” is the Universal Exhibition that Milan, Italy, will host from May 1 to October 31, 2015 ( Over this six-month period, Milan will become a global showcase where more than 140 participating countries will show the best of their technology that offers a concrete answer to a vital need: being able to guarantee healthy, safe and sufficient food for everyone, while respecting the Planet and its equilibrium. The Expo expects to welcome over 20 million visitors to its 1.1 million square meters of exhibition area.

Read full article

The Lenovo/Superfish Scandal: What You Need to Know

superfishReports in the last week stated that the computer manufacturer Lenovo had preloaded software onto various lines of computers which critically compromised cybersecurity. The software in question is a product called Superfish Visual Discovery, a program generally designed to replace advertisements seen while browsing the Internet with ads provided by Superfish. However, the method of implementation opens up a universe of potential problems.

Read full article

New land valuations for 2015

More than one million properties are due to receive new land valuations for rating, land tax and State land rental purposes. Landowners have the right to object to the valuation of their property, but strict timeframes and requirements apply.

New land valuations

The Valuer-General is due to issue new valuations for 29 local government areas across Queensland, including Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Rockhampton, Townsville and Cairns, in March. More…

Read full article

Healthcare and Data Privacy and Cybersecurity Alert: March 1 deadline approaching for HIPAA covered entities to submit breach reports

HIPAA covered entities (healthcare providers, health plans or healthcare clearinghouses) that discovered a breach of Protected Health Information (PHI) in 2014 involving fewer than 500 individuals are required to report those breaches by March 1, 2015.

The HITECH Breach Notification Rule requires covered entities to notify the affected individuals and the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (and in some cases, the media) of breaches of unsecured PHI, and requires business associates (generally, contractors or vendors who perform services or functions for covered entities and have access to PHI) to notify covered entities of breaches of unsecured PHI. In 2013, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of HHS revised the standard for determining whether a breach occurred. Any use or disclosure of unsecured PHI that is not permitted under the HIPAA Privacy Rule is now presumed to be a breach and, therefore, triggers the notification obligations, unless either the incident satisfies one of three relatively narrow exceptions, or the covered entity or business associate demonstrates a low probability that PHI has been compromised, based on a risk assessment of at least four factors as set forth in the Breach Notification Rule. The prior definition of “breach” (which was in effect prior to Sept. 23, 2013) focused on a “risk of harm” analysis.

Read full article

“Ex-Members of Congress Weigh Comebacks After Bashing It,” Steve LaTourette quoted in National Journal

February 23, 2015 Many members of Congress don’t mince words about the place on their way out. But that doesn’t keep some of them from trying to return.

In his final days on Capitol Hill, one-term Democratic Rep. Pete Gallego slammed Congress as the “least productive” and “most unpopular” in history. Weeks earlier, then-Rep. Brad Schneider told The Daily Herald that gridlock was “pervasive and frustrating,” blocking “so many important issues we should be dealing with.”

Read full article

CMS Hosts MLN Connects National Provider Call to Review New CCM CPT Code

CMSProviders, take note: the Chronic Care Management (CCM) CPT Code 99490 is now payable by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Effective January 1, 2015, the Medicare program began making payments under the Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) for certain non-face-to-face management and care coordination services provided to beneficiaries covered under the traditional Medicare fee-for-service program. CCM services include, but are not limited to, development and maintenance of a plan of care, communication with other treating health care professionals, and medication management. In order to be eligible for CCM services, beneficiaries must have two or more chronic conditions, expected to last at least 12 months or until the death of the beneficiary. Claims for CCM services are payable on a monthly basis, must include at least 20 minutes of qualifying services, and are subject to beneficiary coinsurance and deductibles. Information on the availability of CCM services must be conveyed to the beneficiary through a face-to-face visit and the beneficiary must consent to receiving such services. Only one Medicare provider can provide and be paid for CCM services provided to an individual beneficiary during each calendar month.

Read full article

Digital Media, Technology & Privacy Alert >> In “Internet of Things” Report, FTC Staff Warns Makers of Connected Devices to Improve Privacy and Security

A new report on the “Internet of Things” (IoT) issued by Federal Trade Commission (FTC) staff acknowledges the remarkable growth of the IoT, and recommends numerous steps for businesses to take to protect consumers’ security and privacy. More specifically, the report encourages creativity in providing “notice and choice,” endorses data minimization strategies, and supports new broad-based privacy legislation that would impact, but not be specific to, the IoT. More…

Read full article

Government proposes to relax affordable housing requirements on smaller developments

When the concept of a Community Infrastructure Levy to be paid on the grant of a planning permission was introduced by the Government in April 2013, the Government made it clear that the levy was largely intended to replace the practice of securing contributions to infrastructure from developers through planning agreements (section 106 obligations). It was envisaged, however, that section 106 obligations would continue to be required to deal with two matters, first the carrying out of any works that were required to address any direct impact from the development (for example, highway improvements at the access to the site) and secondly, affordable housing. The requirement to provide affordable housing therefore remained as a substantial additional cost to developers sitting alongside the Community Infrastructure Levy. More…

Read full article

Land and Building Transaction Tax – Commercial focus in Scotland

From 1st April 2015 there will be a new tax system in place applicable to all land and property transactions in Scotland, known as the land and building transaction tax (“LBTT”). This will replace the current system in Scotland, Stamp duty land tax (“SDLT”). This article will focus on the aims of the new tax system and how the LBTT regime will work, with a particular focus on the potential implications from a commercial property standpoint, both in relation to commercial purchases and commercial leases.

Read full article