OIG's Open Letter to Providers: Did you know that the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services (OIG) released an Open Letter to health care providers on April 24, 2006, that outlined the OIG's perspectives on fraud, compliance, and other Medicare issues? Among other things, the Open Letter stated that self-disclosure of fraud and other program violations by health care providers remains an important mitigating factor for the OIG when it determines an appropriate rehabilitative program following a program violation.
Nurse Criminal Histories: Did you know that, starting October 1, 2006, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and nursing assistants seeking licensure and certification from the Maryland Board of Nursing must submit to a criminal history records check? Further, beginning in January of 2008, the Board will require criminal history record checks on selected current RNs, LPNs and certified nursing assistant licensees seeking renewal of licensure, and an additional check will be conducted by the Board every 10 years.
Disclosure of De-Identified Records: Did you know that a Texas appellate court prohibited the disclosure of de-identified health information in a medical malpractice claim? In In re Tenet Healthcare, Ltd., a medical malpractice plaintiff sought redacted patient records of patients who were not a party to the malpractice lawsuit. The court held that de-identified health information should not be disclosed in the medical malpractice lawsuit because the information sought was protected by Texas' physician-patient privilege and medical records privilege.