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Back to the SAIC Breach and a Look Across the Chasm Between Significant Risk and Actual Harm Resulting from a HIPAA Breach Print E-mail
Written by Elizabeth Litten and Michael Kline   
Friday, 14 December 2012 10:42

We have posted several blogs, including those here and here, tracking the reported 2011 theft of computer tapes from the car of an employee of Science Applications International Corporation ("SAIC") that contained the protected health information ("PHI") affecting approximately 5 million military clinic and hospital patients (the "SAIC Breach"). SAIC's recent Motion to Dismiss (the "Motion") the Consolidated Amended Complaint filed in federal court in Florida as a putative class action (the "SAIC Class Action") highlights the gaps between an incident (like a theft) involving PHI, a determination that a breach of PHI has occurred, and the realization of harm resulting from the breach. SAIC's Motion emphasizes this gap between the incident and the realization of harm, making it appear like a chasm so wide it practically swallows the breach into oblivion.

SAIC, a giant publicly-held government contractor that provides information technology ("IT") management and, ironically, cyber security services, was engaged to provide IT management services to TRICARE Management Activity, a component of TRICARE, the military health plan ("TRICARE") for active duty service members working for the U.S. Department of Defense ("DoD"). SAIC employees had been contracted to transport backup tapes containing TRICARE members' PHI from one location to another.

According to the original statement published in late September of 2011 ( the "TRICARE/SAIC Statement") the PHI "may include Social Security numbers, addresses and phone numbers, and some personal health data such as clinical notes, laboratory tests and prescriptions."

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To view author's bio's click on the hot links: Elizabeth Litten and Michael Kline

Last Updated on Monday, 17 December 2012 09:16
What To Do About Potential Whistleblowers at Your Facility Print E-mail
Written by Anne Novick Branan   
Thursday, 29 November 2012 00:00

The threat for health care providers of qui tam actions, also known as whistleblower lawsuits, under the federal False Claims Act ("FCA") is very real these days. Tough economic times and recent changes in the FCA protecting whistleblowers have made the lure of financial gain from qui tam actions more attractive to potential whistleblowers.

Under the FCA qui tam provision, persons with evidence of fraud against federal programs can sue the wrongdoer on behalf of the United States. The government has the right to intervene in such actions, but if the government declines, the private plaintiff may proceed on his or her own. Employees who bring qui tam actions can receive between 15 and 30 % of any monies recovered by the government. The FCA specifically protects employees who become whistleblowers from retaliation by their employers.

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About the Author: Ms. Branan is Of Counsel at Broad & Cassel.  Please click here to learn more. 
Re-Validation Tips Print E-mail
Written by   
Sunday, 25 November 2012 00:00


Q: How does the revalidation of Provider Enrollment Information Process work?

A:  When you receive your revalidation notice, you must respond either through internet-based PECOS, which is the most efficient way, or by completing the appropriate 855 application form. The first set...

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Source:  Coleman Consulting Group 
There is No Such Thing as a 10-Minute Office Visit Print E-mail
Written by   
Monday, 05 November 2012 09:07

The practice, the patients and the overseers of healthcare want each visit to be non-rationed, safe, high-quality, error-free, holistic, pleasant, clean, accurate, efficient and reimbursable. It's what we all want. And it isn't...

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5 Questions: A Deceptively Simple Performance Evaluation Print E-mail
Written by   
Friday, 02 November 2012 00:00

"The point of the '5 Questions' evaluation is not to underline that the employee is often tardy or doesn't complete assignments on time. Those things should be dealt with outside of this process. Remember the old adage: 'No new news at the performance evaluation'. ...the idea is to dig under those things and see if the employee is dissatisfied, overwhelmed or under-challenged."

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