Medicare 30 Compliance Report No. 7 (February 22, 2021)
◆ A Michigan woman is the first in the nation to be criminally accused of misusing Provider Relief Fund (PRF) money.the Department of Justice (DOJ) said on February 11. Taylor’s Amina Abbas previously owned 1-for-1 Home Health, which she closed in early 2020 after Medicare charged her with a $ 1.620 million overpayment claim because the Home Health Agency billed Medicare for patients who failed had qualified for home health care, the DOJ claimed. “According to the indictment, 1 on 1, which was never operational during the pandemic, received approximately $ 37,656.95 for medical treatment and care for COVID-19 patients,” and Abbas gave the money to her family members for personal use, claimed the DOJ. She has been charged with embezzlement of state property in the Eastern District of Michigan. In one unrelated case, a California outpatient surgery center recently agreed to a civil fine with the HHS inspector general for accepting PRF funds for which it allegedly was out of the question.
◆ President Joe Biden announced on February 13 that Chiquita Brooks-LaSure would be the CMS administrator, pending Senate approval. Brooks-LaSure, who is currently the managing director of Manatt, “played a key role in steering the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through its passage and implementation,” a White House press release said. Brooks-LaSure has over 20 years of experience in healthcare policy. Previously, she was Associate Director of Insurance Policies at CMS at the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight and Director of Insurance Policies at HHS.
◆ The Inspector General’s Office at HHS has updated its answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs). on the application of its law enforcement agencies to agreements related to COVID-19.
◆ Sharp HealthCare, which operates as Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Centers (SRMC) in California, has agreed to pay $ 70,000 to resolve a possible violation of HIPAA privacy regulationssaid the HHS Civil Rights Office (OCR) on Feb.12. It is the 16th agreement on an enforcement measure under the OCR initiative for the right of access. According to the settlement agreement On June 11, 2019, a complaint was filed with OCR alleging that SRMC had not given the complainant’s customer electronic access to his medical records requested on April 2, 2019. OCR closed the case with technical information on June 25, 2019, providing assistance to SRMC, but the complainant filed a second complaint against SRMC on August 19, 2019, making the same allegations. “SRMC did not grant the affected party access to its requested documents until October 15, 2019,” OCR alleged. SMRC must also implement a corrective action plan. No liability was allowed in the billing.
1 Department of Justice, “Woman First in Nation Charged with Embezzlement of Funds Used to Aid COVID Medical Professionals,” News Release, Feb.11, 2021 https://bit.ly/3bjCclm.
2 Nina Youngstrom, “ASC settles CMP case with money from Provider Relief Fund; OIG: Certification Was Wrong, “Medicare 30 Compliance Report No. 5 (February 8, 2021), http://bit.ly/3aMCGQG.
3 White House, “President Biden Announces Key Members of His Health and Human Services, Education and Veterans Affairs Teams,” News Release February 19, 2021 http://bit.ly/3ucisbX.
4th “Frequently Asked Questions – OIG Managing Authorities’ Application to Agreements Directly Related to the Coronavirus Disease Public Health Emergency 2019 (COVID-19)”, Office of the Inspector General of the Ministry of Health and Human Services, most recently updated on February 17, 2021, https://bit.ly/2zKhA6O.
5 Department of Health and Human Services Civil Rights Bureau, Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Centers HIPAA Resolution Agreement and Corrective Action Plan, Resolution Agreement, February 3, 2021, https://bit.ly/3qCOxaC.