March 12, 2018
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Health Law Insight
Staff Contact: Jane Drummond
Health care providers partnering with Uber or Lyft to transport patients to and from medical appointments should be aware of privacy and anti-kickback laws implicated by the service. Both transportation providers recently launched initiatives through which providers can schedule rides for their patients. While such services can help ensure fewer missed appointments, they must be done in a legally compliant manner. For example, offers to provide free or discounted transportation to certain patients could violate the Anti-Kickback Statute. Additionally, since drivers will have access to individually identifiable and/or protected health information, providers must have appropriate business associate agreements in place to comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Providers interested in using either service should consult legal counsel to ensure compliance.
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This week is Patient Safety Awareness Week. Investments in reducing patient safety incidents can lead to significant financial savings, not to mention better patient outcomes. In the U.S. alone, focused safety improvements led to an estimated $28 billion in savings in Medicare hospitals between 2010 and 2015.
Source: World Health Organization