John S. Conniff is an attorney admitted to practice in Washington and Oregon. He attended Seattle University undergraduate and earned his law degree from Seattle University. He served as counsel to the Washington State Legislature, was Deputy Insurance Commissioner for Health care and now practices law in his own firm concentrating on health, insurance, and business matters.

Philadelphia Catholics Agree to $650,000 HIPAA Fine

Business Associates who fail to conduct health information risk assessments and adopt required security policies and procedures face a growing threat of discovery and fines. Catholic Health Care Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (CHCS) got more than a prayerful penance after violating HIPAA rules. The $650,000 fine imposed by HHS arose from the reported theft of a CHCS issued, unencrypted…

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Eating Soup with a Fork – TPA Licensing not the Right Tool

This past legislative session, the Washington House of Representatives considered regulation of third party administrators (TPAs) as recommended by the state Insurance Commissioner. After some confusion over what the Commissioner intended and what should be amended, the bill died a quiet death in committee. Policymakers quickly discovered that TPA regulation had become a surrogate for indirectly addressing…

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Boring but Important

Finding, reading, and understanding the thousands of regulations that apply to health plans can drive a sane person to drink Flint, Michigan water. But not me. My sanity has already been questioned given that I intentionally spent a lot of money to go to school so I could learn the discipline of memorizing convoluted regulations…

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President Proposes Elimination of MEWA Common Bond Requirement

President Obama surprised many folks today by proposing to allow small employers and the self-employed to form multiple employer plans without regard to the “common bond” standard required by the Department of Labor. The elimination of the “common bond” requirement would eliminate one of the highest hurdles to the creation of group benefit programs for…

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