Health Care

In order to navigate the complicated and ever-changing laws surrounding health care and your business, you need attorneys who understand your challenges. The Pittsburgh health care lawyers at Houston Harbaugh, P.C., have the knowledge and experience to help you manage everyday issues, as well as plan for the future.

The Proposed States Act: Bipartisan Effort Aims To Hand Marijuana Regulation Back To The States

In June, 2018, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) introduced legislation that may finally address the dichotomy between state laws permitting the use of marijuana and...
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Security Risk Analysis is Key to Passing Healthcare Audits

The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (OCR) is currently engaged in its second round of HIPAA audits. At the same time the Centers...
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First Settlement is a Wake-Up Call for Business Associates Working With Health Care Providers

A wide range of businesses outside the healthcare industry perform services for health care providers and have access to Protected Health Information (PHI). If so, that business is...
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Physicians – Will You Benefit From Tax Reform?

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Act”) made many changes to the Internal Revenue Code which have the potential to impact physicians. One of the more substantial...
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New FMLA Rules and Requirements as of January 16, 2009

New FMLA Rules and Requirements as of January 16, 2009 Extensive new regulations under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) went into effect January 16, 2009. These...
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Final Omnibus Rule: What You Need to do to Ensure Continued HIPAA Compliance

On January 25, 2013, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published its final modifications to the HIPAA Privacy, Security, and Enforcement Rules as mandated by...
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CMS Publishes Final Rules for Stage 2 Meaningful Use

On September 4, 2012, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published the Final Rules for Stage 2 Meaningful Use (the “Final Rules”). The Final Rules are...
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Changes Coming for Physicians in Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program

The Secretary for the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Dr. Rachel Levine, has directed the Department to draft regulations to enact recommendations that were provided by the Medical Marijuana...
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Rules on Returning Medicare Overpayment Finalized

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) codified, for the first time, that a provider has an affirmative duty to return self-discovered Medicare overpayments. The Final Rule for implementing this...
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Proposed Legislation May Mean Additional Responsibilities for Physicians When Prescribing Opioids

As the number of victims claimed by the opioid epidemic continues to rise, federal, state and local governments have undertaken a multi-faceted effort to confront this public health...
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Pennsylvania’s Temporary Medical Marijuana Regulations – What Physicians Need to Know

Among the loudest voices that advocated for the legalization of medical marijuana were parents of children affected by medical conditions that are not responsive to conventional medical treatment....
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New CMS Payment Options Can Improve a Primary Care Practice

Primary care physicians have been dealing for some time now with fundamental changes in both practice expectations and the financial landscape. Declining reimbursement rates and ever-increasing bureaucracy have...
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New CMS Payment Models Imminent

After years of talking about paying physicians for performance instead of volume, the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has recently proposed regulations (the “Proposed Rule”) that...
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New Year, New Delays for ACA Reporting Requirements

Among the more onerous requirements of the Affordable Care Act (the  ACA), employers are charged with completing numerous reports and filings regarding the health insurance provided to their...
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Is Your Compensation Plan Stark Compliant?

With all the emphasis on scrutinizing “fair market value” for employed physicians by health care systems, private practice physicians may be tempted to overlook the fact that their...
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Contemplating New Models of Physician Compensation

With continued consolidation in health care and reforms in reimbursement, traditional methods of compensating physicians will need to be revised by private practices and health systems alike in...
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PA Medicaid Income Limits: What You Need to Know – and What You Have to Give Up – to be Eligible for Medicaid

Even though he was in his late eighties himself, Jack was the primary caregiver for his wife who suffered from severe dementia. He took care of her as...
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CMS Publishes Revision to Laboratory “14-Day Rule”

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently finalized changes to the reimbursement policy for laboratory tests for Calendar Year 2018. The date of service (DOS) policy,...
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Changes in Pennsylvania Law Eases Countersignature Requirements for Physician Assistants

Recent amendments to the Pennsylvania Medical and Osteopathic Practice Acts have changed the supervisory physician’s countersignature requirements for patient records completed by a physician assistant. Previously, supervising physicians...
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Affordable Care Act: Beware of Pending Nondiscrimination Rules

One component of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that has not been receiving a lot of attention is the new nondiscrimination requirement applicable to insured group health plans....
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New Stimulus Law Permits Additional Cafeteria Plan Flexibility (Updated to Include Changes Made by IRS Notice 2021-15 and Announcement 2021-7)

Generally, the rules governing Section 125 cafeteria plans require that an employee’s benefit elections be irrevocable throughout each plan year, absent a change in the employee’s status (marriage,...
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PA Department Of Health Order On Workplace COVID-19 Health And Safety Measures

On April 15, 2020, the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Rachel Levine, M.D., issued an order mandating certain workplace health and safety measures for life-sustaining businesses...
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Johnstown Area Hospital Sues Travelers For Covid-19 Insurance Coverage

Another day, another COVID-19 insurance coverage suit. Windber Hospital sued Travelers Property Casualty Company of America in the U.S.D.C for the Western District of Pennsylvania on April 23,...
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BREACH NOTIFICATION REMINDER Deadline for Annual Filing to HHS Approaching

February 29, 2020 is the deadline by which time Covered Entities who experienced a Breach of Unsecured Protected Health Information (PHI) during calendar year 2015 must notify the...
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CMS Issues Press Release Detailing Financial Relief For Medicare Providers During Covid-19

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a press release on March 28, 2020, announcing an expansion of its accelerated and advance payment program for Medicare participating...
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About Us

In order to navigate the complicated and ever-changing laws surrounding health care and your business, you need attorneys who understand your challenges. The Pittsburgh health care lawyers at Houston Harbaugh, P.C., have the knowledge and experience to help you manage everyday issues, as well as plan for the future.

Jessica Ellel Pittsburgh health care lawyer

Jessica A. Ellel - Practice Chair

Chair of Houston Harbaugh’s Health Law Practice, Jessica works almost exclusively with health care entities and health practitioners. She has extensive experience with:

  • Drafting and negotiating physician employment agreements from both the physician and employer perspectives
  • Negotiating contracts between physicians and hospitals
  • Preparing purchase agreements to govern the sale of medical practices
  • Advising on corporate governance issues, from practice formation to dissolution
  • Developing comprehensive compliance plans for physician practices, hospitals, third-party billing administrators, and other health care and related entities
  • Organizing strategies for compliance with fraud and abuse laws
  • Addressing HIPAA compliance

Jessica is especially well-versed in HIPAA compliance and authors numerous client updates and bulletins on the subject. She conducts on-site and remote HIPAA training and also maintains Houston Harbaugh’s HIPAA compliance manual, ” Federal HIPAA Privacy Standards Simplified: A Comprehensive Tool-Kit”.