The Office for Civil Rights has announced that it has fined Lakeland, Florida based Advanced Care Hospitalists (ACH) $500,000 for an impermissible disclosure of protected health information by one of its business associates. ACH provides contract internal medicine physicians to nursing homes and hospitals.
According to the press release, between November of 2011 and June of 2012, ACH engaged an individual who claimed to be a representative of Doctor’s First Choice Billings, Inc. (First Choice), which provides medical billing services. Although the individual used First Choice’s website and company affiliation, the owner of First Choice denied that the individual was employed by First Choice, and stated that the services were provided without the knowledge or permission of First Choice. Continue Reading