UCLA Health System has agreed to pay $865,500 in an agreement with HHS’ Office for Civil Rights to settle two privacy and security complaints under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. The resolution agreement also requires the system to commit to a corrective-action plan and implement privacy and security policies approved by the Office for Civil Rights, according to the Office for Civil Rights’ website. The hospital must designate an independent monitor to assess compliance the wake of revelations that the medical records of newswoman Maria Shriver, the wife of then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger; pop diva Britney Spears; and actress Farrah Fawcett all had been accessed by hospital employees.
LA JOLLA, Calif.—
Scripps Health has broken ground on a new $456 million cardiovascular center. The 383,000-squarefoot, seven-story Scripps Cardiovascular Institute will have 168 beds, six operating rooms and four cardiac catheterization and electrophysiology labs. The institute is slated to open in 2015 and is the first step “little to no increase” in costs to Blue Shield HMO members in 2012 and then “low single-digit increases” the following two years. According to a news release, it is the intent of the parties involved to extend the collaboration for a longer period with the goal of building an accountable care organization that improves the quality and lowers the cost of care through better coordination. “The collaboration will be structured to deliver medical cost relief to local employers” while offering HMO members “unique medical initiatives,” AllCare CEO Matt Coury said in the release.
Construction has started on the first hospital to be built in this community located in southern Riverside County. The 140-bed, five-story Temecula Valley Hospital is expected to be completed in summer 2013. The hospital, built on 37 acres, will provide acute-care services including an emergency department, 20-bed intensive-care unit, six surgical suites, digital imaging and an electronic clinical information system. All patient rooms will be private. The hospital is owned by Universal Health Services of King of Prussia, Pa.
UnitedHealth Group agreed to pay a $1 million fine to the state of Nevada for allegedly violating the terms of its 2008 acquisition of health insurer Sierra Health Services. Nevada regulators said UnitedHealth’s acquisition of Fiserv’s healthcare-related business overstepped an antitrust enforcement action that permitted the sale of Las Vegas-based Sierra Health Services to UnitedHealth for $2.6 billion. UnitedHealth purchased Fiserv’s healthrelated business in January 2008. Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto required assurance at the time that the insurer would not acquire or merge with Fiserv Nevada, a healthcare benefits administrator, and placed restrictions on joint venture activity. But through a series of assignments, UnitedHealth acquired all but one of Fiserv Nevada’s active customers, its employees and assets, Masto said in a news release. The new settlement also requires UnitedHealth to change its internal policies to protect confidential data on Nevada-based customers previously with Fiserv Nevada. The Minnetonka, Minn.based insurer said in a statement that it is pleased to have resolved the matter but that it disagrees “with the allegations because UnitedHealth Group did not acquire an interest in, or engage in a joint venture with Fiserv Nevada.”