Safeguard your ePHI

Post by Tony Cafferelli

On April 24th 2017, CardioNet, a wireless health services provider, agreed on a 2.5 million dollar settlement with the Department of Health and Human Services, regarding their impermissible disclosure of unsecured electronic protected health information (ePHI). HIPPA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) was passed in 1996 to safeguard ePHI. CardioNet’s impermissible disclosure came about when an employee left a laptop containing ePHI in their car overnight, where it was stolen. Subsequently, CardioNet complied with the […]

What Is Protected PII?

Post by Ravi Melwani 

The Federal Government (FCC, DOL) and State Compliance Offices can issue large fines to Organization’s that transmit Protected PII without proper procedures in place to secure these transmissions. Accounting firms have a fiduciary responsibility to clients and their employees and participants to ensure Protected PII is properly secured.

The Department of Labor defines Protected PII as Personally Identifiable Information which, if disclosed, could result in harm to the individual whose name or identity is linked with this information.

The […]

Proposed Statement on Auditing Standards | Employee Benefit Audit

Post by Larry Beebe

The Auditing Standards Board (ASB) of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AUCPA) has issued a proposed change to the auditing standards a CPA must follow in conducting an employee benefit audit.

The proposed changes include

Requiring certain additional procedures in an employee benefit audit “…irrespective of the risk of material misstatement.” Any findings of the CPA as a result of the additional procedures would have to be detailed in the auditor’s report. The auditor’s report, […]

New Ruling: Employer Must Make Contributions

Post by Larry Beebe

A 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld lower court decisions that an employer must continue to pay contributions to the health + welfare and pension funds, even though the funds sponsoring union was required to make contributions until the termination of the collective bargaining arrangement in 2015, even though the union was decertified in 2013. One judge said that the employers promise to make contributions until the expiration of the CBA was “Binding” and “Contractual.”

(Midwest Operating […]

Informative IFEBP Podcast Released

We recently listened to an informative and entertaining podcast, Talking Benefits Episode 3: It’s Complicated, released on March 8, 2017 by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP). Their benefits experts provided updates on current regulatory matters, including Department of Labor nominations, the Fiduciary Rule status and the latest MPRA and PBGC petition outcomes. Most interesting is the discussion and summary of the new American Health Care Plan Act provisions. The presenters concisely describe what’s new and what’s […]

Segregation of Duties: The Key to Proper Controls and Minimizing Fraud


Post By Alyssa Sproat

Segregation of duties (SOD) is an essential part of the effectiveness of internal controls for any business. This integral separation ensures that key processes are performed by more than one person to prevent fraud or financial misstatement. While technology continues to become more sophisticated, the time is now to implement controls that segregate key functions within processes such as cash disbursements, investments, payroll, and many other areas.

The first step to implementing effective SOD is to truly understand […]

Is Your Plan Still Paying Benefits to Deceased Pensioners?

Post By Zack Podrasky

One of the most important aspects of pension payments is the timely ceasing of benefits when a participant dies. The state of Illinois found this out the hard way. Between 2010 and 2014, some of the largest pension funds in Illinois incorrectly paid approximately 400,000 deceased pensioners over $3.5 million in benefits. Although some funds were eventually recovered, Plans should have policies and procedures in place to avoid this difficult and costly situation. This is why […]

Kentucky Becomes Right-To-Work State

On January 9, 2017, Kentucky enacted law making it a right-to-work state, effective immediately.  The Kentucky law is prospective, applying to all new contracts and those renewed or extended after 1/9/17.  The law also includes a special provision that prohibits public sector employees from strikes or work stoppages and requires the public sector employees’ written consent in order to deduct dues or similar payments from their pay.
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Recap: 2016 IFEBP Annual Conference

By Larry Beebe

Last week I attended the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) annual conference in Orlando. Each year the IFEBP annual conference provides education to trustees, administrators, and plan professionals who work closely with employee benefit plans.

The conference consists of fourteen 75 minute educational segments spread over a two and one half day period. At each time slot participants have a choice of approximately 20 different sessions they can attend.

These interesting sessions I attended were:

Cybersecurity | Understand, manage, […]