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In April 2019, the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”), Criminal Division, issued a guidance document entitled “Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs.”[1] This guidance updates standards the DOJ utilizes to investigate, charge, and negotiate criminal charges related to corporate crimes.[2] Although the DOJ recognizes that each company has its own set of unique risks, its investigations often include three common questions in assessing the effectiveness of a company’s corporate compliance program. More >

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As hospitals and health systems continue moves toward clinical integration, more physicians are being employed by hospitals and health systems rather than practicing medicine in their own private practices.  The trend toward direct hospital employment of physicians accelerated after 2012 and it appears that the trend will continue as both hospitals and physicians navigate regulatory, reimbursement, and operational challenges in the future.  When considering employment by a hospital or health system, physicians should be mindful of various provisions that are often contained in physician employment agreements and how these provisions may impact the physician’s professional practice and personal life.  Here are important issues to consider when evaluating whether to enter into an employment agreement with a hospital or health system.  More >

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Click here to watch the video replay of the webinar.

In January of 2019, the National Safety Council released a study with an alarming result: Since 2017, the odds of dying by accidental opioid overdose have exceeded the odds of dying in a car accident. With the opioid crisis raging, the first line of defense may now be healthcare providers, especially rural ones, who treat patients on a daily basis. More >

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In mid-February 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”), Innovation Center and the Department for Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced a ground-breaking payment and medical services initiative for ambulance providers called “Emergency Triage, Treat and Transport” (the “ET3”). This new model is the first step in allowing providers of Emergency Medical Services to finally “take off the gloves” to fully utilize both their medical skills and unique patient knowledge to implement a more efficient and effective care model. More >

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Healthcare Law Blog by William J. George - 4M ago

This article appeared in the December edition of MD-UPDATE, available at  http://www.md-update.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/MD-Update-Issue-118/#?page=8

In the current legal enforcement environment, it is crucial that healthcare providers prioritize compliance initiatives and programs in order to avoid illegal practices that may result in large financial penalties and both criminal and civil liability.   More >

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This article appeared in the November edition of Medical News, available at https://www.medicalnews.md/metoo-in-healthcare-the-time-to-act-is-now/.

The #MeToo movement has sparked a momentous conversation in American life, but the pressure on the healthcare industry to address workplace harassment has been in place for some time now. For example, in 2012, a California Physician assistant was awarded $168 million by a jury (later settled for an undisclosed amount) after filing numerous complaints alleging sexual harassment and patient safety issues, actions which a jury believed led to her firing from a hospital and later, retaliation.[i] This is one of a number of examples of verdicts and out-of-court settlements in the millions of dollars, all due to sexual harassment in a healthcare workplace. These are not outliers. More >

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Prevention and compliance best practices for healthcare providers are a hot topic, and this isn’t likely to change, maybe ever. As the opioid crisis continues to grow and healthcare providers come under increasing scrutiny, one tool is emerging as a resource for prescribing providers, and it’s probably not what you would expect: KASPER, Kentucky’s prescription reporting database. Below are three ways to get the most out of KASPER to keep your practice in compliance. More >

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As medical advancements and patients in need of medical care continue to increase, the role of mid-level practitioners becomes even more crucial.  While there have been many turns of phrase for these medical professionals, the term “mid-level practitioner” is meant to encompass those non-physician providers, which include advanced practice nurses and physician assistants, among others. In Kentucky, there has been a shortage of primary care providers, which is particularly problematic in the state’s many rural areas.  This in turn has led to the push for more autonomy to these integral medical providers. While there are many reasons why this development is an improvement for patients and providers alike, this also leads to more liability exposure.  More >

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In recent months, the Commonwealth of Kentucky has begun to amend the Kentucky Administrative Regulations and the Kentucky Revised Statutes, aiming to deregulate certain healthcare facilities and services to promote growth and expansion of healthcare services to Kentuckians. Kentucky’s ability to regulate the growth of its healthcare industry is based, in part, on the State Health Plan, the Certificate of Need (CON) process and the licensure of healthcare entities through the Office of Inspector General. As a Certificate of Need state, Kentucky-based healthcare providers who wish to initiate or expand healthcare services generally must go through a lengthy and expensive process unless they meet one of the few available exemptions. For years, Kentucky excluded certain physician-owned healthcare entities from both the Certificate of Need process and licensure through a series of strict guidelines established by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services known as the “physician office exemption.” More >

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Thanks to recently passed legislation going into effect July 1, 2019, Kentucky providers will have more access to patients via telehealth. Previously, telehealth visits were limited to doctors and high-level practitioners, with patients required to be in a clinical setting for the visit. The new law will allow commercial insurance and Medicaid to pay for telehealth visits in the home as well as pay mid-level providers for telehealth visits. More >

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