Physicians

News & Analysis as of

DHS Announces Changes to U.S. & Cuba Migration Policies

On January 12, 2017, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced changes to the policies and regulations affecting Cuban nationals. DHS stated the “changes represent another important step in the normalization of...more

Washington Supreme Court Expands Physicians’ Duty to Third Parties

Most states have laws either requiring or permitting mental health professionals to disclose information about patients who may become violent. These voluntary or mandatory reporting laws require a balancing of the...more

The MACRA Final Rule: In Search of the “Goldilocks” Model

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (“MACRA”) Final Rule published late last year implements CMS’ new payment approach for physicians and other Medicare Part B eligible clinicians under the Merit-Based Incentive...more

Medical Marijuana Comes to Pennsylvania: What to Expect As the Keystone State Rolls Out its New Medical Marijuana Program

A lack of consensus regarding both medical and recreational marijuana has sparked intense debate across the country. Combined with federal law prohibitions, the state-by-state mosaic creates a dynamic legal landscape....more

Physician Liability for Death of Nonviable Fetus

If an obstetrician’s negligence causes the miscarriage of a nonviable fetus—i.e., one that couldn’t live outside the womb–does the patient have a cause of action for wrongful death? In Alabama the answer is yes, according to...more

Joint Commission Confirms Ban on Texting of Patient Care Orders

After briefly considering a reversal of its prohibition on texting orders, The Joint Commission (TJC), in consultation with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), announced last month that its ban would continue...more

Managing the Risks and Benefits of an On-Site Automatic Defibrillator Program

Sudden cardiac arrest (“SCA”) is the largest cause of natural death in the United States and is responsible for approximately half of all heart disease deaths. SCA, however, is not a “heart attack” (i.e. an artery blockage)...more

Healthcare Transactions: Year in Review - January 2017

Healthcare transactional activity continued unabated throughout 2016, continuing a years long trend of sustained growth. This activity is due to a number of factors: innovative technology, pharmaceuticals, and services that...more

A Liar and A Cheat? 3 Ways to Pay...

Seyfarth Synopsis: Insurer gets to pick its remedy when hospital engages in dishonest billing and illegal kickbacks…to the tune of $41 million. Judge Lynn Hughes of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of...more

Guest Post – Failure to Warn Claim Dead on Arrival Without Testimony from Prescribing Physician

This is a guest post from Michael Salimbene, an associate at Reed Smith. It’s about learned intermediary causation, and the need for prescriber testimony. Not infrequently, in mass torts with lots of solicited plaintiffs,...more

Final Rule Implements Quality Payment Program under MACRA

If you are a physician, mid-level provider, or work with those providers, then you have been bombarded with new acronyms for new programs and promises to remove older acronyms from your Medicare vocabulary. Medicare...more

Not So Fast! — Secure Text Messages May Not Be Used to Transmit Patient Care Orders After All

Reversing the position taken in May 2016, The Joint Commission (TJC) recently clarified that licensed independent providers (LIPs) or other practitioners may not utilize secure text messaging platforms to transmit patient...more

DEA Tweaks, Walks Back Changes to Renewal Process

DEA recently revised an earlier announcement that would have eliminated the grace period for renewals of controlled substance registrations. After initially declaring that prescribers and other registrants would no longer be...more

Apology Laws Are Not Self-Executing

A recent study of state apology laws by three Vanderbilt University researchers concludes, among other things, that “from the perspective of physicians, apology laws are almost certainly detrimental,” increasing the frequency...more

Ohio Legislature Concludes 131st General Assembly in Marathon Session Lasting Until 3:30 AM Last Friday

After a whirlwind final week of the lame duck session, where the Legislature passed various, often times emotion-evoking measures (including gun rights, abortion, unemployment compensation fund changes, municipal minimum wage...more

2016 Health Care Year in Review

Since I began writing this year-end review in 2013, there have been some common themes – a shift to pay for quality and away from fee-for service, much of which has been brought about by the Affordable Care Act (ACA): efforts...more

The MACRA Final Rule: 10 Things You Need to Know

The Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the much-anticipated Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) final rule this month. The rule makes extensive changes to traditional Medicare Part B...more

Managing the Transition to Transformation: Alternative Payment Systems: Evolving Compliance Challenges

McDermott’s Managing the Transition to Transformation series is designed to help health systems and other health care industry leaders address the many challenges presented by the transformation in payment and care delivery...more

Health Law Insights: November Newsletter

ALERT: "No Contract" Disclaimer in Employee Handbook Upheld by Illinois CourtAuthor: Employee handbooks have long been a trap for the unwary employer that desires merely to establish a set of rules and policies without...more

Attorney-Client Privilege Held Not to Apply to Nonreporting Employee/Expert

Many years ago, we represented a client in a quandary. (We know, we know: that’s pretty much always the case.) The product had been sold for many decades, the early history was important in marshalling a defense, and there...more

Could Possible Healthcare Repeal Efforts Extend to Physician Payments Under Medicare?

Now that the 2016 presidential election is over, many patients are asking whether Congress will repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or parts of the legislation. Yet, many doctors are asking (or should be asking) whether...more

The Federal Government Holds Individuals Responsible for Involvement in Corporate Healthcare Fraud and Abuse

In September 2016, three corporate officers in two healthcare fraud and abuse cases settled allegations that they were personally liable for violations of federal fraud and abuse laws. These settlements come one year after...more

OIG Releases 2017 Work Plan

On November 10, 2016, the Office of Inspector General (“the OIG”) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“DHHS”) is charged with ensuring the integrity of more than 100 programs administered by DHHS, including...more

Florida Medical Marijuana Law Will Take Effect January 2017

Florida voters passed a new medical marijuana law, Amendment 2, on November 8, 2016. Florida joins 27 other states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam in allowing public medical marijuana programs. The new law...more

CMS Continues Efforts to Improve Patient Care, Spending, and Population Health

On November 2, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), released the 2017 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS) final rule, which finalized a number of new policies designed to improve Medicare payment for...more

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