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Showing 11 posts from 2017.

OCR Issues Guidance on How Providers May Share Information under HIPAA in Response to the National Opioid Crisis

On October 27, 2017 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a guidance titled "How HIPAA Allows Doctors to Respond to the Opioid Crisis," following President Trump's declaration of the opioid crisis as a national public health emergency. The guidance contains information on how the HIPAA Privacy Rule allows covered entities—which include health care providers and insurers—to share patient information without patient consent in connection with the nation's opioid-related health crisis.

Generally, HIPAA prohibits health care providers and insurers from sharing protected health information about patients who have the capacity to make their own health care decisions, and who have not authorized information sharing with family or legal representatives. The OCR Guidance clarifies that the HIPAA Privacy Rule allows the sharing of such information in certain circumstances, including: More ›

Illinois Appellate Court Decision in Wrongful Death Case Creates Adverse New Precedent for Handling Discovery Requests in Med Mal Cases

In Illinois, the First District Appellate Court in the Fifth Division addressed the question of whether or not a self-insured hospital is exempt from producing its self-insurance documents during the course of discovery. The underlying wrongful death case was filed in Cook County, Illinois by the Administrator of the Estate of a hospital patient who had suffered a cardiopulmonary arrest and had died after undergoing medical procedures at the defendant hospital. More ›

Illinois Appeals Court Protects Hospital Counsel's Right to Speak with Former Agents of Hospital

For attorneys who represent hospitals in medical malpractice cases, dealing with nursing witnesses who have retired or relocated can be difficult. In addition to the practical issues of finding these witnesses, contacting them and communicating with them remotely, potential legal issues can further complicate circumstances. For example, opposing counsel may take issue with attempts to contact such witnesses under the broad prohibition against defense attorneys communicating with treating witnesses (known as the Petrillo doctrine). Opposing counsel may also seek the exact nature and content of such communication and challenge the existence of any privilege protecting it. While in most cases these issues can be resolved informally among the attorneys, hospital attorneys should keep the case of Caldwell vs. Advocate Condell Medical Center, 2017 IL App (2d) 160456 (Oct. 4, 2017) at ready reference in case they cannot. More ›

Common Mistakes Physician Extenders Make in Their Practices

First of all, for those who may be thinking “what is a physician extender,” a physician extender is a licensed health care provider (not a physician) that provides medical services typically performed by a physician. More ›

EMR and E-Discovery Part Five: On Standard of Care and Final Thoughts

In the final installment of our series, EMR and E-Discovery, author David Levitt discusses the need for healthcare institutions to develop a management strategy for patient care communications and its impact on standard of care. More ›

EMR and E-Discovery Part Four: Reading Complexities

In part four of our series, EMR and E-Discovery, author David Levitt unpacks the difficulties associated with reading EMR in its native state and the additional complexities that accompany counsel's ability to access EMR, which is only produced in PDF form. More ›

411 on Telehealth

The world of health care delivery is quickly evolving to meet both personalized consumer demand and the need for cost-efficient, quality outcomes. More ›

Healthcare Providers Beware: Medicare Billing Can Be Risky Business

When a health care provider or third party billing service submits a claim for services rendered to a Medicare patient, it’s filing a bill with the government that certifies the payment was earned and complies with certain billing requirements. More ›

EMR and E-Discovery Part Three: All Systems Go

In part three of our series, EMR and E-Discovery, author David Levitt details the current diagnostic tools utilized by modern health care as well as some of the considerations healthcare institutions should evaluate when making decisions about software and licensing. More ›

EMR and E-Discovery Part Two: On the Audit Trail

In part two of our series, EMR and E-Discovery, author David Levitt delves into audit trails, a type of metadata that creates a chronological record of access and changes to the data, and explains why an audit of metadata parameters could be a valuable risk management tool to healthcare institutions. More ›

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