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Showing 10 posts in Illinois.

Midlevel Health Care Providers in Illinois and the Physicians They Collaborate With Should Take Note of Recent Legislation Impacting Their Practice

Illinois Senate Bill 2904—signed into law as Public Act 100-605 in July 2018 and going into effect on January 1, 2019—will increase the number of physician assistants (PAs) with which a physician may collaborate from five to seven. It also creates an exception for services provided in a federal primary care health professional shortage area (HPSA)—in those areas with a HPSA score of 12 or greater, there is no statutory maximum on the number of PAs with which a physician may collaborate. The new legislation will also grant the Department the authority to discipline both physicians and physician assistants (under the relevant practice Acts) for (1) entering into an excessive number of written collaborative agreements resulting in an inability to adequately collaborate, and (2) the repeated failure to adequately collaborate with the collaborating provider. These changes are effective January 1. More ›

What Medical Providers and Hospitals should know before Prescribing Opioids in Illinois

We are in the middle of the deadliest drug crisis in U.S. history: the opioid epidemic. Federal, state, and local governments are scrambling to come up with a solution, along with health care providers, public interest groups, and the families of those affected. The statistics are shocking. According to a recent report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, overdoses from opioids increased by a staggering 29.7 % last year alone. The Illinois Department of Public Health reported that opioid overdoses have killed nearly 11,000 people since 2008 in Illinois, with 2,000 deaths occurring in 2017. How does this happen, and what are the solutions? It's an epidemic-sized question to tackle. More ›

What Medical Providers should know about "Custom and Habit" Testimony

"If it wasn't charted, it didn't happen." Most medical providers have heard the adage, but is it true? Due to the realities of practicing medicine, health care providers are occasionally unable to document each and every aspect of their care within the medical record. What's more, a medical provider's recollection of a given patient's care can fade by the time a lawsuit is filed. So how might a nurse, mid-level, or doctor handle an aggressive Plaintiff's attorney who questions how, in the absence of documentation and recollection, a provider can nevertheless testify that a certain type of care was provided? Some providers can rely on their "custom and habit" to explain how they treat similar patients under a specific set of circumstances. In other situations, like Szekeres v. Mary T. Riggs, however, "custom and habit" testimony can be inadmissible. More ›

Reviewing Important Illinois Healthcare Court Rulings: Relation Back Doctrine

In our final post reviewing recent Illinois court decisions that made a significant impact on healthcare law in Illinois, we review Simpkins v. HSHS Medical Group, Inc., 2017 IL App (5th) 160478. More ›

Reviewing Important Illinois Healthcare Court Rulings: Evidence of Expert's Personal Practice Inadmissible

In Swift v. Schleicher, 2017 IL App (2d) 170218, plaintiff sought to impose liability on Defendant physician after he perforated Plaintiff's small bowel during a laparoscopic hysterectomy and failed to diagnose the perforations until four days later. Defendant attempted to introduce evidence that Plaintiff's expert perforated a patient's bowel during a 1989 procedure. More ›

Reviewing Important Illinois Healthcare Court Rulings: One Year Limitation to Provide a 2-622 Written Report

In Horlacher v. Cohen, 2017 IL App (1st) 162712, the Court held that Plaintiff's Third Amended Complaint was properly dismissed when she failed to include a Section 2-622 written report concluding that a "reasonable and meritorious cause" for her action existed. Plaintiff, appearing pro se, had previously filed three other versions of the Complaint without attaching the required Section 2-622 written report. More ›

Reviewing Important Illinois Healthcare Court Rulings: Lack of Privileges to Perform Procedure Inadmissible to Prove Breach

We continue our look at recent Illinois court rulings impacting health care, with a review of Arient v. Alhaj-Hussein, 2017 IL App (1st) 162369.

In this case, plaintiffs sought damages from defendant physician and his employer after the patient became paraplegic following a celiac plexus block procedure. Plaintiff attempted to present evidence that defendant physician lacked privileges to perform a celiac plexus block and therefore breached the standard of care. The Court held that evidence of defendant physician’s lack of privileges was inadmissible as there was no statute requiring him to obtain privileges before performing such a procedure. Furthermore, whether defendant physician possessed privileges to perform the procedure was irrelevant as such evidence did not tend to make the allegation that he deviated from the standard of care more or less probable.

4-1-1 on Telehealth: What the New Illinois Telemedicine Law Means for Hospitals and other Healthcare Providers

Telehealth is a burgeoning, technology-based treatment delivery mechanism that allows healthcare providers to remotely monitor patients, provide real-time interactive care via video technology, and receive or transmit medical data using store-and-forward technology. With benefits such as increased access to care, reduced healthcare costs, and enhanced care coordination, telehealth is gaining wider use and popularity among hospitals and other health care providers in the United States.

This growth has been accompanied by greater regulatory scrutiny. In 2017, over 30 states amended their existing telehealth laws. In some states, these updates became effective on January 1, 2018. The Center for Connected Health Policy maintains a complete listing of the approved state telehealth legislation in 2017, which can be found here.

In Illinois, 2017 saw passage of the Illinois Telehealth Act, the first legislative guidance to telehealth service providers in Illinois regarding the appropriate scope and standards of care for the provision of telehealth services. The new law requires “Health Care Professionals” — defined to include physicians, physician assistants, optometrists, advanced practice nurses and some mental health providers—to practice within the scope of their respective licenses and to follow the same standard of care that is applied to in-person services.  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 ›

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