Physician Law Blog

http://physicianlaw.foxrothschild.com/

Recent Blog Posts

  • Small Doses: CMS Updates Reportable List of Adverse Actions This is the first installment in a new series on the Physician Law Blog entitled “Small Doses” designed to provide you with quick updates on meaningful issues.  We will continue to provide you with detailed updates on significant topics which we think are worth your time to read.  The purpose of “Small Doses” is to give you just enough information regarding a topic to have a general understanding of its import in a quick, easy read.   CMS recently updated its list... More
  • New “Medical Device Safety Action Plan” Intended to Modernize FDA’s Approach to Device Safety In April, the FDA released its “Medical Device Safety Action Plan,” a short to mid-term vision for increasing the safety of medical devices.  In it, the FDA acknowledges that enhancements and changes in its approach to device safety are necessary to ensure that it is “vigilant” in keeping up with the developments in the complexity and number of medical devices. Key to the FDA’s new approach is focusing on the “Total Product Life Cycle (TPLC)” of each type of medical device,... More
  • CMS Announces New Initiatives for Innovating Patient Care Last month, CMS Administrator Seema Verma announced several initiatives to innovate the delivery of patient care at the ground level.  In collaboration with the Trump Administration and other federal agencies, CMS is taking steps to implement a system in which patients have control of their electronic health information and can easily transfer it between health care providers.  This system, referred to as “MyHealthEData,” is also intended to allow both physician and patient to access the clinical and payment data required... More
  • Effect of the Sessions Memorandum on State Medical Marijuana Programs Earlier this month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a Memorandum rescinding the Obama Administration’s “hands off” policy with respect to the prosecution of licensed cannabis distribution in states where medical or recreational marijuana are legalized.  Our sister blog, “In the Weeds” has covered the issuance of this new Memorandum extensively, including how it may affect state medical marijuana programs around the country. Copyright: megaflopp / 123RF Stock Photo So far, U.S. Attorneys in many of the states that have legalized medical marijuana... More
  • HIPAA Updates – Mistakes to Avoid in 2018 and Guidance on Disclosing PHI related to Substance Abuse and Mental Illness Fox Rothschild’s HIPAA & Heath Information Technology Blog recently published two posts directly relevant to physicians and medical practices.  The first post, 5 Common HIPAA Mistakes to Avoid in 2018, addresses some typical misconceptions regarding disclosure of protected health information (PHI) and offers some ideas regarding how to avoid them. The second post, New HIPAA Guidance on Disclosure of PHI related to Opioid Abuse and Mental Health, touches on the most recent HIPAA guidance released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,... More
  • CMS Provides Advice on Electronic Laboratory Alerts CMS recently issued an Advisory Opinion suggesting that physicians who refer diagnostic tests reimbursable under Medicare to a laboratory may, under certain circumstances, receive electronic pop-up notifications in the laboratory’s web-based portal alerting the physicians to various potential issues related to the test results.  In the Advisory Opinion, CMS considered certain alerts which a laboratory proposed to provide to its referring physicians without charge via the laboratory’s web-based portal.  The entire Advisory Opinion can be read here. In short, CMS concluded... More
  • MACRA Update: Attestation Regarding Your EHR System [For more information on CMS’s new Quality Payment Program and what physicians need to report in 2017, please see our prior blog posts here and here.] CMS recently issued guidance (accessible here) on the three-part “Prevention of Information Blocking” attestation which physicians and other eligible clinicians will need to submit to CMS in order to qualify for points under the “Advancing Care Information” category of the Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS). Although making this attestation and reporting to CMS regarding use of... More
  • Proposed New Jersey Regulation would Restrict Pharma Gifts to Prescribers Gov. Christie’s Administration recently proposed a regulation to curtail the prescription of unnecessary opioid painkillers.  Christie, who serves as the Chairman of President Trump’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, expressed concern that treatment decisions of all prescribers (including physicians, dentists and advanced practice nurses) are being improperly influenced by pharmaceutical companies.  According to Christie’s press release, four out of every five new heroin users began by misusing prescription painkillers, and, in 2016, $69 million was paid... More
  • Pennsylvania Begins Physician Registration for Medical Marijuana As first reported on our sister blog, “In the Weeds” (post accessible here), on July 26, 2017, the Pennsylvania Department of Health opened its Medical Marijuana Practitioner Registry.  Physicians licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania may now apply online to register to certify the use of medical marijuana for their patients.  The online application may be completed here. Copyright: megaflopp / 123RF Stock Photo The Practitioner Registry will be publicly searchable and will include each practitioner’s name, business address, and medical credentials.  As noted in one of... More
  • CMS Predicts that Physicians participating in Advanced APMs in 2017 will receive a 5% Incentive Payment in 2019 Under CMS’s new Quality Payment Program, which will adjust Medicare Part B payments starting in 2019 based on data from this year, physicians and other eligible clinicians must qualify for one of two payment “tracks”, either the Merit-Based Incentive System (MIPS) or the Advanced Alternative Payment Model (Advanced APM) track.   A physician who qualifies under the MIPS in 2017 can earn up to a 4% payment adjustment to Medicare Part B payments in 2019.  Physicians who qualify under the Advanced APM track... More