Latest Medical and Healthcare Law News

Medical Board “Death Certificate Project"

The Medical Board of California (“MBC”), in collaboration with the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”), previously operated the “Death Certificate Project” in which California death record data was utilized to identify potential opioid prescribing issues. Although the MBC has currently only evaluated 2012 and 2013 data under the project, it is preparing to launch its second round of the project to analyze death certificate data from 2019.

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Additional Services Available from Marvin Firestone, MD JD & Associates, LLP

I have the great pleasure of announcing that our firm has brought in two very exciting attorneys to be “of counsel” with our firm and one newly licensed attorney. These three attorneys bring practice strengths that are highly complementary and will enable us to provide a new and broader set of services to you.

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Covid-19 Vaccine Liability - The PREP Act – How broad are the protections?

Recent litigation involving COVID-19 related deaths in nursing homes and other care facilities has brought attention to the federal law known as the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act. Many nursing homes in the United States who are defending lawsuits for COVID-19 related deaths are seeking immunity from liability using a very broad interpretation of the liability protections provided by the PREP Act.

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Physician License Reinstatements After a Felony Conviction

If you are a physician who lost your medical license due to a felony conviction, your career is not over! You have the right to apply to have your medical license reinstated. If you can show enough mitigation and rehabilitation evidence, there is a good chance that you can get your license back. A physician seeking to reinstate his/her medical license after a felony criminal conviction is required to submit what is called a Petition for Reinstatement. The petitioning physician bears the burden of proof to convince the Board that they are safe to practice medicine, even in light of the prior criminal conviction. The Board will consider not only the record of the conviction itself, but also the underlying issues which led to the arrest and conviction.

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New Requirements for Reporting Dispensed Controlled Substances

Due to the growing addiction to opioids and other prescription medicines in the U.S., providers must now follow a more intense process when prescribing controlled substances. Fentanyl, a strong Opioid, has been found to be very helpful in managing patient pain, especially in cases of adult cancer. However, Fentanyl has also been found in “street drugs” causing a rise in drug-related deaths. In the effort of trying to contain the misuse of Fentanyl and other prescribed controlled substances, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has implemented new opioid prescribing guidelines.

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COVID-19 Impact on Physician Practice

Are you a physician struggling to keep your medical practice afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic? If so, you are not alone. In an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, health care professionals are urged to prioritize urgent care and emergency needs for in-person visits, while using telemedicine services for other care. This can also mean a decline in revenue if physicians are not seeing a steady flow of patients like they were before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

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COVID-19 Vaccine – Can Employers Require It?

According to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), as of December 18, 2020, there are two COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use. The vaccine is issued in two separate doses, approximately 3-4 weeks apart. The CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices published recommendations for the distribution of the initial limited supplies of the vaccine, specifying which groups should be vaccinated first. The CDC recommends that the first to be vaccinated should be healthcare personnel and frontline workers, but as the vaccine becomes more widely available, the recommendations will expand to include more groups.

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Proposed HIPAA Modifications

On December 10, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced proposed modifications to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule. HIPAA is the set of laws that protect the use and/or disclosure of individual health information. Part of the HIPAA modification process includes solicitation of public comments on the proposed changes. Public comment is solicited through a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM).

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