The feds have published the first national standards for prescription painkillers. Physicians are to try ibuprofen prior to giving out opiates and are to only give several days amount at a time. Patients will love coming to the physician every few days to wait in the office to get another few days of relief. The insurance companies will love to pay for a few days of pills at a time. No one doubts the sincerity of the CDC in making this recommendation for the treatment of a deadly disease of opiate overdoses. This however is not the answer. It should be noted that although non binding the guidelines may be used in law suits. The guidelines also recommend that patients get urine tested to make sure they are taking the meds and not selling them. The guidelines are not meant for those with cancer end of life therapy or post operative patients.
FDA has proposed a ban on all powdered medical gloves. This is for the powdered and the absorbable powder for lubricating them and gloves for patient exams.
HHS has put out a rule that says Obamacare insurers must cover transgender services. There sill be a suit on this as the law does not cover private employers that run their own health plans.
CMS has so far suspended an idiotic rule that would have penalized physicians for ordering PSA tests. They were afraid it was over utilized.
As soon as the administration said they want to revamp the way payments are made to physicians for drugs they got a slew of requests (over 300) to have them withdraw their plan.
The CDC and CMS are adding about 5500 new ICD-10 codes in 2017. This after the 68,000 codes in the new ICD0-10 codes started last October.
California has agreed to allow Centene gobble up Health Net. The state wanted but did not get a guarantee to limit future premium increases. This deal makes Centene the largest Medicaid provider in the state of welfare.
The New York rule not allowing paper prescribing has taken effect. Only electronic prescribing is allowed except for out of state. If physicians do not comply they face fines, loss of license and even jail. Top
New Mexico has a new law that states their citizens who receive treatment across the border in Texas will no long be able to sue the Texas providers in New Mexico. This has been a long running battle between the provider starved New Mexico but with lenient laws to sue and Texas providers who were refusing to treat the aliens since they were being sued in a different state. Texas physicians wow be able to have their patients sign a statement accepting the jurisdiction of a Texas court and New Mexico attorneys would have to accept this. The problem is the agreement lasts only three years. Top
CMS has terminated Medicare at Newman Regional Health in Emporia, Kansas. The reason is the violation of EMTALA by transferring an unstable patient. Top
Finally, the feds are starting to go after hospitals that fail to get business associate agreements. The fined North Memorial Health Care $1.55 million for a laptop theft and not having either business associate contracts nor an organization wide risk analysis.
The feds alos fined the Feinstein Institute of Medical Research $3.9 million for the loss of a laptop with 13,000 patient information., On investigation it was found that Feinstein had a bad security process and lacked policies an procedures for authorizing access by its workforce. Top
DISCLAIMER: Although this article is updated periodically, it reflects the author's point of view at the
time of publication. Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice. Readers
should consult with their own legal counsel before acting on any of the