February 15, 2016 Legislation




Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, California was fined $86,000 by the state.  The cause is a surgeon leaving a towel in a patient during a surgical procedure.  They did not count towels as part of their protocol, a grievous error.  They will probably get a major law suit also.        Top


Vermont is going to attempt to tax physicians and dentists 2.5% of net revenue, who are already getting paid pennies on the dollar from Medicaid, to pay for Medicaid.  The state would use the money to pay for more money to the practitioners they are taxing.  The governor attempted this before with a business payroll tax which was turned down by the legislature.  The governor originally said that 15 states do this but when challenged he reneged since only Minnesota does this and it will sunset soon.  This would be a disaster for the state in terms of recruiting and for access to care.  So far it is DOA in the legislature.

A Democratic bill is being introduced in the Senate that would limit arbitration.  I wonder why they are doing this.  Could the trial lawyers have paid Senators Patrick Leahy and Al Franken to do this?

The CDC has recommended that women of child bearing age not ever drink alcohol unless they are on birth control.  Women are saying that this is nonsense. 

Obama has floated his new budget which will never see the light of day in the Congress.  He has recommended multiple cuts in Medicare payments to providers.  Some but not many of these will pass.  He also wants a competitive bidding for Medicare Advantage to save more money.,  He recommends lowering the amount paid for drugs in physician offices to 103% of average sales price and would allow HHS to negotiate with drug companies for biologics and high cost prescriptions.  

CMS has ruled that providers that find overpayments going back 6 years must repay them to the feds.  This originally was to be 10 years.

California is again wanting a new tax.  This time it is on all health insurance plans and is designed to get matching federal funds in order to pay for Medicaid.  They originally wanted to tax only Medicaid managed care companies but the feds would not allow it.       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 information presented.