July 1, 2007  Legislation

Medical Malpractice

Healthcare

Hospitals

Medical Marijuana

Licensing

Joint Commission

Medical Malpractice

In Madison County in southern Illinois, there has been many med mal suits and loss of physicians.  The County judiciary has now decreed that all med mal cases will go for mediation.  Plaintiffs will also get only one chance to get a Certificate of Merit if the original case is dismissed without prejudice due to a lack of a bone fide certificate.  This is been okayed by all parties.        Top

Healthcare

The VA continues to be in the news for its lack of caring for vets with mental illness.  To date, the system has not looked for the post traumatic stress syndrome in all returning vets.  The Army wants to hire an additional 200 psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers to help the soldiers.  

Oregon has passed a bill to give essential services to all citizens.  The Governor will appoint a person and a board to get the ball rolling.  The bill would have Medicaid money added to money from the uninsured and employers who do not offer health insurance.  No one or business that now has or gives insurance will be affected. 

The Congressional Budget Office has released a report that if the Feds paid the Medicare Advantage plans the same as fee for service (the report states they now pay 19% more) that the savings can be as high a $150 Billion from 2009 to 2017.  The report states the negative is there would be less people signing up for these plans.  Sounds like a win win to me.       Top

Hospitals

It is always interesting to me how political the Joint Commission is.  They have just given provisional accreditation to Greater Southeast Community Hospital in Washington, DC.  This hospital has so many dings against it that if were anywhere else, it would have had its accreditation removed.  The hospital was given a 15 page list of items that need to be corrected.  This has been an ongoing problem at the hospital.  The Joint dinged it in 2002 and 2003.

Finally, someone is going to take some major action against the worst hospital in the country.  California has moved to revoke heir license.  A majority of the inept LA County Board of Stupes have said the hospital should be closed.  This process may take up to one year to complete and I shudder to think how many more patients will be harmed by keeping this political football alive.  

The hospitals surrounding the King place will be able to take all the patients if they could add critical care and ED beds.  

The Stupes has changed their minds and now state that nothing will happen to the King place until the result of the next inspection is known.

CMS has issued a new directive on EMTALA.  The new rule allows consultation with outside physicians via telecommunication unless the ED physician decides the physician should come in.  The telecommunication may or may not be someone who is on the on call list.  The on call physician is not subject for sanctions unless he is on the on call list AND is requested to come in AND refuses to come in.  

California legislators are in the process of making patient dumping by hospitals.  The first violation would be a fine up to $100,000 against the hospital.  The second would be a civil violation at up to $250,000 against the hospital.  The third would be a misdemeanor against the hospital administrator and a fine up to $500,000.  In the meantime the LA city attorney has filed civil complaints against Hollywood Presbyterian, Methodist hospital and Empire Enterprises, a transportation service.  The complaints were on four cases of dumping on skid row by the hospitals and the transportation company.  Top

Medical Marijuana

The Connecticut Governor has kept her pre election promise and vetoed the law which would have allowed medical marijuana in the state.  She folded to the pressure of the feds after the bill was passed by the legislature.        

The bill in NY is stalled in the Senate after passing the Assembly.  

Starting today, New Mexico legalized the medical use of marijuana. Rhode Island made permanent its medical marijuana program, which was to expire June 30. Vermont expanded the use of medical marijuana from only those with terminal diseases to those with some chronic diseases, too      Top

Licensing

The Medical Board of Virginia has a large backload of complaints.  They have given staffers permission to close those cases that do not involve patients on their own.  They hope to get rid of about 80% of the complaints in this manner.      Top

Joint Commission

A new Goal for 2008 with a one year phase in is:

Goal 16 Improve recognition and response to changes in a patientís condition.
16A The organization selects a suitable method that enables health care staff members to directly request additional assistance from a specially trained individual(s) when the patientís condition appears to be worsening. [Critical Access Hospital, Hospital]

Top

 Archive

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.