The following are some of the laws signed by Governor Davis in the health arena.
The California physicians will be forced by law signed by the governor to take courses in pain management. The law also requires the medical board to track complaints regarding physician's handling of pain and that these complaints are reviewed by a pain specialist. All California physicians will have four years to complete this requirement. Courses will be developed by the state's medical schools and the county medical societies.
SB 108 establish an organ and donor
Many of the vetoes are due to the state's fiscal problems related to the energy crisis.
AB 367 to require pre-high school
Pennsylvania has fined St. Agnes Hospital $447,000 for laboratory testing failures on blood-clotting tests that resulted in three patient deaths and potential injury to about 800 others. St. Agnes will be allowed to keep some of the fine to pay for improved oversight and monitoring of its laboratory, do staff training and do community health initiatives in the South Philadelphia area. The hospital was allowed to keep the money because of their cooperation with the state and the rapid reporting to the state and the patients. St. Agnes has 10 days to submit a plan on enhancing the quality of its services. Top
New York has reached an agreement with seven HMOs to provide a more detailed explanation of why medical care requests have been denied. The companies are Aetna, Prudential, Group Health, HIP, Vytra, Oxford and Excellus. The companies have also agreed to pay the State $1 million for the cost of the attorney general's investigation. Top
Virginia has now placed on-line physician information. This information includes disciplinary orders filed by the medical board even though not proved nor adjudicated. This travesty of justice was delayed by several state medical societies that had a law enacted and signed by the Governor to forbid the besmirchment of physicians. The compromise between this bill and the one passed in 1998 is that those actions that are not final may be obtained in writing and not via the net. Top
In the ongoing saga of the lack of a spine by the West Virginia physicians, a new seven member board would oversee the inadequate state medical malpractice insurance plan. The state would also require a certification stating a reasonable basis to support the allegation for medical malpractice suits. Who is to say what is a reasonable basis?
The University of West Virginia dean criticized the state plan as only a short term solution. The dean also recommended a review board and mediation. He said nothing about the needed malpractice caps on pain and suffering or the use of structured payments. He did state that the University is looking to self insure but he forgot about the remainder of the state's physicians.
The state should allow the physicians to set up their own companies. The two largest malpractice carriers in the state, St. Paul and Medical Assurance are fighting against the state plan. St. Paul has issued cancellation notices to their insured to state their insurance is cancelled if the legislation is passed. I think this is good since it will force the physicians to stop practice and force the legislature to give the physicians their own company and put on the necessary caps. Top
Medicare has announced an increase in the Part A deductible from $792 to $812 for hospital admissions. The Part B premium will also increase from $50 to $54 per month. Also increased is the extended stay Part A and B coverage. Top
North Carolina Medical Board has stated that Dr. Michael Ross has violated ethics by writing on-line Cipro prescriptions for Anthrax. He is accused of fee splitting, assisting the unauthorized practice of medicine and unprofessional conduct. He worked with a N. C. company who links patients with physicians for on-line prescriptions. A subsidiary company then sends the drugs to the patients. 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.