September 1, 2014 Legislation






All physicians that prescribe hydrocodone will get a shock.  All meds with the drug will fall into the same category as oxycodone with only a 90 day prescription and no refills until seen by a physicians not a PA or NP.  This will be a federal law.

Companies are ignoring the medical device tax that is supposed to help fund Obamacare.  There is about 60% less companies reporting tax owed than expected and there is a 10% shortfall in the amount of money expected.  This is one reason why both sides of the aisle want to get rid of the tax.  All but Obama.

The administration now wants to change Obamacare again regarding contraception.  They need to comply with the Supreme Court ruling that the feds could not force a private closely held company to pay for insurance coverage at not cost to the employees if the owners had religious objections.  They have now proposed a rule that a nonprofit group could inform DHS of their religious objections and then the DHS would inform the insurers to get birth control coverage at no cost to the employer or the employees.  This takes the company out of the notification to the insurer business or does it.  There will be a sixty day comment period.      

Obama used executive actions to improve the lot for veterans.  At a recent VA meeting where he was met with a tepid response he announced that military leaving service will be automatically enrolled in the Dept. of VA transition program instead of having to look for it.  He also announced several departmental programs for mental health evaluations and training.  He said the VA will team up with banks to get vets lower interest rates on mortgages.

CMS has issued changes in meaningful use (MU) attestation.  If vendors did not get you the 2014 Edition you can use the 2011 Edition of CEHRT to attest to either stage 1 or 2. In 2015 full attestation will be required.   

California, as usual, has its own take.  The Dept. of Managed Health informed their insurance companies that they must under California law pay for elective abortions as a medically necessary procedure.  This will be challenged.  

Oregon has bit the bullet.  They have ordered insurance companies doing business in the state to cover autism therapy known as ABA.  This comes on the heels of the court decision that required Providence insurance to cover the therapy.  Now comes the interesting part as Obamacare states that states that mandate therapy have to pay for them.  Should make for another interesting court battle.

California has ordered an audit on Medical managed plans for access.  This covers 20% of the state's population.  The audit will look at the adequacy of physicians accepting new Medical patients and the oversight of the legislature in the directories of physicians.  The Health Plan Association is already blaming the physicians for not informing the powers when they stop taking new Medical patients.  Dingbats!!

The Joint Commission has issued another Sentinel Event Alert.  This one is about not hooking up enteral lines to IV lines.  Food should go into the alimentary canal and not the blood stream.  They want different size connectors to prevent nurses from doing this stupid thing.  Nurses also connected a air inflation device to an IV which caused a death from an air embolism.  TJC gave 14 new items for prevention of the problem.

NICE has seen the light.  They realized that spending the money on Sovaldi is worthwhile for a cure to hepatitis C as opposed to liver transplants.  Gilead has reduced the price by about 10% to get the approval.          Top


Dr. Jason Lane, a Kaiser physicians was fired by Kaiser three days after he showed up drunk at his hospital.  His BA was .33 and he needed to be admitted.  The California Medical Board has suspended his license and he is in danger of losing it.  He was using alcohol as a medication for PTSD after his tour in Afghanistan.  The incident occurred last October and he has been in therapy.

The California Legislature as passed and sent to the Governor a bill setting baseline standards of educational and certification for surgical technologists.  This would require that institutions hiring them would need to make sure they meet these requirements.  The exceptions are if they were hired prior to January 1, 2013 or the facility documents its inability to recruit workers that meet the requirements and then they would have to provide the educational requirement for the personnel.

The California Medical Board will now post disciplinary action against physicians on line indefinitely.  Now it is removed after 10 years.  At the same time citations will only be on line for 3 years instead of 10 and five years for med mal information.        Top


The city of Los Angles has gone after another hospital.  They have fined and Glendale Adventist has agreed to pay $700,000 for illegal patient dumping.  The hospital is charged with sending patients from their location to skid row in LA and leaving them there.        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.