January 15, 2016 Legislation





Obama his changed HIPAA by his executive order on gun control.  As part of the minimal gun changes offered he removed legal barriers and allowed states to report information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.  This includes people with mental health issues.         Top


The FDA has issued a high risk warning for transvaginal mesh products used in pelvic organ prolapse surgery.  Manufacturers will be required to submit a premarket approval application to support he safety and efficacy of surgical mesh.

The Congress has finally passed a bill to repeal the Obamacare taxes on Cadillac health plans, medical devices, indoor tanning services, OTC meds and prescription drugs.  The bill also would eliminate the mandates, the subsidies and the fines which can be levied.  It has gone to Obama who will veto the bill but the votes are now on record.

Obama has used his executive power again to make laws.  This time it is the gun reporting.  The new action would require background checks on firearm sales at shows.  The action also changes HIPAA by allowing state agencies that order people into mental institutions or declare them incompetent to pass this information to the FBI with no repercussions under HIPAA.  It does not require or allow individual clinicians who treat patients with a metal illness to report. 

Dr. Robert Califf is almost finished with his nomination process as new FCA commissioner.  He has been unanimously approved by the Senate HELP committee.  Sen. Sanders wanted to disqualify him but was not at the meeting.  

In big news the CMS head has said that meaningful use is dead.  Slavitt said the MU program will be replaced by something else that is more physician friendly.  

CMS has announced 121 new ACOs of which 21 will be allow people to actually join them.  The rest use the people as guinea pigs and give them only the chance to opt out if they know they have been involuntarily put into an ACO.  

California has failed to qualify for a ballot initiative two issues.  The first is to reverse the prior passed right to die measure that was enacted by the legislature in 2015.  The other was the attempt to repeal the state's vaccine law.  This law also enacted in 2015 only allows essentially no exemptions from vaccinations in order to go to public school.

California Governor Brown has delivered a budget that wants to tax managed care organizations in order to pay for Medicaid services.  The reason is that the current taxation on only the Medicaid managed organizations is against federal law.  He is not planning to restore the cuts to payment to providers taking Medicaid.  this means there will still be few patients seen under the Obamacare Medicaid scheme.

California has received a waiver under the Medicaid program to allow extra funding to safety net hospitals for only one year instead of five.

Kentucky Governor Bevin has sent a letter to HHS informing them of the imminent shutdown of the state exchange.  The state will transition to healthcare.gov.        Top


The People's State, Massachusetts, will require that surgeons document each time they enter and leave the operating room.  This is to stop simultaneous surgery.          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.