May 15, 2011 Legislation





New Jersey has sanctioned three Orthopods and fined two of them for not disclosing their ties to spine companies.  One of the physicians was fined $60,000 plus $17,000 in cost reimbursement.  The other was fined $30,000 plus $10,000 in costs.  They both stated that they were not being paid by the company when indeed they were. 

The Medical Board of Maryland has taken away the license of Dr. Mark Geier.  This is the physician that believes children with autism should be treated with Lupron.  He is prominent in the autism community for his alternative therapies. He continues to hold a license in Illinois.  He diagnosed children with autism as having precocious puberty.  He also claimed to be a board certified geneticist and epidemiologist.  He is a genetic counselor but not certified in the others.  It is possible that he is what the experts claim, a kook, but remember, Semmilweis was also ostracized. 

The New Jersey Assembly has passed a law that would suspend physician licenses if they illegally dump medical waste.  There would also be fines up to $200,000 and prison up to 20 years.    Top


CMS is holding a special testing day for all providers and their agents to be compliant with HIPAA Version 5010.  It will be June 15.  Please make sure you utilize the test day since the law goes into effect January 1.  For more go to

The Republican controlled House is continuing to pass bills aimed at getting rid of Obamacare.  The latest attempt is to defund health exchanges.  They know this will not pass in the Senate and if it did Obama would veto it.  They are doing it to get all on record for the 2012 election where deficit reduction is expected to front and center.  This bill would get rid of $14 Billion of costs. 

A new bill introduced into the House would allow physicians to balance bill Medicare patients up to the usual and customary fees.  There would be no limiting charges.  This would be by a private contract between the patient and the physician.  Medicare would still pay the same but the patient would need to pay the remainder either out of pocket or partially by insurance. 

The Dutch have gone from universal health to a voucher system due to the realization of the costs.  The population seems happy with the system as the patients may band together in any way they want to get more from an insurance company above the core items.  The major difference is the Dutch trust their government.  In the US the Dems and the GOP have both lied when it comes to vouchers.  the Dems say you can not trust the private sector but you can trust the 15 member panel that has no basic oversight to care for your Medicare.  The GOP says it is ok to trust the government for your voucher system but do not trust the panel.  It only makes sense to distrust both.

Delaware Blues are illegally blocking needed cardiac testing sayeth the state and the physicians.  The Blues hired a company and is paying them by how much money they save, a huge conflict of interest.  The Blues stopped the incentive in the last month of the contract.    

In an unusual move, the New Hampshire House voted to send money back to the feds that it received for Obamacare.  The legislature does not want any part of it and wants to join the suit against the law.  Meanwhile, next door in Vermont, they are attempting to do Universal Health Care.  I guess the state line was drawn correctly.

Indeed, Vermont has passed a somewhat toned down version of Universal Health.  This is really not a single payer plan as it allows private healthcare as well.  Vermont's physicians are luke warm to the plan.  Approximately 44% of the physicians support the plan and about 45% oppose it.  About 28% of the state's physicians will stop practicing in the state after the Governor signs the bill.

A Georgia Republican Representative has introduced a bill to allow patients and physicians to individually contract for services and payments outside the Medicare system.  The patients would continue to have their Medicare benefits as well.  

The California Medical Association has filed a petition to the California Supreme Court to prevent the state from raiding the California Medical Board.  The state is planning to steal $9 million from the board this year.  The Board gets no money from the state and is funded by the physicians.  If the state borrows the money they do not have to repay it unless the Board is in financial difficulty, thus the word stealing.  The state can not handle their own finances and therefore are raiding those that can.          Top


The House Energy and Commerce Committee has passed the med mal bill which would cap non economic damages at $250,000 as well as stop tort suits against FDA approved drugs and medical devices.

Florida has passed a bill to protect teaching hospitals from high med mal awards.  The bill that went to the Governor would extend sovereign immunity to those six institutions and would require a act of the legislature for them to be sued for over $100,000 per person or $200,000 per incident.  

The Florida legislature is also going to pass a bill that would lessen med mal problems for physicians, hospitals and nursing homes taking care of Medicaid patients.  The final bill states that experts from outside the state would need a special certificate to testify in Florida.  

The Tennessee House has passed a bill limiting non economic payouts to $750,000.  This is for all law suits not just med mal.

Montana's Democratic Governor vetoed a bill requiring patients to prove by clear and convincing evidence that med mal took place.  also in the bill was that if a physician documented a reason for not ordering a test that could not be used a basis for med mal.  Democrats are supported by the Trial Lawyers.      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.