May 15, 2013 Legislation





The Florida legislature has sent a bill regarding med mal to the Governor for his signature.  The bill states that experts testifying against defendant physicians in med mal cases must be of the same specialty as the defendant, not just a similar one.  The bill also allows but not require that any health care provider may give all information about the treatment of the plaintiff without the plaintiff's consent.  This is prior to a law suit being filed.  

Stop the Presses. Physicians and Trial Attorneys in Georgia are united against the Obamacare and private insurance guidelines.  There is a new law supported by all that does not allow the guidelines to be used in Med Mal cases.  They recognize them for what they are, cost measures without quality.  Physicians can be sued if they don't follow quality guidelines however the patient still must prove the case.  The two groups had earlier agreed to defeat a bill that would have moved med mal from the courts to administrative hearings.

The physician brothers who were linked to the 1-800-GET-Thin ad campaign are up before the Medical Board of California. Michael Omidi  has been accused of repeated negligence in treating two women.  This should be an interesting hearing since the board has been under fire by the legislature for now coming down hard on physicians.  His brother Julian has already had his medical license revoked in 2009 for an unrelated offense.  Michael has been on probation in the past for performing surgery in unlicensed surgicenters.        Top


UnitedHealth of California is increasing its rates for small business by 8%.  The insurance commissioner thinks that is unreasonable but has no power to do anything except express his opinion.        Top


The Obama administration approved the sale of Plan B prescriptions to all females at the age of 15.  The FDA ordered this and the next day Obama's  Attorney General appealed the decision of the federal judge who allowed the rule to go forward.  This is politics over science since it has been shown that the drug is safe for all ages without a prescription.  The judge also blasted Sebelius for her political interference.  See Recent Legal Opinions.

In spite of the facts to the contrary where almost half are against Obamacare and about 1/3 do not even know it is a law, Obama says there will be no problems of significance.  Maybe he just doesn't understand the potential problems in setting up the plan.

Between now and January expect big time reporting on Obamacare and how wonderful it is.  Sebelius has secured private funding not available via Congress to promote Obamacare.  This is of questionable legalality.  The GAO will issue a report on the private money.

The LA Times reports that part-timers will get their hours cut so as not to be eligible for Obamacare.  This includes large and small employers. This means they will make less money and lose health insurance.  Long Beach has already started to cut pack part timers to 27 hours per week.  It is expected that about 2.3 million people will be affected with lower hours.  California is dumb enough to consider not allowing this to happen.  This will mean less hired in the first place.

The administration is giving $150 million to community centers to help uninsured people sign up for Obamacare.  They are giving no money to help those with poor employer insurance get better insurance.

Hooray for the GOP!  They refuse to nominate any candidates to the hated IPAB. 

The OIG has sent out a clarification of what it means to be on the exclusion list.  Basically, it one is on the list they are out of any part of medicine and its ancillary services.  This includes and administrative or management services.  If they do anything and that service is billed to the feds there is a potential for a $10,000 fine for each service billed. 

Vermont is about to be the fourth state to allow assisted suicide.  It has been passed by the legislature and is before the governor, who is a strong supporter of the legislation.  The bill states that like Oregon law the patient must state three times that he wants assisted suicide and have a concurring opinion that the patient has less than six months to live and is of sound mind.  This is for the first three years and then the patients and physicians would have less monitoring and reporting.

The US House Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs has blasted the VA hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, for hiding a fourth suicide at the hospital.  Hospital personnel allegedly lied about the fourth suicide when asked.  They are calling for an investigation and the resignation of the hospital brass.  This problem is not only in Atlanta but is prevalent throughout the Veteran's system as they can not and are not capable of taking care of the people with PTSD.

The North Carolina hospitals do not like competition.  They are attempting to stop a state House bill that would make it easier for surgical centers to increase.  They are crying because hospitals are becoming more like the last person picked in the NFL draft, Irrelevant.  The bill would prohibit hospitals from building their own standalone centers as costly and unnecessary.        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.