October 1, 2018 Legislation





Justice has announced that it is giving its blessing to the merger of Cigna and Express Scripts.  It is expected that they will also OK the merger between CVS and Aetna.  It will be interesting to see whether or not drug prices actually go down after the merger.

The OIG approved the use of preferred hospital network by Medigap policies.  This was a private request.

The Congress has agreed on an opioid package o vote on and sent to President Trump.  One aspect of the bill is to get rid of the quotas on how many mental illness or addiction patients a hospital could admit at.  It also increases the LOS for those patients from 15 to 30 days.  

California's nanny state is at it again.  This time the legislature approved a resolution but not a law that declares the state's support for policies that would deny parents treatment options for children born with variations in sexual characteristics.  This was opposed by all medical authorities.  The state also is going after President Trump at the expense of its citizens by forbidding the sale of short term health plans.  The nanny state continues with not allowing work requirements for those who receive Medicaid.  More on the dole means more votes.

The NIH has ruled that older drugs may be used for conditions they are not approved for because they are cheaper.  In this instance Avastin is OK to use for wet macular degeneration even though it was never approved for it.  Drug companies wanted the NIH not to allow Avastin but only the new more expensive drugs approved for the disease.        Top 


Carlton Senior Living in the Sacramento suburbs was fined by the state $10,000 for this horrible treatment of Alan Nelson, a resident.  They allowed him to fall 21 times and caused his death from a fall.  They failed to install ordered alarms.  

California has fined 13 hospitals for patient safety issues.  They are Antelope Valley Hospital for $75,000 for a patient death after a fall; Contra Costa Regional for $33,000 for failing to protect against interpatient abuse; Corona Regional twice for $44,887 and $49,500 for a burn during care and a misplaced central line not diagnosed leading to an amputation;  Fremont Hospital for $75,000 for not intervening when a patient became dehydrated and stopped breathing; Hemet Valley for $49,500 for a retained foreign body post surgery; John F. Kennedy Hospital for $75,000 for failure on the on-call roster; Kindred Hospital for $75,000 for failing to have a plan to prevent a patient from removing her tracheal tube; Madera Community Hospital for $47,025 for a medical error resulted in surgery and removal of part of the colon; Mercy Hospital for $75,000 for a med error leading to a patient death; Parkview Community Hospital got two fines,  both for $75,000 due to a error in central line placement leading to a patient death and for a medication error leading to a patient death; St. Vincent Medical Center for $71,250 for a patient death from a fall; St. John's Regional for $75,000 for errors leading to the malfunction of a heart lung machine and a patient death; Ventura County Medical Center got two fines one for $69,950 for failing to failing in a transfer to an inpatient psych unit and $87,412 for failure to endure sufficient personnel in the ER to keep a patient safe.

The arc of Erie County in Buffalo, New York, got a $200,000 fine from the state for yearslong data breach.  They had data from developmental disabled people on its website for years and knew about it.  

HHS has fined Boston Medical Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital and MGH a total of $1,000,000 as a settlement for allowing the TV series "Save My Life: Boston Trauma" to film without releases from patients.

CMS has cited Fairview Southdale Hospital for civil rights violations.  They tapped patients without their consent or notice of the taping in the psychiatric examining rooms in the ED.        Top 


Dr. Prudence Hall, the so called doctor to the stars, was disciplined by the Medical Board of California for gross negligence.  She used plant based hormones and was unaware they had risks, she also missed an aggressive uterine cancer.  Dr. Hall was placed on probation for four years.  She was defended by her publicist, which says a lot about the physician.

California has a new law that requires physicians who are on probation for sexual misconduct with a patient must disclose that to all patients.  The notice must be in writing and given to all patients before there first appointment.  This notification must be signed by the patient.  This applies to those on probation after July 1, 2019.        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.