ABA Health eSource March 2012 Volume 8 Number 7
ABA Health eSource - Your link to the ABA's Health Law Section
March 2012 Volume 8 Number 7
Health Law Section NewsMarch 13, 2012
March 14, 2012
Same-Sex Marriage, Civil Unions, and Domestic Partnerships: Benefits Plan Design and Litigation
(CLE Webinar & Teleconference)
March 15, 2012
Medicare's Revalidation Requirements: Update on Enrollment Procedures for Providers and Suppliers
(CLE Webinar & Teleconference)
March 20, 2012
Paper Chase and Follow the Money: Paper and Electronic Benefit Disclosures Including Fees
(CLE Webinar & Teleconference)
March 22, 2012
Anti-Kickback Law Basics
(CLE Webinar & Teleconference)

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Legal Issues Presented by the New Electronic Signature Process for Social Security Information Disclosure Authorizations

By John R. Christiansen, Christiansen IT Law, Seattle, WA and Alan S. Goldberg, Attorney and Counselor-at-Law, McLean, VA

In applying for Social Security disability benefits, applicants must provide the Social Security Administration (“SSA”) with health information demonstrating their disability. This information typically includes medical records and related information from applicants’ health care providers. Because this information likely would be classified as protected health information (“PHI”) under the privacy and security rules promulgated under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”), healthcare providers must obtain a HIPAA-compliant authorization signed by the applicant (or a duly authorized agent) before disclosure to SSA is permitted.

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This edition of eSource is brought to you by the Medical Research, Biotechnology & Clinical Ethical Issues Interest Group.

Reforming Women's Health Research: A Renewed Focus on Sex Differences in Clinical Trials

By Robyn Whipple Diaz and Katherine B. Steuer,
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (“PPACA”) established Offices of Women’s Health within many agencies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), including in the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”). Since the establishment of the FDA’s Offices of Women’s Health, that agency and the National Institutes of Health (“NIH”) Office of Research on Women’s Health, which was established in 1990, have actively sought to advance women’s health by addressing the continuing limited participation of women in clinical trials. PPACA requires the Director of the FDA’s Office of Women’s Health to report on “levels of activity regarding women’s participation in clinical trials and the analysis of data by sex in the testing of drugs, medical devices, and biological products ....” This article will review recent efforts by the FDA and NIH to increase representation of women in clinical trials and encourage sex-specific data analysis and reporting.

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U.S. Supreme Court Issues First Medicaid Decision This Term in Douglas v. Independent Living Centers of Southern California, Inc.

By Felicia Y Sze, Hooper, Lundy & Bookman, P.C.,
San Francisco, CA

In light of financial challenges, many states, including California, have proposed or implemented cuts to their Medicaid programs in the form of rate reductions to healthcare providers. The U.S. Supreme Court, on February 22, 2012, issued its decision in Douglas v. Independent Living Centers of Southern California, Inc., U.S.S.C. No. 09-958, 565 U.S. ___ (Feb. 22, 2012) (“Douglas”). The Court had granted review to determine whether private individuals were authorized by the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution to sue state Medicaid officials on preemption grounds to determine whether provider payment rates violated federal requirements designed to assure “equal access to care” for Medicaid beneficiaries.

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A Strategic Alliance: Working with Public Health to meet PPACA’s Community Health Needs Assessment Requirement

By Jennifer Bernstein, The Network for Public Health Law,
Ann Arbor, MI

Provisions within the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”) require nonprofit hospitals and healthcare systems to conduct a community health needs assessment in order to maintain their tax exempt status. Though not defined within PPACA and not yet regulated, the IRS has issued a notice of anticipated regulatory provisions that hospital organizations may rely upon on or before six months after the date further guidance is issued. Community health needs assessments have been a tool used within public health to develop community health improvement plans. Community health needs assessments have been definedas a formal approach to identifying health needs and health problems in the community.A variety of tools or instruments may be used in the development of community health needs assessments, but the essential ingredients are community engagement and collaborative participation.

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Dual Eligibles: Proposed Cost Saving Changes and Integration of Care Models

By Sarah Wehrwein, Fort Wayne, IN

Dual eligibles are those individuals who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid. They are often the most vulnerable and poorest individuals covered by either program due to the nature of the qualifications for each program. There are nearly 9 million individuals who are dual eligibles enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid. They are generally low income senior citizens or those younger than 65 with disabilities or major, chronic health conditions.

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Did you know membership in an interest group is FREE with your Health Law Section membership?

Did you know your membership in the ABA Health Law Section qualifies you for free membership in up to three interest groups of your choice? Interest groups, which are comprised of twelve practices areas within health law, make significant contributions to the Section's programming, publications and legislative initiatives. The interest groups also provide an excellent opportunity for you to interact with and have access to some of the most outstanding lawyers in the legal community. You can enroll on our webpage by clicking here. If you have any questions or need more information, please contact Simeon Carson at simeon.carson@americanbar.org

Medical Research, Biotechnology & Clinical Ethical Issues Interest Group

The Medical Research, Biotechnology & Clinical Ethical Issues Interest Group focuses on legal and ethical issues related to medical research, biotechnology, and clinical practice. The Interest Group provides educational programs on timely topics, and members are encouraged to identify topics for programs and publications. The Interest Group will seek to serve as a resource to the Health Law Section as new legal and ethical issues in healthcare research, development, and delivery arise.

The IG is led by Chair Stephen C Pappas, The Woodlands, TX and Vice Chairs Phillip Brewster, Brewster Law Firm LLC, Chicago, IL; La Vonda R De Witt, Atlanta, GA; Rebecca Fe De Montreve-McMinn, Shavano Park, TX and Carol A Poindexter, Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP, Kansas City, MO.

If you would like to join the Interest Group, continue by clicking the following link: Health Law Section IG Sign-up Form.

ABA eSource Editorial Board

The ABA Health eSource Editorial Board is led by Chair Adrienne Dresevic, The Health Law Partners, PC, Southfield, MI and editorial board members Claire Castles, Jones Day, Los Angeles, CA; Michael E. Clark, Duane Morris LLP, Houston, TX; Marla Durben Hirsch, Potomac, MD; Conrad Meyer, Chaffe McCall, LLP, New Orleans, LA; Robert T. Rhoad, Crowell & Moring LLP, Washington, DC and Jennifer Tsao, Hernandez Schaedel & Associates LLP, Pasadena, CA.

Do you want to communicate your ideas to thousands of other members? To contribute a newsletter article on a health law topic, send us your ideas to simeon.carson@americanbar.org.
The opinions expressed are those of the authors and shall not be construed to represent the policies or positions of the ABA or the ABA Health Law Section.
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