February 2, 2005
By J.A. (Tony) Patterson, Jr., Fulbright & Jaworski, LLP, Dallas, TX
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Disruptive Practitioners: Managing the Risks
by Mark A. Kadzielski, Esq., Fulbright & Jaworski, LLP, Los Angeles, CA
Disruptive practitioners have become major deterrents to quality patient care. In a recent study published in the January 2005 issue of Nursing Management, “Disruptive Behavior & Clinical Outcomes: Perceptions of Nurses & Physicians” by Alan H. Rosenstein, M.D., MBA, and Michelle O’Daniel, MHA, MSG, the VHA, a nationwide network of leading community-owned health care organizations and physicians, found that widespread disruptive behavior in healthcare had an impact on adverse events, medical errors, quality care, patient safety and patient mortality. From a legal perspective, such bad behavior results in major legal exposure to the institution from hospital staff, patients and visitors who are affected by it. From an administrative perspective, disruptive behavior is a major cost to the institution in terms of increased nursing turnover, lost days due to sickness, and workers compensation claims.
Balancing "Competing and Legitimate Interests"
HIPAA and Law Enforcement
by Connie Crawford, El Paso County Hospital District Legal Unit, El Paso, TX
The permissive nature of covered entities’ response of law enforcement requests for disclosure of protected health information and entities’ responsibility to exercise professional judgment can be misinterpreted by law enforcement officials. This article will provide a brief recap of that responsibility, examples of misunderstanding and some resources that may facilitate cooperation.
The Mad Dash to Accreditation
by Shannon Marie Smith, The Rush Group, LLC, San Francisco, CA
Most people have heard at least one horror story of a patient suffering at the hands of an unlicensed practitioner. With all the rules and regulations governing the industry, it's hard to imagine how someone without the proper credentials could be granted privileges. Some might hastily conclude that the facility had lax administrative processes. Possibly, but if it was an accredited facility, you have to wonder how it happened. Could it be that these facilities are on their best behavior only when the surveyor comes calling?
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Interest Group Spotlight
Healthcare Facility Operations
This Interest Group focuses on the laws, regulations, and policies governing the operations of hospitals and other healthcare facilities. The IG deals with areas of the law and regulations included within Medicare, Medicaid, EMTALA, state and local licensure laws and regulations, and standards of national organizations such as the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO), the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), and the National Committee on Quality Assurance.
Examples of issues dealt with by this IG include: legal duties of the governing body, medical staff bylaws and credentialing, improving quality of care, medical errors reporting/liability, medical ethics, conflicts of interest, licensure, compliance, internal audits and investigations. The IG also undertakes the following activities with regard to these areas of law, regulation and policy: monitors enforcement activity; follows and, where appropriate and applicable, comments on legislative and regulatory developments; and serves as a forum for the exchange of information and debate on these activities.
The Interest Group leadership, headed by Chair Robert R. Nelson, has been actively working to bring informative topics to the upcoming 2005 EMI Conference for their group luncheon. Members have stated that the EMI Conference is one the best programs of its kind. Additionally the IG has been engaged in actively involving members in the IG’s direction by holding informal phone surveys. The leadership has been holding bi-weekly teleconferences to survey and discuss issues that are of importance to the Interest Group.
From the survey, the leadership has found that many members value the List Serve as a means of transmitting relevant information about current trends that are especially useful to the IG members. The List Serve is particularly useful when dealing with time sensitive communications.
The IG is lead by Chair Robert R. Nelson, Avera Health, Sioux Falls, SD and Vice Chairs Alexandria Hien Nguyen, Baylor Health Care System, Dallas, TX; Edward M. Sosa, El Paso County Hospital District, El Paso, TX; Cindy Baily, Baylor College of Medicine Houston, TX; Amos W. Carty, Roy L. Schneider Hospital, St. Thomas, VI; and Julia Faber, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN.
If you would like to join the Interest Group, please go to Health Law Section IG Sign-up Form.