Health eConnect - Your link to the ABA's Health Law Section
 June 2005 Volume 1 Number 10
News  June 3, 2005
Physician Issue

June 8 , 2005
End-of Life Issues: A Primer on the Legal Landscape
[ Register]

(Teleconference & Live Audio Webcast)

June 16 , 2005
Ethics for the Healthcare Attorneys
[ Register]

(Teleconference & Live Audio Webcast)

June 17, 2005
Physician-Legal Issues Conference

(Chicago, IL)

August 4-9, 2005
ABA Annual Meeting

(Chicago, IL)

October 20-21, 2005
3rd Annual Washington Healthcare Summit

(Washington, DC)

Interest Group Communication Highlights for April

Government Links



HIPAA: A Practical Guide to the Privacy and Security of Health Data

HIPAA: A Practical Guide to the Privacy and Security of Health Data by June M. Sullivan

The Section is pleased to announce that HIPAA: A Practical and Security of Health Data has been named one of the ABA's top sellers!

CDC Public Health Law News

CDC Newsletter is a free electronic newsletter published weekly by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Public Health Law Program

Chair's Column
By J.A. (Tony) Patterson, Jr., Fulbright & Jaworski, L.L.P., Dallas, TX

The Planning Committee for the Section’s 2006 Emerging Issues Conference (February 22-24, 2006 — The Hilton El Conquistador, Tucson, Arizona) is already on its way to putting together the program and the meeting arrangements. While reflecting on emerging issues in healthcare law, I have become more and more concerned about what I will call the “peer review wars.” Across the country, the cry has been going out for ensuring that high quality care is provided to patients by hospitals, physicians and other healthcare professionals.

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Enterprise Security: The Emerging Standard of Care for Healthcare Information Security
by John R. Christiansen, Esq., Christiansen IT Law, Seattle, WA

As late as the middle 1990s information security law was an irrelevant if not meaningless concept for almost all healthcare lawyers. Outside of narrow niche applications, particularly claims processing by the big health insurers, computers were used by only a few pioneering healthcare organizations, and the networking of computers into information systems was an uncommon novelty. There were a few information security laws dating from the 1970s, but these were principally applicable to governmental agencies. Otherwise there were no legislation or regulations applicable to computerized healthcare information, nor was there any significant caselaw on point.

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Counseling Clients:
On Effective Compliance Programs In Light of the OIG's Supplemental Compliance Program Guidance for Hospitals
by Summer H. Martin, Esq., Powell Goldstein LLP, Atlanta, GA

Healthcare organizations are under ever increasing scrutiny from federal and state governmental agencies. With the watchful eye of the government and the constantly changing regulatory landscape, these organizations are facing significant challenges in monitoring and complying with applicable legal requirements. Under this landscape, it has become increasingly important that healthcare organizations implement and maintain an effective compliance program. Advising healthcare clients in this environment has proven to be both exciting and challenging. As attorneys, we play an important role in assisting our clients in their design, implementation and maintenance of a successful and effective compliance program.

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Medical Information Discovery in the Digital Age
by Kenneth N. Rashbaum, Partner, Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold, LLP, New York, NY

The brass clock on the desk reads 11:30 p.m., and the beleaguered attorney is preparing for a deposition or trial in a healthcare case by picking his or her way through thousands of pages of medical records, stacked up around the office like the columns of the Parthenon. With the advent of the Electronic Medical Record (EMR), this picture may soon be relegated to moist-eyed memory, along with carbon paper, the Dictaphone and floppy disks. President Bush has set a goal of national conversion to EMR within the next ten years. Healthcare attorneys must adapt their pre-trial discovery tools to keep up. Sooner rather than later, they will need to know what to request and where to find it. The time-honored Notice for Production of “All records and documents to be relevant to the treatment of Mary Jones” may yield a few sheets of paper at best. Similarly, an objection to discovery stating that the request is “burdensome,” without more, is likely to result in a nanosecond denial by a judge with even the most rudimentary computer knowledge. Producing parties face particularly daunting challenges: assuring that disclosure complies with federal and state confidentiality laws; that privileged material is not inadvertently disclosed; and that all pertinent electronic material is appropriately preserved.

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Creating That "Five-Star" Culture
by James W. Saxton, Esq. and Maggie M. Finkelstein, Esq., Stevens & Lee, Lancaster, PA

The hospitality industry has long known of the benefits of creating and maintaining a five-star service culture. It is only recently that the healthcare industry has realized the importance of developing a five-star service culture. Data substantiates that true service excellence and effective communication can significantly reduce liability exposure and enhance a physician's practice at the same time. Many states are experiencing a medical malpractice crisis and for this reason, during these litigious times, this quest for five-star service has become even more important to the health care industry. Multiple studies have shown that service lapses without recovery and miscommunication drive up verdicts and settlements. Of course, the same conduct is what drives a patient to an attorney in the first place.

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Interest Group Spotlight

Healthcare Litigation & Risk Management

The Healthcare Litigation & Risk Management Interest Group examines areas in health care related litigation and the continuum of liability control. On the litigation side, such topics include antitrust, staff privileges issues and peer review proceedings, credentialing and medical staff development planning, and Bylaw interpretation. On the risk management side, such topics include monitoring national tort reform initiatives, and focusing on specific timely issues such as evidentiary protection of risk management documents, alternative dispute resolution, and utilization review/denial of care. The goal is to pursue a balanced and global approach to key issues. Thus, persons form all areas of healthcare -- hospitals, physicians or other providers, managed care organizations, long term care, among others -- who are involved in or interested in litigation and/or risk management are encouraged to participate.

The IG is led by Chair David H. Johnson, Rodey Dickason Sloan Akin & Robb PA, Albuquerque, NM and Vice Chairs Susan Chmieleski, Darwin Professional Underwriters, Farmington, CT; Michael E. Clark, Hamel Bowers & Clark, LLP, Houston, TX; Lois Snyder, Center for Ethics & Professionalism, American College of Physicians, Philadelphia, PA; Martin Thompson, Manatt Phelps & Phillips, Costa Mesa, CA and Hilary Young, Joy & Young LLP, Austin, TX

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

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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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