Health eConnect - Your link to the ABA's Health Law Section
 Dec 2004 Volume 1 Number 4
December 6 - 7, 2004
Washington Healthcare Summit

This program focuses on gaining insights from government and senior legislative staffers from the House and Senate on federal initiatives, CMS, and other agency priorities and programs. Hear from lawyers from agencies such as the DOJ, FTC, FDA, SEC and CMS on current initiatives and how best to work within their structure to address important legal issues; participate in programs with agency officials providing the latest updates on a wide range of issues; network with healthcare attorneys in state and federal government, private practice and in-house.

December 9, 2004
Ethics for the Healthcare Attorney

The ABA Center for Continuing Legal Education, Present a 90-Minute TeleConference and Live Audio Webcast

February 3, 2005
Nuts & Bolts of the HIPAA Privacy Rule and the Practice of Law

ABA Center for Continuing Legal Education, TeleConference and Live Audio Webcast

February 23-25, 2005
6th Annual Conference on Emerging Issues in Healthcare Law

The meeting where the leadership, Interest Groups and members come together to plan for the year and to get CLE at the cutting edge, this is the Section's "flagship" program.

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.

December 1, 2004

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

Happy holidays from the leadership of the ABA Health Law Section to our members and their families. During this time of the year we need to pause and reflect on how blessed we are to live in this country and be members of the legal profession. It is also a time for us to be attentive to how we can serve others who are not as fortunate as we are. I encourage each of you to find a way to reach out and help someone in some way during this holiday season.


Am I My Contracting Partner's Keeper?
By Beth McClain, Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson, Washington, DC

The next time a compliance team is asked to justify its costs or to quantify the return on investment it generates, management should be directed to a recent ruling from the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, United States ex rel. Schmidt v. Zimmer, Inc. , 386 F.3d 235 (3d Cir. 2004). The Schmidt decision illustrates that potentially non-compliant referral arrangements raise the risk of False Claims Act ("FCA") liability based not only on an entity's own compliance failures, but also -- under this very expansive interpretation of FCA liability -- because of the failures of contracting partners.


Joint Ventures Between Tax-Exempt Hospitals and Physicians – New IRS Insight
By Donald B. Stuart, Esq., Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, PLLC, Nashville, TN

Many of the laws and regulations such as the Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law impacting hospital and physician investor joint ventures often create challenging issues for the parties involved. However, the additional restrictions imposed by the Internal Revenue Service on these types of joint ventures when the hospital is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization can be just as unwieldy. The IRS has recently issued a favorable private letter ruling that provides additional insight into structuring such joint ventures for an outpatient facility.


Research Under HIPAA and the Common Rule: 
SACHRP Recommendations

by Brenda Strama, Jason Pinkall, and Penny Milbouer, Vinson & Elkins L.L.P., Austin and Houston, TX

In August 2004 the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) received a letter from the Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Human Research Protections (“SACHRP”), which is charged with advising the Secretary regarding research involving human subjects and the protection of human subjects, in which SACHRP analyzed the difficulties that HIPAA’s Privacy Rule imposes on conducting research.  The Privacy Rule protects the privacy of health information of human subjects, which is also subject to the requirements of the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects, known as the “Common Rule” (45 C.F.R. Part 46, Subpart A).  At its March 30, 2004, meeting SACHRP noted that its members “have come to understand and appreciate, in a direct and first-hand way, some of the problems associated with the implementation of HIPAA in the context of research involving human subjects.”  The letter recommends changes to the interpretations of the Privacy Rule by the Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”).


Interview with Vicki Robinson
by Bonnie S. Brier, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA

Vicki Robinson, Industry Guidance Branch Chief for the Office of Inspector General, Department of Health and Human Services, has just started her second three-year term as a member of the Council of the ABA Health Law Section. Bonnie Brier, the Immediate Past Chair of the Section, recently interviewed Vicki.


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Interest Group Spotlight

Healthcare Fraud & Compliance

The Payment & Reimbursement Interest Group follows trends, changes and practices in reimbursement, billing and collection under Medicare, Medicaid and other federal and state health care programs. The group also tracks major development relating to reimbursement and payment policies of other third party payors including commercial insurers and self-insured entities.

The IG is led by Anthony DiLeo, Stone Pigman, New Orleans, LA and Vice Chairs, David L. Douglass, Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, Washington DC; Gilbert F. Ganucheau Jr, Kathleen L. Debruhl & Associates LLC, New Orleans, LA; C. Joyce Hall, Watkins & Eager, Jackson, MS and Carol A. Poindexter, Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP, Kansas City MO.

If you would like to join the Interest Group, please go to Health Law Section IG Sign-up Form



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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