ABA Health eSource - Your link to the ABA's Health Law Section
November 2008 Volume 5 Number 3
Health Law Section News  November 5, 2008
Washington Healthcare Summit

November 6-7, 2008
18th Annual National Institute on ERISA Litigation

(Chicago, IL)

November 10-11, 2008
23rd Annual National Institute on Compensation for Executives and Directors

(New York, NY)

November 12, 2008
The Final 2009 Physician Fee Schedule

(Teleconference & Live Audio Webcast)

Patient Safety Handbook

November 13, 2008
Section 403(b) Compliance Countdown

(Teleconference & Live Audio Webcast)

November 17-18, 2008
Washington Healthcare Summit 2008

(Arlington, VA)

November 18, 2008
Is the San Francisco Health Care Security Ordinance a Roadmap for States to Avoid Erisa

(Teleconference & Live Audio Webcast)

December 11, 2008
Ethics for Healthcare Attorneys

(Teleconference & Live Audio Webcast)

February, 2009
Emerging Issues in Healthcare Law Conference

(Orlando, FL)

Interest Group Communication Highlights

Resources & News


New BNA Products

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 Vickie Yates Brown, Frost Brown Todd LLC, Louisville, KY

As I write this column, we are only a few days away from the Presidential election. The election will certainly have an impact on healthcare law; however, the effect is still unclear. The election causes one to reflect upon the power that lies with our elected officials and our government. In recognition of the magnitude of the impact of government, the Health Law Section has purposely taken a more active role in monitoring and influencing government's role in healthcare.

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New HIPAA Privacy Rule Guidance From The OCR
by Kathy L. Poppitt, Thompson & Knight, LLP, Austin, TX

For many healthcare providers and their attorneys, navigating the murky waters of medical record privacy protections is often daunting and confusing. For the first time since the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy Rule went into effect in 2003, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued two separate guidance documents on the topic of how a covered entity may share information with people involved in a patient's care. According to the OCR, due to a lack of clear understanding, some providers are not sharing medical and other information in situations in which the Privacy Rule would permit them to do so. The guidance released on September 19 in two formats, one for patients and one for providers, is targeted at this frequently misunderstood area of provider communications with a patient's family, friends, or others involved in the patient's care.

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Medical Device Safety Act Of 2008: Implications For Industry
by Jeffrey D. Zigler, Musculoskeletal Clinical Regulatory Advisers, LLC (MCRA), Washington, DC

Both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the medical device industry continue to battle the would-be champions of healthcare consumer protectionism in Congress. House Resolution 6381, dubbed the "Medical Device Safety Act of 2008," represents the most current, as well as one of the most sweeping, legislative changes to the current regulatory environment for the industry today. As consultants to leading innovators of the medical device industry, acting as catalysts for their regulatory activity, and advocating before regulatory bodies tasked with enforcing Congress' will, firms like Musculoskeletal Clinical Regulatory Advisers (MCRA) in Washington, DC view this ongoing fight as one which industry professionals, manufacturers, and regulatory attorneys alike should all take notice.

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The Federal Mental Health Parity Act: New Law Requires Group Health Plan Benefit Parity
by Jan R. Newsom, Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell LLP, Dallas, TX

As part of the overall Economic Recovery legislation passed by Congress and enacted into law on October 3, 2008, the "Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008," known more commonly as the "Mental Health Parity Act," will result in significant changes to many employer benefit programs. According to the Wall Street Journal, the new legislation will apply to about 150 million people, including more than 32 million children and adults covered by Medicaid managed care programs. The law is generally effective for group health plans with plan years beginning on and after October 3, 2009 (one year after the date of enactment), with special provisions for plans subject to collective bargaining arrangements. It includes all employer group health plans subject to ERISA, insured or self-insured, except for small employer plans (those with 50 or fewer employees), as well as certain other plans not included under ERISA.

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Healthcare Facility Operations Interest Group

The Healthcare Facility Operations Interest Group focuses on improving the law and related policy arising from the standards imposed on healthcare providers by external review organizations.

The IG is led by Chair Cyndi M. Baily, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX and Vice-Chairs Paul D. Gilbert, LifePoint Hospitals, Inc., Brentwood, TN; Jacqueline C. Kingsolver, Catholic Health Initiatives, Erlanger, KY; Kathy L Poppitt, Thompson & Knight LLP, Austin, TX and Tracy Powell, Sherrard & Roe, PLLC, Nashville, TN.

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 Lisa Genecov, Locke Lord Bissell and Liddell LLP, Dallas, TX and editorial board members Michael E. Clark, Hamel Bowers & Clark LLP, Houston, TX; Adrienne Dresevic, Wachler & Associates, P.C., Royal Oak, MI; Marla Durben Hirsch, Potomac, MD and Conrad Meyer, Chaffe McCall, LLP, New Orleans, LA.

Do you want to communicate your ideas to thousands of other members through the wonders of cyberspace? To contribute a newsletter article on a health law topic, send us your ideas to Adam.Bielawski@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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