ABA Health eSource - Your link to the ABA's Health Law Section
January 2011 Volume 7 Number 5
Health Law Section News  January 6, 2011

January 20, 2011
Fundamentals of Healthcare Transactions: An Interactive Look at the Anatomy of a Deal
(CLE Teleconference)

Health Law Highlights

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PPACA Resources

HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG)

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CDC Public Health Law News

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


Chair's Column
By William W. Horton, Haskell Slaughter Young & Rediker, LLC, Birmingham, AL*

“Why don’t they ever talk to someone who understands how this stuff works?”

How many times have we read a new regulation and wondered something like that? As healthcare lawyers, we face a constant challenge in advising our clients how to apply new legal requirements and interpretations that don’t seem to match up with the way those clients experience life in the real world, or that leave fundamental practical questions unanswered or unanswerable. (Remember “Can you have a one-physician ‘group practice’?” and “What’s an ‘additional practice restriction’ anyway?”) Sometimes it seems like all you can do is shrug sheepishly at your clients and say, “I don’t write the regulations.”

*This month's Chair's Column is written by guest columnist, William W. Horton, Chair of the Health Law Section's Policy Review and Coordination Committee.

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Quit Bugging Me! Attempting to Solve the Bed Bug Epidemic
By Daniel Colbert, Earle Mack School of Law at Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA and Gabbie Nirenburg, Esq., Philadelphia

Although they were once a common nuisance all over the world, bed bugs were all but eradicated in first world countries by the 1940’s. The availability of DDT kept bed bug populations in check. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) banned this pesticide in the 1970’s after Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring brought the effect of pesticides on the environment to the public eye. In the past few years, these irritating insects have made an overwhelming comeback. The old adage about letting the bed bugs bite has taken on an upsetting new meaning; the monsters under the bed are real—they’re just very, very small.

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Introducing the Public Health Law Network
By Dan Stier, JD, Director, National Coordinating Center,
Public Health Law Network

I appreciate the opportunity to introduce the Public Health Law Network. This article is the first step toward what I believe will be a solid and productive working relationship involving the ABA Health Law Section, its Public Health and Policy Interest Group, and our new Network. We envision the Network as seamlessly connecting attorneys with interest, involvement, and expertise in public health law with those needing full and ready access to public health legal information and expertise. As director of the Network’s National Coordinating Center, I see tremendous potential for synergy between the Network, Section, and Interest Group, particularly in view of our shared interest in the diverse facets of public health law and in promoting interaction between state and local bar associations and public health officials.

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Addressing the Issues: The Effectivness of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in Adopting Recommendations to Combat Medicare Fraud and Abuse
By Brian G. Santo, Esq., Duquesne University School of Law / Pittsburgh School of Public Health, Pittsburgh, PA

Healthcare fraud presents a persistent and costly drain on the United States healthcare system. Healthcare fraud entails intentional deception or misrepresentation made by an individual or organization for unauthorized benefit or profit to the individual, organization or another party. Healthcare fraud differs from healthcare abuse in that fraud requires intentional or deliberate acts of deceit for personal gain, while abuse does not.

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Medical Staff Bylaws Standard Takes Effect March 31, 2011

By Elizabeth A. Snelson, Esq., Legal Counsel to the Medical Staff PLLC, St Paul, Minnesota

The most comprehensive standard for medical staff bylaws will be implemented by the largest hospital accreditation agency in America in a matter of weeks, yet many medical staffs and hospitals have yet to complete the amendments necessary. Joint Commission standard MS. 01.01.01 (known earlier in the lengthy saga of its development as MS 1.20). was the focus of intensive criticism by hospitals, resulting in a Joint Commission Task Force comprised of a hospital attorney and a medical staff attorney, and representatives of hospital industry trade groups, medical and other health professional associations, appointed in 2007 to discuss implementation and revision. After months of meetings and debate on medical staff self-governance and the appropriate content for medical staff bylaws, the revised standard won the acceptance of all Task Force members and adoption by the Joint Commission board in 2010, to be implemented as of March 31, 2011.

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The “Pay-for-Delay” Ban Dies Quietly in Congress

By Daniel Hougendobler, JD/MPH Candidate, Class of 2012, Emory University, Atlanta, GA

The end of 2010 was marked by a flurry of legislative activity in the U.S. Congress. Congressional Democrats fought desperately to pass their agenda before facing a far less friendly political landscape. The stakes were high, including a potential government shutdown, the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and billions of dollars in tax cuts. In the midst of these high-profile debates, Congress quietly dropped an obscure, technical bill that one government agency claimed would have saved U.S. consumers billions of dollars. The proposed bill was known as the “Preserve Access to Affordable Generics Act.” It would have made certain types of settlements between pharmaceutical companies and generic manufacturers that delay the entry of generic medications into the market, commonly known as “pay-for-delay” settlements, presumptively anti-competitive.

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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.


Public Health and Policy Interest Group

The Public Health & Policy Interest Group provides leadership to the ABA Health Law Section, and the ABA at large, in the area of public health and policy matters. The Interest Group members will monitor developments on matters as diverse as control of disease and other public health threats outside of institutional settings, balancing privacy and other civil rights against public health considerations and education of the public concerning public health and policy issues. The Interest Group will also become involved in the interaction of state and local bar associations with local public health officials to promote public health and policy initiatives. The Interest Group provides a forum for members with differing educational backgrounds to focus on public health and policy issues and initiatives. The Interest Group also coordinates its activities with other Interest Groups, such as Medical Research and Clinical Ethical Issues, as well as with organizations outside of the ABA, such as the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The IG is led by Chair Melisa Laura Thombley, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA and Vice-Chairs Michael DeLucia, Trustee, Lindsay Trust, Manchester, NH; James G. Hodge, Jr., Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona; Howard Kaufman, University of Miami School of Medicine, Boca Raton, FL and Rakel Meir, Tufts Health Plan, Watertown, MA.

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, Duane Morris LLP, Houston, TX; Adrienne Dresevic, The Health Law Partners, PC, Southfield, MI; Marla Durben Hirsch, Potomac, MD; Conrad Meyer, Chaffe McCall, LLP, New Orleans, LA 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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