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April 20, 2022

Experts to discuss experimental medicine, opioid settlements and more at ABA meeting

WASHINGTON, April 20, 2022 — Experts participating in the American Bar Association 23rd Annual Emerging Issues in Healthcare Law Conference will tackle hot-button topics, including experimental medicine, digital health disparities, addressing gaps in women’s health and the ethics of rationing care.

Emerging Issues in Healthcare Law
Sponsored by the ABA Health Law Section

Wednesday-Saturday, April 27-30

Intercontinental Miami Hotel
100 Chopin Plaza
Miami, FL 33131

Donna Shalala, past secretary of Health and Human Services (1993-2001), will give the keynote address on Thursday at 9 a.m. EDT.

Program highlights include:

“Experimental Medicine: The FDA’s Role, Litigation & Risk Management Trends” — Health care consumers often demand access to and coverage for experimental and investigational treatments for serious and terminal illnesses. A panel of experts will cover trends in FDA approval, litigation and risk management, including the FDA approval process, experimental medicine trends during the COVID-19 pandemic, ivermectin and similar litigation and the role of courts in setting the standard of care for providers or medical necessity standards for insurers. They will also cover risk management tips for hospital systems and other providers.

Thursday, 11:20 a.m.-12:20 p.m.

“Ending Digital Health Disparities: Diversity & Inclusion Value-Based Care” — Digital access fast became a key social determinant of health during the COVID-19 pandemic. For underserved populations from racial/ethnic minority, low-income and other vulnerable communities that are disproportionately burdened by the digital divide, disparities in digital access likely exacerbated COVID-19 outcomes and health access inequities. This expert panel will discuss how, despite the sunset of many flexibilities that were specific to the public health emergency, health care organizations can still use value-based care programs and fraud and abuse safe harbors, exceptions and waivers to set up care models that reduce the impact of the digital divide on vulnerable populations during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Thursday, 1:30-2:30 p.m.

“FemTech Revolution: Technology Innovation to Address Gaps in Women’s Health” — A mere 4% of all health care research and development is targeted specifically at women’s health, even though women spend an estimated $500 billion annually on medical expenses. The burgeoning “FemTech” industry addresses the disparities in health care for historically underserved women, including fertility solutions, pregnancy, nursing care, reproductive system needs, menopause and post-menopausal care. This panel of experts will include a discussion of data privacy and security issues, including recent enforcement actions with the FTC; FDA and intellectual property issues; and state laws governing care delivery.

Thursday, 2:35-3:35 p.m.

“Ethics: Rationing of Care” — From the onset of the COVID pandemic, hospitals and health care institutions have faced critical shortages of medical supplies and therapeutic tools; more recently, institutions are experiencing personnel shortages. When faced with such shortages, decisions must be made about who should receive these potentially life-saving items — entailing the need to ration care. But what exactly does this mean and how does one determine who should receive scarce resources? Our expert panelists will explore this issue and identify and discuss various resource allocation policies and procedures.

Friday, 9:45-10:45 a.m.

“How Will States Use $$ from Opioid Litigation and Settlements?” — Most agree that the landmark tobacco litigation settlement funds received by states have not helped the public health. The nation’s leading medical, public health and patient advocacy organizations are working to ensure that states use funds from opioid-related litigation and settlements for public health uses. A panel of experts, including Heidi Williams, director of opioid response at the Office of the Attorney General of Colorado, will discuss how specific state laws and statewide agreements are helping ensure that the funds are used to help prevent overdose, increase access to evidence-based treatment and provide statewide education to prevent future harms.

Friday, 1:10-2:10 p.m.

A complete agenda can be found online.

This event is free and open to members of the press. All meeting attendees are required to provide proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the start of the meeting. For media credentialing and to receive further COVID-related instructions, please contact Priscilla Totten at [email protected].

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.