Health care providers on the front-lines of the battle against COVID-19 should be provided every weapon that can be mustered. This includes protection from lawsuits while fighting this deadly, insidious and invisible foe. However, health care providers must temper their reliance on the recently enacted laws, executive orders or declarations of civil immunity, as they are not a cloak of unassailable malpractice PPE as reported in the news media
We provide insights and analysis for physicians, nurses, chiropractors, dentists, physical therapists and other health professionals on issues impacting their practices.
The Missouri Supreme Court approved two completely new jury instructions for civil cases that require the immediate attention of Missouri civil litigators, becoming effective July 1, 2017. Rules E1.00 and E1.01 allow the Court to read an Early Case Summary to the jury before the beginning of voir dire. The instruction is not mandatory, but left to the discretion of the trial judge. These Early Case Summaries will include a brief description of the case, the plaintiff’s claims and the defendant’s defenses, the appropriate burden of proof instruction and boilerplate instructions to be included in the final instruction packet (i.e. the definition of negligence instruction).
On June 18, 2015, the US Attorney announced two investigations resulting in a number of accusations of Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse. The “Home Alone IV” take-down and the largest national health care fraud take-down to date involving more than 200 subjects accused of defrauding Medicare and Medicaid of more than $700 Million in 14 states. Each of these takedown operations demonstrate just how seriously the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) is in its efforts to reduce fraud and abuse in healthcare operations.
The OCR announced a settlement of $218,400 along with adoption of a robust plan of correction with St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center (SEMC) of Brighton, MA for alleged HIPAA violations. Before the settlement, SEMC had two different events leading up to it entering the resolution agreement with HHS. The first allegation involved a complaint to the OCR that employees were using an internet-based document sharing application to store ePHI without analyzing the associated security risks, exposing at least 498 individuals’ ePHI.