Mutual Matters

EMTALA: What On-call Physicians Need to Know

Posted by Karen Civali on Oct 19, 2018 4:24:10 PM

In 1986, Congress enacted the Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act (EMTALA) to ensure public access to emergency services regardless of ability to pay. Section 1867 of the Social Security Act imposes specific obligations on Medicare-participating hospitals that offer emergency services to provide a medical screening examination (MSE) when a request is made for examination or treatment for an emergency medical condition (EMC), including active labor, regardless of an individual's ability to pay. Hospitals are required to provide stabilizing treatment for patients with EMCs. If a hospital is unable to stabilize a patient within its capability, or if the patient requests, an appropriate transfer should be implemented.

Read More

Topics: Patient Care and Interaction

The Importance of Early Reporting and Early Resolution

Posted by Bill Kanich, MD on Oct 5, 2018 11:55:00 AM

Deciding when to report a bad outcome is a difficult decision for physicians and healthcare providers. On the one hand, providers are obligated to report outcomes that could lead to claims to their malpractice insurance provider; on the other, reporting every unanticipated outcome could quickly become burdensome.

Read More

Topics: Patient Care and Interaction

CMS Proposes Potential Changes to Documentation Requirements

Posted by Scott R. Grubman, Esq. on Aug 23, 2018 11:57:40 AM

On July 27, 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a proposed rule containing numerous proposed changes to the Medicare physician fee schedule and other Medicare policies. The proposed rule is intended to update Medicare’s payment systems to better reflect the relative value of services. 

Read More

Topics: Billing and Reimbursement, Patient Care and Interaction

Health Apps: Convenience vs. Security Risks

Posted by Christopher E. Hoyme on May 31, 2018 12:19:24 PM

The pace of innovation in healthcare today has produced an amazing increase in the number of available mobile apps for health-related information. More than 300,000 healthcare apps are available online. These apps are developed and designed to fit within the “connected health model” which attempts to provide flexible and efficient healthcare services by using connected technology that offers better communication, access and diagnostic capabilities. Many healthcare professionals use mobile apps for immediate communication with their patients and more responsive healthcare management. In a nutshell, there is a “mad dash” to address the demand of providing more “real time” health data. In response to this innovation, the question then becomes whether healthcare providers can tap into the available technology of “connectivity” and still protect health and personally identifiable information.

Read More

Topics: HIPAA and Cybersecurity, Patient Care and Interaction

Human Trafficking: Resources to Help Recognize and Respond

Posted by Jordan Greenbaum, MD on May 24, 2018 11:47:33 AM

Human trafficking involves the engagement of a person in labor or sexual exploitation using force, fraud or coercion. It is a significant public health issue that is associated with numerous adverse physical and behavioral health effects. Research suggests that child and adult victims are likely to come into contact with healthcare professionals. In a recent study, almost 90% of sex trafficking survivors reported seeking medical services at some point during their victimization.[1]

Read More

Topics: Patient Care and Interaction

Informed Consent is Not Just a Piece of Paper

Posted by Dana N. Taylor, MHA, CPHRM, CPPS on May 10, 2018 12:15:00 PM

For years you’ve been told that informed consent is a process, not just a piece of paper. That’s true, and now there’s increasing scrutiny of those forms by regulatory agencies. What we’ve found, as with many of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regulations, is that enforcement by state Department of Health investigators and review by The Joint Commission surveyors has been somewhat inconsistent. Interpretation of the regulations largely depends on the investigator’s or surveyor’s background. New Conditions of Participation (CoP) from CMS went into effect in 2007, but several hospitals and physician practices aren’t aware of all the changes.

Read More

Topics: Patient Care and Interaction

Prescribing Controlled Substances in Georgia

Posted by Bill Kanich, MD on May 7, 2018 9:37:23 AM

When initially prescribing controlled substances , the physician must:

  • Obtain a medical history
  • Conduct a physical examination (in a documented emergency can prescribe an amount to cover less than 72 hours without the physical exam)
  • Obtain informed consent
  • Make a diligent effort to obtain prior diagnostic records related to the condition for which the controlled substances are being prescribed and prior pain treatment records and document such efforts (not applicable if the condition is terminal) 
Read More

Topics: Patient Care and Interaction

FAQs - Texting or Emailing Patients

Posted by Carrie Lowe, JD on Apr 12, 2018 11:58:00 AM

Can I text or email my patients?

Yes, healthcare providers can communicate with patients via text messages, but only if:

Read More

Topics: Patient Care and Interaction

ALERT – New Florida Opioid Law

Posted by Carrie Lowe, JD on Apr 5, 2018 12:05:00 PM

By Joshua D. Aubuchon, Nichole Lydon and Carrie Lowe

Read More

Topics: Patient Care and Interaction

FDA Alert: Prescibing Clarithromycin to Patients with Heart Disease

Posted by Dana N. Taylor, MHA, CPHRM, CPPS on Mar 6, 2018 12:00:00 PM

A new FDA alert issues a warning about prescribing the antibiotic clarithromycin (Biaxin) for patients with heart disease due to a potential increased risk of cardiac problems or death that can occur years later. The FDA recommendation is based upon a review of a ten-year follow-up study of patients with heart disease from a large clinical trial. 

Read More

Topics: Patient Care and Interaction

Subscribe to Email Updates

What other resources would you like us to provide?

Sharing Insight on Mutual Matters

As one of the leading mutual providers of Medical Professional Liability insurance, we're here to help all healthcare professionals with the challenges they face on a daily basis. The topics we cover include: 

  • Healthcare legislation updates
  • Patient safety guidance
  • Practice and hospital management advice
  • and more. 

Recent Posts