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Showing 26 posts by Richard C. Kraus.

“Top 10 Healthcare Law Trends in 2015” – Part 1

healthcare law trends

The February issue of the American Health Lawyers Association’s AHLA Connections features a top-ten list of the issues that will impact healthcare law in 2015. This two-part series discusses these important trends.

Here are the first five: Read More ›

Categories: Fraud & Abuse, Health Care Reform, Medicare/Medicaid, News & Events

Michigan's Tax on Paid Health Care Claims is Upheld

The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has upheld Michigan’s tax on paid health care claims in an opinion published on August 4.  The decision has very significant implications for the State of Michigan, which uses the revenues to partially fund the Medicaid program, and for employers, group health plans, and third-party administrators, which are subject to the tax. Read More ›

Categories: 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, Tax

Health Facilities and Agencies Face Liability for Terminating or Dismissing Employees Who Report Malpractice

dismissing employees who report malpracticeA recent decision by the Michigan Court of Appeals holds that a health facility or agency can be sued for taking or threatening disciplinary action against an employee for reporting or intending to report malpractice by a health professional. Employers should carefully review existing policies and practices, or if necessary, adopt appropriate policies, to protect against potential wrongful termination lawsuits. Read More ›

Categories: Compliance, Employment, Providers

Upcoming changes in the investigation and discipline of licensed health care professionals

licensed health care professionalsHave you heard? Gov. Snyder signed four bills significantly changing the procedure for investigating and disciplining licensed health professionals under the Public Health Code on April 3. The four statutes take effect on July 1, 2014.

These important changes make it even more crucial for a health professional to consult with legal counsel experienced with the disciplinary process whenever he or she is contacted by the Bureau of Health Care Services (BHCS). 

Learn more about the changes. Read the article here

Categories: Licensing, Physicians, Providers

License Sanctions Against Health Professionals Can Be Used As Evidence in Unrelated Malpractice Cases

license sanctions against health professionalsAny disciplinary sanction against a health professional’s license can have serious collateral consequences, such as termination from provider networks, loss of malpractice insurance or substantially increased rates, medical staff investigations and proceedings, adverse employment actions, and reports to the National Practitioner Data Bank. A recent Michigan Court of Appeals decision highlights an added risk that many health professionals and their attorneys may not have known. A relatively minor licensing sanction was used, with devastating effect, as evidence in an unrelated malpractice action.

A dentist was sued for malpractice following a root canal procedure in Holder v Schwarcz. The jury awarded $67,500 in damages and the trial court granted $151,555 in case evaluation sanctions. The dentist had been involved in an unrelated licensing investigation relating to root canals for another patient. The licensing action was resolved through a consent order. In a consent order, a health professional does not admit any allegations in the licensing complaint, but agrees that the board’s disciplinary subcommittee may treat them as true and enter a sanction for violating the Public Health Code. The sanction imposed against the dentist in the licensing action included probation for one year, a requirement for ten hours of continuing education, and a $5,000 fine. The sanction was fairly typical for a licensing case alleging negligent care. Read More ›

Categories: Licensing, Physicians, Providers

A Rare Reversal of a Licensing Sanctions by The Michigan Court Of Appeals Offers Hope to Disciplined Health Professionals

disciplined health professionalsA recent Michigan Court of Appeals decision offers a glimmer of hope to health professionals who face the unenviable prospect of appealing adverse decisions made by licensing boards. Since 1994, the Public Health Code has required that appeals by licensed health professionals from adverse licensing decisions be filed in the Michigan Court of Appeals. Over the past two decades, there have been very few cases where the Court of Appeals held that a decision by a licensing board was legally incorrect or factually unsupported. Read More ›

Categories: Licensing, Physicians, Providers

NPDB Guide for Reporting Clinical Privileges Actions

Guide thumbnailThe National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) has published a quick guide to assist hospitals and health care entities in reporting actions that adversely affect clinical privileges held by physicians, dentists and other health professionals.

The guide (We have identified that the following link is no longer active, and it has been removed) lists several “reporting scenarios” and indicates the type of report that may be required (initial adverse action report, revision-to-action report, correction report, or no report). The guide also summarizes the reasons for voiding a previous report (report was erroneously submitted, action was not reportable, or action was reversed or overturned).

The guide is a helpful starting point for a hospital or health care entity that is involved in a privileging action. However, the scope and timing of reporting requirements under the NPDB regulations can be quite complex. Considering the very serious implications from reporting—or not reporting—an adverse privileging action, it would be prudent to only use the guide as a quick reference and not as a decision-making tool.

If you have any questions about the guide, please contact Richard Kraus at 517.371.8104 or by using the email form below.

Categories: Hospitals, Long Term Care, Physicians

New Board of Dentistry rules for handling and disposal of amalgam

disposal of amalgamThe Michigan Board of Dentistry has adopted several new rules governing the handling and disposal of amalgam waste for dentists and dental practices.  

There are some exceptions for oral and maxillofacial surgeons; oral and maxillofacial radiologists; oral pathologists; orthodontists; periodontists; and dentists providing services in a dental school or hospital, or through a local health department.  Read More ›

Categories: Compliance, Licensing, Physicians, Regulatory

National Practitioner Data Bank

Hospitals are required to report certain adverse clinical privileging actions and medical malpractice payments to the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB).  Since the NPDB was established by the Health Care Quality Improvement Act (HCQIA) in 1986, compliance with these reporting obligations has been largely entrusted to hospitals with little enforcement action by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.  There are now reports that the federal government has begun auditing compliance by hospitals with the NPDB reporting requirements. Read More ›

Categories: Audits, Compliance, Hospitals, Physicians

Proposed Rules Would Allow Physician Assistants to Prescribe Schedule 2 Controlled Substances

The Board of Medicine and the Board of Osteopathic Medicine have proposed amendments to the administrative rules governing the delegation of prescribing authority to physician assistants.  Under the existing rules, a physician may only delegate to physician assistants the authority to prescribe controlled substances that are listed in the Federal Drug and Enforcement Administration’s (“DEA’s”) Schedules 3 to 5.  The proposed amendments would eliminate that limitation and allow physicians to authorize physician assistants to prescribe Schedule 2 controlled substances. Read More ›

Categories: Hospitals, Physicians, Regulatory