New Texas Medical Board (TMB) rules effective June 3, 2015, limit the ability to prescribe drugs based only on telephonic consults. The rules also raise questions about the viability of some call-coverage arrangements. Specifically, for a physician prescribing medication, Tex. Admin. Code tit. 22 §190.8 now requires, among other things, a “defined physician-patient relationship” that must include a physical examination performed by the provider face-to-face or in accordance with Tex. Admin. Code tit. 22 ch. 170 rules for telemedicine. Significantly, the limitations do not apply to mental health services, except in cases of behavioral emergencies.
The DOL’s self-imposed February deadline for announcing new FLSA regulations redefining “white collar” exemptions has come and gone with without any action from the DOL. No new deadline has been announced; however, the DOL’s website suggests that it still hopes to release the new regulations soon. Stayed tuned, and we will report back when the regulations are released or when any other information is given.
Changes to Texas Medical Board regulations regarding the supervision of physician assistants went into effect March 12, 2015, and will reduce both: (i) physician oversight obligations; and (ii) conflict with prescriptive delegation regulations. Specifically, requirements of Tex. Admin. Code tit. 22 §185.16 were reduced to only prohibiting a physician assistant from independently billing patients “except where provided by law.” Continue Reading Physician assistance for physician assistants
Healthcare providers are responsible for detecting, preventing and reporting elderly abuse, including financial exploitation. With the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, the reporting requirements of the Elder Justice Act are now in effect. Continue Reading What to do about elder abuse and financial exploitation in post-acute healthcare and residential settings
The Texas Health & Human Services Commission’s (HHSC) final rules regarding physician billing for services provided by an APRN or PA became effective Jan. 1, 2015, and include limitations on such billing arrangements. See 39 Tex. Reg. 9884 (Dec. 19, 2014). The adopted rule requires that a physician billing for services provided by an APRN or PA under the physician’s Medicaid billing number must make a decision regarding the patient’s care or treatment on the same date of service as the billable medical visit and documented that decision in the patient’s record. See Tex. Admin. Code Tit. 1 §354.1062. If a physician billing for such services does not make a decision regarding the patient’s care or treatment on the same date of service, the physician must note on the claim that the services were provided by a supervisee. See Tex. Admin. Code Tit. 1 §354.1001. Continue Reading Update: Texas Medicaid ‘incident to’ rule now in effect
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released a bulletin on Nov. 10 reminding entities covered under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that the protections continue to be in effect during emergencies, including Ebola and other outbreaks. HHS wants to make sure healthcare providers are aware of the ways in which patient information may be shared under the HIPAA Privacy Rule in emergency situations. Continue Reading HHS releases reminder about HIPAA rules in wake of Ebola outbreak
The Texas Health & Human Services Commission (HHSC) proposed changes on Oct. 17, 2014, to its regulations that largely prohibit “incident to” billing for advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) and physician assistant (PA) providers. Specifically, changes proposed to Tex. Admin. Code Title 1 §§354.1001 and 354.1062 prohibit a service performed by an APRN or PA from being billed under the billing number of a supervising physician unless the physician made a decision regarding the patient’s care or treatment during the billable medical visit and documented that decision in the patient’s record. See 39 Texas Register 8107 (Oct. 17, 2014). Continue Reading Texas Medicaid meddling with mid-levels
Now that patients with Ebola have landed on U.S. soil, hospitals and other healthcare providers must prepare for the possibility that a patient with Ebola will walk through the doors. In this Oct. 30 webinar, Husch Blackwell presenters will look at some of the pressing legal issues related to treating patients with communicable diseases such as Ebola, and what providers can do now to prepare their clinical, compliance and legal teams. Continue Reading Upcoming webinar to offer legal, regulatory considerations for healthcare professionals preparing for Ebola
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently issued a policy paper urging state legislators to carefully evaluate proposals that limit nurse practitioners’ scope of practice. Nurse practitioners (also known as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, or APRNs) are registered nurses who have been both educated and received specialized training beyond the requirements for a registered nurse. Notably, the FTC paper concluded that expanding the scope of APRN practice would create more competition in the health care sector – helping to control costs, improve quality, promote innovation, and expand access to care. Continue Reading FTC urges state legislators to reconsider limitations on nurse practitioners’ scope of practice
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently published a new brochure titled “Safe Patient Handling: Preventing Musculoskeletal Disorders in Nursing Homes.” In the brochure, OSHA recommends strategies to reduce musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in nursing homes. OSHA recognizes that nurses and other healthcare workers experience some of the highest rates of non-fatal occupational injuries and illnesses of any industry sector. Continue Reading OSHA issues brochure on safe patient handling in nursing homes