Cosmetic surgeries are on the rise. One study of cosmetic surgery data found that body procedures like tummy tucks, buttock augmentation, and liposuction increased by 63 percent from 2020 to 2021. Facelifts were up 54 percent. And breast procedures were up 48 percent. According to that study, Americans spent over $14.6 billion on aesthetic procedures in 2021 with surgical revenues increasing by 63 percent.Continue Reading Justice Department Sues Iowa Surgeon Under False Claims Act for Masking Non-Covered Cosmetic Procedures as Covered Surgeries
Diagnosing the Future: Considering DEIA as a Treatment Plan for Healthcare Employers to Improve Patient Outcomes
Healthcare employers can improve patient outcomes by infusing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) into their hiring, retention, and training practices. Legal minimums require that employers cannot make employment decisions based on any protected category, including race, national origin, and sex. But beyond these requirements, healthcare organizations need to prioritize DEIA to mitigate negative patient outcomes and increase the ability to provide high-quality patient care.
The Joint Commission has implemented healthcare equity standards that can be integrated into various hospital, ambulatory, and behavioral healthcare accreditation programs. Healthcare employers can take practical and proactive steps to improve patient outcomes by creating a health equity roadmap, assessing health-related social needs and creating a plan to address them, and staffing facilities with diverse employees who bring a variety of perspective and experiences that can build connections with the community.
Read more on our L&E Law Insights blog.
Two Weeks’ Notice for the Public Health Emergency: What’s Next for Telehealth
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced its plan to end the Federal Public Health Emergency (PHE) for COVID-19 on May 11, 2023. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, emergency declarations, legislation, and regulatory waivers across government agencies, including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), allowed for flexibility in the delivery of care to patients, including the expanded use of telehealth. Originally intended to conserve healthcare resources and prevent unnecessary exposure to COVID-19, the use of virtual care has exploded since the beginning of the pandemic to become an intrinsic, essential part of the healthcare delivery system. Now, at the end of the PHE, we examine the path forward for telehealth and the extent to which providers may continue to offer it to patients.Continue Reading Two Weeks’ Notice for the Public Health Emergency: What’s Next for Telehealth
Developing an Effective Contract Management Program
Contract management has quickly and importantly developed into an area of focus for in-house counsel and business stakeholders. Effective contract management systems can increase internal accountability and decrease wait times and costs. Further, increased ownership and investment in the maintenance of contractual obligations allows for companies to better track data, including dollars spent, time spent, and results to report to key stakeholders. Given the benefits of effective contract management programs, it is unsurprising that leaders look to develop and implement their own contract management system.Continue Reading Developing an Effective Contract Management Program
DOJ Continues to Eye Clinical Researchers (and the Universities and Hospitals Employing Them)
Last month, The Economist published a call to action titled, “There is a worrying amount of fraud in medical research: And a worrying unwillingness to do anything about it.” The article is the latest in a sequence of alarms that some clinical researchers might not be as squeaky clean as we would hope them to be. Senior DOJ officials have in turn emphasized in public remarks that investigating clinical research shortcomings is now a Justice Department priority, with the whistleblower bar following suit.Continue Reading DOJ Continues to Eye Clinical Researchers (and the Universities and Hospitals Employing Them)
OSHA Pursues Healthcare Workplace Violence Rule
Back in January, Husch Blackwell attorneys posted about the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) intention to convene a Small Business Advocacy Review Panel (SBAR Panel). This panel would help decide whether OSHA should enact a Prevention of Workplace Violence in Healthcare and Social Assistance standard.
OSHA did convene the SBAR Panel, and now, small entities will share their thoughts on the proposed standard. The SBAR will host five webinar meetings over the next week. Find out more about this update and how you can submit a comment.
Trial Lost, $400+ Million Liability Looming: Quick Takeaways From a Recent False Claims Act Jury Trial
On February 27, 2023, a jury in Minnesota federal court rendered a verdict in favor of the United States and against a surgical product distributor following a False Claims Act jury trial that lasted six weeks. The jury identified $43 million in Medicare payments flowing from 64,575 kickback-procured claims.Continue Reading Trial Lost, $400+ Million Liability Looming: Quick Takeaways From a Recent False Claims Act Jury Trial
Hospital Turns Tables on Whistleblower: Federal Judge Sends Hospital’s Case Against Whistleblower to Trial
In the world of qui tams, it is usually the whistleblower pushing cases to trial. But on February 23, 2023, a federal judge in West Virginia set down for trial a hospital’s case against a whistleblower. Now, in a trial set for late March 2023, a jury is set to determine whether a whistleblower and the general counsel for a competing health system engaged in malicious prosecution and tortious interference by filing a qui tam against a West Virginia hospital.Continue Reading Hospital Turns Tables on Whistleblower: Federal Judge Sends Hospital’s Case Against Whistleblower to Trial
The Future of Affirmative Action in Medical School Admissions
A medical school applicant recently filed suit, alleging that several Texas medical schools improperly rejected him by basing their admissions decisions on race and gender. The complaint asserts that these schools (along with “nearly every school and university in the United States”) participate in the practice known as affirmative action, giving preference to women and non-Asian minorities rather than candidates with more impressive academic accomplishments.Continue Reading The Future of Affirmative Action in Medical School Admissions
Update on Possible OSHA Prevention of Violence in Healthcare and Social Assistance Rule
OSHA is currently considering a possible “Prevention of Workplace Violence in Healthcare and Social Assistance” rule. If passed, the Rule would apply to employers whose employees face an increased risk of workplace violence from their patients, clients, residents and/or facility visitors. Such employees include those who work in hospitals, ambulatory medical care or substance abuse treatment centers, freestanding emergency centers, residential care facilities, home healthcare, EMS and/or social assistance (excluding child day care centers). The attached link is a PowerPoint presentation prepared by the agency. We will continue to keep you posted on the rulemaking process.