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Baker Act Basics

By Lance O. Leider, J.D., The Health Law Firm The Florida Mental Health Act, more commonly known as the Baker Act, was passed to allow for the creation of programs designed to "reduce the occurrence, severity, duration, and disabling aspects of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders." Section 394.453, Florida Statutes. The Baker Act contains a wide range of provisions ranging from screening to appointment of legal guardians. But what the Act is most known for are the involuntary evaluation ...

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10/20/2014 Comments(0)

Reap the Benefits of Electronic Health Records, Not the Liabilities - Part 2

By Lenis L. Archer, J.D., M.P.H., The Health Law Firm In part one, I discussed how the recent United States Ebola crisis in Texas appeared to bolster the argument for those wary of the implementation of electronic health records EHRs . To read that blog, click here . Health information technology health IT brings both opportunities and challenges for healthcare providers . EHRs are one of the most debated health IT developments. The intent of such an innovative system is to replace archaic paper...

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10/16/2014 Comments(0)

The United States Ebola Case May Have Cast Doubt On The Use of Electronic Health Records - Part 1

By Lenis L. Archer, J.D., M.P.H., The Health Law Firm The evolving world of electronic technology saturates every type of industry imaginable. Organizational communication and the resources utilized have come full circle; from paper and pens to iPads and keyboards. Healthcare is not excluded from this advancement. Conversion to electronic health records EHRs has been a hot topic in the healthcare world for years. At its inception, the intent of EHRs was to streamline procedures and improve the q...

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10/10/2014 Comments(0)

Just What the Doctor Ordered: More Medicaid Reimbursements May Be On the Way For Florida Physicians

By Lance Leider, J.D., The Health Law Firm Taking Medicaid patients can be seen as a professional obligation for health care providers. In return, good deeds should not bankrupt a practice. There could soon be a resolution to a class-action lawsuit against Florida health and child-welfare officials that would adequately compensate physicians for treating children of poor families. According to the Miami Herald, the lawsuit was initially filed in 2005 by a group of pediatricians, dentists and nin...

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10/7/2014 Comments(0)

What You Need to Know about the Rescheduling of Hydrocodone Combination Products

By Lenis L. Archer, J.D., M.P.H., The Health Law Firm Physicians and pharmacists: mark your calendars. The Drug Enforcement Administration DEA is reclassifying "hydrocodone combination products" from Schedule III to the more-restrictive Schedule II under the Controlled Substances Act. The final regulation will take effect on October 6, 2014. Upon the effective date, this change will have a widespread impact on healthcare professionals, particularly physicians and pharmacists. This regulation was...

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10/2/2014 Comments(0)

Reinstatement After OIG Exclusion is Not Automatic

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law An issue we frequently handle is Office of Inspector General OIG exclusion from the Medicare program following a conviction for a healthcare-related offense. An OIG exclusion blocks a healthcare provider from working for any individual or entity that contracts with federally funded programs in any capacity. For example, if a healthcare provider receives a five-year OIG exclusion, he or she cannot work ...

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9/10/2014 Comments(0)

The ABCs of IRBs

By Lenis L. Archer, J.D., M.P.H., The Health Law Firm The field of scientific research presents many challenges to academics. When research is performed on human subjects in a health care setting, the stakes are even higher. Allegations of research misconduct can throw academic researchers into a tangled web of institutional and legal challenges. University policies, federal regulations, and legal concerns overlap in ways that may become quite frustrating for a health practitioner and researcher...

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8/25/2014 Comments(0)

Has Healthcare Compliance Gone Too Far?

By Lance O. Leider, J.D., The Health Law Firm From large hospital systems to solo practitioners, there is no escaping healthcare compliance in the industry. The concept of compliance can spark different thoughts in different people. For example, some believe it is an unnecessary government intrusion, and others believe it's a way to improve the quality and costs of healthcare. No matter your thoughts on healthcare compliance and government oversight, regulation of the healthcare industry will ne...

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8/21/2014 Comments(0)

Warning: Texting Patients' Sensitive Information Could Have Serious Consequences

By Lance O. Leider, J.D., The Health Law Firm I regularly lecture to residents and interns of local hospital residency programs. I like to discuss life skills for health care professionals that they may not learn in a classroom. At the end of the discussion, it never fails that I get at least one question regarding text messaging. For example, "Can I text another doctor about a patient?" or "Is text messaging an acceptable way to communicate with my patients?" These questions are not uncommon si...

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8/19/2014 Comments(0)

As a Health Care Professional in Florida, You Need to Stay In the Know on Medical Marijuana

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law During the 2014 session, the Florida legislature passed Senate Bill 1030 or the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014. The bill was signed into law by Florida Governor Rick Scott on June 16, 2014. The law makes it legal for qualified Florida patients to take low-THC cannabis in liquid form. The specific medical marijuana is approved to treat certain medical conditions such as epilepsy, muscle spas...

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8/12/2014 Comments(0)