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Showing 5 posts from 2018.

With Great Power, Comes Great Liability?

As medical advancements and patients in need of medical care continue to increase, the role of mid-level practitioners becomes even more crucial.  While there have been many turns of phrase for these medical professionals, the term “mid-level practitioner” is meant to encompass those non-physician providers, which include advanced practice nurses and physician assistants, among others. In Kentucky, there has been a shortage of primary care providers, which is particularly problematic in the state’s many rural areas.  This in turn has led to the push for more autonomy to these integral medical providers. While there are many reasons why this development is an improvement for patients and providers alike, this also leads to more liability exposure.  More >

Expanded Certificate of Need Exemptions Poised to Grow Healthcare Industry

In recent months, the Commonwealth of Kentucky has begun to amend the Kentucky Administrative Regulations and the Kentucky Revised Statutes, aiming to deregulate certain healthcare facilities and services to promote growth and expansion of healthcare services to Kentuckians. Kentucky’s ability to regulate the growth of its healthcare industry is based, in part, on the State Health Plan, the Certificate of Need (CON) process and the licensure of healthcare entities through the Office of Inspector General. As a Certificate of Need state, Kentucky-based healthcare providers who wish to initiate or expand healthcare services generally must go through a lengthy and expensive process unless they meet one of the few available exemptions. For years, Kentucky excluded certain physician-owned healthcare entities from both the Certificate of Need process and licensure through a series of strict guidelines established by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services known as the “physician office exemption.” More >

New Kentucky Law Provides More Access to Telehealth

Thanks to recently passed legislation going into effect July 1, 2019, Kentucky providers will have more access to patients via telehealth. Previously, telehealth visits were limited to doctors and high-level practitioners, with patients required to be in a clinical setting for the visit. The new law will allow commercial insurance and Medicaid to pay for telehealth visits in the home as well as pay mid-level providers for telehealth visits. More >

Healthcare Entities: How is Your Cyber Security?

In an evolving world of cyber terrorism where individuals such as Edward Snowden grab headlines by stealing national secrets, it should come as no surprise that protected healthcare information (“PHI”) kept by providers has become a “target rich environment” for foreign governments and individual hackers alike. In addition to threats from outside entities, healthcare providers must also realize and appreciate that state and federal regulatory and statutory requirements govern the creation, maintenance and protection of PHI, including through but not limited to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (“HITECH”) Act.  Failure to abide by these complex and stringent rules can lead to significant penalties.  More >

Compliance: Include Prescribing Practices!

Since the implementation of House Bill 1 in 2012, the restrictions on prescribing controlled substances have become more and more stringent, which is a response to the opioid epidemic sweeping Kentucky and the nation. The Cabinet for Health and Family Services, the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure, the Kentucky Board of Nursing, and the Kentucky Board of Pharmacy are vigilant in policing prescribing practices and have tools through KASPER to closely monitor the prescribing practices of physicians and other practitioners. With the addition of new medications like Gabapentin to the controlled substances hit list, practitioners must be particularly careful to ensure that their prescribing is consistent with regulatory requirements, particularly when patients have been on this medication previously.   Physicians and practitioners must continually monitor compliance as even a minor violation can give rise to investigations, complaints and regulatory penalties.  Assessment of regulatory penalties, even when characterized as “Agreed Orders,” can have devastating consequences for physicians and practitioners’ practices and ability to maintain provider contracts, including Medicare and Medicaid. More >

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