Health law is the federal, state, and local law, rules, regulations and other jurisprudence among providers, payers and vendors to the healthcare industry and its patient and delivery of health care services; all with an emphasis on operations, regulatory and transactional legal issues.
Presently, payment for healthcare services is governed by the use of thousands of codes which describe a specific medical activity. Payment is made on a fee for service basis based on the medical activity or service rendered. Capitation payments are also used in managed care in which providers are paid a lump sum per patient regardless of how many services the patient received. Increasingly, payment is being shifted to an episode of care concept and used interchangeably with bundled payments or case rate payments. These are generally defined on the basis of expected costs for clinically defined episodes of care. An episode of care can range from a few days to a year and the patient will receive care from multiple providers who treat a particular condition over the length of time it takes to address the specific ailment. An episode of care payment is a single price paid for all the services needed by a patient. read more
Followers & Friends – BIG Announcement coming out today! If you haven’t seen our new NATIONAL platform, check it out here at www.nationalhealthcarelawfirm.com and stay tuned for our #healthcare #legal news at 2pm EST !!!
The Supreme Court upheld President Obama’s health care law today in a splintered, complex opinion that gives Obama a major election-year victory.
Basically. the justices said that the individual mandate — the requirement that most Americans buy health insurance or pay a fine — is constitutional as a tax.
Chief Justice John Roberts — a conservative appointed by President George W. Bush — provided the key vote to preserve the landmark health care law, which figures to be a major issue in Obama’s re-election bid against Republican opponent Mitt Romney.
The government had argued that Congress had the authority to pass the individual mandate as part of its power to regulate interstate commerce; the court disagreed with that analysis, but preserved the mandate because the fine amounts to a tax that is within Congress’ constitutional taxing powers.
The announcement will have a major impact on the nation’s health care system, the actions of both federal and state governments, and the course of the November presidential and congressional elections.
A key question for the high court: The law’s individual mandate, the requirement that nearly all Americans buy health insurance, or pay a penalty.
Critics call the requirement an unconstitutional overreach by Congress and the Obama administration; supporters say it is necessary to finance the health care plan, and well within the government’s powers under the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
While the individual mandate remained 18 months away from implementation, many other provisions already have gone into effect, such as free wellness exams for seniors and allowing children up to age 26 to remain on their parents’ health insurance policies. Some of those provisions are likely to be retained by some insurance companies.
Other impacts will sort themselves out, once the court rules:
— Health care millions of Americans will be affected – coverage for some, premiums for others. Doctors, hospitals, drug makers, insurers, and employers large and small all will feel the impact.
— States — some of which have moved ahead with the health care overhaul while others have held back — now have decisions to make. A deeply divided Congress could decide to re-enter the debate with legislation.
— The presidential race between Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney is sure to feel the repercussions. Obama’s health care law has proven to be slightly more unpopular than popular among Americans.
(Delray Beach, FL) June 21st, 2012 – The Florida Healthcare Law Firm, one of Florida’s leading healthcare law firms, today announced a major increase in their legal practice capabilities with the official launch of the National Healthcare Law Firm, a d/b/a and new portal of the firm. The expansion to a national platform providing healthcare legal services to physicians and healthcare businesses is one that significantly increases resources for clients who lack qualified local healthcare counsel. While the Florida Healthcare Law Firm has for years assisted clients outside the state of Florida*, this new development further cements the firm’s commitment to providing ethical legal counsel in the healthcare industry.
“We are very excited about it. The fact that we serve clients all over the country has been a small secret for a while but we realized there’s a huge demand and decided to just go for it,” said Jeffrey L. Cohen, Esq. Founder and President of Florida Healthcare Law Firm.
According to Cohen, “It’s just a strange area of the law. Nearly everything in healthcare business is regulated; leases, employment agreements, compensation. Things you wouldn’t think are regulated are strongly regulated. And there are large fines and criminal penalties for getting it wrong! Our clients understand that healthcare business of any kind has serious legal risks and that they need uniquely qualified help.”
Acknowledged throughout the country for its service and excellence, Florida Healthcare Law Firm is one of the nation’s leading providers of healthcare legal services. Founded by Jeffrey L. Cohen, Esq and headquartered in South Florida, FHLF provides legal services to physicians and healthcare businesses with the right pricing responsiveness and ethics. From healthcare clinic regulation, home health agency representation and physician contracting to medical practice formation/representation and federal and state compliance matters, the Florida Healthcare Law Firm is committed to bringing knowledge and experience to a diverse group of clients.
On August 10, 2011, the Fourth District Court of Appeals supported one litigant’s huge discovery request on the treating physician. The case (Katzman v. Rediron, No. 4D11-1290, August 10, 2011) arose with the following facts:
1. The doctor agreed to treat the patient under a letter of protection (LOP), which means the doctor would be paid out of the recovery of a lawsuit, not from health insurance proceeds;
2. The doctor allegedly performed a “controversial” surgical procedure, so Rediron’s lawyers wanted to know all sorts of information about how often he has ordered discectomies over the past four years and what he charged in litigation and non-litigation cases;
3. The doctor’s lawyer tried to block Rediron’s discovery request on the grounds that it would be a huge undertaking;
4. The trial court supported the discovery request, which was upheld on appeal.
The court’s analysis is interesting and instructive. The court found the treating physician to be BOTH a fact witness (because he treated the patient) and an expert witness (because he gives opinion testimony re the patient’s condition and injury). The court used their characterization of the doctor as a “hybrid” witness in order to support the trial court’s decision, which granted broad discovery on the issue of the reasonableness of the procedure’s cost and its necessity.
Discovery is something that can be used to harass and press someone into settlement. Hence, there are guidelines directed to ensuring that discovery requests are reasonable. That said, physicians who treat patients in lawsuits have a unique role that may expose them to greater than normal discovery requests.
Moreover, with this opinion, the old argument in bodily injury cases “What does reasonableness and necessity matter. It’s a BI lawsuit” will likely hold less water as all payers (including those who pay in BI lawsuits) are looking to reduce costs.