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My Patient Won’t Wear a Mask: Now What?

October 23rd, 2020 by

mask mandate in doctors officeBy: Karen Davila

For some reason, wearing or refusing to wear masks has become a point of personal expression and a topic charged with much emotion.  We hear stories every day about confrontations with consumers in the retail industry.  But what about when a patient refuses to wear a mask?

In many states and counties, face coverings are still mandated in public.  Failure to wear a mask can result in civil or criminal fines or penalties.  In a medical practice, even where not required by local authorities, masks may be required.  In fact, some of the state Boards of Medicine have adopted minimum standards for safe practice.  Those standards frequently include the requirement for both provider and patient to wear masks during all health care encounters.  Where the regulations or Board of Medicine standards require all individuals to wear face coverings, a health care provider is well within his/her right to enforce those regulations within the office where health care services are being provided and to discharge a patient who refuses to comply.  However, caution must be exercised when discharging a patient from a medical practice.

In general, the state Boards of Medicine do not require physicians to treat patients who are physically and mentally capable of wearing face coverings but refuse to do so.  But there are circumstances where a physician may have a duty to provide care and, in such instances, exceptions to the general rule may apply.

Various ethics opinions published by the American Medical Association address a physician’s duty in some of these situations, including by way of example: read more

Legal Issues Facing Healthcare Staffing Companies

October 22nd, 2020 by

healthcare employment lawBy: Steven Boyne

COVID-19 has accelerated the already growing area of healthcare temporary staffing.  Many large healthcare companies face so many uncertainties today, especially from a revenue perspective, that they are increasingly turning to temporary staffing to provide flexibility from an employment perspective.  While this is good news for the healthcare temporary staffing industry, it does highlight the growing list of legal issues that staffing agencies currently and/or shortly will face.

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Keep Up to Date with Medical Malpractice Insurance for Doctors in Florida

October 21st, 2020 by

medical malpractice insurance for doctors floridaFor physicians who need help navigating legal issues surrounding medical malpractice insurance for doctors in florida, contact Florida Healthcare Law Firm, a one-stop comprehensive source of expert advice.

Most physicians and health care providers know that coverage for liability claims as a result of treating patients is essential…a no-brainer. In fact, the AMA reports that by the age of 55, more than 65% of physicians has been the target of at least one lawsuit. Factor into this equation the time, cost and heartache, and most professionals agree the coverage is well worth it. Yet, the demands of a physician’s schedule can make it difficult to navigate the nuances of medical malpractice insurance for doctors in Florida and throughout the nation. That’s why Florida Healthcare Law Firm is here to help. We are a comprehensive firm of attorneys who specialize in only one thing: researching, counseling and representing healthcare providers and hospitals. We don’t dabble in healthcare; we know the field inside and out. Collectively, our 150 years’ experience has proven itself time and time again with success stories from professionals who represent a myriad of healthcare specialties. From solo practices to $90 million facilities, our clients come to us with diverse challenges, and we deliver spectacular results with transparency, innovation and expertise that is unparalleled in the industry.

First off, it is important to note that there are no loopholes that allow physicians to work without medical malpractice insurance in Florida. Physicians must carry up to $100,000 in coverage and up to $250,000 in order to have hospital privileges. To the untrained legal eye, the intricacies of these document can be tricky, so our staff is ready to interpret and prepare you before any incident occurs. We advise you on ways to avoid legal suits, including 1) knowing how to document actions, 2) knowing what you can and cannot say when you are speaking with patients, peers and indemnity companies and 3) knowing how to keep working during the law suit. We offer complimentary consultations, webinars and ongoing 24/7 support once you begin working with us. In addition, our services, include telemedicine, pay or issues, dental and pharmacy law, regulatory compliance, business transactions, hiring and firing issues. Let us exceed your expectations and protect your reputation. Contact Florida Healthcare Law Firm today.

HHS to send $20B to healthcare providers: 5 things to know

October 5th, 2020 by

covid funding for healthcare providersBy: Zach Simpson

HHS announced Oct. 1 that it is sending $20 billion in new funding to healthcare providers to help offset financial strain linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Five things to know:

1. Healthcare providers who previously received, rejected or accepted provider relief payments are eligible for the new funding.

2. Providers who were previously ineligible to receive relief funds, such as those who began practicing in 2020, can apply for a portion of the new relief aid. read more

Timing Your Next Real Estate Transaction

September 25th, 2020 by

healthcare real estate

By Douglas Hughes

CARR

Every commercial real estate transaction has an ideal timeframe to begin the process. Most healthcare professionals understand that opening a new office or relocating an office doesn’t happen overnight, but the majority of professionals are not aware of the ideal timeframes for each type of transaction. Different types of problems arise when starting a transaction too early or too late, and both need to be avoided.

Too Early

If you start the process too early, it creates a scenario where you spend your valuable time looking at properties and evaluating options, working with lenders and other members of your team, only to find out the landlords or sellers won’t negotiate with you yet. Many landlords and sellers won’t take their spaces off the market for extended periods of time while waiting for the tenant or buyer to be ready to transact, because there is too much time before the transaction will actually take place.

Or if they do negotiate, they won’t be willing to offer you even close to their best terms since they are going to lose income on holding a space vacant for an extended period of time. On the other hand, if they will put forth reasonable terms, it is predicated upon you moving forward immediately, which can leave you stuck paying for a space you can’t occupy for a period of time or paying unnecessary rent on your former space if you leave early.

Too Late

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You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know – Acupuncturist Employment Contracts

August 20th, 2020 by

acupuncture doctors floridaBy: Chase Howard

Thinking about joining an integrated or group practice? The average employment contract exceeds twenty pages, not including exhibits. While some parts might seem simple and non-legalistic, many simply do not contemplate important terms that have serious impacts on Acupuncturists daily lives. An employment contract is the most significant financial decision of an Acupuncturists lifetime. The same can be said for each subsequent contract, which means that understanding, and negotiating, your contract is the most valuable investment you can make prior to entering into a contract.

To understand what’s in your employment contract, simply read it over a few times. To understand not only how those terms affect you, but also what isn’t in your contract, hire an experienced health care lawyer. While it’s important to understand what is in your employment contract, it’s equally as important to know what is missing from the contract and what to ask in regards to what is included. The below list considers terms that are important both during and after employment.

The following are nine items you should consider including in or asking about your contract:

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Lease Considerations – Acupuncture Practices

August 20th, 2020 by

real estate lease for medical buildingBy: Chase Howard

Reviewing a lease prior signing will save you extreme headache and cost in the long run. Landlords tend to act as if they have all of the power in negotiations and will make their own rules along the way. Lease negotiations are complex and involve significant business and legal considerations.

Here are guidelines to ensuring that your lease is reasonable and fair:

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Corporate Start-Up for Acupuncturists

August 19th, 2020 by

acupuncture law in floridaBy: Chase Howard

As an Acupuncturist in a private, solo-practice or group practice, proper start-up is key. Understanding how to set up your business properly with the State and IRS, developing a business plan, and understanding all requirements will help eliminate obstacles that will slow your growth.

When working with new acupuncture businesses, consider the following:

1. Corporate Structure

a. A company is considered a legal entity and recognized by both the IRS and the State. Depending on the number of owners and type of business, different options exist regarding entity type. Specifically, most healthcare professionals choose a limited liability company, corporation or a professional association. Once you choose the appropriate type of entity, you’ll want to meet with your CPA to discuss taxation of the entity and how that affects the owners personally.

2. Obtaining an EIN/TID

a. Before you can open a business bank account, or even do business in your city, you will need to obtain an Employer Identification Number or Tax ID for your business. Properly applying will save you time down the road with IRS tax issues.

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The DME Industry and the COVID-19 Pandemic: What’s Changed & What Hasn’t

August 10th, 2020 by

By: Michael Silverman

On January 31, 2020 the US Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) declared a public health emergency surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, which was renewed again for a period of 90 days effective July 25, 2020.

In an attempt to focus on patients over paperwork and to remove obstacles from access to patient care, HHS relaxed or suspended certain healthcare provider requirements. Several such changes directly impact current or prospective providers of durable medical equipment (“DME”) to Medicare Part B beneficiaries.

Here’s a high-level breakdown of some of those changes: read more

Are You Paying TOO LITTLE in Rent?

July 31st, 2020 by

medical office space rent costBy: Douglas Hughes, (Guest Blogger from CARR)

Conventional wisdom tells us that spending less money is the most effective approach to saving money. After all, a penny saved is a penny earned and the more you save, the more you have left over. That logic is hard to argue with, but it is not always fool proof. Saving money for your practice the wrong way can lead to diminished patient care, outdated equipment, the wrong location for your practice and additional negative results.

There are several critical factors often overlooked when a healthcare practice’s primary focus is paying the lowest rent vs. achieving the best combination of overall terms. Let’s look at three factors where paying higher rent could actually increase your profitability.

#1: The Cost to Build

Healthcare buildouts often cost two-to-three times more than a typical commercial real estate space. This is attributed to many factors that are unique to healthcare, including:

  • More durable finishes
  • Millwork and cabinetry
  • Plumbing and sinks in exam rooms, sterilization centers and laboratories
  • Increased electrical and HVAC requirements (heating, ventilation and air conditioning)
  • And several more

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