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A new round of putative class action lawsuits brought by counsel for patients who received treatment in a hospital emergency room alleging that hospitals charge emergency room patients a hidden and undisclosed “surcharge” or “cover charge” on top of charges for services provided is hitting hospitals throughout California. These suits are the progeny of prior unsuccessful putative class action lawsuits brought by the same plaintiff’s counsel alleging that hospitals’ charges for emergency services are unreasonably high and that the financial arrangements provision within the Conditions of Admission agreement signed by the patients requiring payment of charges are improper and not enforceable. Read More ›

In urging fellow members of the United States Senate to pass the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 (PSQIA), the late Senator Edward Kennedy stated that “medical errors cause 98,000 deaths every year” and that the PSQIA stemmed from an effort to “encourage the development of a safer health care system.”[1] 

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Practitioners often assume that because they are privileged to do X, they automatically also should be privileged to do Y, and are frustrated when they encounter new or different privileging requirements for Y, arguing that it is just an extension of what they already are authorized to do. Read More ›

HHS Releases Revised National Practitioner Data Bank Guidebook

On April 6, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Health Resources and Services Administration, released the new, updated National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) Guidebook (Guidebook), a manual to provide guidance on the requirements established by the laws governing the NPDB.  This is the first update of this valuable tool to understanding NPDB related responsibilities and requirements in over 10 years.  It will be particularly important for Medical Staffs and other peer review bodies to be familiar with the new Guidebook. Read More ›

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