Articles Posted in Improving Your Practice

Medical-License-e1644515318522For various reasons, licensed medical providers may choose to voluntarily surrender their state medical license.  Earlier this year, our healthcare and business law firm blogged about the repercussions of voluntarily surrendering a state medical license on the physician’s Medicare enrollment.  Our firm recently had success in challenging a Medicare MAC’s decision to revoke a client’s Medicare enrollment based on a voluntary surrender of a medical license, resulting in the rescission of the revocation decision.  Another usually unexpected repercussion may also be ineligibility for Board examination or loss of Board Certification status.  Losing board certification or being found ineligible for board certification is a serious matter with potentially far-reaching adverse consequences. This post outlines the American Board of Internal Medicine’s (“ABIM”) eligibility rules and steps to challenge such a decision.  If you have questions regarding this blog post or wish to discuss an adverse decision by the ABIM or strategize ways to overcome an adverse decision, you may contact us at (404) 685-1662 (Atlanta) or (706) 722-7886 (Augusta), or by email, info@hamillittle.com. You may also learn more about our law firm by visiting www.hamillittle.com.

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4-e1647895403919Many of our healthcare and business law firm’s clients have an interest in offering a practice that offers more flexibility to patients when it comes to in-person versus virtual visits.  Deciding to offer telemedicine visits to your patients not only requires acquiring a video product that satisfies HIPAA and other privacy requirements but requires compliance with numerous laws at the state and federal level.  This post analyzes potentially relevant federal laws and rules that currently apply during the Public Health Emergency (“PHE”).  A subsequent post will provide an overview of state law considerations.  If you have questions about telemedicine rules or would like to discuss this blog post, you may contact our healthcare and business law firm at (404) 685-1662 (Atlanta) or (706) 722-7886 (Augusta), or by email, info@hamillittle.com. You may also learn more about our law firm by visiting www.hamillittle.com.

State laws provide the majority of laws and regulations governing telemedicine visits.  There are, however, two potentially relevant federal rules that a medical practice should consider before offering telemedicine: Medicare rules and the Ryan Haight Act. Continue reading ›

nurses-and-docs-300x240We have seen a continued growth in the popularity of medical spas despite the hurdles presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.  See Unpacking the Success Factors of the Medical Spa Industry During the Pandemic, Forbes (May 21, 2021).  Medical spas present unique compliance challenges from determining whether certain aesthetic services are considered the practice of medicine in the state to whether non-physicians can own the practice.  This blog post outlines 3 compliance questions every potential non-physician medical spa owner should ask. If you have questions regarding this blog post or need counsel navigating the complex rules and regulations for opening or operating a medical spa, you may contact us at (404) 685-1662 (Atlanta) or (706) 722-7886 (Augusta), or by email, info@hamillittle.com. You may also learn more about our law firm by visiting www.hamillittle.com.

  1. The procedures I plan to offer are aesthetic, so do I really need a physician involved?

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Medical-License-e1644515318522For various reasons, licensed medical providers may choose to voluntarily surrender their state licensure.  Sometimes, the provider does not intend to work in the state anymore and no longer wishes to maintain the licensure.  Other times, the licensing agency may intend to discipline the provider and the provider chooses to surrender their license in lieu of receiving discipline.  Surrendering your license, however, may have unintended consequences to include revocation of your Medicare privileges and instituting a Medicare enrollment bar.  This post outlines what actions the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) or one of its Medicare Administrative Contractors (MAC) may take in response to a provider surrendering their state licensure.  A forthcoming post will outline potential options a provider may have if their Medicare privileges have been revoked.  If you have questions regarding this blog post or wish to discuss your medical license or Medicare privileges, you may contact us at (404) 685-1662 (Atlanta) or (706) 722-7886 (Augusta), or by email, info@hamillittle.com. You may also learn more about our law firm by visiting www.hamillittle.com.

 

There are two main ways a CMS or a MAC can revoke a provider’s Medicare privileges after they voluntarily surrender their state medical licensure: Continue reading ›

a540959b140223b6f8a472cfe17667c1672de165-3389x2260-1-scaled-e1643836004971Our previous blog post provided an overview of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (“CMS”) Vaccine Mandate and addressed two basic questions of the mandate: What providers are covered and what’s the timeline to comply?  Many of our healthcare and business law firm’s clients have additional questions about the requirement of CMS’ vaccine mandate (a.k.a. the “federal healthcare worker vaccine mandate”).  One such question is: Does the mandate require individuals to receive a booster shot to comply with the mandate?  This blog post outlines CMS’s current stance on the booster requirement. As always, the analysis herein is current as of the date this blog is posted and subject to change as agencies and courts release new decisions.

If you have questions regarding this blog post or the applicability of state and federal regulations to you or your medical practice, you may contact us at (404) 685-1662 (Atlanta) or (706) 722-7886 (Augusta), or by email, info@hamillittle.com. You may also learn more about our law firm by visiting www.hamillittle.com.

 

SHORT ANSWER:  The CMS Vaccine Mandate does not require individuals to receive booster shots or additional doses in addition to the primary vaccination series, but that may change. Continue reading ›

imagesWelcome to the third installment of our business and healthcare law firm’s monthly medical board meeting review, focusing on the Georgia Composite Medical Board (“Medical Board” or “GCMB”).  As a healthcare law firm with physician clients, it is our duty to stay up to date with the Medical Board’s positions and changes so as to better inform our clients. If you have licensing or other GCMB questions or would like to discuss this blog post, you may contact our healthcare and business law firm at (404) 685-1662 (Atlanta) or (706) 722-7886 (Augusta), or by email, info@hamillittle.com. You may also learn more about our law firm by visiting www.hamillittle.com.

The Medical Board met on July 1, 2021 via video teleconference.  The July monthly meeting minutes are available here.  The Medical Board also publicly releases public orders and agreements each month.

Meeting Minutes

The Rules Committee reported the following rules for comments:

Rule 360-5-.02 “Qualifications for Physician Assistant Licensure”

Rule 360-5-.06 “Renewal of Physician Assistant License”

Rule 360-35-.01 “Definitions” (Lasers)

Rule 360-35-.05 “Practice”

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iStock_000033418316_Medium-e1626470315777Direct primary care practices have become popular alternatives to the traditional insurance medical practice model.  Direct primary care practices cut out insurance companies from the provider-patient relationship.  This post intends to outline the recent history of direct primary care in Georgia and the relevant rules that practices must comply with to establish a direct primary care practice.  If you have questions regarding this blog post or migrating to a direct primary care practice, you may contact us at (404) 685-1662 (Atlanta) or (706) 722-7886 (Augusta), or by email, info@hamillittle.com. You may also learn more about our law firm by visiting www.hamillittle.com.

History: Senate Bill 18 in 2019

In 2019, Georgia became the 26th state to designate in its insurance code that Direct Primary Care practices are “not insurance” by passing Senate Bill 18.  At the time, 3.2 million Georgians were living in areas facing a severe physician shortage.  Dubois & Mesa, SB 18 – Direct Primary Care, Ga. St. Univ. L. Rev., Vol. 36:1, p. 136 (2019).  In supporting the bill, Senator Kay Kirkpatrick said:

It is a way for people who can’t afford high dollar plans to get the majority of their care handled for a reasonable and predictable amount of money and is also a way for people to keep their primary care doctor if they change plans or if their doctor is not in their insurance network.

Dubois, SB 18 – DIRECT PRIMARY CARE, p. 136. Continue reading ›

pills-2-300x225Ketamine is a substance growing in popularity as a treatment for, among other things, depression and pain management.  Ketamine clinics are quickly increasing in popularity.  Why Ketamine-Assisted Therapy Has Gone Mainstream, Forbes (Oct. 18, 2021).  Our healthcare and business law firm assists clients in understanding the rules and requirements around opening and operating Ketamine clinics, understanding the unique issues that face innovative clinics where no clear guidance or oversight has yet been established.  With this post, Total Health Law intends to present three considerations for a provider thinking about opening a Ketamine clinic in Georgia.  If you have questions regarding this blog post, opening a Ketamine clinic, or operating your existing Ketamine clinic, you may contact us at (404) 685-1662 (Atlanta) or (706) 722-7886 (Augusta), or by email, info@hamillittle.com. You may also learn more about our law firm by visiting www.hamillittle.com.

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medical_malpractice_legal_terms-e1632925373696As a healthcare and business law firm, we work with many physicians employed by Federally Qualified Health Centers, or “FQHCs.”  Working at an FQHC offers certain benefits and protections to providers.  One such benefit is that individual providers are generally protected from civil malpractice lawsuits.  Although our firm does not litigate medical malpractice actions, we work with physicians who are accused of malpractice within an action involving FQHCs to minimize damage to the physician’s reputation and record, particularly regarding reporting to the National Practitioner Data Bank (“NPDB”).  This post intends to outline what a physician working at an FQHC needs to know if an individual brings a malpractice action. If you have questions regarding this blog post, the NPDB, or FQHC-related matters, you may contact us at (404) 685-1662 (Atlanta) or (706) 722-7886 (Augusta), or by email, info@hamillittle.com. You may also learn more about our law firm by visiting www.hamillittle.com.

Suit Against the United States Not Individual Doctors or Practices

The first thing to note is that if you are a physician for most FQHCs and a patient wishes to sue alleging medical malpractice, you—as the physician—and the health center are generally protected from being named in a lawsuit.

Why is that? Continue reading ›

image_4-e1631547014743Last week, our blog post discussed the general rules permitting telemedicine in Georgia.  Often, our healthcare and business law firm’s provider clients who conduct telemedicine also need to understand the requirements around prescribing controlled substances based on telemedicine visits.  This post intends to outline some of the relevant prescribing rules in Georgia and the exceptions due to the Public Health Emergency (PHE) created by COVID-19.  This post intends to outline some relevant Georgia rules and regulations relating to telemedicine.  If you have questions about telemedicine or prescribing rules or would like to discuss this blog post, you may contact our healthcare and business law firm at (404) 685-1662 (Atlanta) or (706) 722-7886 (Augusta), or by email, info@hamillittle.com. You may also learn more about our law firm by visiting www.hamillittle.com.

Georgia Rules on Prescribing Controlled Substances via Telemedicine

As discussed in our prior blog post on the general telemedicine rules, we look to the Medical Board’s rules on Unprofessional Conduct, among other rules, to decipher what is allowed in Georgia.  Rule 360-3-.02 defines Unprofessional Conduct to include subsection (5), which provides that Unprofessional Conduct could include: “Prescribing controlled substances . . . and/or dangerous drugs . . . for a patient based solely on a consultation via electronic means with the patient, patient’s guardian or patient’s agent.”  As such, the general rule prohibits prescribing controlled substances via a telemedicine consult.  However, the rule does “not prohibit a licensee from prescribing a dangerous drug for a patient pursuant to a valid physician patient relationship in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 33-24-56.4 or a licensee who is on-call or covering for another licensee from prescribing up to a 30-day supply of medications for a patient of such other licensee nor shall it prohibit a licensee from prescribing medications when documented emergency circumstances exist.”  Rule 360-3-.02(5).  There are other exceptions related to specific Schedule II controlled substances.

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