Articles Posted in Physician Practices

understanding-physician-employment-contracts-e1677703586595-300x197Our healthcare and business law firm works with many providers and medical practices to ensure compliance with state and federal laws, rules, and regulations.  Mid-level providers, such as physician assistants (“PAs”) and nurse practitioners, are widely used, and they help expand the provision of medical care and services. States differ on the amount of oversight that is required for PAs to practice.  This blog post outlines possible requirements that may be present in your state for PAs to practice under physician supervision, using Georgia as an example.  If you need assistance understanding your state’s guidance on mid-level supervision and delegation requirements 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.

In Georgia, the rules governing PAs and their supervising physician include the following:

First, the Supervisory Relationship Must be Established:

Under Georgia Rule 360-5-.03, in order to supervise a PA, a supervising physician must submit an application to the Board that must be approved by the Board before delegating tasks. On the flip side, upon termination of the supervisory relationship, the PA and physician must give notice and date of termination. Continue reading ›

nurse-practitioner-vs-primary-care-doctor-002-e1675797661360-300x141Our healthcare and business law firm assists many physicians and other healthcare professionals who are dealing with professionalism concerns.  Concerns can be identified by employers, licensing boards, professionalism societies, or even all three at once.  Over the years, our firm has helped providers deal with various professionalism concerns identified by their employers and/or licensing boards.  This post identifies some of the most common concerns we have seen.  The goal of this post is to provide useful information that healthcare professionals can use to make more informed professionalism decisions.  If you need assistance dealing with a professionalism concern 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.

Social Media Use

Inappropriate social media use is a big problem for all professionals.  Given, however, the sensitive and confidential information surrounding all aspects of a healthcare professional’s job, all information shared online should be heavily vetted. Continue reading ›

opioid-painkillers-crisis-and-drug-abuse-concept-o-49X49YX-e1676319930781-300x169Our healthcare and business law firm works with many providers and medical practices to ensure compliance with state and federal laws, rules, and regulations for given procedures, treatments, and prescriptions.  A hot topic and sometimes controversial category of drug right now is weight loss drugs (also called weight management drugs).  A provider should generally prescribe a drug or treatment pursuant to a patient-provider relationship when the drug is medically necessary and appropriate, but some states have laws and rules specifically governing prescribing weight loss drugs.  If your state has rules or guidance on prescribing weight loss drugs, it’s important, of course, to follow that guidance.  This blog post outlines potential state guidance using Florida’s weight loss statute as an example.  If you need assistance understanding your state’s guidance on weight loss treatments 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.

Some states have not taken any public stance on weight loss drugs.  But if the state in which you practice has published such guidance, then it is important to follow it.  Furthermore, even if your state has not taken any public stance, it may be useful to review guidance from other states to create “best practices.”  Let’s examine the Florida statute governing weight loss treatment. Continue reading ›

Medical-License-Pro-101-What-is-Medical-Licensing-e1644515222485The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has proposed a new rule that expands and enhances their authority to (A) deny enrollment, or (B) revoke Medicare billing privileges for healthcare providers and suppliers. The proposed rule would change Medicare enrollment, revocations, and overpayment settlements.

Some key points of the proposed rule include: Continue reading ›

nurses-and-docs-e1681928313827Our healthcare and business law firm often represents medical practices, including primary care practices, specialty practices, and med spas, in the initial set up phase of their practice.  Whether a Management Services Organization (“MSO”) is necessary or advisable for your practice usually requires a detailed review of your business structure and state laws.  If an MSO is advisable for your practice based on the Corporate Practice of Medicine (“CPOM”) doctrine in your state, this post provides 3 key provisions that should be within your Management Services Agreement (“MSA”).  If you have medical practice set up or MSO 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.

As discussed in previous blog posts, including 2 Facts About Management Services Organizations (MSOs) and Med Spas, Management Services Organizations can be useful in CPOM states to provide all non-medical functions of the business while contracting with the Physician Entity to provide all medical functions. The MSA that outlines this agreement is typically a lengthy and involved document, but here are three key provisions that should be contained within the agreement: Continue reading ›

HealthcareImage_062618-700x525-1-e1682709849274Our healthcare and business law firm often represents medical practices, including primary care practices, specialty practices, med spas, and IV hydration clinics, in the initial set up phase of the business.  Related to questions about the Corporate Practice of Medicine (“CPOM”), a common question we are asked is: “Do I need an MSO”?  This is not always an easy question to answer.  There are many reasons why an MSO may be a useful tool for your practice.  For instance, it may reduce the risk of violating your state’s CPOM doctrine, it may increase regulatory compliance, or it may assist you in exit planning.  This post specifically focuses on how MSOs may be useful in the context of the CPOM doctrine.  If you have medical practice set up or CPOM/MSO 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.

Two facts about MSOs and Med Spas:

Fact 1:     Most med spas and IV hydration clinics offer services defined as the practice of medicine and, thus if there’s a CPOM doctrine in your state, it’s likely triggered.

If you own a med spa or IV hydration clinic, I can almost guarantee you are offering services that are considered the practice of medicine. Continue reading ›

nurses-and-docs-e1681928313827Our healthcare and business law firm often represents medical practices, including primary care practices, specialty practices, and med spas, in the initial set up phase of their practice.  A main question we are asked is: What’s the Corporate Practice of Medicine (CPOMs) Doctrine and does it mean I have to have an MSO?  This is not always an easy question to answer.  The CPOM doctrine essentially encapsulates the following sentiment: We don’t want non-physicians, including corporations, practicing medicine so non-physicians cannot own medical practices.  There is quite a bit of nuance to add to that explanation, but that’s the main idea behind the doctrine.  This post provides 3 initial questions to consider relating to the CPOM doctrine.   If you have medical practice set up or CPOM 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.

Question 1: Am I practicing medicine?

This is not always an easy question to answer, even though common sense would say it should be.  Each state’s idea of what constitutes the practice of medicine is drastically different. Continue reading ›

1651676570_Transworld-May-Blog-Header950x460-e1686600049528Our healthcare and business law firm often represents medical practices, including primary care practices, specialty practices, and med spas, in employment matters.  At some point, each medical practice deals with the situation where an employee becomes unable to perform due to an injury or prolonged illness.  For instance, an esthetician breaks her hand and can no longer perform essential services of her position.  Or a staff member has a serious illness that requires them to stay home for three weeks.  Our medical practice clients are always sympathetic and want to take care of their employees, but they also have to balance that interest against the interest of running a business.  That leads them to ask us: What should I do?  This post provides four considerations for a medical practice if an employee is unable to perform due to an injury or illness.  If you have employment 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.

  1. If the injury happened on the job, does your workers compensation policy provide a benefit? 

Workers’ compensation requirements differ state to state. Continue reading ›

IV-Therapy-1-e1699043729176Our healthcare and business law firm works with healthcare providers and businesses to  IV hydration therapy practices.  The IV hydration therapy industry has grown drastically over the past few years.  Some states and medical boards have developed laws and rules governing IV Hydration Therapy practices.  In 2022, the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners (“Medical Board”) conducted an investigation into ten businesses advertising retail IV hydration therapy services.  The investigation revealed that many IV therapy businesses allowed unqualified people to treat patients.  Although IV therapy is relatively safe, there are still risks, such as harm to the patient’s kidney.  Because there were no rules or regulations directly governing IV therapy businesses, the Medical Board issued a declaratory ruling.  This blog post summarizes the Medical Board’s answers to three key questions relating to retail IV Therapy practices in Alabama.  If you have a question about the Alabama Medical Board’s 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.

  1. Is IV Hydration Therapy the Practice of Medicine?

Yes, “the diagnosis of the patient’s condition and the recommendation of IV therapy constitutes the practice of medicine.”  It is a Class C felony for a person to practice medicine or osteopathy without a medical license.

  1. Who can evaluate, diagnose, treat, and prescribe IV Therapy?

Continue reading ›

laser-hair-removal-service-e1698438994608Our healthcare and business law firm works with healthcare providers and businesses to open cosmetic medical and wellness spas.  The medical spa entity has grown drastically over the past few years.  Some states and medical boards have developed laws and rules governing medical and wellness spas.  As medical and wellness spas continue to grow, we can anticipate more laws and rules governing medical and wellness spas.  On July 19, 2023, the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners (“Medical Board”) published changes to the rules governing the “Use of Lasers and Other Modalities,” which can be found in Chapter 540-X-11 of the Rules of the Medical Board.  The rule is broken down into many different categories.  This post provides an overview of the rule changes that are potentially applicable to medical spa practitioners.  If you have a question about the Alabama Medical Board’s 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.

Rule 540-X-11 “Guidelines for the Use of Lasers and Other Modalities Affecting Living Tissue” has been a rule in Alabama since 2007.  However, on March 16, 2023, the Medical Board passed changes and additions to the Rule, which became effective on July 17, 2023.  The deadline for compliance with the provisions is July 17, 2024.

Although the Medical Board made many changes, an important change to the rules is that these rules apply to many cosmetic lasers including cryotherapy, infrared lasers, radiofrequency micro-needling, Class III lasers that work on heat-based targeting of skin and collagen.  The Medical Board made many changes to Rule 540-X-11.  The Medical Board made many notable changes to the rule that may apply to med spa practitioners, including as follows:

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