CHA’s legal department advocates vigorously before the courts on behalf of California hospitals, both as a party in litigation and as amicus curiae in important appellate cases. In addition, the CHA legal department prepares legal memoranda and manuals to help hospitals understand and comply with state and federal laws. The CHA legal department also supports CHA staff in their advocacy efforts before the state legislature and regulatory agencies.
As part of its representation and advocacy efforts, CHA is asked on occasion to consider participating in litigation proceedings on matters pertaining to hospitals. Litigation support may come in a variety of requests, including consultation, filing as a representative plaintiff, intervening as a party, providing amicus support, or other related assistance. CHA’s Litigation Policy, updated by the Board of Trustees at its recent meeting, addresses the nature and scope that an issue presents for the hospital industry, and the procedural prerequisites that must accompany a request for CHA litigation or amicus support. The updated CHA Litigation Policy is attached.
Hospitals must update their Notice of Privacy Practices by Monday, Sept. 23, according to regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Jan. 25. The updated notice must be posted on the hospital’s website and in the facility, provided to new patients and made available to returning patients upon request. CHA has updated its model notices to comply with the rule; the CHA models are available at www.calhospital.org/cha-developed-privacy-tools.
In addition, HHS has developed model notices that hospitals may use as a guide in developing their own. However, the HHS model notices are not California-specific — some of the provisions conflict with stricter California law, particularly for patients being treated under the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act. The HHS model notices may be found at www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/modelnotices.html.
Today, a ballot initiative that would require a cost-of-living adjustment to the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act’s (MICRA) $250,000 cap on non-economic damages was filed with the Attorney General’s office. If passed, the cost-of-living adjustment would result in an increase of more than $1.2 million in the non-economic damages cap, with an additional requirement for cost-of-living adjustments going forward. Today’s filing is the first step in an extended process required to qualify a measure for the November ballot.
The initiative also includes other provisions related to physician drug testing and prescription drugs. CHA is partnering with other providers and insurers in the California Alliance for Patient Protection (CAPP) coalition to establish a robust strategy to protect the MICRA cap and limit the unintended consequences that an increase in lawsuits against doctors, hospitals, community clinics and other health care providers would generate. A copy of the ballot initiative is attached.
On January 23, 2013, the California Building Standards Commission adopted emergency regulations revising the 2010 California Building Standards Code. One of the key areas impacted was signage. Hospitals have a lot of signs — large hospitals may have up to 80 or more different types. Find out about the emergency regulations and what you need to do to comply.
There’s a lot of buzz around the new HIPAA/HITECH final rule, and hospitals are moving quickly to review and understand the new federal regulations. But, California has its own set of laws to consider that are sometimes more stringent. So, which laws do you need to follow?
You’ve just been served. The subpoena “looks” okay, and seems “official,” but you’re wary — and you should be. The stakes are often high if you get this wrong. This webinar thoroughly explains the nuances of civil and criminal subpoenas. Participants will learn how to review what they receive and respond with confidence.
Many questions arise when confronted with an unannounced survey. Whether or not the survey goes smoothly will depend heavily upon hospital staff having a solid understanding of the types of surveys, and the laws, regulations and guidelines that surveyors will use to assess compliance. Whether you are a seasoned veteran, or new to the survey process, this webinar will provide clarity and practical guidance on the licensing and certification survey process.
Learn about the fundamentals of health information privacy to make decisions with confidence. Expert faculty explain the many laws governing patient privacy and how they apply to the most common situations. Case scenarios are used to challenge participant knowledge and critical thinking skills.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a 15-page document last week that provides guidance on the essential health benefits that must be included in the scope of coverage that insurance plans must meet in 2014 to sell in state-based health insurance exchanges. The guidance provides states with a choice of benchmark plans instead of dictating a single approach. The HHS guidance puts choice and flexibility in the hands of the states as they work to build their insurance exchanges.
The U.S. Supreme Court has announced it will hear arguments on the constitutionality of the federal health care reform law March 26-28, 2012. The court will discuss several issues, including tax laws and timing of the Affordable Care Act implementation, the individual mandate, whether severability applies, and the constitutionality of the Medicaid expansion. Contact: Anne McLeod, (916) 552-7536, firstname.lastname@example.org.