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Photo of Health Law by Hinshaw: News and Insights for Health Care Industry Executives and Professionals Michael A. Dowell
Partner
mdowell@hinshawlaw.com
213 614-7341
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Mr. Dowell practices in the areas of healthcare, regulatory and corporate law. With more than 30 years of experience, he represents clients in a variety …

Showing 5 posts by Michael A. Dowell.

Spot the Legal Issues and Prepare Your Telemedicine Compliance Program

I recently published an article in the Journal of Health Care Compliance that provides on overview of the many legal issues raised by the practice of telemedicine services by federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) and rural health centers (RHCs). Because of the many benefits conferred by this health care service modality, FQHCs and RHCs are rapidly adopting telemedicine measures. However, there are many legal risks and compliance issues associated with the use of telemedicine, and in the article I discuss a series of compliance best practices that can help reduce the associated fraud and abuse risks. More ›

Responding to State Board of Pharmacy Licensing and Regulatory Proceedings

State Boards of Pharmacy are responsible for protecting the health, safety and welfare of the public by regulating the legal distribution of prescription drugs in their respective states, and ensuring the quality of all drugs administered, prescribed, distributed, or dispensed by prescription. That responsibility includes regulating the practice of pharmacy; administering and enforcing pharmacy practice acts and regulations in their respective states; and licensing, regulating, monitoring, investigating, and disciplining pharmacists and pharmacies.

A State Board of Pharmacy may reprimand, cancel, suspend, or revoke the license of a pharmacist or pharmacy that is found to have violated applicable pharmacy laws or regulations. State Board of Pharmacy disciplinary action on a pharmacist or pharmacy license based on disciplinary action by another State Board of Pharmacy is common and can present a multitude of problems for pharmacists and pharmacies that operate on a national basis.

It takes years of dedication and hard work to develop the skills necessary to secure a pharmacist license or operate a pharmacy. If confronted with State Board of Pharmacy disciplinary actions, it is critical for pharmacists and pharmacies alike to know how to respond. More ›

Health Care Organizations Should Take Heed of New HHS Cybersecurity Guidance

Cybersecurity is a significant and growing compliance risk for health care organizations. If your organization fails to protect patients from cybersecurity risks, the result could be serious fines and penalties for non-compliance with federal and state cybersecurity and data breach laws. The good news is that the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services ("HHS") recently released voluntary cybersecurity guidance for health care organizations. More ›

OIG Issues Advisory Opinion Allowing a Federally Qualified Health Center to Routinely Waive Co-Payments and/or Deductibles for Medicare and TRICARE Patients

On January 14, 2019, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General (the "OIG") issued Advisory Opinion 19-01, which was favorable to a federally qualified health center's ("FQHC's") proposal to routinely waive co-payments and/or deductibles for Medicare and TRICARE patients (the "Proposed Arrangement"). The particular FQHC that made the request is a pediatric clinic that provides medical, psychiatric, and dental care to children who reside in an area that contains disproportionately large numbers of children living in poverty. More ›

OCR Issues Guidance on How Providers May Share Information under HIPAA in Response to the National Opioid Crisis

On October 27, 2017 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a guidance titled "How HIPAA Allows Doctors to Respond to the Opioid Crisis," following President Trump's declaration of the opioid crisis as a national public health emergency. The guidance contains information on how the HIPAA Privacy Rule allows covered entities—which include health care providers and insurers—to share patient information without patient consent in connection with the nation's opioid-related health crisis.

Generally, HIPAA prohibits health care providers and insurers from sharing protected health information about patients who have the capacity to make their own health care decisions, and who have not authorized information sharing with family or legal representatives. The OCR Guidance clarifies that the HIPAA Privacy Rule allows the sharing of such information in certain circumstances, including: More ›

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