Health Care Counsel

Arent Fox's health care law blog offers news, analysis, and insights for the health care industry.

Health Care Counsel

Blog Posts by Lowell C. Brown

Medical Staff Credentialing & Peer Review Law
alert
Do Physicians Get Jury Trials in Retaliation Claims?

A recent California Supreme Court ruling could significantly impact trials of physician “whistleblower” claims under California Health & Safety Code Section 1278.5 – maybe.  

Historically, California physicians facing peer review actions first had to exhaust their administrative remedies before filing a lawsuit related to the action. In 2007, California carved out an exception to this general rule in a revision to California Health & Safety Code § 1278.5. This statute prohibits health care facilities from discriminating or retaliating against employees, health care workers, and medical staff members for raising issues of unsafe patient care and conditions; in 2014, the California Supreme Court found that the statute allows physicians to pursue retaliation claims without first having to exhaust administrative remedies.   

Continue Reading →
alert
California Approves First-In-The-Nation Regulation Specifically Addressing the Threat of Workplace Violence in Healthcare Facilities

Recently, the California Division of Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board approved a new safety standard designed to provide comprehensive regulatory protections for workers exposed to workplace violence in healthcare settings. The standard, which was sponsored by several labor unions, will require covered healthcare providers to develop workplace violence prevention plans, training programs, and recordkeeping procedures to track certain incidents of workplace violence. 
 

Continue Reading →
HIPAA / Health Privacy & Security, Hospitals and Acute Care, Medical Staff Credentialing & Peer Review Law
alert
Hospitalized Medical Staff Members: Reconciling Peer Review and HIPAA

Last week, Health Care partner Lowell C. Brown and associate Jade M. Kelly published an article in Bloomberg BNA’s Health Law Report that examines what hospital and medical staff leaders should do when a staff member is hospitalized with signs of impairment.

Continue Reading →
Media Mention
alert
Arent Fox Partner Lowell Brown Talks with Bloomberg BNA about Groundbreaking Peer Review Case

Arent Fox partner Lowell C. Brown, head of the firm’s Health Care practice, was quoted in a recent Bloomberg BNA article following a novel and groundbreaking decision by the New Mexico Supreme Court when it ruled a physician can bring suit under a state’s peer review confidentiality statute against a hospital that fired him based on his conduct as a reviewer during a medical staff peer review proceeding.

Continue Reading →
Corporate Governance, Fraud & Abuse Compliance, Government Investigations & Litigation, Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution, Media Mention
alert
Partner Lowell Brown Quoted by Bloomberg BNA’s Health Law Reporter about Top Health Care Legal Issues in 2015

Arent Fox Health Care partner Lowell C. Brown was quoted several times in an article in Bloomberg BNA’s Health Law Reporter. The article outlined legal issues that health care providers can expect to face in 2015. The list included hospital/physician alignment, health information and technology, antitrust, fraud and abuse, health plan regulation, Medicaid, Medicare, corporate governance, and licensure.

Regarding provider reimbursement, Mr. Brown remarked, “Medi-Cal pays less than half the cost of keeping a patient in the hospital for a day — and that is before the first aspirin is given — so CEOs are looking hard at Medicaid as a revenue source and wondering how it will impact their bottom lines.”

Continue Reading →
Payer Disputes & Reimbursement, Product Coverage & Payment
alert
Cutting Class: California Health Provider Overcomes Class Action Treatment of Patient Billing Claims

In a decision that is good news for California hospitals, the California Court of Appeal invalidated class certification when a San Diego-based hospital system proved that the only way to determine the members of an uninsured patient class was to review more than 120,000 patient records. In Hale v. Sharp Healthcare, the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District affirmed the trial court’s order decertifying a class of uninsured patients claiming unfair billing practices. In its decision filed November 19, 2014, and certified for publication on December 5, 2014, the Hale Court not only found Sharp Healthcare (Sharp) persuasively showed that a patient class could not be reasonably ascertained, but also that the billing practices applied to the uninsured patients varied such that diverse individual, rather than common, issues prevailed.

Continue Reading →
HIPAA / Health Privacy & Security
alert
Privacy Breaches: Not Just About Health Information

Our colleagues who represent retailers, technology, and media companies recently wrote that high profile data breaches have resulted in legislative and commercial industry initiatives to better protect consumers’ financial information from data theft.

We want to note that those in the health care industry need to pay attention to these developments as well. To read our colleagues’ article, click here.

Continue Reading →
Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution, Medical Staff Credentialing & Peer Review Law
alert
Michalski v. Scripps Mercy Hospital: A Win for Both Peer Reviewers and Hospital Boards

Earlier this month, Arent Fox Health Care partner Lowell C. Brown  published an article in California Healthcare News that provides insight into a key peer review case involving legal principles and individual behaviors that provide critical lessons for hospitals.

In the article, Mr. Brown reports that “Michalski was about sexual harassment, an errant hearing committee decision, and a governing body’s ultimate authority to decide what physician behavior is acceptable in the hospital. In its decision the California Court of Appeal confirmed that a hospital’s governing body may, where permitted by the hospital’s medical staff bylaws, broadly exercise its independent judgment and overturn a Judicial Review Committee (JRC) decision following a peer review hearing.”

Continue Reading →

SUBSCRIBE

Add the Arent Fox Health Care Law blog to your RSS feed reader.

Arent Fox In Your Inbox
To subscribe to Arent Fox Alerts and other news, click here.

ABOUT ARENT FOX LLP

Arent Fox LLP, founded in 1942, is internationally recognized in core practice areas where business and government intersect. With more than 350 lawyers, the firm provides strategic legal counsel and multidisciplinary solutions to clients that range from Fortune 500 corporations to trade associations. The firm has offices in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.