Preventing falls is a perpetual task for health care facilities and those who regulate or accredit them. On September 28, 2015, The Joint Commission (TJC) issued a Sentinel Event Alert addressing the topic of preventing falls and fall-related injuries, providing additional information and recommendations to supplement its existing fall-prevention standards.
Certification, Accreditation & Licensure
Arent Fox has significant experience advising clients regarding Medicare certification and compliance with the Medicare Conditions of Participation. We have represented clients in decertification actions, and have reviewed and drafted plans of correction to appropriately address deficiencies noted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and state survey agencies. A number of our attorneys also have clinical experience and a strong understanding of the operational requirements necessary to comply with Medicare regulations.
CMS increasingly relies on accrediting bodies in many health care industries, and Arent Fox lawyers have experience representing health care providers and suppliers before these various entities. We have advised health care providers on The Joint Commission (TJC) accreditation and assist clients in preparing for surveys, answering Requirements for Improvement and challenging adverse recommendations. We have successfully represented hospitals in overturning Preliminary Denial of Accreditation recommendations in appeal hearings. We have also drafted comments to proposed TJC Standards and Elements of Performance to ensure that TJC creates rules that appropriately address health care industry concerns.
Arent Fox attorneys also regularly advise clients regarding state licensing issues, and interface with state licensing agencies on a variety of matters. We advise on compliance with licensing requirements, review statements of deficiency, assist in preparing plans of correction, defend licenses in revocation actions, and represent parties in challenging or attempting to uphold agency decisions. We have also been involved in Certificate of Needs (CON) issues across the United States, and have analyzed the applicability of CON requirements to particular transactions, sought CON requirement clarifications from the responsible agencies, submitted applications, and been involved in hearings both in support of and in opposition to CON applications.
Health care lawyers are familiar with the term “underground rulemaking,” which refers to efforts by federal agencies to impose obligations on providers and suppliers informally, without using the processes required by law. That issue has recently attracted the attention of the US Senate.
For almost 30 years, hospitals and certain other health care organizations have been required to report to the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) specified “adverse actions” regarding physicians and dentists that they employ, contract with, or have on staff.
The beginning of 2015 brings implementation of The Joint Commission’s (TJC) newly rewritten Sentinel Events Policy (Policy) for hospitals. Released in late 2014, and effective January 1, 2015, the Policy clarifies and puts into operation new and revised definitions and expectations. Changes include the following, among others:
On October 7, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced plans to reopen and extend the deadline for eligible professionals and eligible hospitals to submit a hardship exception application for not demonstrating “Meaningful Use” of Certified Electronic Health Record Technology (CEHRT).
Studies analyzing the cost-effectiveness of certain medical practices can sometimes indirectly suggest other, seemingly-unrelated benefits to a health care organization’s bottom-line. Such is the case in a study (Study) of medical emergency teams (MET) published in Pediatrics (“Cost-Benefit Analysis of a Medical Emergency Team in a Children’s Hospital,” Pediatrics 2014; 134; 235 (Aug. 2014)).
Not often that a government agency retreats from a proposal for large-scale regulatory change in favor of fewer requirements in order to provide flexibility and clarity. So it is worth note that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) did just that when it issued its final rule last week to update criteria for Electronic Health Record (EHR) Certification.
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.