HHS Extends Deadline for EHR Donations to 2021

A bit of encouraging news for physicians that many may have missed in the holiday shuffle is the Department of Health and Human Services’ publication of two new rules extending the deadline for hospitals and other health care entities to assist physicians in obtaining electronic health records systems.  The new …

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Supreme Court Denies Cert in Harkonen

The Supreme Court denied certiorari this week in Harkonen v. United States.  Harkonen was convicted of wire fraud related to statements he made in a press release about an FDA-regulated clinical study.  In his petition for certiorari, Harkonen raised basic First Amendment issues and an interesting and novel …

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Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR)

In a late-year burst of bipartisan kumbaya, key House and Senate Committees have advanced legislation that would repeal the Sustainable Growth Rate or SGR formula Medicare uses to determine physician payment levels with a new system that seeks to drive payments for value rather than volume. The SGR, established in …

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When Is a Hospital Bed Not a Hospital Bed?

A recent CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) advisory opinion provides an answer to the riddle, "When is a hospital bed not a hospital bed?" The answer provided by Advisory Opinion No. 2013-03, issued November 11, 2013, is that under certain circumstances a hospital bed in a physician-owned hospital …

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A Case Statement for Privatization of Publicly-Owned Hospitals

Publicly-owned hospitals across the United States are facing hard times. Federal and state health reform is placing ever greater emphasis on quality, bundled or population-based payment methodologies while reimbursements overall continue to shrink. While private for-profit and nonprofit systems prepare to meet …

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President Obama Signs the Drug Quality and Security Act

On November 27, 2013, President Obama signed the Drug Quality and Security Act (DQSA) into law. Title I of the Act establishes national standards for compounding pharmacies designed to fill regulatory gaps that contributed to the 2012 meningitis outbreak. Title II—arguably the more important of the two …

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