Knowledge Library

New Law Alert: California 2021

While coronavirus dominated much of the California legislative landscape in 2020, a number of bills on a variety of subjects impacting health care providers were signed into law by Governor Newsom. Following are a few new laws you should be aware of; all are effective January 1, 2021 unless otherwise noted.   Employee Notification of COVID-19 Exposure: AB 685 (Reyes) requires employers to provide written notification within 24 hours to their employees if they are potentially exposed, at the workplace, to a person who was infectious with COVID-19 or who was subject to a COVID-19 related quarantine order. The law...

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California Confidentiality of Medical Information Act

When questions arise around the confidentiality of patient records and other healthcare information, providers typically invoke HIPAA- the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, which establishes standards for the privacy and security of protected health information. However, HIPAA regulations do not cover all aspects of patient confidentiality, and the rules only apply to “covered entities” who perform certain electronic transactions (although virtually all providers fall into this category). Most importantly, to the extent that state law addresses the same issues as HIPAA, the more “controlling” or limiting law applies. It is therefore important for healthcare providers to...

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The Use of Advanced Practice Providers in a Medical Practice: Update 2020

Physicians work with advanced practice providers (APPs) in a variety of medical settings. Advanced practice providers include physician assistants (PAs), and four classifications of advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs): nurse practitioners (NPs), certified nurse-midwives (CNMs), clinical nurse specialists (CNSs), and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs). As the healthcare industry is experiencing an ever-increasing aging patient population, fewer physicians, is transitioning to value-based reimbursement, APPs are becoming vital to the success of team-based care. In this article we explore the qualifications of APPs, the benefits of employing APPs, as well as the impact they have on the role of physicians. Advanced...

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Unanticipated Medical Outcomes – Disclosure and Apology

It has been twenty years since the Institute of Medicine report To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System was released. Pioneers such as the University of Michigan, University of Illinois, the Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Lexington, KY, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) undertook the challenge to research and develop methods to communicate medical errors and other adverse outcomes to patients and families. Disclosure, apology, and potential resolution present particularly challenging topics in the setting of medical professional liability, where state and federal laws and regulations can impact the scope of communication and the...

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California Informed Consent Supplement

This supplement to our "Informed Consent Revisited" article contains excerpts from California laws related to informed consent, consent by minors and special consents. California physicians who have questions about a specific patient or who require legal advice may call MIEC’s Claims Department in Oakland at 800-227-4527. For general liability questions, physicians and their staff can call MIEC’s Patient Safety & Risk Management Department in Oakland, CA at 800-227-4527. Informed Consent In California, the current law on informed consent is derived largely from the case of Cobbs vs. Grant (1972) 8 Cal.3d 229 in which it was ruled that a physician...

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