Knowledge Library

DEA Announces Proposed Telemedicine Rule Change for Controlled Substances

On 2/24/23 the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) announced a proposal for permanent rule changes to the Ryan Haight Act that will allow for the prescription of controlled substances through telemedicine, under certain circumstances, after the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE) expires on May 11, 2023. The Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act of 2008 requires prescribers conduct an in-person examination to evaluate each patient at least once before prescribing a controlled substance, even if a patient has already been taking the medication in question. During the PHE, the in-person requirement was changed to allow prescribers to perform...

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Nurse Practitioner Expanded Scope of Practice in California

Beginning in 2023, certified nurse practitioners can apply to practice independently in California.  Assembly Bill 890, which was signed into law in September 2020, went into effect on 1/1/23.  The law created two new categories of Nurse Practitioners (NPs) that can function within a defined scope of practice without standardized procedures. The California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN)recently released the application on February 2nd, so nurse practitioners are now able to apply for expanded scope of practice. The two new Nurse Practitioner categories and their requirements are as follows: 103 NP Works under the provisions outlined in Business and Profession Code...

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2023 New Law Alert: California

A variety of subjects impacting physicians were signed into law by Governor Newsom in 2022. Following is a sampling of new laws you should be aware of; all are effective by January 1, 2023 unless otherwise noted. A comprehensive report on new healthcare laws is available from the California Medical Association.   AB 35: Updates to the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA). Key provisions include a limited increase to the non-economic damage cap, a modified attorney fee structure, and a revised minimum threshold for payment for future economic damages following a judgment. Read our MICRA 2022 Update for details....

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Gifts to Patients and Referring Providers

At this time of year, healthcare providers may want to give gifts to patients, referring providers, or other sources of business, but such gifts may violate federal and state fraud and abuse laws and result in civil or criminal fines for both the giver and receiver. 1. Gifts to Referring Providers and Other Referral Sources. The federal Anti-Kickback Statute (“AKS”) prohibits soliciting, offering, giving, or receiving remuneration (e.g., gifts) in exchange for referrals for items or services covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or other federal healthcare programs unless the arrangement fits within a regulatory exception. (42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b(b)). AKS violations...

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Violence Against Healthcare Providers

As violence increases across the country, so too have acts of violence against healthcare providers. Unfortunately, this is not a new trend; polls conducted in 2014 and 2020 revealed that 71% of physicians and 82% of nurses reported having been targets of violence at some point in their careers, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that healthcare and social service workers are 5 times as likely to suffer a workplace violence injury than workers overall. Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, this epidemic of violence has continued to worsen. An August 2022 poll conducted by the American...

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