Knowledge Library

New California Laws in 2022

A variety of subjects impacting physicians were signed into law by Governor Newsom in 2021. Following is a sampling of new laws you should be aware of; all are effective January 1, 2022 unless otherwise noted. A comprehensive report on new healthcare laws is available from the California Medical Association. Electronic Prescribing Mandate This law (passed by the California Legislature in 2018) requires that almost all prescriptions written in California be transmitted electronically. The California Medical Association has published a description of the law, including the types of prescriptions that are exempt from the mandate. Does electronic prescribing trigger HIPAA...

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Speak Up for Patient Safety

“High-reliability” has been a buzzphrase in the healthcare industry for the last several years, but this safety movement is still gaining momentum. Many healthcare systems around the United States, including clinics, are taking steps to become high-reliability organizations. The high-reliability movement is largely based on safety principles developed in the nuclear and airline industries, where every employee is accountable for safety. These high-risk industries ingrain workplace safety into their culture primarily because, if an error occurs, the employee is likely to get injured – i.e., the pilot goes down with the plane. The stark difference in healthcare is that, if...

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Review of Bohn v. Providence Health Services Lawsuit

The Alaska Supreme Court recently interpreted a portion of the Alaska Healthcare Decision Act under Bohn v. Providence Health Services – Washington. While this is the first time the Court has interpreted the HCDA, its decision focused on a single provision of the statute, AS 13.52.080(a)(3). This provision grants immunity to health care providers declining to comply with a person’s health care decision so long as the provider “acts in good faith and in accordance with generally accepted health care standards” and so long as the refusal to comply is “based on a good faith belief that the person then...

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Informed Refusal: What to do when patients cancel recommended treatments or procedures due to COVID-19 related concerns.

Physicians are often faced with situations where they believe a specific medical treatment or procedure is necessary or even lifesaving and yet the patient declines the service due to concerns of being exposed to COVID-19. Taking extra time to have a clear and candid conversation with the patient can make a significant difference. First, consider whether the patient was given adequate information and encouraged to ask questions about the treatment options. Assuring the patient is fully informed allows the patient to make the best decisions for their healthcare. Second, take efforts to explain what additional measures you have adapted to...

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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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