Knowledge Library

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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Free Continuing Medical Education for MIEC Members

As an added benefit to membership, MIEC offers Continuing Medical Education (CME) at no cost to members through our partnerships with Empathetics, Inc. and Med-IQ. MIEC’s free online CME is a great way for member physicians to work towards annual CME requirements while learning skills to enhance their interactions with patients, maximize patient safety, and reduce liability. MIEC members can complete one, or both, of the Med-IQ and Empathetics programs to earn up to 8 hours of AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Empathetics: Negative consequences of uncompassionate communication threaten the effectiveness of the overall healthcare experience for patients and their...

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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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Telehealth and Prescribing Controlled Substances

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak and escalating pandemic, in January 2020 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) declared a federal public health emergency (PHE) that is still in effect today. The PHE declaration resulted in numerous waivers of federal laws and regulations impacting the practice of medicine, including telehealth, HIPAA, scope of practice, and Stark laws. The PHE also provides healthcare providers with COVID-related liability protections under the PREP Act. Simultaneously, many individual state medical boards instituted waivers around licensure requirements for out-of-state physicians when providing telehealth services during COVID; these waivers were generally tied to...

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