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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Treating Unvaccinated Patients

MIEC has been receiving increasing calls from members who are concerned about patients who have not received a COVID vaccine. Members have expressed concerns regarding the safety of unvaccinated patients, other patients in the practice, and their staff. Some members have expressed an unwillingness to continue treating patients who are either vaccine-hesitant or who have refused to get vaccinated, or they are unwilling to see these patients in their offices. To address this question more broadly, MIEC turned to ECRI, which provided the following recommendations based on a review of clinical and gray literature and ECRI resources. ECRI answers questions...

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Crisis Standards of Care

Over the past few weeks, increasing COVID-19 hospitalizations finally overwhelmed hospitals, driving health officials to cross a threshold that had been avoided successfully since the beginning of the pandemic. Last week, two hard-hit areas of the United States declared “crisis standards of care” due to lack of available healthcare resources in the setting of COVID-19. On 9/7/21 the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare announced that two districts in Northern Idaho would activate crisis standards of care; the rest of the state followed suit on 9/16/21 due to a lack of critical care resources at the state’s largest health system....

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Professional Boundaries in the Medical Practice

The doctor-patient relationship is rooted in trust. Patients often present their most vulnerable selves to their physicians with the trust that they will remain respectful and professional at all times. An important part of establishing an atmosphere of trust is maintaining clear professional boundaries with patients. If this trust is compromised it can be damaging to the patient, your reputation, your practice, and the medical community. Not all cases are clear when it comes to avoiding boundary violations. Sure, it is easy to recognize blatant violations such as having sexual relations with a patient, but what about attending a wedding...

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