Knowledge Library

Hospitals must obtain written consent for pelvic and similar exams.

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced new guidance for hospitals informed consent guidelines. Based on increasing concerns about the absence of informed patient consent prior to allowing practitioners or supervised medical, advanced practice provider, or other applicable students to perform training- and education-related examinations outside the medically necessary procedure (such as breast, pelvic, prostate, and rectal examinations), particularly on anesthetized patients, we are reinforcing hospitals’ informed consent obligations. CMS requires hospitals to first obtain and document informed consent from patients before performing sensitive examinations in all circumstances.  Informed consent includes the right to refuse consent for sensitive...

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Bill Limiting Minor Medical Consent and Privacy Passed by Idaho Legislature

The “Parental Rights in Medical Decision-Making” Act was delivered to Governor Little on March 15, 2024. In the absence of a veto, it will go into effect on July 1, 2024 as an emergency provision. Minors (of specified ages) in Idaho have long held the right to consent to certain types of medical care, including certain types of behavioral health care, substance abuse disorder treatment, family planning, and some communicable diseases including sexually transmitted infections (STIs). As an extension of this right to consent to care, minors also had a right to confidentiality of information pertaining to care and treatment...

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Safety Nets for Safer Care

A 33-year-old woman went to the Emergency Department (ED) for abdominal pain and intermittent rectal bleeding. The attending physician ordered a colonoscopy, but it was never completed. The patient was diagnosed with colon cancer two years after her initial ED visit, and she passed away within a year. No one will ever know if having that initial follow-up would have changed her outcome, but an earlier diagnosis might have offered a better chance for survival. Preventing patients from falling through the cracks in the system is a constant challenge, and some health care organizations have turned to ambulatory safety nets...

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Revised Regulation: DEA-Registered Pharmacies can Transfer Electronic Prescriptions at a Patient’s Request

On September 1st, 2023, the DEA released a revised regulation allowing pharmacies to transfer electronic prescriptions for controlled substances to another pharmacy at the patient's request. This can be very helpful given some of the medication shortages patients have experienced over the last year. The new rule allows for a one-time transfer of electronic prescriptions for Schedule II-V controlled substances to another pharmacy without having to involve the prescribing provider. Patients will no longer need to call their provider and ask for the prescription to be sent to a different pharmacy. Any authorized refills included on a prescription for a...

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Update on EMTALA protections for medically necessary abortions in Idaho

There have been several recent developments in Idaho with regard to EMTALA protections for medically necessary abortions. First, on September 28th the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals removed the injunction that allowed physicians in Idaho to perform abortion as part of medically necessary stabilizing care under the Emergency Medicine and Active Labor Act (EMTALA). As previously reported, after Idaho prohibited abortion in August 2022, the federal government sued Idaho under the premise that EMTALA preempted state law in cases of emergency.  The federal district court issued a preliminary injunction in that case; the injunction essentially created a requirement for physicians...

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