Knowledge Library

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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Hawaii Wildfires

The recent wildfires in Hawaii, now the deadliest wildfire event in over a century, are straining local healthcare resources as physicians and other providers care for patients who were directly injured in the fires and/or emotionally traumatized by the disaster, as well as displaced residents who need ongoing medical care.  Several local clinics, physician offices, and other healthcare facilities were either destroyed in the fires or closed due to lack of access.  As the state mobilizes to reinforce local hospitals and providers, concerns about rising COVID-19 cases in Hawaii further complicate efforts to preserve healthcare capacity in the state. Since...

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Lawsuits are Not Always Over When the Verdict Comes In

Clinician stress is well-documented. Even before the pandemic brought the double whammy of reduced staffing levels and increased patient care burdens, the ever-growing demands from electronic medical records, patient satisfaction surveys, and health insurance pre-authorizations contributed to burnout. However, one stress factor that isn’t usually considered is litigation. During a lawsuit, clinicians are likely to feel isolated, in large part because they are discouraged from discussing their case with their peers. When combined with remorse and self-doubt, as well as immersion in new and unfamiliar legal terrain, clinicians may experience sleepless nights and an inability to focus. Relationships can become...

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Before You Hit Send – Patient Safety Strategies

The first email was sent in 1971, the first text message in 1992, and people sharing their thoughts have not paused since. Those novelties are now commonplace to virtually everyone, including physicians and other healthcare providers communicating about patients—and sometimes about adverse events. Because they are ubiquitous and seemingly ethereal, it’s easy—especially for less-experienced physicians—to forget that emails and (some) texts are part of the medical record, including some messages that could one day be excerpted and projected during a medical malpractice trial. In the investigation of a medical professional liability (MPL) claim or lawsuit, emails or texts sent to...

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