MSNJ Weighs in on End-of-Life CME Requirement

In a meeting on December 7, the Board of Trustees of MSNJ considered the recommendation of the Revolving Reference Committee that it adopt a resolution that would require MSNJ to seek legislation to limit the end-of -life continuing medical educational requirement to a one-time two credit event. The law currently requires two credits of CME on end-of-life at each biennial license renewal. The Board voted to adopt the resolution which was brought forward by Union County and joined by 6 other counties.

In comments to the Board of Medical Examiners on December 5, MSNJ urged the BME to exercise its authority to allow the credits to be in either Category 1 or 2. MSNJ further urged the BME to convene the medical education advisory committee, on which MSNJ has a member, to consider the comments filed and how to best implement the statutory requirements. Finally, MSNJ encouraged the BME to carefully consider applications for waivers from the CME requirement since there are many licensed physicians in New Jersey who do not have patient contact or would not be in a position to either treat at end-of-life or counsel on end-of-life choices.

FIRST HEALTHCARE COMPLIANCE and MEDICAL SOCIETY of NEW JERSEY FORM PARTNERSHIP

Wilmington, DE and Lawrenceville, NJ—December 17, 2014—First Healthcare Compliance (http://www.1sthcc.com), a national provider of a comprehensive compliance solution to help healthcare providers save time and money by efficiently implementing an effective compliance program, announces the official launch of their affinity partnership with Medical Society of New Jersey (http://www.msnj.org).
The First Healthcare Compliance Affinity Partners program provides partners with an opportunity to refer members to First Healthcare Compliance, and for their members to receive a ‘members-only’ lifetime discount as a new subscriber. First Healthcare Compliance helps their members save time and money, mitigate risk and maintain focus on patient care by providing them with a comprehensive solution to implement and manage a compliance program that addresses HIPAA/HITECH, OSHA, the False Claims Act, the Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark in a simple, efficient and effective manner, in one place.
“As First Healthcare Compliance continues to grow nationally, we are committed to developing relationships with qualified Affinity Partners. It is a winning proposition for organizations interested in offering an innovative new service benefit to their members,” said Julie Sheppard, Founder and President of First Healthcare Compliance. “We are thrilled that such a well-respected organization as the Medical Society of New Jersey is also committed to providing the resources and tools for healthcare practitioners and professionals to better manage their practice. We are confident that this new partnership will help us better reach physicians and other healthcare providers in private practice, and healthcare networks or health systems in New Jersey.

“Like us, the Medical Society of New Jersey understands the pressing needs of this market for a comprehensive compliance program management solution,” continues Julie Sheppard. “They recognize the incredibly limited resources available and the void that the First Healthcare Compliance solution fills.”
For further information, please visit http://1sthcc.com/partners/ or contact First Healthcare Compliance at 888.54.FIRST.
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About First Healthcare Compliance
First Healthcare Compliance provides solutions to address the needs of the physicians and healthcare providers and their staff in private practice, or those in hospital networks and health systems, to implement and maintain a high quality compliance program in a simple, effective and efficient manner. The new business model created by First Healthcare Compliance enables them to offer a comprehensive, single-source compliance solution.
A privately-owned women business enterprise founded in 2012 in Wilmington, DE by Julie Sheppard, First Healthcare Compliance was created from the rising concern Julie had in witnessing the increasing demands being placed on physicians and other healthcare providers in private practice and in hospital networks and health systems, to comply with the rules and regulations of the Affordable Care Act. As a nurse, an attorney, and a physician’s spouse, Julie identified a widening gap between the expectations of government and the reality of compliance for healthcare professionals. She recognized the opportunity available to fill the void of practical compliance resources and options to solve these needs; this became the impetus for the formation of First Healthcare Compliance.
Phone: 302-416-4329
Email: info@1sthcc.com

http://1sthcc.com/

https://twitter.com/1sthcc

http://www.linkedin.com/company/first-healthcare-compliance

Dr. Tarasenko and Team Honored by South Plainfield

MSNJ would like to congratulate Anthony Tarasenko, MD, and Concentra Urgent Care for being awarded the 2014 Best of South Plainfield Award in the Doctors & Clinics category by the South Plainfield Award Program.
Each year, the South Plainfield Award program identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small businesses through service to their customers and the community. These companies help make South Plainfield area a great place to live, work and play. Dr. Tarasenko is the Medical Director of Concentra Urgent Care. He has been an active member of MSNJ since 1990 and serves as a Board of Trustees member. Dr. Tarasenko is also Past President of Union County Medical Society.

Medical Society of New Jersey Welcomes New Members from ENT and Allergy Associates

Lawrenceville, NJ – The Medical Society of New Jersey (MSNJ) is pleased to welcome ENT and Allergy Associates (ENTA) as a new member. ENTA was originally formed in 1998 when three practices merged with 12 partners and 8 locations. Today, the group has grown to over 160 physicians practicing in 40+ office locations throughout New York and New Jersey. Additionally, ENTA offers patients the services of over 80 licensed audiologists.

“With 10 clinical locations in seven New Jersey counties, we at ENTA are very proud of our significant presence in New Jersey and our service to the deserving patients who call the Garden State home,” noted Robert Glazer, CEO of ENTA. “We stand with the Medical Society of New Jersey and applaud their dedication to both the patients and physicians of New Jersey. Helping to promote the betterment of public health throughout the state is exactly what our practice is all about.”

Added Lee Eisenberg, MD, partner at ENTA’s Englewood office, “Through a comprehensive program of legislative, legal, regulatory, economic and social advocacy, MSNJ superbly represents the interests of health professionals in numerous practices and specialties. That translates into enormous benefits for patients all over New Jersey. We are delighted to be a part of their organization.”

Founded in 1766, MSNJ is the oldest professional society in the United States. It represents the interests of group and individual physician practices and promotes the betterment of the public health and the science and the art of medicine, to enlighten public opinion in regard to the problems of medicine, and to safeguard the rights of the practitioners of medicine.

“We are pleased to welcome ENT and Allergy Associates as a new MSNJ member,” said Larry Downs, CEO of MSNJ. “We are committed to improving the healthcare environment for physicians and patients. Our advocacy with insurers, the government and private sector partners helps to extend the overall impact of physician practices. Partnerships with practices such as ENTA give us much better market perspective in our services to members.”

Information on group membership is available by visiting http://www.msnj.org.

About MSNJ:
Founded in 1766, the Medical Society of New Jersey is the oldest professional society in the United States. The organization and its dues-paying members are dedicated to a healthy New Jersey, working to ensure the sanctity of the physician–patient relationship. In representing all medical disciplines, MSNJ advocates for the rights of patients and physicians alike, for the delivery of the highest quality medical care. This allows response to the patients’ individual, varied needs, in an ethical and compassionate environment, in order to create a healthy Garden State and healthy citizens. For more information, visit http://www.MSNJ.org.

About ENT & Allergy Associates, LLP:
ENT and Allergy has over 160 physicians in 40+ office locations in Westchester, Putnam, Orange, Dutchess, Rockland, Nassau and Suffolk counties, New York City, Long Island and northern/central New Jersey. Each ENT and Allergy Associates clinical location provides access to a full complement of services, including General Adult and Pediatric ENT, Voice and Swallowing, Facial Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery, Disorders of the Inner Ear and Dizziness, Asthma, Clinical Immunology, Diagnostic Audiology, Hearing Aid dispensing, Sleep and CT Services. ENTA has a clinical alliance with The Mount Sinai Hospital for the treatment of diseases of the head and neck and esophageal cancer, a clinical alliance with the Montefiore Medical Center for the tertiary treatment of pediatric patients and a partnership with the American Cancer Society to educate and treat patients with smoking disorders and cancer. The Practice has also expanded its clinical capabilities to include advanced Immunodeficiency trials. Visit http://www.entandallergy.com for more information.

Scope of Practice: Physician Assistants

The Senate Health Committee passed S1184 (Vitale), which would expand the scope of practice for physician assistants. MSNJ, along with specialty societies, negotiated closely with the Society of Physician Assistants on amendments to strike a balance protecting patient concerns. With amendments, MSNJ supports the bill. The process was a model for cooperation with non-physician groups. First, the bill would authorize a physician assistant to make pronouncements of death, and to undertake any other duties and responsibilities beyond those in the statute that a supervising physician elects to delegate, pursuant to a written delegation agreement. The duties and responsibilities delegated to a physician assistant would be limited to those procedures that are customary to the supervising physician’s specialty, and that are within the supervising physician’s competence and training. The bill provides parameters for a delegation agreement, including a requirement that, in the case of a multi-specialty physician practice, a written delegation agreement must be executed for each physician specialty within the practice. The bill requires a physician assistant who is working in either in or outpatient settings to be under the continuous supervision of a physician; supervision may mean only maintaining contact through electronic communication. The bill’s requirements associated with physician supervision will be suspended when a physician assistant is responding to a need for medical care that is created by an emergency or disaster. The bill would remove the requirement for a supervising physician to countersign a physician assistant’s order for medication. Instead, the bill would authorize a physician assistant to order, prescribe, dispense, and administer medications and medical devices to the extent delegated by a supervising physician. The bill also authorizes a physician assistant to request, receive, and sign for prescription drug samples and distribute those samples to patients. Finally, the bill would also require that educational programs required for the licensure of physician assistants be accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, rather than approved by the Committee on Allied Health Education and Accreditation.

Connecticut Supreme Court Allows Negligence Cause of Action for Medical Records Disclosure

In a case that tested the limits of HIPAA preemption the Connecticut Supreme Court has found that the privacy law does not preempt causes of action under state law including negligence and intentional infliction of emotional harm. Importantly, the case does not establish a private cause of action under HIPAA, a principle that is well established in existing law. In Byrne v. Avery Center for Obstetrics & Gynecology, the Connecticut Supreme Court considered whether the defendant facility breached its duty of confidentiality in the course of complying with a subpoena. The plaintiff, who was a patient of the facility, had instructed it not to release her medical records to a man with whom she had a relationship. He later sued for paternity and the facility released medical records in response to a subpoena. The court concluded that if Connecticut law provided a remedy for breach of confidentiality in responding to a subpoena, then HIPAA does not preempt or disallow the case from going forward on  negligence or negligent infliction of emotional harm.

This case underscores the importance identifying material in a patient’s record that has been limited from disclosure and a careful review of the subpoena and patient’s authorization before releasing documents. Legal review may be necessary where the patient has placed limitations on the release of records.

Election Day Results

Just a quick recap of election results that may be of interest to physicians.

First, terrific news from California. The California Medical Association led a coalition engaged in a year-long defense of the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA) legislation.  The package of liability reforms contained in MICRA are seen as the gold standard for state medical liability policy, and the heart of the package is a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages.  The California trial lawyers placed a ballot question before the voters to significantly increase the cap and add random drug testing for physicians.

This message was distributed by CMA yesterday. “[On Tuesday] the voters of California spoke loudly and definitively, sending the trial lawyers’ Proposition 46 to defeat by a vote of 67 to 33. The message is clear – Californians simply don’t want to increase health care costs and reduce health access so trial attorneys can file more lawsuits.”

The 113th Congress included 3 physicians in the Senate and 17 physicians in the House of Representatives (including 1 Delegate).  Two of the 17 physicians in the House voluntarily left their seats to run for US Senate. The 114th Congress looks to have 14-15 physicians in the House.

Physicians running as incumbents for Congressional seats were generally successful in their reelection bids.  Notable races include Rep. Bill Cassidy, MD is in a run off for his House seat in Louisiana. Rep. Ami Bera, MD won California’s hotly contested 7th District in 2012 but is currently behind his opponent in a race that is still undeclared.

Physicians challenging for first terms in Congress include:

Monica Wehby, MD, a neuro surgeon, was defeated in her US Senate bid in Oregon.

Alieta Eck, MD was defeated in her challenge for the US House of Representatives seat vacated by Rep. Rush Holt in New Jersey.

The key congressional committees with jurisdiction over healthcare will all likely see new leadership. These include The House Energy & Commerce Committee,

The House Ways & Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee

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