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Sara Avakian, Attorney, Polsinelli Elizabeth Tucker, Polsinelli

A Light in the Storm: Section 1135(b) Waivers During Disaster or Emergency


By Sara Avakian
Attorney, Polsinelli
By Elizabeth Tucker
Attorney, Polsinelli

Disasters such as the California wildfires, the North Dakota flooding, H1N1 pandemic, and Hurricanes Michael, Harvey, and Irma have had a tremendous impact on health care providers. When disaster strikes, resources are often stretched thin – and delivering quality care to patients while juggling an understaffed facility due to displaced employees and federal regulatory requirements can present significant challenges. Section 1135 of the Social Security Act provides relief to health care providers by authorizing the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to grant waivers from compliance with Medicare, Medicaid, and Children’s Health Insurance Program requirements after either the President has declared an emergency or disaster or the Secretary has declared a Public Health emergency. These Section 1135(b) waivers relieve health care providers from the added burdens of technical compliance with federal health care programs during declared emergencies; but, they do not affect state law requirements. Read article
Physician holding a patient's hand before surgery

Infecting the Hippocratic Oath


By Craig B. Garner
Founder, Garner Health Law Corporation

Somewhere deep within the labyrinth of regulations promulgated since Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (“HITECH”) in 2009 exists health care’s very own Kobayashi Maru. Mindful of the draconian consequences in deviating from the so-called HIPAA Privacy Rule, health care practitioners who follow these national standards to defend individual medical records and other protected health information (“PHI”) sometimes must stand down like a Star Fleet cadet forced to watch the entire crew and passengers of another vessel perish. On the other hand, those rogue clinicians who chose rescue over risk may face attack from federal and state authorities.  Read article
Nurse caring for elderly patient in hospital

Enlightened Healthcare Leadership: Creating an Environment of Trust and Compassion


By Danna Beal, M.Ed.
International Speaker, Author and Coach
Compassionate care is the mission of healthcare organizations and providers, but leaders and managers have many responsibilities. These include--guiding the strategic vision; meeting the organizational goals and metrics; developing procedures and initiatives; handling schedules and work flow; managing budgets, meeting safety and compliance objectives; and hiring and managing people.  Read article
Young woman in office making decision

What Are Your Three Most Important Decisions


By Thomas Ferkovic, R.Ph., MS
Managing Director, Medic Management Group, LLC

Life is about decisions, every day we make decisions about schedules, finances, patients, even lunch. Many, many decisions. Decisions made this quarter, or this year will affect your future. Okay, maybe not the lunch decision. Not making a decision can also affect your future. Not dealing with an issue such as an unproductive physician or disruptive employee, missing an investment opportunity for the future are all decisions. Passive decisions. No decision, is a decision that we must recognize. Read article