Tuesday, July 24, 2007

YouTube Debate: WV's Mike Sharley's YouTube Video on Health Care

Great to see my law school classmate, Mike Sharley, asking the Democratic candidates at the YouTube debate about health care. Thanks to Larry Messina at Lincoln Walks At Midnight for the tip on the video. You can also get Hoppy's take.

Mike is an amazing individual with great creativity.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Injunction Halts WVHCA Cardiac Demonstration Project

Today's State Journal reports on Kanawha County Circuit Judge Stucky's granting of a preliminary injunction halting the West Virginia Health Care Authority from moving forward with a demonstration program that would enable three West Virginia hospitals to perform therapeutic angioplasties without having open heart backup services. The injunction was filed in seperate actions by St. Mary's Medical Center and St. Joseph's Hospital.

Details on the demonstration pilot project can be found under Section VII of the State Health Plan Cardiac Catheterization Standards.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

MD Net Guide Article: Are Physician Blogs in a Legal and Ethical Twilight Zone?

Last month I had the opportunity to collaborate with Fard Johnmar of Envision Solutions on an article for MD Net Guide, "Social Media Notebook: Are Physician Blogs in a Legal and Ethical Twilight Zone?" The article looks at the recent incident involving Dr. Lindeman, who blogged under the pseudonym "Flea," and the risks associated with physician blogging.

I shared some legal tips that physician bloggers should consider when blogging, including:
  • Anonymous blogging does not guarantee your privacy
  • Consider informing your employer about your blog
  • Follow your HIPAA training
  • Post a legal disclaimer
  • Be cautious about giving advice to patients
Check out the current issue of MD Net Guide to read the complete article. Also, the complete article, "Social Media Notebook: Are Physician Blogs in a Legal and Ethical Twilight Zone?" can be accessed via the web (registration required).

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

West Virginia Lawyers Early Blog-dopters . . .

Great to see two West Virginia law blogs on the list of first lawyer blogs. Congrats to Rory Perry and Brian Peterson for being on the cutting edge of law and technology. I have been a reader of both blogs over the years and remember coming across when I started blogging in July 2004.

Wonder whether any other state has two lawyers on the list?

Monday, July 16, 2007

Inspired by Rick Lee . . . Bugs!

I haven't been posting a lot because I've been very busy at work. However, I was inspired by Rick Lee tonight. In tribute to Rick's "Friday the 13th bug post" I thought I better post what's been bugging me. After returning from the grocery store (Monday night is grocery night at the Coffield House) I found this guy hanging out in our kitchen.

Not sure what he is (maybe someone out there can offer assistance). I have saved him for the night in the kids bug catcher so they can check him out in the morning.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

WVHCA Issues Proposed CT Standards

Yesterday, July 11, the West Virginia Health Care Authority issued proposed CON Standards covering computerized tomography (CT) services in West Virginia.

The proposed Computed Tomography Services CON Standards provide a new need methodology process for new, additional or replacement CT scanning services by hospital and non-hospital applicants. The proposed standards set forth a weighted need methodology threshold of 3,000 scans per year and provide an exemption for CT scanners costing less that $300,000.

Although I've not read anything official from the Authority, today's Charleston Gazette article indicates that the Authority will accept comments on the proposed standards during the next 30 days and the Authority's board will vote on the regulations at its September meeting. The new standards will then be sent to Governor Manchin for final approval. UPDATE: The Authority has now posted information about submitting comments. The deadline for submitting comments is August 10, 2007.

The Charleston Gazette reports on the new standards today in its article, "Doctors' offices to be allowed to buy CT scanners". Additional background information on the development of the CT Standards can be found on the Authority's CT Services Workgroup Meeting site. For comparison, the old 1992 CT Standards are available.

UPDATE 8/22/07: It appears that the Authority has extended the deadline for submitting comments until August 31, 2007 based upon the Notice of Public Comment listed on the Authority's website. Also the Authority has uploaded the comments submitted on the proposed CT Standards.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Disruptive Change Possible As Google and Microsoft Establish A Health Care Presence

Interesting article from today's iHealthBeat about Google and Microsoft's growing interest in the health care industry.

Check out the article, "Microsoft, Google Could Prompt Disruptive Change".

WV Pharmacies Are Not Health Care Providers

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals ruled in a June 28 decision (Phillips v. Larry's Drive-In Pharmacy, Inc. No. 33194; Maynard, concurring opinion) that pharmacies do not enjoy the benefits of the 1986 amendments to the Medical Professional Liability Act.

The decision reversed the Circuit Court decision finding that a pharmacy is a health care provider under the Act. The Supreme Court found that that "a pharmacy is not a “health care provider” as defined by the Legislature in W.Va. Code, 55-7B-2(c)."

Further, the Court found that "where there is any doubt about the meaning or intent of a statute in derogation of the common law, the statute is to be interpreted in the manner that makes the least rather than the most change in the common law." (Syllabus Point 5).

The WV Record reports on the decision here.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007