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On Aug. 4, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released the results of its study into frequent overdrafters and four overdraft disclosure model forms as part of its Know Before You Owe initiative. The CFPB designed these one-page prototypes to help consumers understand the costs associated with opting into overdraft coverage and in an effort to improve the model form that financial institutions currently use. As of 2010, consumers must “opt in” to coverage so…
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released two draft guidance documents and a memorandum related to off-label communications and the FDA’s power to regulate such communications. The publications are the FDA’s response to years of conflict between drug makers, which contend they have a first amendment right to communicate off label or information that is not contained on medication labels, and the FDA, which interprets current law to prohibit such communications under misbranding…
The Joint Commission (TJC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) took a firm stance against physicians texting patient orders in a recent joint statement, clarifying that it is not acceptable for physicians or licensed independent practitioners to text orders for patient care, treatment or services to hospitals or other healthcare providers. Instead, computerized provider order entry (CPOE) should be the preferred method for submitting orders, and in the event that a…
For tax-exempt hospitals, the Section 501(r) Internal Revenue Code (IRC) requirements of the Affordable Care Act are “old news” by now. However, despite the recent focus on repeal of the ACA, it is worth noting that this provision is likely here to stay. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA), a long-time advocate for low-income, uninsured, and underinsured patients, co-authored this section of the ACA, which is the culmination of years of advocacy for transparency in hospital billing…
On November 7, 2016 a federal judge in Mississippi granted a request to temporarily enjoin CMS from implementing a federal rule, scheduled to take effect November 28, 2016, banning the use of mandatory pre-dispute arbitration agreements by federally-funded skilled nursing facilities (Rule). Despite noting the potential public policy arguments for the Rule, the court found that CMS had overstepped by attempting to act without statutory authority. Background The validity of arbitration clauses was first…
The HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) recently published a contracting Guide to assist healthcare providers when entering into electronic health record (EHR) contracts with EHR vendors. Issued in response to provider complaints that EHR contracts often contain hidden fees and restrictions that prevent sharing of patient health records with other providers, the Guide seeks to restore balanced bargaining between providers and their EHR vendors in their contract negotiations. The…