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More Time for Serialized Prescription Forms

Effective January 1, 2019, Health & Safety Code Sections 11161.5, 11162.1, and 11165 were amended to, among other things, provided that the Department of Justice implement a system by which prescription forms for controlled substance prescriptions should each have “a uniquely serialized number.” The statutory amendments established the way in which the prescription forms must … Continue Reading

Is There A Nurse Practitioner In the House? Doctor Supervision Not Required Under Certain Conditions With New Proposed Legislation

It is well-documented that California is facing a shortage of primary care providers.  The Californians most affected by these shortfalls are largely low-income, Latino, African American, and Native American and located in rural areas as well as in California’s largest and fastest-growing regions—the Inland Empire, Los Angeles, and the San Joaquin Valley.  Newly-proposed legislation aims … Continue Reading

Hold the Pickle—and the Meal Break: California Supreme Court Holds That Healthcare Workers May Voluntarily Waive Second Meal Period Even When Shifts Last More Than 12 Hours

In a decision that facilitates flexible staffing practices for healthcare employers, the California Supreme Court recently held that healthcare workers can legally waive a second meal period when they work shifts longer than 12 hours. Gerard v. Orange Coast Mem’l Med. Ctr., 430 P.3d 1226 (Cal. 2018). The high court’s decision finally and conclusively resolves … Continue Reading

Avoiding Medical Board Discipline when Prescribing Opiates

There is a host of new, ever changing, and conflicting guidelines from a multitude of regulators and academic societies. This evolving and uncertain landscape is making the life of a practicing pain physician in the midst of today’s nationwide opiate epidemic…painful. Here are 10 tips to help you avoid Medical Board discipline when prescribing opiates:1 … Continue Reading

Mandatory CURES Use Begins October 2, 2018

Starting October 2, 2018, health care practitioners authorized to prescribe, order, administer, or furnish a controlled substance must query, or consult, the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) database and run a Patient Activity Report (PAR) on each patient the first time the patient is prescribed, ordered, or administered a Schedule II-IV controlled … Continue Reading

Is Your Hospital Compliant With the Revised Joint Commission Standards for Pain Assessment and Management?

On January, 1, 2018, The Joint Commission’s (“TJC”) new and revised pain assessment and management standards go into effect for TJC accredited hospitals. The changes to the standards stem from a review commenced by The Joint Commission in 2016 to bring the preceding accreditation standards into alignment with leading practices in pain assessment and management, … Continue Reading

Press Release Mistake Leads to $2.4 Million HIPAA Penalty for Health System

On May 10, 2017, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) announced an agreement whereby Memorial Hermann Health System (“MHHS”) will pay a $2.4 million penalty for releasing a patient’s name in a press release.  According to the resolution agreement, in September 2015, a patient at an MHHS clinic presented … Continue Reading

Mealtime Waiver Decision is Good News for California Healthcare Employers Hungry for Clarity

In a rare move, the California Court of Appeal reversed itself and validated a California hospital’s policy of allowing healthcare workers to waive an otherwise mandatory second meal period on shifts longer than 12 hours.  In reversing itself, the California Court of Appeal in Gerard v. Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center (Gerard II) held that … Continue Reading
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