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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

$3.8 Million Awarded to Physician Serves as Important Reminder About Fair Hearing Rights

In a decision affecting California hospitals, medical groups, medical staffs, and physicians, the California First District Court of Appeal has concluded that a physician’s notice and hearing rights apply to situations where a hospital directs a medical group of a “closed” department to remove a physician from the hospital schedule. In Economy v. Sutter East … 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

Is Your Surgery Center Ready for California’s Surprise Medical Billing Law?

A new California law (AB 72) limits the amount that out-of-network surgeons and other health care professionals may bill patients for covered non-emergency services provided at a contracted facility, such as an ambulatory surgery center.  California’s “surprise medical bill” law went into effect on July 1, 2017.  It is intended to prevent a consumer from … Continue Reading

To the MOON and Beyond: Hospitals Must Provide Notice of Observation Status

There may be no noticeable difference between a hospital patient occupying a bed as an inpatient or one in observation status.  Yet, state and federal legislators have been concerned that the difference can have important consequences for the patient.  “Observation care” is considered by Medicare to be an outpatient service.  Patients classified as outpatients in … Continue Reading
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