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May 2015 Archives

CMS Moratorium on Home Health Agencies

Under § 424.570 of the Code of Federal Regulations, CMS is permitted to impose temporary moratoria on the enrollment of new Medicare providers and suppliers. These moratoria do not apply to changes in ownership of existing providers and suppliers. 

Professional Boards May Be Subject to Federal Antitrust Law

A recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that under certain circumstances, state professional boards may not have the protection of state immunity in antitrust actions. In North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission, the Supreme Court found that because the North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners was comprised of practicing dentists and was not actively supervised by the State of North Carolina, the Board could not claim state immunity as a defense to violations of antitrust law.

Investigation Uncovers Substantial Increase in Board Discipline of Texas Nurse Licenses

A recent investigation into the Texas Nursing profession uncovered a large increase in complaints, license revocations and sanctions against nursing licenses. This is mostly due to troubles with drugs and alcohol. Up until 2005 the Texas Board of Nursing (BON) allowed nurses to self-report their crimes. Now every nurse is required to submit to fingerprinting each time they renew their license. According to the investigation, there has been an 85% increase of sanctions and revocations from the years of 2003-2014.

Telemedicine in Texas Just Got Tougher with New Board Regulations

New requirements by the Texas Medical Board (TMB) have made the practice of telemedicine more stringent in Texas. These new rules go into effect on June 3, 2015. As part of these new rules, in order to treat Texas residents through telemedicine, the physician must be licensed to practice in Texas. Also, an in person, face-to-face, meeting must take place before a physician is able to provide health care services to the patient remotely. Specifically, there can be no online questioning through email, text or telephone until the physician has seen the patient face-to-face. Another change made was to the definition of an "established medical site." This can no longer include a patient's home.

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