HB 21, signed into law by Governor Rick Scott on March 19, 2018, imposes a number of legal requirements on health care practitioners who prescribe controlled substances, particularly opioids. This new law encompasses 205 pages and imposes new obligations on practitioners that carry penalties for noncompliance. The purpose of this article is to provide a summary of the provisions of HB 21, and provide practitioners with the information they need to comply with the new law. Unless otherwise noted, the provisions of this law go into effect on July 1, 2018.
The medical profession has long realized the importance of continuing professional development. In the Aphorisms of Hippocrates, the first one reads: “Life is short, and Art long; the crisis fleeting; experience perilous, and decision difficult. The physician must not only be prepared to do what is right himself, but also to make the patient, the attendants, and externals cooperate.” While 2400 years ago the term continuing medical education (CME) was not yet in use, there was recognition that physicians need to continue to learn throughout their professional life. The fields of medicine and science never stop moving. New technology and research changes the industry constantly! Physicians spend anywhere from from seven to nine years studying for their profession, but that is only the beginning. They should never stop educating themselves and keeping up with advances. This is where accredited continuing medical information comes into play.
Every day, more than 115 Americans die after overdosing on opioids. This is a shocking number, especially considering that many of these opioids were prescribed by a doctor. The misuse of and addiction to opiate painkillers is a major crisis in our country that has reached epidemic proportions. Not only does it affect the health and wellness of our citizens, it impacts the social and economic welfare of our communities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total "economic burden" of prescription opioid misuse in the United States is about $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and involvement by the criminal justice system.
Accountable care. Healthcare Infomatics. Value-based reimbursement. As medical professionals, it seems we are called on more and more to also become insurance experts. The language and logistics of health insurance grow increasingly complicated, but in order to understand the wellness and treatment options our patients may have at their disposal, we need to be educated in the terminology and vocabulary of the insurance industry.
Medicare Advantage plans, with their reduced or free premiums and low out of pocket costs, have been a great help to many people. According to new data, the Advantage program looks ready to have another positive year of growth in 2018.
With the debate over the ACA and healthcare reform raging in Washington, it seems like the only headlines made by the Federal healthcare structure these days are negative. However, a new study shows reasons to be positive about some of the changes that have been made in the Medicaid system.
One of the biggest health challenges of the modern age time is cancer. In the United States, more than 1.6 million new cancer cases were diagnosed last year. In terms of treatment, we have come a long way over recent years, as death rates from the disease declined by over 13 percent between 2004 and 2013. Still, cancer continues to the take the lives of more than half a million people in the U.S. each year, and finding a cure remains kind of a holy grail for medical researchers. There is a frequent joke in medical circles that the two final frontiers of medicine are finding a cure for cancer and finding a cure for the common cold.
Topics: Continuing Medical Education
Lawmakers want the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to focus on patient matching, an issue health IT groups have previously called for. In a report (PDF) released ahead of Wednesday morning’s markup of the committee’s 2018 budget bill, which maintained a $22 million cut to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) proposed by the Trump administration, lawmakers pointed to patient data matching, along with prescription drug monitoring, as two agency priorities in the coming year.
On June 8, 2017, the Florida Supreme Court ruled on the Medical Malpractice Award Cap stating it was unconstitutional in the North Broward Hospital District, et al v. Kalitan case. In a 4-3 ruling, the state’s highest court affirmed the Fourth District Court of Appeal's 2015 decision finding the cap, established by Section 766.118 of the Florida Statutes, unfairly hurt those most severely injured by doctors mistakes. This ruling was heavily based on the 2014 ruling in The Estate of McCall v. USA. Both the decisions in Kalitan and McCall disregard the Select Task Force on Healthcare Professional Liability Insurance that was appointed by then Gov. Jeb Bush in 2002.