News

Lunch Business Meeting for TBA Health Law Section Members

Thursday, Oct. 5, 11:45 a.m. Central Daylight Time

Please make plans to join the TBA Health Law Section at their Annual Lunch Business Meeting and Election of Officers, to be held in conjunction with this year's 29th Annual Health Law Forum. The TBA Health Law Section Lunch Business Meeting will be held on Thursday, Oct. 5 at 11:45 a.m. Central Daylight Time in the Embassy Suites Franklin. More information about the hotel can be found here.
 
Please note that you do not have to be registered for the Health Law Forum to attend the Section's lunch business meeting, but lunch will only be provided for TBA Health Law Section Members who respond that they will attend this luncheon.
 
Please respond to Jarod Word, sections and committees coordinator if you would like to attend this lunch business meeting.
 

When: Oct. 5, 11:45 a.m., Central Daylight Time

Where: Embassy Suites Franklin, Atrium Room, 2820 Crescent Centre Drive, Franklin, Tennessee, 37067

 

We hope to see you there!


 

Please contact Jarod Wordsections and committees coordinator with any Legal Practice Tips or Section Connect ideas you feel will benefit other section members.

read more »

ABA Writes Letter in Opposition to Health Reform Bill

The American Bar Association sent a letter today to the U.S. Senate Finance Committee expressing opposition to the Graham-Cassidy health reform bill, which would partially repeal the Affordable Care Act, the ABA Journal reports. The ABA specifically focuses on Medicaid, which serves “our nation’s most vulnerable populations.” It cites the impact the bill would have on seniors, as well as children with disabilities. 
read more »

17th Annual Health Law Primer & 29th Annual Health Law Forum, October 4 - 6

The 17th Annual Health Law Primer, a TBA CLE offering four general credits, will be Oct. 4 at the Embassy Suites in Franklin. Designed for newer health law practitioners, this program provides a general health law overview and discussion of hot topics by experienced healthcare leaders. Sessions provide practical tips to identify and avoid the pitfalls of real life situations in the heavily regulated health care industry. This year’s program will address:
  • Overview of Fraud and Abuse Laws
  • Key Healthcare Issues in Transactions 
  • The Basics of HIPAA
  • Employment and Medical Staff Issues   
Now in its 17th year, this half-day introductory program will be held in conjunction with the 29th Annual Health Law Forum on October 5 and 6.
 
For your convenience, all materials will be made available online. Learn more and register here.
 

 
The 29th Annual Health Law Forum, a TBA CLE offering fifteen general credits, will be held Oct. 5 and 6 at the Embassy Suites in Franklin. Recognized as one of the premier health law programs in the country, this annual forum addresses key issues impacting our practice area. Sessions will provide insight from health law providers, practitioners, and regulators. A bonus feature this year will offer 2 alternative hours of online CLE. This will facilitate flexible planning for those who travel or have a scheduling conflict during one of the sessions. This year’s topics will focus on:
  • Updates on fraud and abuse developments
  • The status of health care reform
  • Challenges for rural providers
  • Legislative updates
  • Physician compensation
  • Fraud enforcement
  • Health care transactions
  • HIPAA updates
  • Ethics and much more
For your convenience, all materials will be made available online throughout this forum. Learn more and register here.
read more »

Enjoy Happy Hour After Health Law CLE in Knoxville

Join the TBA for a special social hour following The Why Health Law CLE event on Thursday in Knoxville. Mingle with colleagues and law students interested in health law while enjoying cocktails and hors d'oeuvres provided by London & Amburn PC. No RSVP is required to attend. The happy hour will get started at 5 p.m. at the same location as the CLE, 607 Market Street, Suite 900. 
read more »

Waller Adds Health Care Executive Director

Waller yesterday announced the hiring a Paula Torch, who will become the firm’s health care department executive director, the Nashville Post reports. She will work with the firm’s attorneys to grow its business in the health care practice area. Torch will take over for Morgan Ribeiro, who was promoted in March to chief business development officer.
read more »

Before Health Law Program, Attend Health Law Primer

For newer health law practitioners, the Annual Health Law Primer program provides a general health law overview and discussion of hot topics by experienced healthcare leaders. Attend this year's program on Oct. 4 in Cool Springs and learn about fraud and abuse laws, key healthcare issues in transactions, the basics of HIPAA and employment and medical staff issues.

read more »

Health Law Social Hour

You are invited to an upcoming CLE and social hour hosted by the Tennessee Bar Association’s Health Law Section. This will be a two-hour CLE focusing on the practice area and basics, followed by the social hour. You can register for the program or just attend the social hour. I hope you can make time for this new program and also take the opportunity to network with health law practitioners at our social hour.

August 24 in Nashville

August 31 in Knoxville

Vanderbilt Reaches Settlement Over Medicare Fraud Allegations

Vanderbilt University Medical Center will pay $6.5 million to settle Medicare fraud allegations, the Tennessean reports. The deal comes after claims from three former VUMC physicians that surgery scheduling practices from 2003 to 2011 violated Medicare billing regulations. A portion of the settlement money will go to state agencies and the whistleblowers, but under the False Claims Act, the majority of the settlement will go to Medicare. 

read more »

D.C. Pastors Sue Coca-Cola Over Health Concerns

Two Washington, D.C.-based pastors have filed suit against Coca-Cola and the American Beverage Association (ABA), claiming soda makers knowingly deceived customers about the health risks of their products, The Washington Post reports. The complaint, which was filed last week, alleges that Coke and the ABA ran an intentional campaign to confuse consumers about the causes of obesity. “We’re losing more people to sweets than to the streets,” said Pastor Delman Coates, one of the complainants.
read more »

Memphis Law Review Calls for Papers on Opioid Epidemic

The University of Memphis Law Review requests manuscripts for its presentation at its March 2018 symposium, "The American Addiction: A Pathways Approach to Addressing the Opioid Epidemic," and for publication in an upcoming edition. Manuscripts should be submitted for consideration to Symposium Editor Rachel Barenie at memphislawarticles@gmail.com no later than Dec. 1. Read more about the subject matter and guidelines here.
read more »

Item of Interest

Below is an article that was published in the the Disability Section Connect. We thought it had information that would be of interest to those of you in this section as well.  

read more »

Disability Rights TN Conducting Survey on Needs and Resources

Disability Rights Tennessee is conducting a survey to gather information from people with disabilities, family members, service providers and professionals to help shape the work of the organization. Attorneys working in the disability rights field are asked to contribute their thoughts. Others are asked to share the survey with friends and colleagues in the disability rights field, so an accurate picture of the needs of those with disabilities can be compiled. The deadline to respond is July 15. For more information contact DRT at (800) 342-1660 or gethelp@disabilityrightstn.org.

read more »

TSC: HIPAA-compliant Authorization Not Required When Pre-Suit Notice Sent to Single Healthcare Provider

The Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled that a prospective plaintiff who provides pre-suit notice of a healthcare liability claim to a single healthcare provider is not required to provide a medical authorization compliant with HIPAA. In the case of Bray v. Khuri, Deborah Bray sent a pre-suit notice to Dr. Radwan R. Khuri advising him of a potential claim for the wrongful death of her husband, and she later filed suit. Khuri moved to dismiss on grounds that the medical authorization in the notice was not in compliance with HIPAA. The trial court and Court of Appeals granted Khuri’s motion, but in a unanimous opinion, the Tennessee Supreme Court reversed the lower court decisions.
read more »

Middle Tennessee U.S. Attorney Secures $2.7 Million False Claims Settlement

The acting U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee reached a settlement with Innovative Therapies and its parent company, Cardinal Health, in a $2.7 million False Claims Act case, the Nashville Post reports. The company was accused by a whistleblower of marketing and billing a product as “durable medical equipment,” even though the product did not meet standards for a durable device. The whistleblower in the case will receive $488,700 under the terms of the False Claims Act.
read more »

Senate Health Care Bill Offers $2 Billion to Fight Opioid Crisis

The U.S. Senate health care bill, revealed today, includes $2 billion to help address the opioid crisis, USA Today reports. The amount would fall short of the $45 billion some Republican senators had sought over 10 years. The funds would go to provide grants to states to support treatment and recovery services for 2018, but does not reference continuing funds beyond.
read more »

Nashville’s Judge Blackburn Profiled for Mental Health Court Work

The Tennessean profiled Judge Melissa Blackburn this week for her work in the mental health court. Blackburn was inspired to take up the work after the death of her daughter, who died from a heart attack shortly after beginning to take anti-depressants. “It’s important because it’s part of who I am, and it’s in my fabric,” Blackburn said. “It’s affected how I make decisions, my thought process. It’s how as a judge I come to who I am.”
read more »

Memphis Lawyer’s Nonprofit Featured in Vogue

Former Shelby County juvenile court judicial magistrate Claudia Haltom’s A Step Ahead Foundation was among several women’s health organizations profiled in Vogue magazine this month. Haltom’s group was hailed as “innovative” for its work helping women in need. The organization even provides free rides to those it serves so they can obtain health services.
read more »

AG Slatery Announces Investigation into Opioid Crisis

After a lawsuit was filed in Sullivan County against drug makers earlier this week, Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery announced he is leading a coalition of Attorneys General from across the country in comprehensive investigations into the roots of the opioid epidemic, the Nashville Post reports. The announcement did not name any specific drug makers or targets, but the group will examine the role “parties involved in the manufacture and distribution of opioids may have played in creating or prolonging this problem.”
read more »

Nonprofit Sues Community Health Systems Over Indigent Care

A Washington state-based nonprofit filed suit against Community Health Systems yesterday for failing to provide sufficient indigent care at two CHS hospitals in Eastern Washington, the Nashville Business Journal reports. Empire Health Foundation accused the Franklin-based hospital operator of breach of contract and breach of implied duty of good faith and fair dealing. Washington state law requires hospitals in the state to provide charity care for patients below the federal poverty line.
read more »

Northeast Tennessee Attorneys General File Suit Against Opioid Manufacturers

The district attorneys general of Tennessee’s First, Second and Third Judicial Districts jointly filed a lawsuit today in Sullivan County Circuit Court against prescription opioid manufacturer Purdue Pharma and its related companies, Mallinckrodt PLC and Endo Pharmaceuticals. The suit alleges that Purdue and the related companies worked to mislead doctors and the public about the need for, and addictive nature of, opioid drugs. It also claims that schools, hospitals, police departments, taxpayers and other public and private entities will bear the financial burden of Purdue’s campaign for decades to come.
read more »

Tate Honored for Service to Centerstone, Mental Health Initiatives

Deborah Taylor Tate was honored recently for her work on the Centerstone of Tennessee Board, where she has served since 2002. Tate was instrumental in the creation and implementation of a Mental Health Commission culminating in the passage of Title 33, which was a comprehensive mental health law for Tennessee, including a chapter on children and youth. In her 15 years on the board, Tate saw Centerstone grow to become the largest behavioral health community provider in the U.S.

read more »

Shelby County May Sue Pharma Companies for Opioid Crisis

Shelby County attorneys are exploring a suit against big pharmaceutical companies to recover costs from fighting the county’s opioid epidemic, The Commercial Appeal reports. The attorneys could have a recommendation sometime this month. The states of Ohio and Mississippi have already filed similar lawsuits, and Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, recently asked state Attorney General Herbert Slatery to join them
read more »

Haslam Signs Law Punishing Any Healthcare Worker Testing Positive for Drugs

Governor Bill Haslam signed into law a bill that requires any healthcare worker who tests positive for drugs  — or even refuses to take a test — to report to a substance abuse treatment program, WJHL reports. The law allows those who complete treatment to return to work, and those who don’t will face suspension of their licenses. The legislation goes into effect on July 1.
read more »

Make Plans to Attend Annual Health Law CLEs

Recognized as one of the premier health law programs in the country, TBA's annual Health Law Primer, on October 4 and the Health Law Forum, held October 5-6, will address key issues impacting health law attorneys. Register early to avoid missing out on this popular program!

read more »

Harwell Asks State AG to Join Suit Against Drug Companies

Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, has asked Attorney General Herbert Slatery to join a lawsuit filed by the Ohio attorney general against drug companies over the opioid crisis, the Nashville Post reports. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine sued five drug makers Wednesday, accusing them of intentionally misleading patients about the dangers of painkillers. The companies sued were Purdue Pharma, Endo Health Solutions, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and its subsidiary Cephalon, Johnson and Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and Allergan. Mississippi is currently the only other state that has joined the suit. 
read more »