Le Bonheur President and CEO Announces Retirement

President and CEO of Le Bonheur Children's Hospital Meri Armour will be retiring from the position after more than a decade of leading the hospital, which has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a Best Children's Hospital nationwide, the Memphis Business Journal reports. Armour oversaw Le Bonheur as it grew into a national institution, making strides to improve its medical care, facilities and fundraising efforts. She was also a key figure in the hospital opening a 225-bed facility in the Memphis Medical District. 

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Amazon Announces Newly Developed Medical Record Mining Software

Amazon on Tuesday announced that it has launched a project to mine data from electronic medical records, allowing developers to “process unstructured medical text and identify information such as patient diagnosis, treatments, dosages, symptoms and signs, and more," CNBC reports. This is the latest move regarding Amazon’s foray into health care, after news in June that the company had been working on the ‘Hera’ project, developing software intended for insurance companies that can fill in gaps in data when doctors neglect to fully document an office visit. The company also confirmed another project in cooperation with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to use newly developed tools to analyze its data sets in efforts to prevent or cure cancer.

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Health Law Forum 2018

The Tennessee Bar Association’s Health Law Section recently held its annual Health Law Forum, packing the house at the Embassy Suites in Franklin. Attendees enjoyed top-notch programming regarding hot topics in the industry while sharing concerns with colleagues and attorneys sharing a focus.

The TBA would like to thank the program’s producer, Health Law Section Chair Mark Cunningham and the executive council for their hard work in putting this program together. Stay tuned for more quality events from this section.

2017–18 Health Law Section Leadership:

Section Chair: Mark Cunningham — Chambliss Bahner & Stophel (East Tennessee)
Section Vice-Chair: Monica Wharton — Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare (West Tennessee)
Immediate Past Chair: Brian Roark — Bass Berry & Sims PLC (Middle Tennessee)

Eastern Delegates

  • Amanda Busby — Anderson Busby PLLC
  • Christie Burbank — Rainey Kizer Reviere & Bell
  • Ian Hennessey — London & Amburn PC
  • Tim Beslisle — Ballad Health

Middle Delegates

  • Bill Young — Harris, Shelton
  • David Steed — Cornelius & Collins LLP
  • Ellen Bowden McIntyre — Assistant U.S. Attorney’s Office
  • Gabe Roberts — Healthcare Finance & Administration
  • J.D. Thomas — Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis LLP
  • Jesse Neil — Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis LLP
  • Judd Taback — Tennessee Division of Health Care Finance & Administration
  • Julia Morris — Vanderbilt University Medical Center
  • Kim Looney — Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis LLP
  • Mark Ison — Sherrard Roe Voigt & Harbison
  • Scott Richardson — LifePoint Health
  • Travis Lloyd — Bradley Arrant Boult & Cummings
  • Yarnell Beatty — Tennessee Medical Association

Western Delegates

  • Amy Campbell — Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law
  • Denise Burke — Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis LLP
  • Robyn Diaz — St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
  • Walt Schuler — The University of Tennessee Health Science Center
  • William Bomar — Glankler Brown PLLC


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Tennessee-Based Curae Health Faces More Financial Problems

The Knoxville-based company Curae Health recently filed papers in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Nashville citing massive losses from one of three Mississippi hospitals it plans to sell, the Associated Press reports. They warned employees of a potential hospital closure if they are unable to transfer ownership quickly. The company is highly concerned that the losses they are experiencing at the Northwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center in Clarksdale has the potential to drag the company under before being able to sell the other two hospitals in Amory and Batesville, Mississippi. At least two groups have expressed interest in taking over the hospital. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Charles Walker has set a hearing for Oct. 23 on Curae's request for a quick transfer. The auction for the Amory hospital is set for Nov. 15. However, no plans have been released surrounding the sale of the Batesville hospital. The article explains that five rural Mississippi hospitals have closed since 2013.

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Some Tennessee Counties Will See a Boost in Funding for Social Services Programs

Knox County will receive an 11 percent increase over last year’s budget in state funding for social services programs, The Knoxville News Sentinel reports. According to the Office of Legislative Budget Analysis’ county-by-county breakdown, the county will receive $1.9 billion 2018-19 fiscal year to support programs such as the Commission on Aging and Disability and the Department of Children’s Services, funding projects like the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) and Child and Family Management Grants. Knox received the largest percentage increase of Tennessee four largest counties, with Davidson seeing a four percent increase, Hamilton a six percent increase and Shelby a one percent increase.

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30th Annual Health Law Forum Calendar of Events

This year’s 30th Annual TBA Health Law Forum will feature several chances to meet with the section members and leadership of TBA’s Health Law Section. Most events are open to all section members; you do not have to be registered for the forum to attend. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to meet and network with professionals of a similar focus. Here are the details for each:
• TBA Health Law Section Executive Council Dinner
(Open to Health Law Executive Council Members and speakers.)
When: Wednesday, Oct. 10, 6:30 p.m., CDT
Where: Sperry’s Cool Springs, 650 Frazier Dr., Franklin
• Health Law and Honky Tonks
(Open to all Health Law Section Members.)
When: Thursday, Oct. 11, 7 p.m., CDT
Where: Tin Roof Broadway, 316 Broadway, Nashville
• Luncheon Business Meeting and Election of Officers
(Open to all Health Law Section Members.)
When: Friday, Oct. 12, noon, CDT
Where: Embassy Suites, 2820 Crescent Centre Dr., Franklin
Please RSVP with Section Coordinator Jarod Word to attend any or all events.
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Tennessee Department of Health Takes Aim at Cannabinoids

The Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) has issued a public health and safety advisory, warning Tennesseans about associated risks regarding the use of cannabis and cannabis-derived products, according to a press release on its website. TDH has partnered with the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to counter claims of health benefits regarding use of cannabinoids. One cannabis-derived product in particular — CBD oil — has been touted as a treatment for pain relief, anxiety, depression and various other conditions.

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Vanderbilt, University of Tennessee Collaborate on a 'Value-Based' Health Care network

Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the University of Tennessee Medical Center have formed a partnership to improve the quality of and reduce costs for health care across the state, The Knoxville News Sentinel reports. The partnership will include teaching hospitals, with 87 practices and more than 1,000 providers in University Health Network, plus the 13 health systems, 67 hospitals, more than 350 practices and more than 5,000 providers in the Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network. The collaboration will function on a ‘value-based’ model where hospitals, doctors and other providers are paid based on the outcomes of their patients.

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Health Law Forum Events

In addition to the top-notch programming at this year’s 30th Annual TBA Health Law Forum, we will feature two opportunities to meet with the section members and leadership that make this staple for health law attorneys possible. Both events are open to all section members; you do not have to be registered for the forum to attend.
New this year will be a get-together on Thursday, Oct. 11, 7 p.m., CDT at Tin Roof Broadway in Nashville. Take advantage of this opportunity to hang out with section members for fun, live music, cold beer and the full Music City experience! Appetizers and drinks will be provided. We will validate parking for those that attend this event.
The TBA Health Law Section’s annual lunch business meeting and election of officers will be held on Friday, Oct. 12 at 12 p.m., CDT at the Embassy Suites Franklin. Lunch will only be provided for TBA Health Law Section Members who respond that they will attend this event.
Please note that you do not have to be registered for the Health Law Forum to attend these events. 
Please RSVP with Section Coordinator Jarod Word if you would like to attend either or both events.
Health Law and Honky Tonks
When: Thursday, Oct. 11, 7 p.m., CDT
Where: Tin Roof Broadway, 316 Broadway, Nashville
Lunch Business Meeting and Election of Officers
When: Friday, Oct. 12, 12 p.m., CDT
Where: Embassy Suites Franklin, 2820 Crescent Centre Drive, Franklin
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'Ground-breaking' Diabetes Treatment Begins Trial Phase

Researchers at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board in Wales have begun the trial phase of a new drug that they hope will regrow lost insulin-producing cells in the bodies of patients suffering from Type 1 Diabetes, BBC News reports. The new drug will help to regenerate lost beta cells for diabetics, allowing their bodies to naturally regulate blood glucose levels and eliminate the need for insulin injections. So far two people have been given the drug and have experienced no major side effects, though it is too early to determine the efficacy of the treatment. The research team is now looking to recruit eight people who have had diabetes for more than two years to take part in wider-ranging trials.

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