Will AI Work for Diagnostic Medicine?

A recent Wall Street Journal article in their “The Future of Everything” commentary stream discusses the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to “tap the treasure trove of information locked in electronic health records to treat people in real time”.

An interesting concept.  Not all that long ago this would have been disparaged as “cookie-cutter medicine”.  Now it is being touted as being able to generate a report summarizing how “thousands of patients just like you were treated in the past”.

The conflict obviously has not been eliminated.  Obviously, research of this nature could keep somebody from a making serious mistake, but it could also be a serious mistake to use the law of averages as your sole diagnostic tool.

Mandatory COVID Vaccine for Healthcare Workers

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an interim final rule requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for workers in most institutional care settings.  A copy of the CMS press release can be found at https://www.cms.gov/newsroom/press-releases/biden-harris-administration-issues-emergency-regulation-requiring-covid-19-vaccination-health-care.

This rule applies to those facilities subject to CMS regulations. Several facilities are regulated by the CMS, but this does not include private practices.  A full list of these facilities can be found at the CMS published FAQ found at https://www.cms.gov/files/document/cms-omnibus-staff-vax-requirements-2021.pdf.

Under the rule, all eligible staff of CMS regulated facilities must receive the first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine or a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine or requested and/or been granted a lawful exemption by December 5, 2021.  Also, all eligible workers must be fully vaccinated by January 4, 2022.

The CMS Rule also requires all facilities to have appropriate policies and procedures developed and implemented by December 5, 2021.  Some policies noted in the rule include a policy for ensuring staff are vaccinated by the applicable deadlines; a policy for requesting accommodations, where exemptions from the vaccination requirements are sought; and a policy for ensuring additional precautions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 for staff who are not fully vaccinated, just to name some.  Therefore, it is important that facilities understand what policies they need to implement in order to not miss this important December 5 policy deadline.

For more information on this, please feel free to reach out to Mike Cassidy at mcassidy@tuckerlaw.com, Albert Lee at alee@tuckerlaw.com or Anthony Judice at ajudice@tuckerlaw.com from Tucker Arensberg, P.C.

PA Senate Approves Another Telemedicine Bill

The Pennsylvania Senate announced on October 26, 2021 that it has passed Senate Bill 705, and a copy of the Senate Press Release can be found at https://www.pasenategop.com/blog/senate-approves-telemedicine-bill/.

A previous telemedicine bill was passed in Pennsylvania in July of 2018, when the Pennsylvania Senate approved Bill 780, which was discussed in my MedLaw Blog article of July 30, 2018 .

This legislation obviously requires passage by both the State House of Representatives and signature by the governor.

The most significant obvious difference, as you can see in the markup, is that the new bill would define health care provider not only as any licensed or certified individual, but one who is “otherwise regulated to provide health care services under the laws of this Commonwealth”, which is certainly a broader and less definitive definition.

Tucker Arensberg Attorneys to Speak at the PBI Health Law Institute

Tucker Attorneys Mike Cassidy and Jerry Russo have been named as presenters for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute (PBI) 2022 Health Law Institute. They will be presenting a program entitled “Federal Telehealth Enforcement: Policy Through Prosecution”.  Stay tuned for more information on this PBI Health Law Institute program as the date draws nearer.

Mike Cassidy Appointed Legal Advisory Group Member of the National Center for Telehealth and eHealth Law

Congratulations to Mike Cassidy on his recent appointment as a Member of the Legal Advisory Group of the National Center for Telehealth and eHealth Law (CTeL).  Mike will co-present on behalf of CTeL, in a webinar entitled “The Myths about Telehealth–Hear the Facts”, at CTel’s Digital Health Summit in December.

Click this link for more information and early bird registration.

Article Review – Intellectual property: What every medical practice needs to know

This well written article by Martha M. Rumore, Pharm.D., J.D. from Medical Economics, provides insight into the many aspects of intellectual property law as it relates to the medical profession. As an additional point regarding the discussion of patent law, it must be kept in mind that patent litigation costs are not inexpensive. Even with a decline in legal fees throughout the years, mostly due to pharmaceutical industry litigation under the Hatch-Waxman Act, legal fees can still range from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars, depending on the course of action. Although obtaining a patent is a successful achievement of its own, knockoffs of products are as common as ever.  It is up to the patent holder, or a reputable law firm, to keep its eye out for any infringing competition.

To learn more about the Tucker Arensberg intellectual property practice area, click here.

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