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New Year’s Resolution: Dust Off That EHR Contract

Written by Tom Sullivan, Jessica Davis, Healthcare IT News on December 11, 2017

As seen in Healthcare IT News. With lawsuits against eClinicalWorks, Epic and 62 hospitals over EHR use, are you certain your contract is solid enough to protect your org? Time to take another look. Ever since hospitals started implementing electronic health record software, certain concerns have lingered in hospital executives’ minds about accountability, liability, even Read More…


What to Consider Before Striking an EMR Contract

Written by Ryan Black, Healthcare Analytics News on December 6, 2017

As seen in Healthcare Analytics News. As legislation like the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act encourages (or requires) healthcare systems to adopt electronic medical records (EMRs), providers are faced with a series of potential pitfalls. And in light of high-profile data breaches and recent lawsuits over mishandled healthcare data, it Read More…


Congress Looks to Crack Down on Counterfeit Opioids

Written by WPXI News on November 27, 2017

As seen in WPXI News. Members of Congress are looking for ways to crack down on one of the tools of the trade for criminals making dangerous, fake pills. A House committee investigating the opioid crisis…wants to know why anyone can buy a machine that can churn out counterfeit drugs. Sellers say they’re for making Read More…


Is Your Healthcare Facility Ready for an Emergency?

Written by Corinne Smith on August 25, 2017

Deadline Approaches for Compliance with CMS Emergency Preparedness Requirements. With the headlines full of news about Hurricane Harvey hitting the Texas coast, this is a good time for healthcare providers to remember the pending deadline to comply with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) emergency preparedness requirements. CMS defines the Emergency Preparedness Program Read More…


Product Liability Cases to Watch: Midyear Report

Written by Emily Field, Law360 on July 6, 2017

As seen in Law360. As the U.S. continues to grapple with a growing opioid drug epidemic, states and municipalities are increasingly filing suit against drugmakers on allegations they flooded markets with addictive painkillers, a trend that attorneys say is likely to continue. “What we should be looking at in 2017 is whether additional stakeholders will Read More…


CanadaDrugs.com Still Has Manitoba Pharmacy License

Written by Karen Pauls, CBC News on June 20, 2017

As seen in CBC News. The online pharmacy at the centre of an extradition case to the United States is still licensed to operate in the province by the College of Pharmacists of Manitoba, which says it’s watching the court proceedings “carefully.” Six Canadian men arrested under the Extradition Act and released on bail last week are awaiting Read More…


Opioids: A First For The FDA

Written by Michael A. Walsh on June 9, 2017

On June 8, 2017, for the first time ever, the Food and Drug administration took “steps to remove a currently marketed opioid pain medication from sale due to the public health consequences of abuse.” The product is an opioid known as Opana ER that had been approved in 2006 for long term around-the-clock management of Read More…


Texas Supreme Court Clarifies The “Independent Injury Rule”

Written by Jack Carnegie and Kelly Leonard on April 14, 2017

When can an insured recover policy benefits as damages under the Insurance Code, potentially trebling what would otherwise be ordinary contract damages?  That question, which has divided Texas insurance lawyers for more than a decade, was tackled and largely resolved by the Texas Supreme Court in USAA Texas Lloyds Co. v. Menchaca, No. 14-0721, 2017 Read More…


Opioids: A Prescription for Liability

Written by Michael Walsh and Michael Smith on April 3, 2017

As a result of a change in prescribing guidelines in the 1990s, the U.S. saw a dramatic increase in the long-term use of opioids for chronic non-cancer pain.  The prevailing view in the medical community at that time was that there was no clinically appropriate ceiling on maximum opioid dosing.  As a result, the long-term Read More…


Viewpoint: Road To Replace Affordable Care Act Is A Long One

Written by Michael Smith on March 24, 2017

As seen in the Austin Business Journal. Health care is unbelievably complex, and health care reform is a massive undertaking with significant implications. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — ACA, also known as Obamacare — is often referred to as the most significant change in health care since Medicare was enacted in 1965. Read More…


Hospital Impact: AHCA Would Drastically Alter Medicaid

Written by Corinne Smith on March 23, 2017

As seen in FierceHealthcare. The Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is moving swiftly. Dismantling the ACA was a key agenda item during the presidential campaign and emerged again after the Republican congressional retreat in late January. Passing new legislation – a reconciliation bill known as the American Health Care Act Read More…


Corinne Smith Addresses The End of Individual Health Insurance

Written by Corinne Smith on March 22, 2017

As seen in Law360. “The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.” — American inventor, Charles Kettering. Many health policy analysts believe that Obamacare brought about the end of private insurance as we know it¹. Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini said that the insurance industry as we know it is Read More…


Texas OIG Turns Over New Leaf: MCOs Must Turn Attention to SIUs

Written by Michelle Brockway on January 10, 2017

More active SIUs may mean more scrutiny of Medicaid providers The Texas Office of Inspector General (OIG) has just completed its first full year of reforms under a new Inspector General. 2017 may reveal whether these reforms mean good news or bad news for Medicaid providers – but already the changes have increased scrutiny of Read More…


OIG to Target Home Health Agency Fraud, Waste, Abuse

Written by Strasburger on June 28, 2016

On June 22, 2016, the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services (OIG) issued an alert highlighting its decision to increase investigations of and enforcement actions against providers of home health services. The OIG indicates the increase in enforcement activity is premised on a recent study that concluded home health Read More…


DOJ Steps Up its War on Healthcare Fraud

Written by Strasburger on June 24, 2016

In another installment in its war on healthcare fraud, the Department of Justice yesterday announced an unprecedented national crackdown on healthcare fraudsters, which resulted in civil and criminal charges against 301 individuals including 61 doctors, nurses and healthcare providers. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Health and Human Services Secretary Silvia Matthews Burwell held a press Read More…


CMS (And Everyone Else) Is Watching Providers’ Reimbursements

Written by Michelle Brockway on June 16, 2016

Healthcare providers’ 2014 Medicare reimbursements are now available to anyone with a computer. These massive online spreadsheets, posted last month by CMS, provide a wealth of data about providers’ Medicare Part B services, charges, and reimbursements.  Individual and institutional providers are listed by name. Users can sort and filter the data to find information such Read More…


Healthcare Attorney Corinne Smith Joins Strasburger in Austin

Written by Strasburger on May 13, 2016

Strasburger & Price, LLP (Strasburger) is pleased to announce that healthcare attorney Corinne Smith has joined the firm as a partner. Corinne, who was formerly Director of Legal Services for Seton Healthcare Family, will work in Strasburger’s Austin office and practice with the corporate and securities group, focusing on structuring complex healthcare transactions and assisting Read More…


Strasburger Hosts Healthcare Think Tank Kick-off, Encourages Collaboration

Written by on October 15, 2014

Strasburger, together with Elliott Connection and other core members*, recently launched the Austin Healthcare Think Tank with the goal of becoming a key resource for Central Texas’ burgeoning medical corridor. The group’s mission is to share trends, innovations, and best practices with its roster of lenders, developers, lawyers, accountants, administrators, policymakers, and others dedicated to serving the Read More…




HIPAA Omnibus Rule Imposes New Standards for Handling Potential Breaches of Health Information

Written by Gary J. Siller & Kathleen Quiroz on September 24, 2013






The Court Has Spoken – Now What?

Written by Stuart F. Miller on June 29, 2012

On June 25, 2012, I was sitting at the American Health Lawyers Association conference with about 1,000 other health care lawyers waiting to hear from the Supreme Court. When we learned the decision would not come out until Thursday, the speaker asked for a show of hands as to the outcome. Less than a third Read More…


Bicycle Ride Around the Healthcare Debate

Written by William Duane Darling on June 26, 2012

I took a nice long bicycle ride around the District of Columbia this past week. A bicycle tour of the massive monuments around the Washington Mall is an exciting ride that harkens you back to high school civics, but in a fun way. These monuments are as much about what we believe are our finest Read More…


The Benefits of “Risk-Sharing” in the Rapidly Evolving Healthcare Industry

Written by Joseph A. Turano on June 21, 2012

Healthcare in America is changing. How this transition will finally play out is anyone’s guess, but the foundation of the industry is undergoing a seismic transition, and many healthcare providers are unsure how to prepare themselves for the inevitable changes on the healthcare horizon. In the wake of these changes, hospitals and healthcare providers are Read More…


WARNING: YOUR ASSIGNMENT OF BENEFITS FORM MAY LEAVE YOU EMPTY-HANDED

Written by Debra W. Biehle on January 18, 2012

Many health care providers give little thought to their assignment of benefits form. It is one of many documents which the patient must sign upon intake or admission. However, the precise language within the assignment of benefits form becomes critical when a non-participating provider files suit against the insurance company in a reimbursement dispute. Once Read More…


Manufacturers Must Soon Track and Report Payments to Health Care Professionals: Are You Prepared?

Written by on November 1, 2011

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2009 (“Health Reform Law”) contains many provisions aimed at reducing health care fraud and abuse in the United States. One provision aims to ensure transparency in the relationships between manufacturers and distributors of pharmaceuticals, biologics, medical devices, and medical supplies (“Manufacturers”) and physicians and teaching hospitals (“Covered Read More…


Don’t Mess with the New Texas Healthcare Privacy Laws

Written by Craig H. Myers on September 7, 2011

A new law that sailed through both houses unopposed and was signed by Texas Governor Rick Perry modifies Chapter 181 of the Texas Health & Safety Code, provisions that deal with the privacy of electronic medical records. These new laws, which go into effect on September 1, 2012, are considerably broader than the analogous laws Read More…


Federal Preemption of Failure to Warn Claims against Generic Drug Manufacturers

Written by on June 27, 2011

On June 23, 2011 in Mensing v Pliva and Demahy v Actavisthe United States Supreme Court held that because under federal law a generic manufacturer can not change its label, a generic manufacturer may not be sued for failing to meet the requirements of state law.  Under the current federal law and regulations, generic manufacturers must Read More…


Mandatory Compliance Programs Are Coming – Are You Ready?

Written by Debra W. Biehle on June 8, 2011

The Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) of the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) has long encouraged members of the healthcare industry to voluntarily adopt compliance plans to prevent and detect fraud and abuse. However, with the enactment of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “Act”), such compliance plans will, for the Read More…


AN OUNCE OF TRADEMARK PROTECTION IS WORTH A POUND OF CURE – ASPIRIN, KLEENEX® and NEXIUM® (THE PURPLE PILL®)

Written by John A. Tang on May 3, 2011

How are aspirin, Kleenex tissues, and Nexium, The Purple Pill related? Well, for most who suffer from allergies, work long strenuous hours and eat at their local Chinese buffet restaurant, these items may be found in their office. From an intellectual property point of view, all began as strong trademarks. Today, Aspirin has flatlined, the Read More…


The Fight for Reimbursement – How Can Healthcare Providers Receive the Third Party Reimbursement They Deserve?

Written by Debra W. Biehle on February 15, 2011

Healthcare providers devote long hours providing quality healthcare to their patients. Unfortunately, these same providers often face an uphill battle to obtain the reimbursement they rightfully deserve for their efforts from third party insurers. Providers spend countless hours battling with insurance companies – time that would be better spent caring for patients. At times, it Read More…


Guzman v. Memorial Hermann Hospital System: The Scope of EMTALA in the Fifth Circuit

Written by Maggie Murray on January 6, 2011

On October 5, 2010, the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in Guzman v. Memorial Hermann Hospital System. The case involves several important questions regarding the application of EMTALA, the federal statute enacted to prevent hospitals from transferring or refusing to treat uninsured patients, who “present” themselves at the hospital emergency Read More…


Physician Practice Options in the New Health Reform Paradigm

Written by Stuart F. Miller on December 8, 2010

Last Wednesday, Strasburger & Price published an article written by Stuart Miller in the Health Industry Online titled “Selling Your Private Practice to a Hospital.” Since that time, we have received numerous questions and comments from friends and clients about whether we were advocating that physicians sell their practices to hospitals. Our response: “Absolutely not.” Read More…


What is an Accountable Care Organization?

Written by William Duane Darling on September 2, 2010

The health reform act authorizes the creation an entity known as an Accountable Care Organization (ACO). There is substantial confusion surrounding the role of ACOs and how they will function. ACOs were authorized under Title III of the Patient Protection and Accountable Care Act (PPACA). PPACA directs the Secretary of Health & Human Services (Secretary) Read More…


HEALTH CARE REFORM – THE TRANSLATION

Written by Kathryn Midboe Darling on May 19, 2010

Enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA” or the “Act”),1 as amended by the reconciliation act,2 has consultants, lawyers and policy think tanks scrambling to educate the public, the health industry and payors about the most far reaching piece of legislation in the nation’s history. The size and breadth of the law Read More…


Law Enforcement Requests for PHI – What is Permissible?

Written by Laura Reilly O'Hara on May 6, 2010

Handling Law Enforcement Requests for PHI Most law abiding citizens and healthcare providers tend to have a knee-jerk reaction when asked for something from a law enforcement agency – they just say yes. However, as a recent Ohio federal court case reminds us, that reaction may get you into trouble. In Turk vs. Oiler, N.D. Read More…


Are You Ready for an Employment Tax Audit?

Written by Farley P. Katz on February 16, 2010

Starting this month, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) is commencing a National Research Project to collect information on employment tax compliance issues. But, don’t let the name fool you. The IRS plans to audit 6,000 employers over a 3-year period. Each year, 2,000 employers will be chosen for examination. The employers will be randomly selected Read More…


Enforcement Deadline for the HITECH Act Approaches – Is Your Organization Ready?

Written by Kevin M. Wood on January 6, 2010

Enactment of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and its privacy and security regulations (the “Privacy Rule” and “Security Rule,” respectively) reflected the initial attempts to move the healthcare industry into the electronic age. As noted in a prior issue of this newsletter,1 few changes were made to the HIPAA requirements Read More…


Mandatory Overtime Prohibited For Nurses in Texas … and Soon Elsewhere?

Written by on December 10, 2009

Most employers are generally aware of the proposed federal Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) and the support by some in Congress and the Obama Administration.  The EFCA, introduced in Congress in March 2009, has a chance of becoming law.  The EFCA focuses on three issues: union organization, bargaining, and the imposition of civil penalties on Read More…


Preventing Use of Your Trademark as a User Name on Facebook

Written by Richard D. Fladung on August 20, 2009

Facebook.com, a social networking site used by over 200 million users across the world, is no longer used exclusively by high school and college aged adolescents; it is now being used as a marketing tool by various entities, including companies, nonprofit organizations and the government. The largest age group of active users in the US Read More…


Ouch! CMS Proposes 21.5 Percent Physician Pay Cut

Written by Stuart F. Miller on July 23, 2009

On July 1, 2009, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed changes to policies and payment rates for services to be provided in calendar year 2010 by practitioners who are paid under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (MPFS). The MPFS sets payment rates for thousands of physicians’ services in medical offices, hospitals and Read More…


Amendments to False Claims Act Pack a Punch for Health Care Providers

Written by on July 9, 2009

On May 20, 2009, President Obama signed the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act of 2009 (FERA) into law.  The bill, in addition to enhancing the government’s ability to prosecute financial fraud, also amended the False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729-3733 (2009).  Many of the changes were in direct response to existing case law Read More…


RAC: The Time is Now

Written by Joseph A. Turano on June 24, 2009

The Recovery Audit Contractor (“RAC”) Program under the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) has been made permanent and has officially arrived in Texas. Under this program, CMS is using private contractors (called “Recovery Audit Contractors,” or “RACs”) to review claims of providers that receive Medicare fee-for-service payments and to make determinations regarding alleged Read More…


HIT and Health Care Reform

Written by William Duane Darling on June 2, 2009

The Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform at Brookings Institution conducted a meeting entitled Health IT and Health Reform: Linking Incentives to Drive Accountability and Value on May 20, 2009. The meeting was presented in cooperation with the Markle Foundation. The meeting was moderated by the Director of the Center, Mark McClellan, M.D. Dr. McClellan Read More…


WHAT IS A HEALTHCARE INSURANCE EXCHANGE AND HOW DOES IT FIT IN U.S. HEALTHCARE REFORM?

Written by Kathryn Midboe Darling on May 29, 2009

Kathleen Sebelius, the new Secretary of Health and Human Services, told the House Ways and Means Committee in testimony presented on May 6, 2009, that a health insurance exchange (“Exchange”), if constructed correctly, could provide the basic format for providing health care to all Americans. So what is an Exchange, how does it work, and Read More…


The HITECH Act – The Privacy & Security of Health Information Still Matters

Written by Kevin M. Wood on May 7, 2009

The privacy and security of health information remains a top priority for regulators. The primary federal law governing the privacy and security of health information is the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Since the issuance of HIPAA’s final privacy and security regulations (the Privacy Rule and Security Rule, respectively) in 2001 Read More…


You Can’t Heed What You Don’t Read – U.S. Supreme Court – Wyeth v. Levine

Written by on March 19, 2009

This much-anticipated opinion has put to rest a hotly contested issue of whether the FDA or a jury decides if a product label sufficiently warns physicians of a product’s risk.  By this case, the U.S. Supreme Court has placed the decision of how much warning a product label should contain in the hands of lay Read More…


Health Reform—What Should My Physician/Hospital Network Be Doing?

Written by William Duane Darling on February 18, 2009

There is a growing understanding in the United States that we have no real health care “system.” The lack of a coherent government health policy and a hodge podge of commercial insurance programs have led to wasted resources, problems with quality and lack of access to care for millions of Americans. President Obama’s campaign stressed Read More…


U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies Subcontractor Liability under False Claims Act

Written by Earsa Jackson on January 21, 2009

A recent United States Supreme Court decision clarified the requirements for prosecuting subcontractors under the False Claims Act (FCA).1 The FCA imposes liability on anyone who knowingly makes or uses a “false statement” (or anyone who conspires to do so) in order to get false claims paid or approved by the government. To further discourage Read More…


THE EROSION OF THE MEDICAL PEER REVIEW PRIVILEGE IN FEDERAL DISCRIMINATION CLAIMS

Written by on August 15, 2007

Two months ago, in the Adkins v. Christie decision,1 the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals declined to recognize medical peer review privileges in federal discrimination cases, explaining that the “social goal of eliminating employment discrimination” overrides the policy concerns that support medical peer review privileges. In so doing, it joined the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals’ prior holding Read More…


Post-Burlington Policies and Procedures – Are You Set Up to Defend Retaliation Claims?

Written by on May 23, 2007

It has been nearly a year since the issuance of Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Co. v. White, a United States Supreme Court decision which significantly expanded the scope of retaliation-based wrongful termination claims. During this time, prudent employers have been reassessing their employee handbook policies and internal employment procedures to set up effective lines Read More…


The Right Care, For Every Person, Every Time

Written by on April 18, 2007

On April 12, 2007, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) conducted its second Public Listening Session at its headquarters in Baltimore, Maryland to address Medicare value-based purchasing (VBP) for hospitals. CMS has adopted as its vision for health care “the right care, for every person, every time.” We attended the all day listening/comment Read More…


CONGRESSMEN STARK AND PALLONE OUTLINE HEALTHCARE PRIORITIES FOR THE 110TH CONGRESS

Written by on February 28, 2007

Yesterday, members of Strasburger’s Health Industry Team in Washington, D.C., attended an interactive breakfast forum sponsored by the National Law Journal and Edelman. The forum was entitled “Health Care Priorities in the 110th Congress.” The featured speakers included U.S. Representative Pete Stark from California, the new Chairman of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, Read More…


Defining the Parameters of Sovereign Immunity Waiver – Two Courts Apply Reata to Suits Involving Hospital Districts and Physicians

Written by on February 21, 2007

Within the last month, two different Texas courts of appeals have considered breach of contract lawsuits between hospital districts and physicians. These are the first health law related decisions dealing with sovereign immunity applying the Texas Supreme Court’s recent 2006 decision in Reata Construction Co. v. City of Dallas.1 In each case, a hospital district sued the Read More…



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