On August 6, 2012, Governor Deval Patrick signed into law the Health Payment Reform Act. The law, which became effective on November 4, 2012 and is considered by many to constitute ground-breaking legislation, is aimed at reducing health care costs and improving the overall quality of healthcare provided in the Commonwealth.
The law includes multiple provisions that will substantially impact the landscape of medical malpractice litigation in Massachusetts. One of the most discussed, but perhaps least understood, of these provisions is the new section 79L added to chapter 233 of the Massachusetts General Laws, commonly referred to as the "Disclosure, Apology & Offer" or "DA&O" law.
With the widely publicized episodes of Medicaid and Medicare fraud in recent years, there is increasing pressure on healthcare institutions to perform more frequent sanction screenings of employees and vendors against Federal and State exclusion lists, in order to ensure that they are not billing for the work of excluded parties. Organizations that are audited and discovered to be billing for services rendered by an excluded vendor or individual will be fined ($11,000+ per occurrence) and will be excluded from participating in federally-funded health care programs.
Did you know that only about 50% of all patients take medications as directed? Most health care materials are written above the reading level of patients. When meeting with doctors, patients feel rushed and are embarrassed to ask the doctor to further explain something they do not understand. As a result, patients with low literacy average more hospital visits and stay in the hospital longer. What can you do to help mitigate the risk of medical communication errors? Implement the "Ask Me 3" program.
PIAM Announces Affiliation with Baystate Financial
PIAM is pleased to announce a new partnership with Baystate Financial, one of New England's oldest and largest privately owned financial services firms, as the preferred financial planning and advising firm for MMS members. With this affiliation, advisors from Baystate Financial will add their expertise in insurance, financial planning, wealth management and estate planning to the Massachusetts Medical Society's professional delivery of financial and insurance resources for its members. For more information, contact Chip Moynihan, Director of Financial Services Operations at PIAM, 781-434-7398.