California Health Law FAQ
At Bowen & Kennedy, P.C., we understand that navigating the complexities of health law can be overwhelming. Our health law attorney in California provides answers to some of the most common questions we receive from clients. For personalized assistance, call us toll-free at 1-866-372-0569.
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). HIPAA mandates the protection of patient health information (PHI). Providers must establish and maintain safeguards to protect PHI, including electronic health records (EHRs).
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA provides protections to United States citizens with disabilities, helping disabled people have the same chances and opportunities that persons without disabilities experience
- Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). FMLA protects an employee's job when they take unpaid leave for certain medical reasons and also provides certain entitlements to military families
- Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS). Providers should understand anti-kickback laws, which prohibit offering, receiving, or soliciting compensation or rewards for referrals or services under federal healthcare programs.
- Section 1877 of the Social Security Act. Also known as the physician self-referral law or Stark Law, this Act prohibits physician self-referral for certain designated health services. Healthcare providers should be aware of exceptions and safe harbor provisions.
- Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA). EMTALA requires providers to treat all patients presenting to an emergency room, regardless of their ability to pay.
Overview of State Laws and Regulations
- Licensing and Credentialing. Healthcare professionals must maintain valid licenses and credentials to practice legally. Understanding state-specific licensing requirements is crucial.
- Drug Prescribing and Dispensing. Providers should understand the laws governing the prescription and dispensing of controlled substances.
- Medical Malpractice. Providers need to be aware of medical malpractice laws, including the elements of negligence, statute of limitations, and the importance of maintaining accurate medical records.
- Telemedicine Laws. Telemedicine is subject to state-specific regulations. Providers should be familiar with licensure, reimbursement, and practice standards for telehealth services.
- Fraud and Abuse Laws. Providers must be vigilant to prevent healthcare fraud and abuse, including billing for services not provided and improper coding.
Each healthcare provider must know and comply with the requirements established by these and other relevant health laws and regulations. Consulting with our health law lawyer at Bowen & Kennedy, P.C. in California will help you make sure you are in compliance and can benefit from that compliance.
What Are Healthcare Providers Obligated to Do under Healthcare Laws?
Healthcare providers operate in a complex legal environment to ensure patient care and privacy are maintained while complying with various regulations and laws. Provided below are key aspects that healthcare providers need to know to ensure their obligations are being met.
- Informed Consent. Healthcare providers must ensure patients fully understand their diagnosis, proposed treatment, potential risks, and alternatives before obtaining informed consent.
- Healthcare Contracts. Healthcare providers frequently enter contracts with insurers, facilities, and other entities. Understanding contract terms, including reimbursement rates, is essential.
- Health Insurance. Understanding health insurance laws and regulations is crucial for healthcare providers, as they often interact with insurers for reimbursement.
- Advance Directives. Healthcare providers should be familiar with laws governing advance directives, such as living wills and durable power of attorney for healthcare.
- End-of-Life Care. Laws surrounding end-of-life care, including Do-Not-Resuscitate (DNR) orders and palliative care, vary by jurisdiction.
- Medical Records Management. Properly maintaining and protecting patient medical records is essential. Providers should follow record-keeping guidelines and be aware of retention requirements.
- Patient Rights. Providers should be aware of patient rights, including the right to privacy, access to medical records, and the right to refuse treatment.
- Healthcare Compliance. Providers should stay up-to-date with federal, state, and local healthcare regulations, as they may change over time.
- Medical Ethics. Providers must adhere to ethical principles, including patient confidentiality, informed consent, and the duty to provide care regardless of a patient's background.
- Cultural Competency. Understanding diverse patient backgrounds and cultural norms is vital to providing equitable healthcare and avoiding discrimination.
- Reporting Obligations. Healthcare providers may have obligations to report certain diseases, injuries, or suspected abuse to relevant authorities.
This list is not exhaustive, as healthcare law is vast and constantly evolving. Healthcare providers in California should consult with our health law attorney to ensure they remain in compliance and provide the best possible care to their patients.
When Does a Medical Facility or Professional Need a Health Care Lawyer in California ?
A medical facility or professional will benefit from the assistance of a health care attorney in various scenarios. Examples of these scenarios include situations when medical facilities or professionals:
- Require assistance negotiating, drafting, or entering into contracts
- Require guidance on compliance with applicable laws, including regulations and administrative matters involving, for example, Medicare or Medicaid
- Require guidance on their privacy and consumer protection measures
- Require help with taxes in the healthcare industry
- Defend against allegations of failure to comply
- Defend against allegations of ethics violations
If you operate a medical facility or are a medical professional, it works in your favor to build a working relationship with a health law attorney to ensure compliance, avoid legal issues, or promptly address legal challenges when they arise.
What Types of Cases Fall under Health Law?
Health law encompasses a large area of intersecting laws and regulations. A case specific to health law can, therefore, fall under one of many different issues. Some of the most common types of cases can involve any of the below matters.
- Medical malpractice
- Healthcare facility regulations
- Patient rights
- Healthcare contracts
- Insurance disputes
- Medical licensing
- Compliance with federal and state healthcare laws
Whether you think you have a healthcare case or not, it is important to speak with an attorney in your California . At Bowen & Kennedy, P.C., we can help you understand what type of case you might have and outline your options moving forward.
What Are Patient Rights in Terms of Treatment and Privacy?
Healthcare providers must protect the rights and privacy of patients. Some of these rights include:
- The right to informed consent
- The right to confidentiality of medical information
- The right to access medical records
- The right to refuse treatment.
Our health law attorney in California can help you understand what these rights mean in practice and how to ensure you are meeting your obligations. A proactive and thorough plan can prevent legal issues and challenges in the future.
What Is Involved in Healthcare Regulatory Compliance?
Healthcare regulatory compliance ensures that healthcare providers, facilities, and organizations adhere to federal, state, and local laws and regulations. This includes issues such as licensing, fraud and abuse prevention, HIPAA compliance, and more. Our firm assists clients in understanding and meeting these complex compliance requirements.
What Legal Considerations Does Telemedicine Involve?
Telemedicine involves providing medical services remotely through technology. Legal considerations include:
- Licensing across state lines
- Reimbursement issues
- Patient privacy
- Compliance with telemedicine regulations
We can help healthcare providers navigate these challenges.
Can You Help Healthcare Professionals with Licensing and Disciplinary Matters?
At Bowen & Kennedy, P.C., we assist healthcare professionals in obtaining and maintaining their licenses, as well as handling disciplinary actions and appeals. It is crucial to protect your professional standing, and we are here to guide you.
What Should Healthcare Organizations Consider when Drafting Contracts?
Healthcare contracts can involve agreements between providers, facilities, insurers, and vendors. Our attorney can help ensure these contracts address important aspects like services, payment, liability, compliance, and protection of patient rights.
How Much Does a Healthcare Lawyer Cost in California
The cost of a healthcare lawyer will vary based on various factors, including your location and the complexity and particulars of your case. Also, the lawyers themselves will fall into a wide range of costs due to their reputation, experience, and education.
Contact a Health Care Attorney in Los Angeles Today
At Bowen & Kennedy, P.C., our health law lawyer in California helps clients comply with relevant federal and state laws, creates strategies to maintain compliance and avoid civil liability or criminal action, and provides guidance in all their healthcare law needs. Contact us today by either filling out the online form or calling us at 866-372-0569 to schedule a Free 30 minute consultation .