7 Common Mistakes Physicians Make When Signing a Physician Employment Contract (and How to Avoid Them)

7 Common Mistakes Physicians Make When Signing a Physician Employment Contract (and How to Avoid Them)

Smart physicians are not immune from making highly regrettable mistakes when it comes to employment contracts. And unlike in medicine, you don't get the option of trying a new treatment plan if the first one doesn't work. Physicians are educated, and intellectually sophisticated. This means that, even though you weren’t trained to read legal contracts in medical school, courts expect that you have read and fully understand the terms of the contracts you sign. That means that, both during and even after your employment, you're stuck with the contract you sign, so make sure you avoid these common pitfalls.

Congress Votes to Legalize Low-THC Cannabis (Hemp)

Congress Votes to Legalize Low-THC Cannabis (Hemp)

On December 12, 2018, Congress passed the 2018 Farm Bill (The “Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018” or the “Bill”), which includes provisions that exempt Cannabis plants with lower than 0.3% THC content (also called “Hemp”) from the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Once signed into law, the Farm Bill effectively legalizes the production, commercialization, and interstate shipment and sale of hemp and hemp-derived products like cannabidiol or “CBD”. Each state (including Indian Tribes and U.S. Territories) will eventually be able to regulate hemp production like any other agricultural commodity, as long as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approves its plan to monitor and regulate the plant’s production.

Should I Self-Disclose a Stark or AntiKickback Violation?

Should I Self-Disclose a Stark or AntiKickback Violation?

On September 27, 2018, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) for the first time announced its own “road map” guiding voluntary self-disclosures and cooperation with government investigations of fraud and abuse in the healthcare industry. By encouraging self-disclosure, the government is incentivizing healthcare entities to come forward early with reports of violations in the hope of negotiating reasonable settlements, avoiding exclusion from Federal healthcare programs, and reducing the severe civil and criminal penalties that would otherwise be imposed for such violations.

When Do I Need a Healthcare Attorney?  Responding to an Investigation by the Virginia Department of Health Professions

When Do I Need a Healthcare Attorney? Responding to an Investigation by the Virginia Department of Health Professions

Do I really need a healthcare attorney? The Board is simply asking me to answer some questions and provide some documentation. Of course, a Board complaint is a big deal, but this part seems harmless/easy enough. I will just respond and tell them what happened, right?” The reality is that an effective response is not as straightforward as it may seem. Hiring a healthcare attorney to assist in the preparation of your response to a complaint investigation can improve your chances of resolving the complaint at the investigation stage, incidentally saving you money in the long run.

Evolution of Cannabis Law and Regulations in Virginia

Evolution of Cannabis Law and Regulations in Virginia

On September 25, 2018, the Virginia Board of Pharmacy met in closed session for more than five hours before awarding five conditional permits to five separate companies who will likely become the first Pharmaceutical Processors of Medical Cannabis in Virginia. Following this exciting announcement, these conditional license permittees will undergo background checks and, upon satisfactory results, will begin the arduous process of creating Virginia’s first vertically integrated Medical Cannabis cultivation, manufacturing and retail facilities. The state’s program started in earnest in 2015, and due to the advocacy of Virginia patients, caregivers, legislators, and healthcare providers, expanded to its current state in just three short years.

Practice Agreement Requirements for Virginia Nurse Practitioners

Practice Agreement Requirements for Virginia Nurse Practitioners

In Virginia (and in many other states), NPs who do not have an autonomous practice must practice under the direct supervision of a physician as part of a patient care team, pursuant to what is called a “Practice Agreement,” or, “Collaborative Practice Agreement.” A Practice Agreement is an agreement between an NP and the NP’s supervising physician that describes the relationship between the parties, including the procedures to be followed and acts to be performed by the NP in the course of providing care to patients.

MSSP Proposed Rule may mean major changes for Medicare ACOs

MSSP Proposed Rule may mean major changes for Medicare ACOs

CMS recently released a Proposed Rule suggesting significant changes to the Medicare Shared Savings Program, aimed at accelerating the path for providers participating in a Medicare ACO to take on risk for the cost and care of their patient populations. The following is a summary of key changes proposed to the MSSP.