Health Law

The 5 Most Important Decisions in a Physician Employment Agreement

    Over the years, physician employment agreements have become very standardized. However, there are several provisions in such agreements that the to-be-employed physician must review carefully with his/her attorney.  The following is a brief summary of what I consider to be the 5 most important provisions for a physician to understand and negotiate with […]

Health Law | Farrow-Gillespie & Heath LLP | Dallas, Texas

$2.5M settlement shows that not understanding HIPAA requirements creates financial risk

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR), recently announced a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) settlement based on the impermissible disclosure of unsecured electronic protected health information (ePHI).  In 2012, CardioNet, a company that remotely monitors patients at risk for cardiac arrhythmias, reported to the HHS Office […]

ObamaCare | Farrow-Gillespie & Heath | Dallas, TX

What is the status of ObamaCare, and why should I care?

Regardless of your position on the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as ObamaCare (“ACA”), you should neither panic nor rejoice just yet over the actions and inactions of the United States government regarding this healthcare insurance law.  You have probably read about the various options, i.e., “repeal and replace,” “repeal and delay,” or simply “repeal” […]

Health Care Law | Farrow-Gillespie & Heaht LLP

Healthcare providers’ risk of data breach

By Scott Chase and Catherine Parsley Healthcare providers receive, collect, and store vast quantities of sensitive personal health information (“PHI”) from their patients. However, only half of providers responding to a recent survey said that they are prepared to respond to cyber-attacks.  Attacks and other security breaches can have far-reaching effects for providers and their […]

Health Law | Farrow-Gillespie & Heath LLP | Dallas Texas

Physician “Anti-Kickback” Statute

Physicians and health care other providers face numerous prohibitions against self-referrals and against making referrals in exchange for remuneration.  The federal Anti-Kickback Statute is a criminal law that prohibits the knowing and willful payment of remuneration in exchange for referrals of services payable by federal health programs, which include health care services for Medicare or […]

Employment Law | Farrow-Gillespie & Heath LLP

Affordable Care Act information for employers

The Affordable Care Act is a federal statute that creates new responsibilities for employers.  Employers who have fewer than 25 “full-time equivalent” employees can qualify for a small business health care tax credit if they pay at least 50% of the employees’ health insurance premium costs and offer coverage through the Small Business Health Options […]

Health Law | Farrow-Gillespie & Heath LLP

HPIAA violation may spark lawsuit

While HIPAA does not in and of itself create a private cause of action, a growing body of cases in both federal and state courts outside of Texas suggests that a HIPAA violation causing clear harm to a plaintiff may support a lawsuit by providing grounds for some other private claim.  Plaintiffs who have shown […]

Health Law | Farrow-Gillespie & Heath LLP

Balance billing and Texas healthcare law

Balance billing occurs when doctors, hospitals, or other health care providers who are not contracted with a patient’s HMO or preferred provider benefit plan (PPO) bill the patient for the difference between the amount the health plan pays and the amount the provider believes to be the adequate cost of a service. For example, a […]

Scott Chase | Farrow-Gillespie & Heath LLP

What is the Stark Law?

Federal Stark law applies alongside anti-kickback law to create strict civil penalties for any physician who makes a “self-referral.”  Specifically, the law bars a physician from referring a Medicare or Medicaid patient to receive any designated health care service from any person or entity with which the physician has a financial relationship.  This relationship could […]

Scott Chase | Farrow-Gillespie & Heath LLP

What is HIPAA?

HIPAA, HITECH, and state laws all impact the responsibilities of health care providers and their business associates regarding the treatment and disclosure of confidential medical and health records. HIPAA, HITECH, and state laws all impact the responsibilities of health care providers and their business associates regarding the treatment and disclosure of confidential medical and health […]

Scott Chase | Farrow-Gillespie & Heath LLP | Dallas, TX

Corporate practice of medicine

Texas law generally prohibits the practice of medicine by any corporation, entity, or non-physician individual.  The “corporate practice of medicine” doctrine forbids a physician from entering into an agreement with a non-physician under which the non-physician would in any way control the physician’s medical practice.  Based on this doctrine, non-physician individuals and entities generally cannot […]

Jennifer Snow | Farrow-Gillespie & Heath LLP | Dallas, TX

Physician non-competition agreements

Many people erroneously believe that non-competes are not enforceable against physicians in Texas.  To the contrary, non-competes that are ancillary to or part of otherwise enforceable contracts generally are enforceable, provided that they meet certain statutory requirements.  For example, these covenants must contain reasonable limitations as to time, geographical area, and scope of activity to […]

Scott Chase | Farrow-Gillespie & Heath LLP

$150,000 penalty for HIPAA violation

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (HHS-OCR), has recently entered into another HIPAA settlement, emphasizing yet again the government’s focus on the HIPAA Security Rule.  The settlement highlights that health care entities cannot merely adopt HIPAA policies but that they must actually implement and follow those policies in practice […]

Jennifer Snow | Farrow-Gillespie & Heath | Dallas, TX

HIPAA law and business associates

HIPAA-covered entities and their business associates are facing increased obligations to securely maintain and handle protected health information.A health care entity subject to HIPAA rules must ensure that its contracts with a business associate that may receive protected health information include statutorily required assurances that the business associate will appropriately safeguard the information. That is, in a vendor […]