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A physician who refused to release records without patient consent during a medical board investigation finally might receive his formal punishment from the board -- 10 years after it was proposed.
In a 4-3 vote, the Court of Appeals of Maryland reversed a lower court decision, reinstating a reprimand and a $5,000 fine by the board against Bethesda, Md., psychiatrist Harold I. Eist, MD. The decision stems from years of litigation, including five challenges in which lower court judges dismissed charges against Dr. Eist and ruled that the board did not have unfettered access to patient records.
In its Jan. 21 ruling, the appeals court said Dr. Eist should have pursued judicial action during the investigation if he believed releasing patient files to the Maryland Board of Physicians violated patient privacy.
In 2001, the medical board requested medical records from Dr. Eist as it investigated claims by a patient's husband that the doctor overmedicated his wife and children. Dr. E ...
Washington -- More Medicare beneficiaries are set to receive information about where they can lodge quality-of-care complaints under a rule proposed recently by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Hospitals that provide inpatient care to Medicare enrollees are required to give written notice to those patients about their rights to complain about the care they receive. Those concerns are referred to Medicare quality improvement organizations, contractors that operate in every state.
Under the proposed expansion of this policy, more care settings would be subject to the QIO referral requirements. They are:
* Ambulatory surgical centers.
* Clinics, rehabilitation agencies and public health agencies that provide outpatient physical therapy and speech-language-pathology services.
* Comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facilities.
* Critical access hospitals.
* Federally qualified health centers.
* Home health agencies.
After a year of retail clinic closures nearly matching the number of openings, 2011 may be the start of a rebound for the retail clinic market that will continue through 2015.
Tom Charland, CEO of Merchant Medicine, a retail clinic consultancy firm in Shoreview, Minn., published a report in January stating that the number of retail clinics could grow from 1,220 to more than 3,300 by 2015. But more likely, he predicted, the growth will average out to around 200 new clinics a year, for a 2015 total of nearly 2,300.
Charland publishes a monthly market report on the retail clinic industry and a yearly market prediction report that follows a symposium of retail clinic operators.
He said operators have cited health system reform and a shortage of primary physicians as reasons to expand, but he added that they might not increase clinic traffic as much as companies think.
MinuteClinic announced after the health system reform law was enacted in 2010 that it planned to double the num ...