Under a new Pennsylvania law which took effect on January 22, 2011, physicians who bill patients or third party payers for clinical pathology laboratory tests purchased from an independent laboratory are required to disclose on the bill the name of the laboratory from which the service was purchased, the amount paid by the physician to the lab and the physician’s … Continue Reading
Physicians in Pennsylvania should be aware that a new Pennsylvania law requires physicians and their employees who provide direct patient care to wear a photo identification badge during work hours. The law became effective on January 22, 2011 and the Department of Health is required to publish regulations clarifying the law within 90 days.
The law requires that the badge list … Continue Reading
According to a new report from the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Counsel (also known as PHC4), 19 new ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) opened up in Pennsylvania in the past year. This bring the total number of ASCs in Pennsylvania to 262. According to the report, ASCs generally remain profitable.
Although growth of ASCs means more independence for physicians and more … Continue Reading
The Pennsylvania Department of Health has published the amounts which may be charged by a health care facility or health care provider in Pennsylvania upon receipt of a request or subpoena for production of medical charts or records. Effective January 1, 2010, the following fees may be charged by a health care facility or health care provider for production of … Continue Reading
According to a recent article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, West Penn Allegheny Health System’s federal antitrust lawsuit against University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Highmark Inc., has been dismissed. Filed in April of this year, the lawsuit alleged that UPMC and Highmark conspired to raise prices and squeeze out competition. According to the article, the Court found that West … Continue Reading
In what many Pennsylvania physicians feel is a long overdue move, the Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner has announced that the Department of Insurance will investigate whether any of Pennsylvania’s Blue Cross-Blue Shield insurers have engaged in anti-competitive behavior in violation of the Unfair Trade Practices act. According to a recent article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, among other activities, the Department will … Continue Reading
Pennsylvania physicians need to be aware that legislation (House Bill 1405) has once again been introduced in the Pennsylvania House which would severely limit the ability of physicians to refer to entities in which they have investment interests. As drafted, this Bill would create an outright prohibition on the referral by a health care provider of any patient … Continue Reading
Things appear to be heating up between the lagest health system and the second largest health system in the Pittsburgh health care market. West Penn Allegheny Health System Inc. has filed and anti-trust lawsuit against the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Highmark Inc., the region’s largest insurer, claiming UPMC and Highmark have conspired to create a monopoly. Specifically, the … Continue Reading
The Pennsylvania Board of Nursing has published regulations implementing a 2007 law which gives nurse midwives the authority to prescribe, administer, and dispense drugs pursuant to collaborative agreement with a physician. The law and regulations also apply to medical devices, immunizing agents, and laboratory tests. In order to obtain prescriptive authority, nurse midwives must hold a master’s degree or equivalent, … Continue Reading
In what is surely to be a bright spot for most physician in Pennsylvania, Independence Blue Cross and Highmark announced today that they are withdrawing their request to merge. According to a report by the Philadelphia Inquirer this afternoon, the boards of two companies met today and decided they could not live with the condition that the Pennsylvania Insurance Department … Continue Reading