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Archive for July, 2009

The first thing people say when I tell them that I am a health care lawyer is “so you do med mal work?”

No.

No, I don’t.

Litigation against or in defense of health care providers is not what I mean when I say I am a health care lawyer.  I used to do that; most new lawyers have to do a little bit of everything, either to find out what works, or to pay dues at a law firm that uses new lawyers to fill the gaps of what the more experienced lawyers want to spend time on.  But that’s not what I do now.

My biggest client (my day job) is a large health care provider in NJ.  I spend most of my time advising on law and policy before a decision gets made, rather than AFTER a patient has a bad outcome.  Because that’s why people sue – not because the provider committed malpractice, but because they had a bad outcome and think it could only happen if the provider(s) acted negligently.  Actually, lots of bad things can happen to you when you are sick or hurt that have nothing to do with the incompetence of the doctor, nurse, or other professional who cared for you.

But, you probably know that if you are reading this.  If you decided to click through to something called “Ambulance Law Update,” you are most likely a clinical provider of EMS, or a manager.  And, while updates on med mal law as they apply to ambulance providers are of interest to you, you want to know more.  Like, are EMS agencies exempt from overtime requirements?  What was that “Garcia rule” again?  Does CMS really expect us to get a patient’s signature on every call?  Can I balance bill patients if I am not in their health plan network?

And that’s exactly the kind of stuff I’ll handle here.  So, introduce yourself in the comments section, or by emailing me at keavney (at) gmail (dot) com.  ( I am told writing it like that makes the email address invisible to spam bots.  I have my doubts, but I’ll give it a try.)  I want to write about what you need to know, so send me requests for topics for future posts.  Of course, a blog is not private or secure, so do not disclose any information, because it may not be protected by the attorney client privilege. The blog does not create an attorney client relationship.  If you want one, I have to know what state you are in, so I can see if it is legal for me to give you advice, perform a conflicts check, and establish a secure method of communication for privileged information.  So keep it hypothetical, theoretical, and policy oriented.

Meanwhile, WELCOME to the Ambulance Law Update!

Margaret

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