April 2016

2016 Amendments Permit Disclosure for Care Coordination Only Under State Law

One of the more challenging aspects of medical records management are federal and state legalities around release of substance abuse and mental health patient information. This year, the Iowa General Assembly passed legislation, Senate File 2144, to permit disclosure of otherwise confidential behavioral health information under Iowa law for care coordination purposes. SF 2144 was signed by Governor Branstad on April 6 and became effective on that day.

Continue Reading Iowa Legislature Amends Behavioral Health Disclosure Laws

Even so, employers are best protected in giving statutory notice and medical providers are best protected in assuring that continued care remains authorized.

Notification requirements imposed by Iowa’s workers’ compensation law upon employers authorizing care for an injured employee took center stage in a recent decision of the Iowa Supreme Court. In that case, Ramirez-Trujillo v Quality Egg, L.L.C., et. al. (No. 14-0640, filed April 15, 2016), an employee suffered back injuries from a slip and fall at work. The employer acknowledged the workplace injury and authorized care through a care provider selected by the employer. The employee received treatment for acute low back pain and muscle spasms until the authorized provider released the employee to return to full duty work without restrictions. Weeks later, however, the employee returned to the authorized care provider for additional treatment for acute low back pain and muscle spasms over a period of several months.

Continue Reading Iowa Supreme Court Crafts An Avenue Of Relief For Employers Who Fail To Notify Injured Workers That Medical Care Is No Longer Authorized

Brick Gentry’s president Paul Drey twice addresses the Iowa Medical Society (IMS) at its Annual Conference in Coralville, Iowa this month.

Protect Yourself: The Basics of Employment Contracts,” illuminates considerations for physician employment agreements. The program synopsis raises important questions:  “The work does not end once you verbally accept a position. But does the offer meet your needs? Will this contract limit your practice options in the future? Find out answers to these questions and more during this session.”

Paul Drey’s second presentation is in conjunction with Timothy Irhig, M.D., of UnityPoint Clinic – Trinity Palliative Medicine. “Legal and Ethical Issues Related to End-of-Life Care,” is summarized in the IMS program: “Carrying out the wishes of patients at the end of their lives is important. When a patient has an advanced directive, healthcare professionals need to know what the legal and ethical guidelines are regarding the decisions that were made prior to or early in their disease process. This session features information you need to care for your patients and protect yourself.”