Emerging technologies are prompting a revolution in women’s healthcare through advanced diagnostic testing. In the sixth episode of Sheppard Mullin’s Health-e Law Podcast, Deirdre O’Neill, Chief Commercial & Legal Officer at Hertility Health, shed light on trends in women’s healthcare and technology with Sheppard Mullin’s Digital Health Team co-chairs, Sara Shanti and Phil Kim.Continue Reading FemTech Meets DiagnosTech: A Discussion with Deirdre O’Neill

Effective October 20, 2024, New York hospitals must have in place State-mandated changes to their financial assistance (“FA”) programs (including FA eligibility criteria and debt collection practices) and their practices related to consent forms, and patient use of credit cards and medical financial products. The new requirements were enacted as part of the State’s health and mental hygiene budget legislation for fiscal year 2024 through 2025, signed into law by Governor Hochul on April 20, 2024. The legislation expands financial assistance eligibility to a wider range of patients and implements greater patient protections related to medical debt collection practices.Continue Reading New York Broadly Revises Hospital Financial Assistance, Medical Debt Collection and Related Requirements

Our clients report that addressing and preventing burnout for their physicians and other caregivers continues to be a critical priority in the aftermath of the pandemic. Healthcare organizations need high functioning, engaged clinicians to provide outstanding care and meet goals for quality patient outcomes. However, many grapple with how to create and maintain a robust organizational culture where physicians feel psychologically safe and well resourced, and in which they report lower rates of burnout. In light of ongoing physician shortages, particularly in primary care and high-demand specialties like radiology, effectively recruiting and retaining physicians is critical to delivering care, maintaining contractual staffing commitments, providing for more consistent revenue, and reducing associated costs. We hear often that physicians feel they are being asked to do more with less and adapt to a rapidly changing environment in terms of clinical care, medical record documentation, patient communication, mid-level supervision, and technological advancements. In response, many of our clients are actively exploring how to support providers, create and sustain a cohesive organizational culture, and reduce burnout rates. In this article, we discuss one piece of that larger puzzle – the importance of promoting psychological safety for physicians through both internal programming and participation in external opportunities.Continue Reading Solving for Physician Burnout: Creating a Culture of Psychological Safety

In the rapidly evolving landscape of digital health, gamification has emerged as a powerful tool to enhance patient engagement and improve health outcomes. In the fifth episode of Sheppard Mullin’s Health-e Law Podcast, Craig Lund, co-founder and CEO of Mightier, shed light on this innovative technology with Sheppard Mullin’s Digital Health Team co-chairs, Sara Shanti and Phil Kim.Continue Reading Gamification – Playing for Health: A Discussion with Craig Lund

Last month, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) hosted its annual PrivacyCon event, featuring an array of experts discussing the latest in privacy and data security research. This post, covering healthcare privacy issues, is the first in a two-part series on PrivacyCon’s key takeaways for healthcare organizations. The second post will cover topics on artificial intelligence in healthcare.Continue Reading Healthcare Highlights from FTC’s 2024 PrivacyCon

On March 28, 2024, the Biden-Harris Administration released final rules intended to lower health care costs and protect consumers from being induced into purchasing so-called “junk insurance” policies (the “Final Rules”).[1] According to the press release, the Final Rules are intended to close loopholes that have permitted “junk insurance” issuers to mislead consumers into buying highly restricted and discriminatory plans that provide inadequate coverage when consumers need it the most. The Final Rules primarily realign federal definitions with intended scopes of coverage and increase transparency to allow consumers to make informed, beneficial choices about their health coverage for enhanced consumer protection.Continue Reading Closing the Loopholes: The Biden-Harris Administration’s Action Against “Junk Insurance”

I. Alabama Legislation Following LePage

On March 7th, the Alabama Legislature passed SB159 (“SB159” or the “bill”), as a means of granting certain protections to IVF clinics and providers in the wake of the LePage v. Center for Reproductive Medicine decision. The bill among other things, grants civil and criminal immunity to any individual or entity in connection with death or damage to an embryo when providing or receiving services related to in vitro fertilization (“IVF”). The protections afforded by SB159 apply to (i) manufacturers of goods used to facilitate the IVF treatments and (ii) individuals engaged in the transportation of the stored embryos. Once enacted, the new law would take retroactive effect to shelter providers and suppliers engaged in providing IVF treatments as of the LePage ruling. Continue Reading IVF Caught in the Crosshairs: The Aftermath of the LePage Decision

Will your business have to go through the new Office of Health Care Affordability (OHCA) reporting regime for material healthcare transactions? What would such a filing involve, and how long would it take to complete the process? Those questions will be among key discussion items addressed in Sheppard Mullin’s upcoming webinar on February 7, 2024, co-sponsored with America’s Physician Groups and Moss Adams LLP. As we have highlighted in our blog series[1] on SB 184 and OHCA throughout the past year, OHCA’s recently finalized cost and market impact review (CMIR) regulations set forth the framework for OHCA’s authority to receive advance notice of and review a large scope of healthcare transactions in the coming months, reflecting a dramatic change to California’s healthcare regulatory landscape moving forward. Please tune in to this important webinar where our knowledgeable presenters will present an overview of the key components and practical considerations surrounding this new law, including:Continue Reading Webinar: New OHCA Rules Requiring Notice and Review of Material Healthcare Transaction

Looking out at the San Francisco skyline from the top floor of the Westin St. Francis on Day 3 of the 42nd Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference, the iconic Transamerica pyramid is not too far away. But my mind, being chock-full of value-based care presentations, quickly imagines the building as the shining pyramid of patient segmentation and risk stratification, envisioning the proper way to sort patients for effective intervention and total cost of care reduction. John Kao, CEO of Alignment Healthcare, shared today that only 12% percent of their Medicare Advantage membership accounts for approximately 74% percent of their institutional cost (hospital and facility costs), while conversely their “healthy” membership of 74% accounted for only 5% of their institutional costs. These days, institutional costs and pharmaceutical costs are almost equal, according to the Advisory Board, and together far outweigh professional physician and other provider costs. Therefore, keeping patients out of the hospital and post-acute facilities as medically possible and appropriate and effectively managing medications should result in a large reduction in the total cost of care, right? So, what’s not happening that should be?Continue Reading Day 3 Notes from the 42nd Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference

Sustainability of our healthcare system was an interesting topic at Day 2 of the 42nd Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference. Paul Markovich, CEO of Blue Shield of California, expressed the concern that “[T]he status quo is an existential threat to our healthcare system.” Markovich is worried that the healthcare system is losing the public’s trust – which will make it harder to effectively fix our system – while also not delivering the quality of care and accessibility needed by our population. For example, Christopher Riopelle, CEO of Strive Health, shared today that 42% of U.S. patients whose kidneys fail never have seen a nephologist prior to that catastrophic event, and 90% of kidney disease patients are undiagnosed. For a disease that has a total spend of approximately $420 billion, how is our system missing these patients?Continue Reading Day 2 Notes from the 42nd Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference