Archive


HIPPA SUMMIT

July 1, 2016 MORE-->

FDA Public Hearing “Draft Guidances Relating to the Regulation of Human Cells, Tissues or Cellular or Tissue-Based Products

July 1, 2016 MORE-->

Michael J. Sacopulos quoted in 8 steps to avoid legal risks from your practice website

June 29, 2016 MORE-->

THE TRAINER RESPONSIBILITY RULE: THE ABSOLUTE INSURER RULE by: Peter J. Sacopulos

June 29, 2016 MORE-->

Peter J. Sacopulos, Esq. Appointed by Indiana Governor

February 20, 2015

Peter J. Sacopulos, Esq., a partner at Sacopulos, Johnson & Sacopulos in Terre Haute, Indiana has been appointed by Indiana Governor Mike Pence to serve on the Thoroughbred Breed Development Advisory Committee.

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Miniature Horses Offer Service and Serenity

May 6, 2014

Clinical hypnotherapist, Kathleen Nightingale, works with people living with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia. Kathleen and her husband had always enjoyed thoroughbred horses, so they decided to combine their passion for horses with Kathleen’s professional skill. Their interests merged and have developed into an equine therapy program. One of their star equine partners in providing this unique therapy is Titch, a Palomino miniature horse.

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Jury Disregards Panel’s Finding, Awards Family $1.5 Million

May 6, 2014

Medical review panels and juries can differ in their opinions on malpractice.

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Business Associates Gone Bad

May 6, 2014

From large hospitals to the one-physician practice, administrators need to not only examine the liabilities their own staff maybe creating, but their Business Associates too. As more healthcare entities look for ways to cut costs by outsourcing work, beware- because it does not relieve them of potential liabilities.

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HIPAA On The Go

May 6, 2014

Make sure that all your PHI is encrypted. Take ownership of the problem right away to avoid further potential pitfalls

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Removing The Legal Risk Of Saying “I’m Sorry”

July 2, 2013 MORE-->

Keeping Your Social Media Account Clean

June 6, 2013

Many medical directors are finding themselves conducting a quick search of physicians who they may be interested in hiring, to see if anything worrisome will surface.

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New Evidence Why Your Patients and Practice Will Benefit From EMR Portals

June 4, 2013 MORE-->

When It Is NOT Smart To Use A Smart Phone

June 4, 2013 MORE-->

Humpty Dumpty Expresses Disappointment in All the King’s Men

June 4, 2013 MORE-->

Centaur Completes Indiana Grand Deal

February 21, 2013

The acquisition brings together two of the leading racetrack casinos in the Midwest, with the addition of Indiana Grand Casino and Downs to Centaur’s Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Anderson, Ind. The $500 million transaction increases Centaur’s total workforce to more than 2,000 Indiana residents.

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The Future of Indiana Downs

February 21, 2013

Most recently Centaur LLC submitted an application to the Federal Trade Commission, the final step to state and federal approval. The FTC had a statutory period to act on Centaur’s application. The time expired without FTC acting thereby resulting in approval. As such, Indiana’s “two racinos” will be owned by one entity, Centaur, LLC.

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Plastic Surgery as a Tax Deduction

February 14, 2013

A limited number of patients have been successful with deducting procedures. The argument can be made that improvement in physical appearance could be beneficial to a model or news anchor. However, these arguments have been rejected by the IRS and by the courts as being too personal in nature and benefitting the taxpayer. They are typically treated as a non-deductible expenses.

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5 Ways to Protect Your Reputation in the New Year

February 14, 2013

Only 1 out of every 20 patients posts an online review of their physician but nearly half of all patients use the Internet to learn about prospective physicians and other healthcare providers, according to a survey by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Google yourself.

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Protect Yourself on Pinterest

December 21, 2012

Pinterest users can become vulnerable to lawsuits, if they don’t have permission to use the content. Most risks from Pinterest to physicians in medical practices come from two areas: photographs and professional responsibility for advertisements.

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Lessons in Liability

December 21, 2012

As the economy tightens and competition becomes more intense, establishing and maintaining a website or other online presence has become a matter of business necessity. Yet, despite its unquestionable advantages, the formation and operation of an equine website exposes its owner(s) or operator(s), whether horse owners, trainers, breeders, farms or retailers, to potential new areas of liability.

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When people say horrific things…

December 21, 2012

Generally, the owner or operator of an equine business must remain vigilant in overseeing the business. Additionally a well-constructed employment contract containing a covenant not to compete and a designation that certain information is trade secret information is very important. Specifically, the owner or operator should do and implement the following points:

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5 Unexpected Questions You Should Ask When Negotiating a Lease

September 20, 2012

With economic uncertainty dentists are questioning their commercial office space needs. Only you can answer if leasing or buying office space is the better business option. Although, leasing does have its advantages such as increased flexibility, tax benefits and reduced responsibilities. While the benefits of leasing may be a better fit, before you sign on the dotted line read ahead.

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The Legal Importance of Controlling Your Online Reputation

September 20, 2012

Mentally unstable patients, ex-spouses and ex-employees seem to take a large punch when it comes to attacking aesthetic surgeon’s reputation. I have advised surgeons who were forced to engage in litigation with an ex-patient/spouse who created everything from negative ratings to websites attacking the surgeon’s reputation. The damage from this behavior can be significant.

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5 Unexpected Ways of Getting Sued

September 20, 2012

Most legal professionals admit there is nothing new about medical malpractice claims. It’s the other ways healthcare providers are sued that poses some of the greatest risks. And those instances — which do not include medical malpractice — may not be covered by professional liability coverage.

In the words of Dr. Seuss: “I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some from behind.”

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Sex to Die For: The Unsavory Medical Malpractice Claim of the Estate of William Martinez

July 26, 2012

The day before his nuclear stress test Mr. Martinez apparently engaged in some “exertional activity.” In fact, Mr. Martinez engaged in a three-some with a woman who was not his wife and a male friend. Yes; while in midst of having a three way sexual experience Mr. Martinez died.

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Understanding Disability Insurance: Benefits and Tax Implications

July 26, 2012

You need to decide if you need disability coverage; Be careful of the terms, conditions and definitions in the policy – they vary; There are major tax considerations when buying disability coverage; Get quality, professional assistance. Disability policies come with lots of moving parts. It is worth your time and effort to get the right policy in place for your protection.

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Botched Butt, Botox, Lipo, OH MY!!!

July 26, 2012

As a result, many doctors are seeing patients asking for their botched procedures to be fixed. New Jersey Cosmetic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Steve Fallek, MD, has done work on three such patients.

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Practicing Medicine in a Litigious World: Coping with Medial Legal Stress

July 26, 2012

While some may argue that the pace of suits against physicians is slowing, many healthcare providers feel like a target for the plaintiff’s bar. Dr. J. Deane Waldman, a pediatric cardiologist, knows this fear and stress all too well.

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Understanding and Dealing With Malpractice Litigation Stress

July 26, 2012

St. Pauli Girl Beer famously advertises that “You never forget your first girl.” While I am not sure about that, I am sure that you never forget your first law suit. The lawsuit arrives like a modern day version of the “Black Spot” out of the Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island.” The anger, stress, and self-doubt come on strong and are slow to dissipate, leaving defendant physicians forever changed.

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New rules to cut regulations for hospitals

May 10, 2012

(HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced significant steps to reduce unnecessary, obsolete, or burdensome regulations on American hospitals and health care providers. These steps will help achieve the key goal of President Obama’s regulatory reform initiative to reduce unnecessary burdens on business and save nearly $1.1 billion across the health care system in the first year and more than $5 billion over five years.

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Ask the Lawyer

April 18, 2012

Q: I am a dentist practicing in the Midwest. In an effort to grow my practice, I would like to have a raffle for my patients that refer me new patients. I know I cannot directly compensate people for referrals, but can I pick a name out of a hat once a month to show my appreciation? If this is OK can the practice give a product (in-house or iPad) or a service?

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Juror’s Facebook Post Creates New Medical Malpractice Trial

April 18, 2012

“I’m on jury duty. God help me.” For those of us who have been on jury duty, this thought has probably passed through our head. Perhaps some of us have even muttered it beneath our breath when we received the notice to report into jury duty. But most people know enough not to tweet or write a Facebook post about serving or a jury. Now, enter a Kentucky juror who did exactly that. Her friend then responded “They’re guilty…whatever it is, they’re guilty”.

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The Merz Injunction and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity

March 16, 2012

Allergan has been successful in leveraging a misappropriation of its trade secrets into a relative judicial monopoly over this area of facial aesthetics. It remains to be seen just how long Xeomin must remain in the penalty box. Don’t be surprised if it makes it to market well before the end of 2012.

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Merz Commits To Full Remediation Compliance In Allergan Lawsuit

March 14, 2012

Following a final hearing that occurred yesterday with the Honorable Andrew J. Guilford, the judge presiding over a recently concluded bench trial which focused on a commercial dispute over trade secrets, Merz is providing additional details on the outcome of the case.

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St. Augustine, Botulinum Toxins, and The Battle for the Fountain of Youth

March 14, 2012

Late on Friday, March 9th in his Santa Ana court chambers, United States District Judge Andrew Guilford entered an injunction against Merz Pharmaceuticals. This injunction came 19 months after Allergan initiated litigation against Merz for misappropriation of trade secrets.

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HHS settles HIPAA case with BCBST for $1.5 million

March 13, 2012

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee (BCBST) has agreed to pay the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) $1,500,000 to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules, Leon Rodriguez, Director of the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR), announced today.

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Allergan and Merz: The Litigation Fest Continues

March 12, 2012

Earlier last week a Federal Court Judge in Santa Ana, California entered into an injunction against Merz. The injunction stopped Merz from marketing Xeomin to the facial aesthetic community.

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Manage Your Cyber Reputation

March 9, 2012

Remember the days when patients told neighbors and best friends about unpleasant doctor visits? Today, they tell the world about their problems through social media.

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Allergan, Merz, and Unfair Trade Practices

March 9, 2012

I understand Allergan’s position, but I don’t like it. No one wants to be stolen from. I get the “We’re going to teach those bastards a lesson” mentality. But here is my problem; I don’t like the involvement of physicians and patients in their battle. Physicians should have the information and opportunity to provide their patients with alternate treatment options. Allergan’s approach of blocking Xeomin hurts people beyond Merz

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Increase in Healthcare IT Jobs

February 17, 2012

85 percent of hospitals now report that by 2015 they intend to take advantage of the incentive payments made available through the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.

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Terminating a Patient

February 16, 2012

Some Reasons to Terminate a Patient

Missed appointment
Not paying for services
Not compliant with medication/treatment
Inappropriate to physician or staff
Disruptive to the care of fellow patients

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New Health Care Law

February 13, 2012

The National Health Service Corps (NHSC) awarded $9.1 million in funding to medical students in 30 States and the District of Columbia who will serve as primary care doctors and help strengthen the health care workforce, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today at the Eisner Pediatric and Family Medical Center, a community health center in Los Angeles, Calif.

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Brazilian Blowout

February 13, 2012

The legal community has responded with class action lawsuits and governmental sanctions. It seems to me that it is time for the aesthetic medical community to step up. Surely, we all can agree that dousing people’s heads in formaldehyde should be done with cause and after some degree of training. A two hour course offered at the Dubuque Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark this weekend, (yes; this comes from the Brazilian Blowout Facebook page) seems silly. Those in the aesthetic medical community should work to see that the public’s exposure to these products is safe.

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Judgment Against HCA Hospital

January 26, 2012

The jury verdict of 178 million dollars was so large as to attract the attention of the Wall Street Journal. Reports indicate that HCA plans to appeal the judgment. Despite the fact that this case has been pending for some years, the litigation will continue. The ending to this sad story remains unclear and distant. What is clear is that this judgment will have an impact on other pending medical malpractice litigation.

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PIP’s Silicone Implants

January 26, 2012

Some of you may be reminded of the movie Groundhog Day. You have that feeling that those of us here in the United States have been through a silicone implant public health scare before. The better cultural reference is Chapter 66 out of Moby Dick. Remember? After much effort a dead Sperm Whale is lashed the side of The Pequod one evening. It is to be processed by the crew the next evening. What happens next is horrific. Huge numbers of sharks come and shred the whale carcass. Some of the crew try to kill off sharks with wailing-spades but this does little as the sea boils with sharks and blood.

It won’t be long before you can substitute PIP and those associated with its implants for Melville’s dead whale. Rest assured, the litigators are coming to feed. In a bloodletting that will take place across the sea, PIP and its business associates will be attacked and devoured from all angles.

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Prevent Surgical Fires

December 9, 2011

A surgical fire is a fire that occurs in, on or around a patient undergoing a medical or surgical procedure. An estimated 550 to 650 surgical fires happen every year in U.S. operating rooms. Some of the fires cause disfiguring second- and third-degree burns. If the fire occurs in the patient’s airway, it can be fatal.

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Website Liabilities for Equine Owners

December 6, 2011

This article will examine and analyze several major areas of potential liability associated with the formation, operation and maintenance of an equine website, with a discussion of methods to assist the equine business professional in minimizing those risks.

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Laser Skin Care: A Burning Issue

November 22, 2011

Dr. Downie says a lot of laser burns happen as a result of patients not cleaning the makeup off their face. She also suggests that if you walk into a waiting room and do not see anyone with the same complexion as you, to ask the Dermatologist or Plastic Surgeon “Do you treat people with my skin color with this laser?”

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Daily Deals May Hurt Physicians

November 22, 2011

Michael J. Sacopulos, a partner with Sacopulos, Johnson & Sacopulos in Terre Haute, Ind., has reviewed the DocPons business model and warned physicians to stay away until state medical ethics boards issue specific guidelines on such business models.

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Groupon Business Model Draws Scrutiny

November 22, 2011

“You are paying a set number of dollars for a specific patient,’’ said Michael J. Sacopulos, a partner with Sacopulos, Johnson & Sacopulos in Terre Haute, Ind.,

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Social Media Policies Can Help

November 22, 2011

The last thing any practice needs is an employee using its computer systems inappropriately. The cases also point to the general feeling of anonymity and privacy that many individuals have when using social media and the internet. It is these feelings that allow for ex-spouses, ex-employees, and/or competitors to comment on physician rating sites.

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Caution: Writing a Letter of Recommendation

November 22, 2011

The doctor who wrote the letter of recommendation was not dropped from the lawsuit, due to his glowing report.

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Litigating in the Cyber Age

September 13, 2011

Information that you post for friends or colleagues may well end up as a piece of evidence in a trial.

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Practices’ Define Payment Policies

September 12, 2011

“From a liability standpoint, there’s always some degree of danger if patients come in to be seen and they are refused, but if you have a standard policy and everybody knows what it is, that practice may be within its rights,” said Michael Sacopulos, a partner with the law firm Sacopulos, Johnson & Sacopulos in Terre Haute, Ind.

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Texas Enacts a New Patient Privacy Law

August 25, 2011

Notably, the new law bans the for profit sale of PHI, requires employees of covered entities to undergo training regarding health privacy law, requires that health care providers supply individuals with access to their PHI within 15 days of a request, increases penalties for the wrongful electronic disclosure of PHI, and requires the Texas Health Services Authority to develop privacy and security standards for the electronic sharing of PHI.

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HHS sponsors contest for Facebook

August 24, 2011

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response(ASPR) issued the ASPR Lifeline Facebook Application Developer Challenge in collaboration with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a health-focused online community of developers, designers, patients, providers, health care organizations that promotes health technology innovation.

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Communicating with Patients via E-Mail

August 19, 2011

While e-mail is a great way for physicians to convey and discuss medical reports, test and imaging results and other sensitive information with patients, providers need to be aware of privacy and security issues.

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FDA Looks Into Regulating Apps Dentists May Use

August 19, 2011

But some of the apps used by Dr. Stark and other may soon be regulated by the FDA. The FDA has publically stated they are encouraging the exciting development of new applications that can make healthcare better. On the other side of the coin the FDA also says they have a public health responsibility to oversee the safety and effectiveness of those mobile medical applications that present a potential risk to patients if they don’t work as intently.

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Everything is bigger in Texas?

July 25, 2011

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court of Texas ruled that the medical malpractice statutes of the state cover a patient’s death from a spider bite.

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Counterfeit Prescription Pads

July 25, 2011

The Florida Department of Health received many phone calls from both patients and practitioners stating that pharmacies were not filling prescriptions for controlled substances because the prescriptions were not written on the required counterfeit-proof prescription pads.

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Selling, Buying, Claiming and Leasing Mares, Stallions and Racehorses: A Review of Indiana and Illinois Sales and Use Tax Rules

July 18, 2011

The sale, purchase, claiming or lease of a mare, stallion or racehorse demands many considerations including the health, soundness, confirmation and analysis of bloodlines for future breeding. All are important; but one consideration that is often overlooked is the impact of sale and use taxes that may affect these decisions. This article will examine and analyze the rules governing Indiana and Illinois sale and use taxes relative to the sale, purchase, claiming and leasing of mares, stallions, and racehorses.

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Effects of the H-2B Visa on the Equine Industry

July 18, 2011

Owners and trainers have historically experienced difficulty finding American workers to fulfill semi-skilled jobs on the back side of race tracks. A new proposed ruling governing the H-2B Visa Program may make that task all the more difficult.

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Social Media Policies: What Every Practice Should Have in the Age of Mark Zuckerberg

July 18, 2011

Within the past several years the way we communicate has dramatically changed. More and more people would rather check in on family and friends by viewing their Facebook page than picking up the phone. We tailor what news we want to see by using Twitter. It is now commonplace to see people staring and tapping away at their smartphones than shooting the breeze while time passes. Some would say the use of social media has become woven into the fabric of daily life.

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“Is That the Best You Can Do?” Physicians, Patients, and Haggling Over Professional Fees

July 5, 2011

Some patients who are haggling with their physician are using websites to look up the blue book value for a procedure in their area.

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Playing the Odds: Financing Medical Malpractice Claims

July 5, 2011

Investors are always looking to earn an easy profit, particularly from well-managed companies. But when the profit is from a hedge fund that finances medical malpractice lawsuits aimed at driving doctors out of the profession, Wall Street may have gone too far.

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E-Guilt: Social Media and the Murder Trial of Casey Anthony

July 5, 2011

Another prospective juror was excused for cause after he reportedly posted the jury instructions on his Facebook page.

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Hey Doc, Can You Get Me Some Botox?

July 5, 2011

According to WSVN-TV in Miami, last year Diana Cardenas-Gonzalez illegally injected Botox into several women at her West Miami-Dade home.

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Cyber Discrimination: A New Frontier of Liability for Healthcare Providers

July 5, 2011

In July of 2010 the Department of Justice (DOJ) published documents saying they are considering updating the ADA regulations so that it would explicitly state that both state and local government and places of public accommodations must make websites usable to people with disabilities.

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Now You See It Now You Don’t: Physicians Dealing with the Rising Trend of Credit Card Disputes

July 5, 2011

Physicians scammed by patients who charge back a procedure on their credit card.

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Regulations Tightened for Transporting a Horse into the United States

June 30, 2011 MORE-->

Trick or Tweet: Social Media and your practice

June 30, 2011 MORE-->

Celebrate Social Media Day Carefully

June 30, 2011 MORE-->