The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has amended the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure to specifically provide for the discovery of electronically stored information (ESI). The Rule amendments are effective August 1, 2012.
With its amendments to the Pennsylvania Rules, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has rejected the significantly more stringent standards developed in federal court. Although Pennsylvania will now specifically permit the discovery of ESI, the Rules Committee in its Explanatory Comment stated that this discovery — like all state court discovery — is subject to a proportionality standard.
Carolyn Moser of McQuaide Blasko’s Hershey office recently took part in the Tour de Chocolate Town bicycle event. Not only did the proceeds from the event benefit the Children’s Miracle Network at the Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital, it also provided Ms. Moser the opportunity to mock her more sedentary colleagues’ lifestyles. Carolyn rode the 17.5 mile tour and vowed to tackle the 35 miler next year during the annual event.
Notwithstanding our feelings of physical inferiority, we are very proud of Carolyn and her support of the Children’s Miracle Network, which purchases state-of-art equipment and funds vital programs at the Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital.
The past two years have seen important changes in expert discovery in Pennsylvania state and federal courts. Two notable developments are the 2011 Pennsylvania Superior Court case of Barrick v. Holy Spirit Hospital and the amendments to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26 that were effective on December 1, 2010. Read more
Okay, a little off topic but we’re again spotted in the wild. The Spring 2012 edition of the American Bar Association’s Litigation News features an article written by yours truly on courts taking judicial notice of internet-sourced facts. Read more
On April 26, 2012 the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4) released a report detailing hospital readmission statistics from 2010 data. The report is particularly noteworthy because this month the first group of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) begin participating in the Medicare shared savings program. One of the quality measures on which health care providers participating in the ACO are evaluated is hospital readmissions. Later this year, all Medicare providers will also be subject to the Hospital Readmission Reduction Program.
On May 17, 2012 I’ll be presenting on the current status of expert discovery and expert retention at the Pennsylvania Defense Institute South Region regional CLE program. The program is being held at the Hollywood Casino in Grantville, Pennsylvania and is followed by a reception. Registration details are available through the Pennsylvania Defense Institute.
The posts have been slow recently, but for good reason! We were preparing for a lengthy trial. After nearly two weeks of testimony, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the defense on Friday, April 13. The defense team consisted of Jon Stepanian, Carolyn Moser, and paralegal Liz Wilson. We were all pleased with the outcome on behalf of our hospital client and its staff.
After a brief respite, it will be back to the grind and new posts!
Even though I’m preparing for trial, this is a health law and policy blog and today — this week, really — is a big day for health and constitutional law. I’d therefore be remiss in at least not acknowledging that the United States Supreme Court today heard argument on the constitutionality of the individual mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act. Technically the case the Court was hearing was United States Department of Health and Human Services v. Florida.
On July 28, 2010, CMS published Stage 1 electronic health record (EHR) criteria that health care providers, including hospitals, must meet to qualify for financial incentives made available through passage of the HITECH Act. In its Rule, CMS noted that the EHR incentives would be staged through three separate stages, with each stage having increasing EHR utilization requirements to qualify for financial incentives.
CMS has now proposed the Stage 2 criteria that health care providers and hospitals must meet to qualify for continued financial incentives.
CMS has proposed a rule regarding reporting and returning overpayments through the Medicare program. This proposed rule is meant to reduce fraud, waste, and abuse. Under the proposed rule, within 60 days of discovering of the overpayment, any health care provider or supplier who is overpaid must report and return the payment and provide written notification of the reason for the overpayment.