A Professor of Surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Martin Makary, M.D., M.P.H., has published his research into various categories of treatment of patients in hospitals. These categories ranged from more simplistic “bad doctors” to “more systemic issues such as communication breakdowns when patients are handed off from one department to another.”Dr. Makary explained that “when a plane crashes, we don’t say this is confidential proprietary information the airline company owns… we consider it part of public safety. Hospitals should be held to the same standards.” The study and research was done to illuminate problems which are normally swept under the rug by hospitals and healthcare facilities. Often, these facilities will go out of their way to avoid discussing any issues or risks, and frankly bend over backwards to keep such information confidential, arguing it is “privileged.”The analysis led by Dr. Makary … [Read more...] about Medical Errors are Third Leading Cause of Death in U.S.
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The Journal of Patient Safety discussed recent studies which have shown that preventable medical errors are responsible for between 200,000 and 400,000 patient deaths per year in U.S. hospitals. These errors include facility acquired infections, medication errors, omissions in treatment, communication errors between health care providers, nerve or vessel injuries, wrong operations, injuries to organs during surgical procedures, blood clots, diagnostic errors, and wound infections. The number of deaths caused by medical errors committed in a hospital, but which occur after a patient is discharged from a hospital, is equally large.The cost of deaths due to preventable medical errors is obviously staggering in terms of the emotional loss felt by the family members and loved ones of those who have needlessly died, but the financial loss is shocking as well. By some estimates, medical errors cost the United States between $15 and 19 billion per year in additional medical costs including … [Read more...] about Medical Errors in Hospitals are Third Leading Cause of Death in U.S.
On June 16, 2016, the U.S. Department of Education (the “Department”) published its proposed regulations (the “Proposed Rule”) regarding Borrower Defenses to Repayment (DTR) and related matters. The Proposed Rule is available here. The Proposed Rule establishes a 45-day notice and comment period, with comments due on or before August 1, 2016. Following the comment period, the Department must publish its final regulations by November 1, 2016, in order to take effect on July 1, 2017. This alert provides a high-level summary of the various components of the Proposed Rule, which remains subject to our continued review.Standards for DTR Claims, Time Period of Availability, and Procedural FrameworkThe Proposed Rule permits both individual and group discharges of Federal Direct Loans received by students under Title IV of the Higher Education Act (HEA), with proposed discharge grounds and their respective periods of availability as follows:The student obtained a … [Read more...] about U.S. Department of Education Issues Proposed Borrower Relief Regulations
The U.S. Department of Education (the “Department”) has published its final rule (the “Final Rule”) regarding Borrower Defenses to Repayment (“BDTR”) and related matters. Subject to our continued review, this alert summarizes the key components of the Final Rule and notes, at a high level, significant departures from the Department’s Proposed Rule.The Final Rule will take effect on July 1, 2017 (the “Effective Date”) but certain elements of the Final Rule will be implemented early. Other portions of the Final Rule indicate that the Department has yet to establish detailed procedural requirements, and will promulgate further procedural rules in the future.I. BDTR Claims: Standards, Time Limits, Procedural Framework, and Recoupment from SchoolsThe Final Rule permits both individual and group discharges of Federal Direct Loans made to students under Title IV of the Higher Education Act. Substantive differences in … [Read more...] about U.S. Department of Education Issues Final Rule on Borrower Defense to Repayment
A recent decision interpreting a "food recall" insurance policy (technically a product contamination insurance policy or "PCI" for short) provides guidance for food companies selecting food recall insurance policies or in seeking coverage on a food recall claim. Foster Poultry Farms (Foster) involved a dispute between a poultry producer and its insurer, XL Catlin, over the terms of the PCI policy. This decision provides at least two helpful takeaways for PCI policyholders: (1) that regulatory noncompliance, at least under the XL Catlin policy, could be enough to trigger "accidental contamination" coverage; and (2) the "government recall" endorsement provision on the PCI policy could indirectly serve to lower the policyholder's bar to trigger "accidental contamination" coverage. In the Foster case, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued a series of enforcement actions against Foster. Among other things, FSIS noted in its inspection records … [Read more...] about Food Recall Insurance – Foster Poultry Farms v. Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, 2015 U.S. Dist.
Prevention grants to focus on improving health, which can lower costsThe U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced today the availability of over $100 million in funding for up to 75 Community Transformation Grants. Created by the Affordable Care Act, these grants are aimed at helping communities implement projects proven to reduce chronic diseases – such as diabetes and heart disease. By promoting healthy lifestyles and communities, especially among population groups experiencing the greatest burden of chronic disease, these grants will help improve health, reduce health disparities, and lower health care costs. “Community Transformation Grants will empower local communities with resources, information, and flexibility to help make their residents healthier,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “By helping to transform communities at the ground level, these efforts can have a major impact on the health of Americans.”“It is … [Read more...] about $100 Million in Affordable Care Act Grants to Help Create Healthier U.S. Communities
EPA Settlement with Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) impacts Pulliam plant in Green Bay, Wis. and the Weston plant in Rothschild, Wis WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice announced a settlement with Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) on Janaury 4, 2013 that requires WPS to invest approximately $300 million in pollution control technology, pay a civil penalty of $1.2 million, and spend $6 million on environmental mitigation projects to resolve violations of the Clean Air Act (CAA). “EPA is committed to protecting communities from the pollution problems that matter most, including reducing air pollution from the largest sources of emissions,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance. “The pollution reductions and the significant investment in local environmental projects under this agreement will ensure that the people of … [Read more...] about U.S. EPA Announces Clean Air Act Settlement with Wisconsin Utility – Agreement will reduce emissions by 15,000 tons annually
On Sept. 12, 2017, the U.S. Department of Transportation, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), issued new federal guidance called "Automated Driving Systems: A Vision for Safety 2.0." The new federal guidance, composed of an industry-facing section called "Voluntary Guidance" and a state-facing section called "Technical Assistance to States," replaces the Federal Automated Policy released in 2016. This newsletter provides an overview of both sections.This guidance will be an important roadmap for businesses interested in supplying parts and services that are integrated into the supply chain for the development of autonomous vehicles. In addition, the businesses in this market sector should be vigilant to ensure that the best practices highlighted in this guidance for legislatures regulating autonomous vehicles are followed.Section 1: Voluntary guidanceThe Voluntary Guidance, although lacking a compliance requirement or enforcement mechanism, is … [Read more...] about U.S. Department of Transportation issues new Automated Driving Systems (ADS) guidance
Jose Manuel Merino, of Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office, said that the infamous Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is guaranteed the right to fight his extradition to the United States. And that’s what the drug lord is going to do.American authorities filed a request to extradite Guzman two days after his Friday arrest, but his attorneys blocked that Sunday. Juan Pablo Badillo, one of his lawyers, promised to take the appeal to Mexico’s highest court, la Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nacion, if necessary.Merino, speaking on Mexican radio, thinks the extradition delay could last a long time, even up to a year. According to him, it is just a matter of how hard his lawyers fight.Juan Masini, former U.S. prosecutor and former attaché to the U.S. embassy in Mexico told USA Today that there are so many ways for Guzman’s lawyer to stall. They could challenge witness reliability, question whether the extradition documents give probable cause, and … [Read more...] about Why ‘El Chapo’ May Not Face Trial in U.S. for a Year or More
In a notable judgment, a 2 judge bench comprising of Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Dipak Misra have given a fresh dimension to the Dying Declaration (DD) Jurisprudence in the country. Via this judgment, the bench speaking through Goel J opened the admissibility scheme of DD from the maker for his/her death to a statement made as DD explaining circumstances for death of any other person as well.The matter pertained to homicide by the accused husband of the deceased wife by pouring kerosene in presence of his mother in law. The deceased wife who succumbed to the burn injuries and the mother both made separate DD before authorities. However, the fitness criteria for the DD made by the deceased was omitted by the concerned police officer. The trial court convicted the accused u/s 302 and sentenced to Life but refused to admit the DD made by the deceased due to lack of thumb impressions or signatures. The DD made by the mother of deceased was however admitted and relied upon. On appeal, … [Read more...] about Dying Declaration by a person explaining circumstances of death of another admissible and reliable as evidence : SC