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10/17 Deadline Approaching On New ObamaCare Regulations

10/17 Deadline to Comply with New Federal Regs

HHS regulations addressing "Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities" went into effect in July. These regulations implement Section 1557 of the "Affordable Care Act." 

Provisions in the rule mandate that most physicians accepting federal funds will be required to post and publish a "notice of nondiscrimination" beginning on October 17 along with "taglines written in at least the top 15 languages spoken by limited English proficient populations statewide."

HHS provides templates for the required notification and taglines here:

http://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/section-1557/translated-resources/index.html

Other guidance about complying with these new rules can be found here:

http://www.hhhealthlawblog.com/2016/07/providers-must-post-new-nondiscrimination-notices.html and here:

http://www.hhs.gov/civil-rights/for-individuals/section-1557

Receiving payment from Medicare Part B does not alone make a physician a "covered entity" under these regulations, but accepting other federal funds, for instance Medicaid and "meaningful use" payments, does. HHS states that "the regulation would likely cover almost all licensed physicians because they accept Federal financial assistance from sources other than Medicare Part B."

A dangerous aspect of the new regulation is that it greatly expands the definition of discrimination and therefore exposure of covered physicians to discrimination lawsuits by any patient and/or enforcement action by the federal government.

Note that accepting the first dollar of federal funding through Medicaid or any type of federal financial assistance (Medicare Part B is not considered federal financial assistance) is "volunteering" to help implement a radical social and political agenda of unlimited scope. The rule declines to provide illustrative scenarios because enforcement will depend on "an analysis that is nuanced and fact-dependent." The cost of federal funding is incalculable: first there is the enormous "investment" in attempts to comply. Then there is the risk of loss of one’s entire career and assets because of one dissatisfied patient who demanded a service a physician could not provide because it would violate his conscience. This could involve a religious prohibition, or simply the Hippocratic prohibition against killing or harming a patient.

If a physician declines to participate in certain procedures, then that physician could be ambushed by a patient who is heavily funded by a wealthy advocacy group. Once there is a multi-million dollar judgment against a physician, few will dare exercise their right of conscience again.

The Obama Administration has indicated that it will not allow exceptions under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), which is what Hobby Lobby prevailed under. Instead, this new regulation asserts that there is a compelling interest to eliminate discrimination, and thus RFRA does not help.

A legal challenge to this regulation was filed by five states, but that Complaint does not focus on the problem of unleashing private new lawsuits against physicians for this. Thus, while AAPS will continue to monitor the implementation of these new rules and seek opportunities to challenge aspects that endanger physicians and their patients, the best protection for physicians is to withdraw from any activities that accept HHS funding except possibly Medicare Part B. It is also advisable for those who do accept Part B to become a "nonparticipating provider" at the earliest opportunity to facilitate complete withdrawal if it becomes necessary.

Please consider a tax-deductible contribution to our 501(c)3 legal wing, the American Health Legal Foundation. AHLF continues the fight to protect independent physicians and their patients, and with your help, it will investigate legal strategies to stop these new dangerous regulations.

Tax-deductible donations to AHLF can be made online at: http://AmericanHealthLegalFoundation.org or by mail to: AHLF, 1601 N. Tucson Blvd. Suite 9, Tucson, AZ, 85716.



Copyright © 2016 AAPS, All rights reserved.

Go west, old man! Go west!

How do you discourage suicide by assisting suicide?


In 1976, Governor Jerry Brown approved a legal right for terminally ill patients to end so-called life-sustaining treatment. (from CalWatchdog article)

The following comes from an October 6 Careful! blog post by Michael Cook:

Ten percent of Americans now have access to assisted suicide after Jerry Brown, governor of California, approved Assembly Bill 15 yesterday.

Assisted suicide had failed in California six times since 1988. But exactly one year ago, on October 6, Compassion & Choices released a superbly-crafted video about Brittany Maynard, a winsome 29-year-old Californian woman with a brain tumor, who had to move to Oregon because assisted suicide was illegal in her own state. It became a YouTube sensation; the tears trickling down her cheeks drowned opposing arguments in a flood of emotion.

And will the new law actually result in fewer people committing suicide as its supporters have promised?

Dramatic new findings about the Oregon experience with physician-assisted suicide (PAS) were published today in the Southern Medical Journal which suggest that this is not true. In a fine-grained statistical analysis of the experience in the four American states where PAS is currently legal British academics David Albert Jones and David Paton show that “the introduction of PAS seemingly induces more self-inflicted deaths than it inhibits”.

The suggestion that legalization reduces the total number of suicides and postpones those that do occur is a popular argument on the right-to-die side. It was first mooted by libertarian economist and jurist Richard Posner and has subsequently been adopted by assisted suicide advocates around the world. It allows advocates of assisted suicide to claim, paradoxically, that they are against suicide. But there is precious little data to support it.

Now the study by Jones and Paton shows that Posner’s argument is plainly wrong. In fact, PAS could actually increase an inclination to suicide in others.

As psychiatrist Aaron Kheriarty points out in an commentary in the same journal: “Several well-studied phenomena in the social sciences and suicide literature suggest that Posner’s hypothesis was dubious, even before empirical testing. You do not discourage suicide by assisting suicide.”

One of the best-studied phenomena of suicide is the Werther effect, named after a disappointed lover who takes his own life in Goethe’s 18th century novel, The Sorrows of Young Werther. The book was phenomenally popular and sparked a rash of copycat suicides throughout Prussia. The dangers of glorifying suicide are so obvious that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in partnership with the National Institute for Mental Health, the World Health Organization, and the Surgeon General recommend the utmost discretion in reporting suicides, lest vulnerable
people succumb to the siren call of suicide.

California’s new law shows that the copycat effect is alive and well. Jerry Brown and California have followed Brittany Marnard over the edge.

(Original Article)


 
 
Take away God, all respect for civil laws, all regard for even the most necessary institutions disappears; justice is scouted; the very liberty that belongs to the law of nature is trodden underfoot; and men go so far as to destroy the very structure of the family, which is the first and firmest foundation of the social structure.
- St. Pius X, Jucunda Sane, March 12, 1904