How Medical Technology Impacts the Law

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Advancements in medical technology help proved the medical community with the resources we need to assess the needs of a patient or practice, accurately and quickly. Once that is concluded, then the medical team can administer the treatment that will be most effective in the least amount of time.

Speed, but most importantly, the speed with accuracy, are often the primary goals of innovations in technology. While these can be lifesavers when they work, they can be disastrous if used improperly, without the correct training, or in the wrong situation.

When it comes to medical technology, the law is always changing to keep up with the evolution of the medical field. Which includes, devices, testing, and drugs. Medical professionals have the responsibility with being on the cutting edge of those updates in ogre to maintain compliance.

What Is Medical Technology Law?

Everything that the medical industry uses, from software and devices to pharmaceuticals and testing, is medical technology. As our industry evolves with technology, we naturally benefit from increased abilities to treat symptoms of disease, if not the cause itself, and to improve quality of life and decrease suffering.

Medical technology law, therefore, encompasses everything that has to do with medical technology, from the testing required to get it approved and the actual approval process to its use out in the field and the certifications required to use that technology with patients.

How Do Law, Medicine, and Medical Technology Interact in the Workplace?

In addition to keeping up with changes in medical technology, and then learning how to make use of the latest accomplishments and learnings in the world of research and development, medical professionals are also tasked with keeping up with the laws created and changed to address issues that develop as a result of the last discoveries medical technology.

Both of these are huge tasks on their own. When piled onto the work of doing the job of a medical professional and running a business, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

Practically speaking, the best way for law, medicine and medical technology to interact in the workplace is in the form of regular trainings on best practices for use of that technology as well as check-ins to remain compliant with industry standards.

How Does Law Enforcement Address Breaches of Law Related to Medical Technology?

In most cases, breaches in protocol and compliance related to medical technology come in the form of penalties, lost licensure, and potentially fines along with direction on how to rectify the situation.

In the worst cases, it can mean litigation that requires defense in a court of law, potential loss of licensure for life, and heavy fines.

Get Help With Legal Issues in Healthcare

If you are concerned about how changing law regarding medical technology may be impacting your business or your ability to do your job safely and effectively, contact Florida Healthcare Law Firm today to get help.

Dentist Malpractice Law

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Dental malpractice laws in Florida regulate the professional conduct of dentists and help to ensure that patients receive proper care. The statutes regarding malpractice law for the dental profession evolve regularly, often in response to issues that come up in the courts.

For this reason, it is important to keep up with what constitutes malpractice in the state of Florida as long as you are a dental professional.

Florida Dental Malpractice Law

Dental malpractice occurs when a dentist fails to provide care that meets the standard of care in the industry and causes injury or harm to a patient.

Remember that a case can be brought by a patient because they believe the care received did not meet the standard of care for the industry, but that doesn’t make it true unless their definition of “standard of care” matches the state’s definition, and they have proof of their allegations. This means that hundreds of dental professionals get served with meritless cases every year in Florida.

Dental Malpractice Suit Requirements in Florida

There are some rules that those who file malpractice claims in Florida must follow, and one of them is a statute of limitations. In most cases, patients have two years from the date of perceived injury to file a dental malpractice lawsuit, though in some cases, the statute of limitations may be extended to four years from the date of discovery of the injury if that occurred long after the date of service.

In order to bring a successful dental malpractice lawsuit in Florida, the patient must have the testimony of a qualified dental expert witness who can attest to the standard of care and whether the dentist failed to meet that standard. This is a critical piece of the puzzle. For many dentists who have been wrongly accused, providing information that contradicts the expert witness is crucial.

Dental Malpractice Damages

Should the patient win a dental malpractice lawsuit in Florida, they may be awarded damages, which usually includes the cost paid for dental expenses, lost wages, and potentially pain and suffering.

There are caps on the amount of damages that can be awarded in dental malpractice cases in Florida. The cap will vary based on the following:

  • Type of damages (such as non-economic versus permanent injury or death)
  • Number of plaintiffs
  • Current law in Florida

Before a Dental Malpractice Case Goes to Court in Florida

It’s important to note that before a malpractice claim can go to court, the patient must provide written notice of the claim to the dental professional and give them time to investigate what happened and respond, potentially keeping it out of court.

If the claim cannot be settled out of court, it must be reviewed by a medical panel for merit. Only then can it go before a court.

If you are facing a malpractice claim, contact Florida Healthcare Law Firm to get the support you need to address the issue proactively.

Florida Health MQA Online Services

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The Florida MQA Online Services Portal is an easy and accessible option for healthcare professionals who are seeking to keep up with all the requirements that come with maintaining licensure in the state of Florida.

If you are having issues with maintaining state regulations or facing a lawsuit due to perceived negligence or lack of compliance, Florida Healthcare Law Firm can help. Call now to set up an initial consultation.

What Is the Florida MQA Online Services Portal?

Florida Health MQA Online Services is a portal hosted by the Florida Department of Health, Division of Medical Quality Assurance (MQA). It offers healthcare professionals access to online services that allow them to keep up with state requirements for their profession more easily and efficiently.

The following are some of the key services offered by the Florida Health MQA Online Services portal:

  • License verification: The license verification service allows healthcare professionals and employers to verify the license status of a healthcare professional in Florida. Because both the professional and employers can access the portal, it makes the job application and review process easier for everyone.
  • Renewal: The renewal service allows healthcare professionals to renew their license online. This includes providing the ability to update contact information and certifying that they have met the continuing education requirements.
  • CE tracking: The continuing education (CE) tracking service allows healthcare professionals to update their continuing education credits, noting the courses they have taken and the number of hours put in. The CE tracking service can also help healthcare professionals to monitor their CE credits and ensure they have met the requirements for license renewal.
  • Application: If a new license is needed and the CE tracking service shows that the terms have been met, the application service allows healthcare professionals to apply for their new license or endorsement online. They offer the ability to submit personal and professional information, pay the fee, and submit any required documentation.
  • Discipline information: The discipline information service provides and updates information about any disciplinary actions taken against a healthcare professional in Florida. It is important to note that this information is available to the public.

Troubleshooting Discipline and Compliance Issues

Because the disciplinary information about healthcare professionals is available to the public, it is important to make sure that that information is updated and correct. It can also be an impetus to address any outstanding issues with compliance as quickly as possible in order to maintain good standing.

If you are in need of assistance when it comes to getting and maintaining compliance, Florida Healthcare Law Firm can help.

Additionally, if you have updated your information and remained in compliance across the board, but the information in the Florida Department of Health, Division of Medical Quality Assurance is incorrect, and you cannot get it updated or changed, we can also help. Contact us now to set up an appointment.

What Is Religious Exemption Form in Florida?

Getting a religious exemption form in the state of Florida may be the first step to avoid having your child vaccinated if it is required at an educational or other institution for attendance. The process for getting religious exemption in Florida will vary for adults compared to children, so it’s a good idea to know the options before getting started.

What Is the Florida Religious Exemption Form?

The Florida Religious Exemption form DH 681 is a document that allows parents to opt out of having their child receive certain vaccinations required by Florida state law due to religious beliefs.

To be eligible for a religious exemption, the parent or guardian must have a sincerely held religious belief that conflicts with the administration of one or more vaccinations to their child. They must then apply for a religious exemption by completing and signing the Florida Religious Exemption form DH 681 and submitting it to the school or childcare facility where their child is enrolled.

This form must be re-submitted each school year and/or when the child changes schools or childcare facilities.

The form is relatively simple. The only information required are identifying information of the child and a statement from the parent of their sincerely held religious belief that conflicts with the administration of one or more vaccinations.

Is a Religious Exemption the Only Way to Circumvent Vaccination Requirements in Florida?

If the parent or guardian does not have a sincerely held religious belief that conflicts with the administration of one or more vaccinations, the child may still be eligible for a medical exemption. A medical exemption requires a statement from a licensed physician stating that the child has a medical condition that precludes them from receiving one or more vaccinations.

Is There a Florida Religious Exemption Form for Adults?

There is no specific religious exemption form for adults in Florida. However, adults in Florida have the right to decline vaccinations based on religious beliefs under state law.

In order to decline a vaccine for religious reasons, an adult may need to submit a written statement outlining their sincere religious beliefs to the healthcare provider administering the vaccine or to the employer if the vaccine is being required as a condition of employment.

Difficulty Securing a Vaccine Exemption

While there are steps in place to help people secure an exemption to a vaccine based on religious or medical issues, the process does not always run smoothly. If you are struggling with the vaccination exemption process in your clinic or healthcare business due to a patient’s actions or if you are in a lawsuit based on your company’s requirements for vaccination, Florida Healthcare Law Firm can help you protect your rights.

Contact us today to set up a consultation to discuss your unique situation and create a plan for moving forward.

All You Need to Know About Florida Telehealth Laws

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As a medical professional in Florida, it is important to understand the regulations and requirements for providing telehealth services. Protecting oneself against perceived violations of Florida telehealth statutes starts with understanding the laws surrounding healthcare that is provided remotely.

Here’s what you need to know.

What Is Telehealth?

Telehealth refers to the delivery of any and all health-related services and information through electronic communication technologies, such as video conferencing, phone calls, and mobile apps.

Telehealth can happen between patients and their primary care physicians, specialists, or mental health professionals. Though it is not possible to accurately diagnose all issues or provide services that must be performed in person, it has proven to be an effective way to manage patient care quickly and efficiently.

Telehealth Regulations in Florida

In Florida, telehealth is regulated by the Florida Board of Medicine and the Florida Board of Osteopathic Medicine.

These boards have issued guidelines for the use of telehealth, which include the requirement for a valid physician-patient relationship and the need for appropriate privacy and security measures to protect patient information.

Licensure and Continuing Education Is Required to Provide Telehealth in Florida

In Florida, medical professionals must be licensed in the state in order to provide telehealth services. This means that out-of-state medical professionals cannot provide telehealth services to Florida residents unless they have obtained a Florida license.

Additionally, scope of practice applies in the Telehealth realm just as it does in person, and medical professionals in Florida should stay up-to-date with telehealth regulations and best practices through continuing education and training.

Payment for Telehealth Services in Florida

Most private insurance plans, Medicare, and Medicaid in Florida cover telehealth services. However, it is important to check with each payer to confirm coverage and reimbursement policies before offering services.

Privacy and Security Is Critical

Medical professionals in Florida must comply with federal and state privacy and security laws, such as HIPAA, to ensure the protection of patient information during telehealth appointments. This includes ensuring the confidentiality of patient information and using secure communication methods for telehealth appointments.

Documentation Required for Telehealth Appointments

Whether or not Telehealth is a part of medical treatment or the entirety of care, thorough domination is necessary. Medical professionals should document telehealth appointments in the same manner as traditional in-person appointments, including recording the diagnosis, treatment plan, and any relevant patient information.

Telehealth Regulation Compliance Support

Telehealth is a growing trend in Florida and offers medical professionals a convenient and accessible alternative to traditional in-person medical appointments that allows offices and clinics to save time and resources.

By understanding the regulations, reimbursement, quality of care, and privacy and security requirements, medical professionals can provide high-quality telehealth services to their patients. If, however, there are any issues with compliance or accusations of negligence, Florida Healthcare Law Firm can help. Call to set up a consultation now.

All Differences in ‘Breach of Care’ and ‘Duty of Care’

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“Breach of care” and “duty of care” are related concepts in the field of healthcare, specifically in nursing. While they are closely related, they have distinct meanings and implications.

What Is Duty of Care?

Duty of care refers to the legal and ethical obligation of a healthcare professional to provide safe and appropriate care to a patient. It is a fundamental principle of healthcare that requires healthcare professionals to act in the best interests of their patients and to provide care that meets the accepted standards of their profession.

Duty of care is a general term that encompasses all the legal, ethical, and professional obligations of a healthcare professional to their patients.

What Is Breach of Care?

Breach of care refers to a specific instance when a healthcare professional fails to meet their duty of care obligations. It occurs when a healthcare professional fails to provide care that meets the accepted standards of their profession or fails to act in the best interests of their patients.

A breach of care can take many forms, including neglect, medication errors, failure to document or communicate important information, and failure to follow appropriate infection control protocols.

Duty of Care vs. Breach of Care

One important difference between the two is that duty of care is a general principle that applies to all healthcare professionals, while breach of care is a specific instance where a healthcare professional fails to meet their duty of care obligations. Duty of care is an ongoing responsibility, while breach of care is an event that occurs at a specific point in time.

Another important difference is that duty of care is proactive in nature. It requires healthcare professionals to take steps to prevent harm and ensure patient safety, while breach of care is reactive. It occurs as a result of harm caused by a failure to meet duty of care obligations.

In addition, duty of care can be influenced by the organizational culture, policies, and procedures. Breach of care is an individual action or inaction of a healthcare professional.

Nurse Breach of Duty and Litigation

When a healthcare professional breaches their duty of care, they may be held liable for any harm or injury that results. This can include not only physical harm but also emotional or psychological harm.

In some cases, a breach of care may even result in a patient’s death. Patients who believe they have suffered harm as a result of a breach of care can file a complaint with the appropriate regulatory body or take legal action against the healthcare professional or facility. If death occurred, the filing may be done by a family member.

Get Support for Breach of Care Litigation

If you are facing charges of breach of care and you need support in mediation or the courtroom, contact Florida Healthcare Law Firm today to set up a consultation.

What Is Breach of Duty in Nursing?

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A breach of duty in nursing can take many forms, and it is important for nurses to be aware of the specific standards of care that apply in their practice area.

In general, nurses have a duty to provide safe, competent, and compassionate care to their patients. This includes tasks such as these:

  • Assessing patients’ needs
  • Developing care plans
  • Administering medications and treatments
  • Monitoring patients’ condition
  • Communicating with other healthcare providers

Depending on the level of certification, nurses may only be allowed to work within their scope of practice under the supervision of a nurse with more training or a physician.

Nursing Breach of Duty Examples

A breach of duty in nursing refers to a failure to meet the standard of care that is expected of a nurse in a particular situation. This can occur when a nurse fails to provide appropriate treatment, neglects a patient, or makes a mistake that causes harm to a patient.

Examples of a breach of duty in nursing may include the following:

  • Failing to properly monitor a patient’s vital signs or administer medication on schedule
  • Neglecting to clean and dress a wound properly
  • Failing to recognize and report signs of infection or deterioration in a patient’s condition
  • Making a medication error or administering the wrong dosage
  • Failing to document or communicate important information about a patient’s condition to other healthcare providers

Neglect is one of the most common charges of breach of duty. Neglect is a failure to provide basic care and attention to a patient or providing care that is inadequate or inappropriate. Neglect can also include failing to recognize and address changes in a patient’s condition or failing to take appropriate action when a patient’s condition deteriorates. In some cases, neglect can lead to serious harm or even death.

How to Avoid Nursing Breach of Duty Charges

To avoid breaches of duty, nurses must be well-trained and stay up-to-date with the latest standards of care. They should also be aware of the signs of potential problems and take appropriate action to address them.

Additionally, nurses should be aware of the importance of documentation and ensure that all relevant information is recorded and communicated to other healthcare providers in a timely manner.

Litigation Due to Breach of Duty

When a nurse breaches their duty of care, they may be held liable for any harm or injury that results. This can include not only physical harm, but also emotional or psychological harm. In some cases, a breach of duty in nursing may even result in a patient’s death.

If a patient believes that they have suffered harm as a result of a breach of duty by a nurse, they may file a complaint with the appropriate regulatory body, such as the Florida Nursing Board. They may also choose to take legal action against the nurse or healthcare facility.

If you are facing charges of breach of duty, Florida Healthcare Law Firm can help. Contact us today to set up a consultation, and we can help you determine your best path forward.

LPN Scope of Practice in Florida

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In Florida, the scope of practice for a licensed practical nurse (LPN) is defined by the Florida Board of Nursing and includes a range of tasks and procedures that LPNs are authorized to perform.

However, it is important to note that the scope of practice for LPNs is limited when compared to that of registered nurses (RNs) and other healthcare professionals. All LPNs in Florida are required to perform the tasks within their scope of practice under the supervision of a registered nurse or doctor.

LPN Scope of Practice in Florida

In Florida, the scope of practice for a licensed practical nurse (LPN) includes performing tasks such as these:

  • Monitoring a patient’s health
  • Administering medication
  • Taking vital signs
  • Performing basic patient care (such as changing bandages) under the supervision of a registered nurse or physician

LPNs in Florida are also authorized to perform specific procedures, such as catheterization, tracheostomy care, and wound care.

Additionally, LPNs can assist with patient education and discharge planning, and they may provide care for patients in a variety of settings, including hospitals, long-term care facilities, and home health agencies.

Outside the LPN Scope of Practice in Florida

However, there are certain tasks and procedures that licensed practical nurses are not authorized to perform in Florida. These include interpreting diagnostic tests and making diagnoses as well as prescribing medication.

Additionally, LPNs are not authorized to practice independently and must always be supervised by a registered nurse or physician. This means that they are not able to make decisions regarding patient care or treatment without the approval of a supervising RN or physician.

How to Determine if a Specific Procedure Is Within the LPN Scope of Practice in Florida

The Florida Board of Nursing recognizes that the boundaries may not always be clear when it comes to determining what does and does not fall within the purview of a licensed practical nurse in Florida.

To help LPNs remain on the right side of the law, there is a process for identifying whether or not a specific treatment or procedure is legal for an LPN to perform. LPNs and other nursing professionals may file a “Petition for Declaratory Statement” with the Florida Department of Health to get a definitive decision on any specific procedure.

Litigation and Scope of Practice

Making a mistake on the job and practicing outside the scope of practice for an LPN is not only a threat to their livelihood, but it can also potentially trigger litigation that can be devastating. If you have received notice that you are facing charges of practicing outside the LPN scope of practice in Florida, know that Florida Healthcare Law Firm can help. Call now to set up a free consultation and get the help you need to respond effectively in a timely manner.

Is HPSO a Good Insurance?

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Malpractice suits and charges of negligence are an increasingly common occurrence for medical professionals. It’s a problem that threatens the careers of well-respected healthcare professionals, and it can force them into bankruptcy in some cases.

Malpractice insurance and liability insurance are the most effective ways to protect against the potentially devastating consequences of unwarranted litigation. Healthcare Providers Service Organization (HPSO) offers an array of insurance products and other services designed to support healthcare professionals.

HPSO Insurance Options

Healthcare Providers Service Organization (HPSO) is a company that provides professional liability insurance and risk management services to healthcare professionals and facilities.

These are some of the services HPSO offers:

  • Professional liability and malpractice insurance: Claims of malpractice and negligence can result in costly and lengthy litigation, threatening the career and reputation of a medical professional. HPSO offers insurance coverage to protect healthcare professionals against these claims, providing them the support they need to defend themselves appropriately.
  • Risk management resources: Because HPSO is committed to helping healthcare professionals protect themselves from ill-advised litigation, the company provides a variety of resources to help healthcare professionals and facilities manage and mitigate risk, including risk assessment tools, educational materials, and risk management consultations.
  • Claims support: Filing and following up on insurance claims is a notoriously difficult process, but HPSO reportedly offers comprehensive support to policyholders throughout the claims process, including legal representation and assistance with settlement negotiations.
  • Alternative dispute resolution services: In order to avoid unnecessary and costly litigation, HPSO offers alternative dispute resolution services, such as mediation and arbitration, to help policyholders resolve disputes without going to court.

Overall, the goal of HPSO is to help healthcare professionals and facilities protect themselves and their practices from risks to their reputations and finances associated with professional liability claims.

Fighting Unwarranted Claims

Even the best insurance cannot protect against relentless parties bent on seeking a day in court. While insurance is an important first step, additional steps require retaining the support of a legal team that understands the healthcare industry and is well-versed in helping medical professionals to mount an effective defense.

A boutique law firm like Florida Healthcare Law Firm will provide legal support in a court of law and can provide indispensable legal advice along the way. The right response at the right time can save hours of mediation and days in court. Florida Healthcare Law Firm has the experience to answer charges and protect the best interest of their clients.

If you have been the recipient of claims of negligence or malpractice, it is important to take effective action as soon as possible. Reach out to the team at Florida Healthcare Law Firm to set up a free consultation call, so you can get the advice you need to respond as soon as possible.

DME: Medical Abbreviation

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When chronic ailments set in, the focus turns to care that supports comfort, symptom minimization, and stabilization. Especially for the elderly, the goal is often to stay out of medical facilities as much as possible and try to return to a normal life, preferably at home.

To this end, most medical facilities and providers work hard to set patients up with everything they need to manage their medical care safely and effectively at home. For some patients, this means quite a bit of equipment, known as durable medical equipment or DME.

What Does DME Stand for in Medicine?

DME is a medical abbreviation that stands for durable medical equipment.

What Is Durable Medical Equipment (DME)?

Durable medical equipment can include any medical equipment that is used to help someone manage their medical issues at home.

For example, DME might include the following:

  • Wheelchairs, walkers, canes, or crutches
  • Blood sugar meters and testing strips or other testing paraphernalia
  • Oxygen equipment
  • Continuous positive airway pressure machines (CPAP)
  • Hospital beds and commode chairs

Legal Issues and DME

For the most part, DME is covered by Medicare, making it easy for anyone to get what they need regardless of their financial status. However, there are situations in which the medical professionals who provide or prescribe the DME may face legal trouble.

The issues come for prescribing medical professionals if there is any perceived attempt to defraud the government of money. For example, if a doctor orders a patient to rent a bunch of DME from a company that is owned by a family member or a company they are invested in, this is illegal even if the patient genuinely needs the equipment. Should it be determined that the patient did not legitimately need the equipment or didn’t need to test as often as recommended, further charges may apply.

Owners of the business that rents the durable medical equipment to patients and their families may face litigation from the patient and/ or family members if the machinery malfunctions and causes harm to the patient or loss of life.

If there are recurring complaints from patients or their families about the quality of the machinery or the service provided by the company, it could result in an investigation, fines, jail time, and the business being shut down depending on the severity of the crime.

Be Proactive: Legal Support for the Medical Industry

If you are concerned that you or your business may be committing fraud or other acts that may result in litigation, set up a consultation with Florida Healthcare Law Firm today to discuss the changes you can make to protect yourself going forward.

If you are currently facing litigation or an investigation, Florida Healthcare Law Firm can help you respond to the charges and defend you, if necessary.

Call Florida Healthcare Law Firm today.