March 2015 Archives

Technology in Health Care Grows in Popularity

The shift in the health care industry toward greater efficiency and a higher level of quality of care is resulting in technological innovation. The popularity of the practice of medicine via mobile and wireless devices is on the rise and telemedicine is leading the way. This type of Mobile Health or "mHealth" uses technology to deliver remote clinical care and exchange medical information from one site to another via e-communications and video conferencing for patient consultations. Telemedicine also allows for the transmission of still images between providers (known as "store-and-forward"), and remote monitoring of patient conditions and vital signs, among other things. The challenge for telemedicine is that the innovation is outpacing the regulatory environment in many respects.

Business Owners Should "Get it Right from the Start" to Thrive and Survive

The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in the U.S. with millions of businesses created each year. Some will survive and others will vanish. Those that flourish and grow are most likely to have established the appropriate corporate governance structure that is essential to thrive and survive. These critical keys to success are described by PLDO Attorney Benjamin L. Rackliffe in his latest advisory, A Primer on Corporate Governance for Business Ownership. Attorney Rackliffe explains why corporate governance structures and by-laws are important and why it is a best business practice to have policies like a whistleblower policy and conflict of interest policy in place. For more information about starting or operating a business and best business practices, contact Attorney Rackliffe at brackliffe@pldolaw.com or call 401-824-5100. We welcome your comments, questions and suggestions.

Crowdfunding in MA: New Regulations May Be Good For Your Business Venture

On January 15, 2015, the Massachusetts Securities Division adopted new regulations which permit "crowdfunding" securities offerings by some Massachusetts companies to Massachusetts residents. According to the Merriam-Webster definition, crowdfunding is "the practice of soliciting financial contributions from a large number of people especially from the online community." The worldwide phenomenon has gained traction for a number of reasons. Among those include the expansive use of the Internet, the opportunity to heighten awareness for marketing purposes, and the ability of entrepreneurs and more established business owners to find alternative means of raising capital, aside from traditional avenues like a bank lending or individual investors. However, there are particular eligibility criteria, dollar limitations, disclosure requirements and other conditions to be aware of before launching a crowdfunding campaign.PLDO partner and veteran business attorney, William F. Miller, explains the new regulations and conditions in his latest advisory, Massachusetts Adopts Limited Crowdfunding Exemption. If you have questions or would like to speak to Attorney Miller about this issue or another business matter, email him at wmiller@pldolaw.com or call 866-353-3310. We welcome your comments, questions and suggestions.

Every Medicare Home Health Agency in the Nation will be Audited by CMS

A 2014 audit by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) determined that only 32% of home health providers were in compliance with the face-to-face encounter documentation requirements under Medicare to be eligible for payment. As a result, OIG has recommended that the Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS) implement a number of improvements to the documentation process, which include the following:

New Generation ACO Model Sets Stronger Measures and More Opportunities for Care

On March 10, 2015, the Department of Health and Human Service's ("HHS") Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation Center ("CMS Innovation Center") announced a new Accountable Care Organization ("ACO") Model, called the Next Generation ACO. This development comes on the heels of HHS' announcement in January that it will increasingly base significant percentages of payments under Medicare on quality rather than the quantity of care delivered to patients as an integral part of achieving health care delivery system reform.

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