Health Care Matters

A Complimentary Newsletter From:

Law Offices Of David S. Barmak, LLC

Managing Risk for Long Term Care and Health Care Providers

Volume 13, Issue 3                             ADVERTISEMENT                                                            MARCH 2012

In This Issue
Law Firm's Clinical Director Available to Assist on Quality of Care Issues
The Importance of Implementing Written Policies, Procedures, and Standards of Conduct of Your Compliance Program
Guardianship Can Be a Long Term Care Facility's Best Friends
Kicking of our FREE Webinar Series
REMINDER

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David

David Barmak, Esq. 

Allison

Allison Whitehead, Esq. 

Brandon

Brandon Goldberg, Esq.

 
Jennifer Cohen

To Learn More: 

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Law Firm's Clinical Director Available to Assist on Quality of Care Issues

Georgette M. Bieber, RN C, LNCC is available to provide clients with clinical oversight and consultation regarding corporate compliance and regulatory issues.  In her work with long term care facilities, Georgette addresses the clinical components of health care compliance, including preparing for Department of Health inspections and the remediation of deficiencies if necessary, as well as in-service training for clinical staffs and other clinical considerations.

  

At present Georgette is working with Jennifer Cohen, Esq. a colleague in our law firm to develop clinical audit tools to help our clients maintain the highest quality of care.  Georgette has held clinical directorships at numerous other healthcare facilities.  She is past President of the NJ American Association of Legal Nurse Consultants and a member of the American Nurses Association, the National Association of Directors of Nursing, a previous board member of the Regional Multi-Facility Bio-Ethics Committee and the Morris County, NJ Office of Health Management MRC Volunteer. She holds a certification in gerontology from the American Nurses Association and has completed the Assisted Living Administrator Course and certification from the Medical-Legal Consulting Institute. Her other certifications and licenses include: RN Registered Nurse, NY; RN Registered Nurse, NJ; RN C Certified Gerontological Nurse (ANA); LNCC Legal Nurse Consultant Certified (ANA) and PUPS wound Certification Prep Course.

 

To inquire further about Georgette's availability and how she could assist your staff and facility please contact David S. Barmak, Esq. at (609) 454 5351 or dbarmak@barmak.com.

 

The Importance of Implementing Written Policies, Procedures, and Standards of Conduct of Your Compliance Program*

Clients often ask us to advise them on the most crucial feature of their compliance program.  That the Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services lists the implementation of written policies, procedures, and standards of conduct first in its steps to an effective compliance program is no coincidence.

 

Having well drafted and operational policies, procedures, and standards of conduct is the core of an effective compliance program.  Your organization's policies and procedures should articulate the purpose of the compliance program, provide guidance on implementing the compliance program, identify the principal risks of the provider, establish internal standards for compliance with laws and regulations, and put controls in place to correct identified and prevent future problems.

 

After policies and procedures have been developed, it is essential to: first, make them readily available to all employees and, second, conduct appropriate trainings on the policies' content.

 

Most importantly, policies and procedures are the foundation of an effective compliance program, which will support the showing of a good-faith effort to control, monitor, and eliminate non-compliance if ever faced with an investigation.

 

If you or your colleague needs information regarding the substantive requirements of an operational compliance program, contact Jennifer Cohen, Esq. in our office at (609) 454-5351.

 

*Compliance Programs Mandatory in all States by March 2013

Guardianships Can Be a Long Term Care Facility's Best Friend

Many times a long term care (LTC) facility has no one to turn to during a medical emergency to obtain necessary authorization to provide appropriate medical care for one of its residents.  Also, too often a LTC facility is ignored by family members when it comes to applying for or tapping available financial assets to pay for the care provided for a resident.

 

A guardianship may be an appropriate legal solution to help your facility to take action in these and other situations.  A guardian may be appointed by the court if it is proven that the person is a danger to themselves, incompetent to care for themselves, or is facing financial abuse situations, including having potential or actual financial assets which are not being marshaled for the benefit of the resident and the long term care facility either because there is no existing family or there is family but they are racked by dissension.

 

There are two types of guardianships: Guardian of the person (this person will make decisions regarding medical care and daily living needs) and Guardian of the estate (this person handles all financial matters and is the guardian of property).  A guardian who does both is called a "general guardian". All types of guardians have to be approved by the court in order to act as a guardian. If a family member or friend who wants to be the guardian is not approved, the court will appoint an independent guardian.

Kicking Off our FREE Webinar Series on         April 18, 2012

To help in your business and clinical success this year, we will hold webinars beginning on April 18th. Each webinar will cover a legal, business or a clinical topic. Speakers will be our lawyers, our Clinical Director Georgette Bieber, and outside experts. You will receive invitations to register via email. If you happen to miss a webinar, each one will be recorded and the URL will appear on our website.

 

If you have a topic to suggest to us, please email it to Saul Fern, saul@barmak.com.

 

Webinars scheduled to date:

  • April 18th, 3 p.m. to 4: "Managing Employee Behavior: Progressive Discipline, Litigation Avoidance & Profitability" with David Barmak, Esq. and Brandon Goldberg, Esq.;

  • May 23rd, 3 p.m. to 4: "Preparing for DOH Inspections" with Georgette Bieber, RN C, LNCC, Clinical Director.

REMINDER

Monthly Background Checks Required for Deficit Reduction Act Compliance.

The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA) requires that entities subject to this law conduct MONTHLY background checks on "any current or prospective employees, contractors, or subcontractors who directly or indirectly will be furnishing, ordering, directing, or managing or prescribing items or services" to be paid out of state or federally-funded health benefit programs as part of the corporate compliance program to assist in preventing, detecting and addressing fraud, waste and abuse.

Law Offices Of David S. Barmak, LLC
Our firm is dedicated to helping health care providers, in particular skilled nursing facilities, manage risk through a comprehensive compliance program that focuses on early intervention through on-site training, communication, policy & procedure review, monitoring and consultation. The program includes on site training in the areas of, but not limited to, fraud & abuse, HIPAA privacy and data security, employment, emergency preparedness, workplace violence, clinical documentation, sexual harassmentand social networking.

 

The firm's compliance team includes experienced compliance attorneys, clinical nurses, physical therapy and pharmacy consultants who are available to assist clients with pre and post Department of Health (DOH) survey procedures, respond to DOH questions, prepare for re-inspections, minimize risks for deficiencies, offer support to Directors of Nursing and correct care plans, incident reports and therapy notes, review Medicare billing, audit and review PPS/Medicare/Medicaid insurance documentation.

 

The recipient may, if the newsletter is inaccurate or misleading, report the same to the Committee on Attorney Advertising.

 

This newsletter has been prepared by the Law Offices Of David S. Barmak, LLC for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.
 
For more information, please contact us:
Telephone (609) 454-5351
Fax (609) 454-5361
 
Copyright, 2012.  Law Offices Of David S. Barmak, LLC.  All rights reserved.
No portion of these materials may be reproduced by any means without the advance written permission of the author.