Worth Reading This Week

By Nicolas Terry

Worth Reading This Week

By Nicolas Terry

Repealing the ACA. Will the debate ever end?

Last week the President celebrated the enrollment of 7.1 million Americans in health insurance with the words “The debate over repealing this law is over… The Affordable Care Act is here to stay,” here. Indeed, as the number of insured under the Act has grown, Medicaid has gained another 3 million enrollees, here, and other ACA provisions have kicked in so the conventional wisdom has emerged that while a political turn in favor of Republicans would lead to some important “tweaks,” the so-called “popular parts” such as guaranteed issue would survive. This world view seemed confirmed when Senators Burr, Coburn and Hatch introduced the first true Republican alternative to the ACA, here. Tim Jost commended that effort for going beyond the rhetoric of repeal noting, here, ”Republicans seem to be coming to terms with the fact that the ACA has permanently changed the health policy landscape.” However, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan seems to be having none of this suggesting, here, that total reform remains the objective and that “We can have in this country universal access to affordable health insurance for everybody, including people with preexisting conditions without a costly government takeover of one-sixth of our economy.” It’s going to be a long election season.

Worth Reading This Week

By Nicolas Terry

Conference: “Neuroscience and Law: Injury, Capacity and Illness”

March 28, IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Indianapolis. The Hall Center for Law and Health and the Indiana Health Law Review present a major conference on neuroscience and the law. Speakers include:

  • Oliver R. Goodenough, Professor of Law, Vermont Law School
  • Geoffrey K. Aguirre, Associate Professor of Neurology, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
  • Brenna C. McDonald, Assistant Professor of Radiology and Neurology, Stark Neurosciences Research Institute, Indiana University School of Medicine
  • Matthew Mitten, Professor of Law and Director, National Sports Law Institute, Marquette University Law School
  • Jean M. Eggen, Distinguished Professor of Law, Widener University School of Law
  • Tracy D. Gunter, Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, Indiana University School of Medicine
  • Robert M. Pascuzzi, Professor and Chairman, Department of Neurology, Indiana University School of Medicine
  • Leslie A. Hulvershorn, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Indiana University School of Medicine
  • Amanda C. Pustilnik, Associate Professor of Law, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law
  • Jennifer A. Drobac, Professor of Law, Indiana University McKinney School of Law
  • Andrew J. Saykin, Raymond C. Beeler Professor of Radiology and Director, Indiana University Center for Neuroimaging, Department of Radiology, Indiana University School of Medicine
  • Rebecca S. Dresser, Daniel Noyes Kirby Professor of Law and Professor of Ethics in Medicine, Washington University School of Law
  • Eric Racine, Director, Neuroethics Research Unit, University of Montreal and McGill University

More details and registration. For further information contact Nicolas P. Terry, Hall Render Professor of Law & Director, Hall Center for Law and Health

Worth Reading This Week

By Nicolas Terry

 

Worth Reading This Week

By Nicolas Terry

Max Mehlman: 2014 McDonald Merrill Ketcham Awardee for Excellence in Law & Medicine

By Nicolas Terry Cross-posted from HealthLawProf Blog

The Hall Center for Law and Health at Indiana University McKinney School of Law is proud to welcome Professor Maxwell Mehlman to receive the McDonald Merrill Ketcham Award for Excellence in Law & Medicine for 2014. For more details please see here.

Professor Mehlman serves as Distinguished University Professor, Petersilge Prof. of Law and Director of the Law-Medicine Center, Case Western Reserve School of Law, and Professor of Biomedical Ethics, Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. His lecture is entitled “Are Physicians Fiduciaries for Their Patients?” Professor Mehlman will then join a panel discussion on the topic. The panelists are Mary Ott, M.D., M.A., Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Joshua Perry, J.D., M.T.S., Assistant Professor of Business Law and Ethics and a Life Sciences Research Fellow, Indiana University Kelley School of Business (Bloomington) and Mark Rothstein, J.D., Herbert F. Boehl Chair of Law and Medicine, University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, and Director of the Institute for Bioethics, Health Policy, and Law, University of Louisville School of Medicine.

Worth Reading This Week

By Nicolas Terry

Worth Reading This Week

By Nicolas Terry

The AOL Babies: Our Healthcare Crisis in a Nut

By Nicolas Terry

Cross-posted from HealthLawProf Blog.
Where does one start with AOL CEO Armstrong’s ridiculous and unfeeling justifications for changes in his company’s 401(k) plan. Cable TV and Twitter came out of the blocks fast with the obvious critiques. And the outrage only increased after novelist Deanna Fei took to Slate to identify her daughter as one of the subjects of Armstrong’s implied criticism. Armstrong has now apologized and reversed his earlier decision.
As the corporate spin doctors contain the damage, Armstrong’s statements likely will recede from memory, although I am still hoping The Onion will memorialize Armstrong’s entry into the healthcare debate (suggested headline, “CEO Discovers Nation’s Healthcare Crisis Caused by 25 Ounce Baby”). But supposing (just supposing) your health law students ask about the story in class this week. What sort of journey can you take them on?

Worth Reading This Week

By Nicolas Terry

Big Week for Big Data

By Nicolas Terry

For privacy advocates the last week contained something of a gut-check when the UK’s splendidly descriptive Health and Social Care Information Centre announced something of a bonanza for big data companies; the NHS’s care.data program, here, will make anonymized clinical data broadly available to researchers and commercial interests with few limitations, here.

For once, however, the US attitude to the growing big data phenomenon has appeared more robust. Writing on the White House Blog, here, Presidential counselor John Podesta announced he will be leading “a comprehensive review of the way that ‘big data’ will affect the way we live and work; the relationship between government and citizens; and how public and private sectors can spur innovation and maximize the opportunities and free flow of this information while minimizing the risks to privacy.” Results are promised in 90 days.

For health lawyers, however, the most interesting recent development has been the FTC’s denial of LabMD’s motion to dismiss, here. The LabMD complaint involves the data security practices of a clinical testing laboratory. The FTC alleged “unfair . . . acts or practices” under Section 5(a)(1) of the FTC Act. One of LabMD’s arguments for dismissal was that the specific HIPAA and HITECH statutes dealing with the health privacy and security obligations of covered entities blocked the FTC from enforcing its more general authority. According to the FTC:

Nothing in HIPAA, HITECH… reflects a “clear and manifest” intent of Congress to restrict the Commission’s authority over allegedly “unfair” data security practices such as those at issue in this case. LabMD identifies no provision that creates a “clear repugnancy” with the FTC Act, nor any requirement in HIPAA or HITECH that is “clearly incompatible” with LabMD’s obligations under Section 5.

LabMD is an important development. I have argued at length, here, that big data activities outside of HIPAA-protected space have illustrated the gaps in data protection because of the manner in which the US has regulated discrete vertical industries. LabMD suggests that the FTC is prepared to fill in the gaps.

Pit Crews with Computers: Can Health Information Technology Fix Fragmented Care?

I recently posted this draft on SSRN. Feedback much appreciated. Here is the abstract:

Fragmentation and lack of coordination remain as some of the most intractable problems facing health care. Attention has often alighted on the promise of Health care Information Technology not least because IT has had such positive impact on many other personal, professional and industrial domains. For at least two decades the HIT-panacea narrative has been persistent even though the context has shifted. At various times we have been promised that patient safety technologies would solve our medical error problems, electronic transactions would simplify healthcare administration and insurance and clinical data would become interoperable courtesy of electronic medical records. Today the IoM is positioning HIT at the center of its new “continuously learning” health care model that is in large part aimed at solving our fragmentation and lack of coordination problems. While the consensus judgment that HIT can reduce fragmentation and increase coordination has intuitive force the specifics are more complicated. First, the relationship between health care and IT has been both culturally and financially complex. Second, HIT has been overhyped as a solution for all of health care’s woes; it has its own problems. Third, the HIT-fragmentation solution presents a chicken-and-egg problem — can HIT solve health care fragmentation and lack of coordination problems or must health care problems such as episodic care be solved prior to successful deployment of HIT? The article takes a critical look at both health care and HIT with those questions in mind before concluding with some admittedly difficult recommendations designed to break the chicken-and-egg deadlock.

NPT

Worth Reading This Week

By Nicolas Terry