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November 2010 Archives

November 2, 2010

Nurse Felony Assault Law Kicks in Today

From Cathleen Crowley's "The Pulse" at Albany TimesUnion:

The Violence Against Nurses Law took effect today making it a felony to assault a registered nurse or license practical nurse while on duty.

Read Cathleen's blog post for more detail and statistics on violence against nurses.

November 8, 2010

Medical Student Education is Part of Plan for Fighting Health Care Fraud

At a health care fraud prevention summit in Brooklyn on November 5, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius discussed the Obama administration's efforts to combat health care fraud and abuse. Among the topics of discussion was an Internet-based program to explain the federal fraud and abuse laws to medical students, "so they can comply with federal law, avoid liability and spot signs of potential fraud" when they become practicing physicians. Read more about the summit and find links to the medical student training program here.

November 10, 2010

Basic discoveries, health products/services-more on the Myriad gene patents

The U.S. government recently filed a friend-of-the-court brief in a lawsuit brought by the ACLU and the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) challenging patents on human genes. The government agreed with [their] stance that isolated DNA is not patentable. (1)
Specifically, the brief states that interest of the United States as follows:
The extent to which basic discoveries in genetics may be patented is a question of great importance to the national economy, to medical science, and to the public health. This appeal consequently implicates the expertise and responsibilities of a wide array of federal agencies and components. … The PTO was a defendant below with respect to plaintiff’s constitutional claims, but was not named as a defendant with respect to the statutory issues now before this Court. P8
The brief concludes that the Court should reverse its invalidation of the composition claims that are limited to cDNAs and similar man-made constructs, but affirm the district court’s conclusion that the claims encompassing isolated human genomic DNA are invalid.(2) Of related interest-WIPO work on innovation and human health products/services. One perspective: 2006 WIPO article notes that:
...[Myriad gene] patents were controversial. Oppositions were filed against the European patent (EP 705902) on the isolated BRCA-1 gene by, among others, Switzerland’s Social Democratic Party; Greenpeace Germany; the French Institut Curie; Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris; the Belgian Society of Human Genetics; the Netherlands, represented by the Ministry of Health; and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Social Security. ….Underlying the technical grounds for opposition were deeper ethical and policy concerns….(3)
Biotechnology and genetics research have been the subject of extensive investment by both the public and private sectors...(4) The OECD Biotechnology Division One works in this area. One initiative- the OECD 2006 Guidelines document (23pp+) that offer principles and best practices for the licensing of genetic inventions for economic cooperation. The Guidelines state that in effect times change and they recommend that a review and assessment be made within 4 years after adoption of the Guidelines and periodically thereafter to ensure that they are fostering the desired objectives of stimulating genetic research and innovation while maintaining appropriate access to health products and services.

(1)http://www.aclu.org/free-speech-womens-rights/us-government-files-brief-aclu-and-pubpat-gene-patenting-case(Association for Molecular Pathology, et al. v. U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, et al.)

November 18, 2010

"Decade of Decline" - NYS Health Foundation Releases Report on Employer Insurance Coverage

From the NYS Health Foundation website:

This NYSHealth-supported survey of more than 800 public and private employers, conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago between late 2009 and early 2010, reveals trends in New York State over time and compares New York State employers to employers nationwide. The analysis finds that the proportion of workers in New York State with employer-sponsored heath insurance has fallen dramatically over the last decade, to 58% from 69% in 2001, and now lags the national average (65%).

Visit the NYS Health Foundation website for more summary information or to read the full report.

November 22, 2010

Insurance Department Releases 2010 Managed Care Guide

Last week the NY Insurance Department released its annual Managed Care Guide for 2010. Download it in .pdf format from the Insurance Department's website.

November 24, 2010

NYSTEM core facilities' funding

On NYSTEM’s website: An overview of NYSTEM core facilities' funding of state- of -the -art technology endeavors in the NYS stem cell community:Shared Facilities and Resources -plus links to more info. on their websites.(1)

Scientific progress depends on both the inspiration and hard work of individuals, and an active community of scientists and institutions that provides essential resources and serves as a sounding board. To build the stem cell community further and ensure that investigators have access to state-of-the-art technology beyond the capacity of individual labs or institutions, the Empire State Stem Cell Board allocated funds for core facilities through Shared Facilities and Equipment awards….
Empire State Stem Cell Board will hold a Full Board Meeting on Friday, December 17, 2010.
(1) http://www.stemcell.ny.gov/shared_facilities_resources.html

Zealous advocacy or hyper-advocacy in federal civil litigation

In a broader light:The US Courts email news (11/23) notes that (1): A report to the Chief Justice says educating lawyers, clients, and judges should be part of the federal judiciary’s efforts toward cutting costs and delays in federal civil litigation. Excerpted (2) from the Report's topic of discovery:

Empirical studies conducted over the course of more than 40 years have shown that the discovery rules work well in most cases. But examining the cases in which discovery has been problematic because, for example, it was disproportionate or abusive, requires continuing work…rules alone cannot educate lawyers (or their clients) in the distinction between zealous advocacy and hyper-advocacy…
There was significant support across plaintiff and defense lines for more precise guidance in the rules on the obligation to preserve information relevant to litigation and the consequences of failing to do so….
On the need for strategies in addition to rule amendments:
The many possibilities for improving the administration of the present rules can be summarized in shorthand terms: cooperation, proportionality; and sustained, active, hands–on judicial case management. Many of the strategies for pursuing the possibilities lie outside the rule making process….

(2)http://www.uscourts.gov/viewer.aspx?doc=/uscourts/RulesAndPolicies/rules/2010 report.pdfReport to the Chief Justice of the United States on the 2010 Conference on Civil Litigation, Submitted by the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules and the Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure-hosted at Duke U. Law School, May, 2010.

About November 2010

This page contains all entries posted to HEALTH LAW SECTION BLOG in November 2010. They are listed from oldest to newest.

October 2010 is the previous archive.

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