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Washington Court Upholds Physician Noncompete, But Caution Is Warranted

In Emerick v. Cardiac Study Center, Inc., P.S., the Washington court of appeals held a physician noncompete does not automatically violate public policy, and will be upheld when reasonable. The case involved a cardiology practice with four office locations in Pierce County, each near a hospital.  The noncompete prohibited physicians from practicing cardiac medicine in competition with the company for five … Continue reading »

Special Fraud Alert

Yelp Adding Medicare and Other Healthcare Data

A recent article in The Washington Post highlighted that Yelp is adding government information on hospitals, nursing homes and dialysis clinics to its popular review site.  Patients can now look up  an emergency room’s average wait time, fines paid by a nursing home and other information.  Yelp is partnering with ProPublica, which has deeply mined government data to create surgeon … Continue reading »

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Updated National Practitioner Data Bank Guidebook Expands Reporting Requirements

Most physicians probably recognize that a hospital must report certain professional review actions adversely affecting a physician’s clinical privileges to the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB), which can have serious career consequences for a physician.  Physicians may not, however, realize that the recently updated Guidebook for the NPDB sometimes requires such a report be submitted merely because a physician is … Continue reading »

Victory for Physicians Defending against Medical Malpractice Actions

In Fergen v. Sestero, Washington’s Supreme Court recently handed an important victory to physicians defending medical malpractice actions.  The ruling involved the exercise of judgment instruction, which reminds juries that if a physician exercises the reasonable care and skill generally required by his or her position, making the wrong choice when choosing between alternate treatments or diagnoses does not make … Continue reading »

OIG Issues New Special Fraud Alert on Physician-Owned Entities

On March 26, 2013, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a new Special Fraud Alert regarding physician-owned entities. Physician ownership or investment in entities that derive revenue from selling or arranging for the sale of medical devices, supplies or equipment has been an area of OIG scrutiny for over two decades. OIG has issued a number of guidance documents … Continue reading »

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