In order to survive and thrive in the ever-changing climate of the U.S. healthcare system, physicians and other healthcare providers must align themselves with legal counsel that has a broad and deep understanding not only of federal and state healthcare laws and regulations, but of the direction of the industry as a whole. Providers must stay in front of change, rather than simply reacting to it. Because of our single-minded focus on healthcare, Frier Levitt is uniquely positioned to serve as a creative and thoughtful guide to healthcare providers in these challenging times. We are a national boutique healthcare and life sciences firm founded in 2000 with offices in New Jersey and New York and are proud to be General Counsel to the American Academy of Pediatrics, New Jersey Chapter.
Year in Review 2020
How long must I retain medical records in New Jersey for pediatric patients?
For adult patients, medical records must be retained for a period of seven (7) years. (N.J.A.C. 13:35-6.5). For minors, a physician is required to maintain treatment records for a period of seven (7) years from the date of the most recent entry. The New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners does not differentiate between minor and adult patients, and simply sets a seven (7) year retention requirement. However, in determining the retention period from a risk standpoint, the Statute of Limitation for filing a medical malpractice must be taken under consideration, which for a minor patient it two (2) years from when the patient reaches eighteen (18) years of age.
How do you deal with conflicting requests (e.g., request to vaccinate vs. request not to vaccinate) from the parents of a child who are divorced?
Situations regarding medical decision-making for a child is governed by the specific divorce agreement. Divorce agreements, when a child is involved, will include who has the right to make medical decision. Has one parent yielded all those decisions to other or both sign off on all medical decisions? Is the legal guardianship also inclusive of all medical decision-making? These situations are case-by-case and the controlling court papers should be produced to the practice for review.
If the Vaccines for Children (“VFC”) program audits me and there is a shortage of vaccines or some need to be wasted due to a power outage, do I really need to pay for all those vaccines before I can continue in the program? What happens if I cannot pay?
Yes. The VFC program does not allow a pediatrician to continue to receive free vaccinations until all shortages/wasted vaccines are reimbursed to the VFC program. Unfortunately, regardless of the size of the Medicaid population being served by the provider or the inability to pay the restitution within thirty (30) days, the VFC program will terminate a provider\’s participation for failure to timely pay for all VFC vaccine shortages. If prompt payment is not made, the VFC will frequently also report the practice to the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners and the Medicaid Fraud Division.
What does my medical malpractice insurance cover, other than malpractice?
Medical Malpractice insurance in New Jersey has evolved tremendously over the last decade. Whereas before physicians had to pay for additional coverages as individual riders, now most policies include same. For instance, most insurance policies will pay for the provider\’s legal and expert fees incurred as part of, but not limited to:
- Document requests
- Overpayment demands
- Board Inquiries/Patient Complaints to the Board
- Patient complaints to payors
- Subpoenas (civil, criminal or administrative)
- Notices to be deposed (as part of any legal proceeding)
- HIPAA breaches
- Civil Litigation for billing practices
Products and Services
Frier Levitt assist pediatricians and other providers with a wide range of services, including (but not limited to):
- Super group formation
- Defense of audits and overpayment demands
- Credentialing and privileges
- Practice formation
- Transactional issues
- Employment and vendor contract negotiations
- Insurance investigations
Contact us for more information!
Guillermo J. Beades, Esq.
Frier Levitt, LLC
94 Bloomfield Avenue
Pine Brook, NJ 07058