New York - Volume XI, Number 12 - December, 2002
COURT HOLDS THAT NURSING HOME QUALITY ASSURANCE MATERIALS ARE NOT PRIVILEGED
An appellate court recently denied a nursing home's application to quash a grand jury subpoena issued by the State Attorney General's Office of Medicaid Fraud Control seeking disclosure of what was universally thought to be privileged quality assurance material. In a surprisingly restrictive reading of the law, the court held that the statutory privilege was granted by the legislature to "general hospitals" and therefore, did not extend to nursing homes.
STATE'S HIGHEST COURT SPLIT OVER MEANING OF "LAYPERSON"
New York State's Public Health Law requires that committees convened by the Department of Health to consider charges of physician misconduct must be comprised of two physicians and one layperson. An intermediate appellate court had earlier struck down findings of hearing committees where a physician's assistant had served as the lay member of the panel. In another restrictive reading of the law, the state's highest court held that the statute only distinguishes between physicians and non-physicians. Thus, other allied health professions may serve as lay members of the panel. The orders of revocation were reinstated.
COURT ALLOWS USE OF MEDICAID FUNDS FOR REIMBURSEMENT OF OPTOMETRISTS
The Appellate Division recently reversed the ruling of a lower court that had declared it illegal to use Medicaid funds to reimburse optometrists who had performed minimally invasive procedures. The lawsuit, originally brought by an ophthalmologist, was premised upon the assertion that since the procedures were invasive, they could not legally be performed by optometrists and therefore, that Medicaid reimbursement for such procedures was illegal. The court found that the expert testimony offered at the hearing by the physician was inconclusive on the issue of whether the procedures were beyond the scope of an optometrist. The court, thus, found in favor of the optometrist and permitted reimbursement.
LEVY AND HOLT NAMED SHAREHOLDERS OF FIRM
KACS is proud to announce that Mathew J. Levy and Steven A. Holt have become shareholders of the firm. Mr. Levy concentrates his practice in healthcare business and regulatory matters, including coordinating mergers and acquisitions and establishing ambulatory surgery centers and diagnostic and treatment centers. Mr. Holt holds an advanced degree in tax