Mental Health Privacy Trumps Board of Physicians: Did you know that a mental health patient's constitutional right to privacy was found sufficient to prevent the Board of Physicians from disciplining a psychiatrist who refused to disclose medical records in response to the Board's subpoena? In Maryland State Board of Physicians v. Eist, the Board of Physicians investigated a complaint against Dr. Eist and subpoenaed mental health records. After Dr. Eist refused to provide the records, the Board reprimanded and fined Dr. Eist $5,000. In preventing the Board from disciplining Dr. Eist, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland observed that a mental health patient's constitutional right to privacy could, and did in this case, exceed the Board's near omnipotent authority to subpoena and review medical records.
Unauthorized Practice of Medicine: Did you know that the State Board of Physicians issued public cease and desist orders to an owner and employee of a fasting clinic in Bethesda and Thurmont, Maryland. Patients paid fees for fasting sessions. During the fasting sessions, Mr. Lockman and Mr. Trader provided "naturopathic care" and Mr. Trader claimed that he was a "naturopathic medicine doctor". The Board concluded that both Mr. Lockman and Mr. Trader had practiced medicine without a license and fined them $320,000 and $70,000, respectively.
Mother's Name on Birth Certificate: Did you know that Maryland's highest court has decided that birth certificates may be issued without listing a gestational or biological mother? The Court of Appeals of Maryland In re Roberto d. B. stated that gestational and biological mothers that did not intend to act as a parent would not necessarily need to be listed on a child's birth certificate. The court stated that this right was mandated by Maryland's Equal Rights Amendment, and was similar to a father's putative right to challenge paternity of a minor child.
Partial Birth Abortion: Did you know that the Unites States Supreme Court, in Gonzalez v. Carhart, concluded that the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 was constitutional? The Act prohibits intact dilation and extraction procedures performed in the second trimester where the life of the mother is not at risk and the physician intentionally delivers the fetus vaginally for the purpose of an overt act to kill the partially delivered fetus. However, other second trimester procedures, such as dilation and evacuation, medical induction and hysterotomy, are unaffected, and thus permitted, by the Act.
Medicare Anti-Markup Rule: Did you know that a revised Medicare anti-markup rule prohibits Medicare from reimbursing purchasers of either the professional or technical component of anatomical pathology diagnostic testing services at more than the purchased price of those services? Effective January 3, 2008, the Medicare anti-markup rule prohibits the markup of such services if performed off-site. This revised rule also applies to mobile vehicles, as well as to non-employees who provide pathology diagnostic testing services on site. Regulations that would have applied this new anti-markup rule to the professional component of diagnostic testing, other than anatomical pathology, were postponed. Purchasers of the technical component of diagnostic tests from an "outside supplier" were already reimbursed by Medicare at the lower anti-markup rate under existing Medicare billing rules. However, the definition of "outside supplier" is
not clear, except in regard to anatomical pathology testing.