Information technology is at the center of the ongoing reform of the US health care industry. Groundbreaking innovations in how patient information is stored, analyzed, shared, and used are occurring at a rapid pace. Opportunities abound for your success in the market.
But with these opportunities come complex legal and business challenges. Developing, marketing, and implementing health IT can be especially complicated if you are a vendor or end user. For starters, technology licensing and other business arrangements must comply with state and federal privacy and security rules, health care fraud and abuse laws, and, for wireless devices, FCC and FDA requirements.
The Obama Administration wants full adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) by 2014. To help meet this ambitious goal, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act contains financial incentives for hospitals and physicians participating in the Medicare or Medicaid programs who engage in “meaningful use” of EHRs. Our Health Law attorneys can provide your company timely, effective advice on the qualifications for receiving funding for EHR adoption and navigating the application process.
The complexity of health care regulations is not abating any time soon as various federal agencies are in the midst of regulatory reform that could directly or indirectly affect health IT, how your company complies with industry regulations, and how these agencies interact. Our Health Law attorneys and our government relations affiliate, ML Strategies, LLC, continually monitor relevant legislative and administrative developments and maintain important relationships with decision makers in Congress and at key government agencies. Our clients do not miss a beat, and they stay ahead of policy developments.
A hallmark of our firm is its deep pool of knowledge and experience across many practice areas, which comes into play regarding health IT transactions. Our Health Law attorneys regularly collaborate with the firm’s Intellectual Property, Communications, and Corporate & Securities lawyers to advise clients on commercial licensing transactions, distribution arrangements, and strategic collaborations. We regularly structure and negotiate domestic and international agreements governing joint technology development, licensing and distribution, hardware and systems acquisition, outsourcing, and other complex transactions.
Also, health information technology is the primary driver for businesses that seek to deliver health care in innovative ways, such as through traditional telemedicine and increasingly in an online setting through web-based technologies. Antiquated state laws and rules developed to address the delivery of care in an office pose major challenges to the deployment of telehealth services even though the provider and patient communities have embraced telehealth. The sources of these legal impediments may be statutes, medical board or pharmacy board regulations, individual disciplinary administrative cases or informal guidance, and will differ from state to state. Varying state requirements for an “adequate physical exam” and the issuance of a prescription in an online setting continue to pose business challenges. Our Health Law attorneys can help you address the impact of these varying standards on your business and operational decisions. And, working with ML Strategies, LLC, we can help you formulate an effective strategy for working with state medical and pharmacy boards in order to deploy a compliant, multistate telehealth service.