By Nelson Dunlap
Published in Volume 16, Number 2 of the DePaul Journal of Health Care Law.
Mobile medical applications are increasingly taking center-stage in the health care industry and more importantly, in the patient-doctor relationship. Yet, as technological prevalence continues its upward trend, regulatory initiatives will also continue their march to the forefront of the discussion. This can lead to only one ultimate conclusion: an impasse between the potential for technological innovation and governmentally enforced restrictions. The first, of what will most likely prove to be many, federal regulations controlling mobile medical applications was recently enacted by the Food and Drug Administration. Overbearing governmental regulations such as these stifle innovation in the health care field and operate to the detriment of the public as a whole by restricting society’s ability to advance in the health care industry. Before implementing any governmental regulation, a cost-benefit analysis should always be performed to ensure that it is truly worth it. In the situation where health care is on one side of the equation, we simply can’t afford to stifle our own future. This can be, quite literally, a matter of life or death.
By Sarah E. Baumann, JD -- Wolters Kluwer Contributor
Data breaches make good news. Headlines across the internet include figures involving hundreds of thousands, and in some cases, millions, of individuals whose protected health information (PHI) has suddenly been compromised and potentially made available to perfect strangers. Patients and providers and other data handlers are understandably concerned. What is causing the seeming increase in breaches and what can be done to avoid them? This Strategic Perspective will examine recent trends in data breaches and offer advice as to how providers can work to prevent them.
By Yesenia Perez
On September 18th, 2014, the Illinois Association of Healthcare Attorneys held their Quarterly Lecture at Katten Muchin Rosenman, LLP in Chicago, IL. The topic this year, was “Take Two Hits & Call Me in the Morning: What Doctors and Hospitals Should Know about the Illinois Compassionate Use of the Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act.” Gabriel Bankier Plotkin, from Miller Shakman & Beem, LLP, discussed the current medical marijuana law in Illinois and what it means for physicians, hospitals, and their attorneys.
By Vaughn Bentley
Electronic health records (“EHRs”) are becoming increasingly popular among both hospitals and physicians. While basic patient information has always been electronically available, starting in 2009, complete patient information began to be stored electronically. By June of 2014, most hospitals and almost half of doctors had made the switch to EHRs and some are even digitizing old records. The trend may be due, in large part, to the inventive payments found in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”). According to HealthIT.gov, over 54 percent of Medicare- and Medicaid-eligible professionals had registered for incentive programs.
By Hillary Cook
On September 2, 2014, the Court of Federal Claims blocked the Medicare program from awarding new Recovery Audit Contractor (“RAC”) contracts because of a court appeal from CGI Federal Incorporated (“CGI”) that is pending.  CGI, the plaintiff, filed a motion on August 27, 2014, to stay the Court of Federal Claims judgment allowing the defendant, the United States, to award the RAC contracts; the motion was granted on September 2, 2014 and the United States has been prevented from proceeding with the contract awards, along with other orders and performance throughout the duration of this appeal.  On August 28, 2014, the government filed a response to the appeal and seemed confident the motion to stay the judgment would be denied because the Federal Claims Court initially ruled in the government’s favor on the merits of the case. 
By Colton Zody
Twitter and Facebook, the two largest social media websites in the United States, have 271 million and 1.23 billion users respectively.  Surveys indicate that 60% of Americans first turn to the Internet when seeking health-related information, often utilizing sites like Twitter and Facebook.  With the American public depending on internet sites to gain information about their health, it is peculiar that of the $1.18 billion in digital advertising monies spent by the pharmaceutical industry in 2013 almost none went to social media.  Although social media sites reach millions of individuals on a daily basis, pharmaceutical companies are hesitant to move into social media without more guidance from the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”).
By Joseph Gregorio
On September 23, 2014, the DePaul Health Law Institute welcomed attorneys Gabriel L. Imperato, Michael Granston, and John T. Boese to discuss certain federal healthcare statutes aimed at preventing fraud and abuse in federal healthcare programs. Imperato provided a generalized overview of the Anti-Kickback Statute (“AKS”), Stark Law (“Stark”), and the False Claims Act (“FCA”). Following Imperato, Granston and Boese focused on the complexities and interworkings of the FCA.