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THA Comments on the proposed Public Charge rule 

On December 10, THA submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in response to proposed changes to the Public Charge rule. Along with much of the health care community, THA relayed concerns that the proposed rule will create unnecessary barriers for individuals to receive timely, necessary and accessible health care, and cause a drop in enrollment for coverage under programs included in the expanded criteria. Currently, a “public charge” is defined as someone...


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Mitigation of Surgical Smoke 

States such as California, Rhode Island and Colorado have seen recent pushes to legislatively mandate the use of smoke mitigation devices in hospital ORs during surgical procedures involving the use of energy-based devices. Advocates for the mitigation of surgical smoke argue that research shows such smoke is hazardous to the health of those who inhale it. However, the research is insufficient and unclear, may be biased and seems, in many instances, to be promoted by companies with business interests in smoke mitigation technology. Furthermore, accurate research is hampered by the fact that each substance requires a separate test, and ORs vary in size and shape, resulting in differing results for each test.


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THA Files Formal Comments on AKS

To help bring the AKS into 2018, THA advocated for the creation of two new AKS safe harbors: 1) For value-based payment arrangements. 2) For assistance to patients for better health.


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THA Files Formal Comments to Amend the Stark Law 

On Aug. 22, in response to a request for information from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, THA filed formal comments to amend the Stark law. This is a big deal—there is probably no other law in health care that causes more confusion and threatens liability as Stark. In a 2014 interview with the Wall Street Journal, former U.S. Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA) said it best: “I have every lawyer in town bowing gratitude to me for the work they got out of that law .


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Carrying Handguns at Private Psychiatric Hospitals, State Hospitals and General and Specialty Hospitals 

Last week, my colleague Cesar Lopez, J.D., and I had the pleasure of leading the first-ever legal track at THA’s Annual Conference in Houston. We gave presentations on end-of-life issues, hospital liens and other hot topics in health care. One of the hot topics was the ability to carry firearms in hospitals – the subject of legislation in the 84th Texas Legislature. During that talk, we received an interesting question: “Can a private psychiatric hospital ban law enforcement officers from car...


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