By: Shireen Hart
By: Shireen Hart

The Speaking Circuit

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Anne Cramer and I are doing a lot of talks these days to groups, whether clients or not, about recent developments in health law (that seems like a redundant phrase, given the breakneck pace at which health law evolves). We try not to create fear in our audiences, while still trying to convey that there have been regulatory and statutory developments this past year, both statewide and federally, that require action by health care providers/facilities.

At a recent talk to a group of pediatricians, I was approached by a physician afterwards whose husband is a compliance officer for a large out-of-state hospital group. He has been cautioning her about measures she needs to take to protect her pediatric practice from compliance problems. After hearing our talk, she realized that her husband’s admonitions were not the actions of an overprotective spouse, but rather that he had been telling her the same things we cautioned about during our talk. Sometimes, it takes a couple of times hearing these things to digest that you have to make yet another policy change or protocol adoption in response to yet another law or regulation.

We certainly empathize and feel the frustration, so we try to give what we consider to be the most pragmatic and workable advice for the audience. What we might advise a solo practitioner or a small practice is likely to look very different from what we advise one of our larger health care facility clients.

We also learn a great deal from these talks because we are peppered with questions as we work our way through the various topics. Given the newness of the developments we are presenting, this forces us to really be on our toes and rely on our forty plus years of health law background to respond.

As much as we like to think that we are teaching our audiences, we always come away being better able to apply the laws and regulations we are discussing to the practical realities faced by our audience members and clients.