Wednesday, January 16, 2019

October 22nd is National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

Riverside County, CA - On Saturday, October 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Riverside County Sheriffs' Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public its 12th opportunity in six years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

RCMA encourages physician offices to promote this event by talking with patients and posting announcements in the office. 

Download Office Resources

Encourage patients to bring their pills to one of the sites listed below. (The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.) The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

DROP-OFF LOCATIONS:

Blythe
Sheriff Dept.- Colorado River Station
260 N. Spring St., Blythe, CA 92225

Calimesa
Cabazon Sheriff's Station
908 Park Ave., Calimesa, CA 92320

Hemet
Home Instead Senior HealthCare
414 S. Palm Street, Hemet, CA 92543

Hemet
Hemet Sheriff's Station
43950 Acacia Ave., Suite B, Hemet, CA 92544

Lake Elsinore
Lake Elsinore Sheriff's Station
333 Limited Ave, Lake Elsinore, CA 92530

Moreno Valley
Moreno Valley Police Department
22850 Calle San Juan De Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, CA 92552

Murrieta
Murrieta Police Department
2 Town Square, Murrieta, CA 92562

Murrieta
Southwest Riverside Sheriff's Station
30755-A Auld Road, Murrieta, CA 92563

Palm Desert
Palm Desert Sheriff's Station
73705 Gerald Ford Drive, Palm Desert, CA 92260

Palm Springs
Palm Springs Police Department
200 South Civic Dr., Palm Springs, CA 92262

Riverside
Kaiser Hospital Parking Lot
10800 Magnolia Avenue (Nw Corner), Riverside, CA 92505

Riverside
Jurupa Valley Sheriff's Station
7477 Mission Blvd., Riverside, CA 92509

San Jacinto
Cvs
102 S. Sanderson Rd., San Jacinto, CA 92582


Liability Risks of Telemedicine: State Standards Among Considerations

by Dustin Shaver, Vice President of Risk Management at NORCAL Mutual Insurance Company

Telemedicine utilization growth continues at an impressive rate. According to the FAIR Health database (the largest repository of private healthcare claims), telemedicine use in the U.S. nearly doubled between 2007 and 2015. Over half of all U.S. hospitals now use some form of telemedicine, according to the American Telemedicine Association. Telemedicine is widely credited with improving patient access, cost efficiencies and quality of care. This and increasingly favorable state and federal telemedicine legislation may explain the rapid increase in its utilization. Despite the advantages, telemedicine has liability risks, such as privacy, security, patient confidentiality, credentialing and misdiagnosis due to a lack of continuity of care. Additionally, the soft skills that may come naturally in a personal patient encounter may need to be adjusted for electronic encounters. Telemedicine providers should evaluate their “webside” manner. For example, equipment needs to be positioned to simulate direct eye contact; active listening cues may need to be exaggerated; posture and facial expressions may need adjustment and sessions must be started and ended appropriately. Seemingly minor electronic communication strategies can significantly affect the success of a telemedicine encounter.

Physicians who adopt telemedicine also have administrative considerations that may pose a challenge and liability risk. For instance, professional licensure portability and individual state mandated practice standards present major challenges. There are significant differences among state telemedicine laws and the laws are constantly changing. In the 2016 legislative session, for example, over 150 telemedicine-related bills were introduced by 44 states. The issues addressed by these bills ranged from informed consent requirements to online prescribing parameters to Medicaid reimbursement. Physicians should be aware of the telemedicine laws in their own state and in the state of every patient in their telemedicine practice. Understanding the laws is paramount to understanding the medical liability risks that may be involved in the various different stages of providing telemedicine.

Medical professionals providing virtual visits must work harder to reduce practice liability exposures. To help enhance patient safety and reduce risk:

  • Understand that individual state telemedicine practice laws vary from state to state.
  • Consult with your healthcare business attorney as needed.
  • Check your professional licensure portability to ensure that you are licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where the patient resides.
  • Consult with your medical practice liability insurance company to ensure that your policy covers all jurisdictions where you plan to provide services.
  • Be aware of online prescribing regulations that vary across jurisdictions.
  • Comply with all applicable privacy and security standards for the secure transmission of protected health information between patient, provider and payers.
  • Standardize telemedicine patient visits to help minimize the potential for error and to support good communication practices.
  • Take care to ensure that the primary care physician and patient relationship is not fractured with ongoing use of telemedicine consultation.

Telemedicine is an emerging practice and the rising rate of adoption by both physicians and patients is an indication of its value. As with all advancement in the field of medicine, the advantages of adopting a new way of practice should be considered carefully and risks assessed. It is important to consult with your medical professional liability insurance provider on your individual policy to ensure you are adequately covered for the scope of practice, and consult with your business attorney as needed.

NORCAL Mutual has a team of risk management specialists available to consult and assist policyholders with the assessment of their practice and to help identify and address risk exposures. To learn more about managing telemedicine risk exposure, NORCAL policyholders can access the September 2016 Claims Rx entitled “Telemedicine Risk Management,” which is available through MyACCOUNT on the new MyNORCAL® mobile app.


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