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Healthcare Risk Management – February 1, 2021

February 1, 2021

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  • Vaccine Rollout Brings Legal, Labor Concerns for Employers

    As the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccines continues, healthcare employers face complicated questions about what they can require of employees, how to handle employees who refuse the vaccine, and other potential legal consequences that may result in the coming months.

  • HIPAA Issues Can Arise with COVID-19 Vaccinations

    HIPAA can become an issue if healthcare employers require proof that employees have received a COVID-19 vaccine. Under HIPAA, immunization records are protected health information.

  • EEOC Says Employers Can Mandate Vaccines — with Exceptions

    Under certain circumstances, employers are permitted to mandate their employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccination as a condition of their employment. That position was outlined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in guidance published in December 2020. However, this guidance is not without its limits.

  • Understanding Emergency Use Authorization Issues with COVID-19 Vaccine

    Current COVID-19 vaccines have not undergone the process for full FDA approval, but have been authorized under a streamlined process known as an emergency use authorization. Because of this, the vaccines are technically considered experimental and are subject to regulations that may affect whether employers are permitted to mandate their use by employees.

  • Nurse in Jeopardy for Refusing Hospital’s COVID-19 Policy on Scrubs

    A Minnesota nurse refused to follow his hospital’s policy on taking scrubs home and laundering them, rather than using hospital-provided scrubs. The hospital fired the nurse, who is alleging whistleblower retaliation. Nurses at the hospital resisted the policy because they did not want to take COVID-19 home to their families.

  • New and Proposed HIPAA Rules May Offer More Protection

    New legislation and proposed rules will affect HIPAA compliance. Both actions are good news for covered entities and business associates.

  • Hospital to Stand Trial for Botched Brain Surgery Performed with Recalled Laser

    As often is the case in medical malpractice cases, defendants made a concerted effort to dismiss the case based on the insufficiency of the plaintiff’s expert report. Here, however, the court of appeals began its analysis by specifying that based on the applicable standard of review, the purpose of the plaintiffs’ expert report is to demonstrate the plaintiff is not filing a frivolous lawsuit.

  • Court Orders New Trial Over Hospital’s Improper Closing Arguments

    The appellate court’s decision focused on whether the non-party status of the nurse who allegedly dropped plaintiff was determinative in the case at hand. The court of appeals found the trial court failed to exercise its full range of discretion and had not carefully considered the fact that although the nurse was not a party to the case, her conduct was the object of the case, and it was unclear whether the jury fully understood that she was not a party to the matter.