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Pennsylvania Supreme Court Signals Major Erosion of Peer Review Protection

On March 27, 2018, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided Reginelli v. Boggs, its first major peer review analysis in more than two decades, since its plurality decision in McClellan v. HMO of Pennsylvania, 686 A.2d 801 (Pa. 1996). The opinion, authored by Justice Donohue, and joined in by Justices Baer, Dougherty and Mundy, is striking and signals two very significant shifts in Pennsylvania peer review analysis.

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DOH Issues Temporary Regulations for Patients and Caregivers

On September 25, 2017, the Pennsylvania Department of Health continued its efforts toward full implementation of the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program, issuing temporary regulations for patients and caregivers, even as growers and processors have sued the agency over its permit approvals potentially putting the program's progress at risk. To date, DOH has finalized temporary regulations for Growers and Processors, Dispensaries, Laboratories, Physicians and Practitioners, and Safe Harbor Letters. The regulations for patients and caregivers set forth the requirements for consumers of medical marijuana to lawfully obtain the product. DOH will accept comments on the temporary regulations through October 2, 2017, and will publish a finalized form of the temporary regulations in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

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PA Supreme Court Ruling: Only Doctors Can Obtain Informed Consent

A June 20, 2017, holding by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania will require physicians across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to change their practices for obtaining informed consent from patients. Physicians now must personally obtain informed consent and must personally answer their patients' questions. Additionally, communications between physicians' qualified staff members and patients will no longer be admissible at trials as to the issue of whether the physicians obtained informed consent from their patients. As the dissent noted, "today's decision will have a far-reaching, negative impact on the manner in which physicians serve their patients. For fear of legal liability, physicians now must be involved with every aspect of informing their patients' consent, thus delaying seriously ill patients access to physicians and the critical services that they provide."

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DOH Issues Medical Marijuana Practitioner Rules

Nearly a year after the Pennsylvania legislature passed the Medical Marijuana Act, 35 P.S. 10231.101 et seq., the Department of Health took a critical step in its regulatory implementation of the Act, issuing temporary regulations for physicians who will be issuing certifications to patients for use of medical marijuana. The comment period for these temporary regulations runs through April 20, 2017. This article discusses current key requirements for physicians seeking to issue patient certifications and highlights steps physicians can take to reduce potential liability when recommending medical marijuana use for patients.

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DOH Issues Temporary Regulations for Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) took a major step forward last week in its ongoing implementation of the state's medical marijuana program. On October 25, 2016, DOH issued temporary regulations for dispensaries. DOH is soliciting feedback from the industry on the temporary regulations through November 4, and will publish the final version of the regulations in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

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Federal District Court Issues Order That Could Discourage Use of EMTALA as a Federal Medical Malpractice Statute

On November 24, 2014, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania issued an Order in the case of Moore v. Grand View Hospital, a case handled by Post & Schell attorneys, which may influence the plaintiff’s bar and discourage the inappropriate use of EMTALA as a federal medical malpractice statute.

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