Due to changes in Pennsylvania law, LG Health must modify our policies around obtaining informed consent. The legal department, in consultation with numerous clinicians across various sub-specialties, has updated the informed consent policy to ensure compliance with the new standards. A copy of the policy is now available in the Policy Center on StarNet. Staff are strongly encouraged to take time to review the policy, as some of the changes are rather significant in light of the new case law.
 
Please review the full policy. However, the following are select highlights:

  • Under the MCARE Act1, a provider performing specific procedures or treatments must obtain informed consent personally and cannot delegate this duty.

  • Providing all the names of any potential provider (i.e. an entire practice group) on the consent form is not an acceptable practice for meeting the requirements of the law. Further, if the anticipated provider changes, a new consent form is required. This is discussed with greater specificity within the policy.

  • An authorized provider ordering (or anticipating) a blood transfusion shall directly obtain the patient’s informed consent in accordance with this policy. However, in the interest of timeliness of care, patient safety, and efficiency of staff in the care and treatment of patients, the following workflows are permitted:
    • Inpatient: A separate blood transfusion informed consent must be obtained for inpatient treatment. One properly obtained blood transfusion informed consent is valid for the entirety of that admission and may be used for additional transfusion orders.
    • Outpatient: When it is anticipated that a patient will require multiple transfusions during a course of treatment, one consent may be obtained for an entire course of treatment, not to exceed six months.

Consent form changes
All Lancaster General Health personnel should be aware of the recent updates to the Consent for Operation or Other Procedure (Form LGHA-70). The form was modified to ensure the highest level of clarity. All staff should endeavor to use the new Consent for Special Operation or Other Procedure Form available on StarNet, and discard any outdated forms. There is no need to re-consent a patient who has already signed an old consent form. Staff can check the date on the bottom left corner of the form to confirm it is the most up to date version, which should read “Rev. 7/18.”
 

PA Medical Society outlines proposed changes to Medicare Physician Fee Schedule

On July 12, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced proposed rules for both the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule and MACRA’s Quality Payment Program in 2019.
 
In this overview, the Pennsylvania Medical Society looks at proposed changes to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule. CMS’ proposed rule, if implemented, would make significant changes to coding and documentation for evaluation and management services.

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