Tag Archives: Michael V. Favia & Associates

Important documents in health care planning

 

As the baby boomer generation retires and focuses on senior health care and planning for the end of life there are unique opportunities for families to make the right preparations to ensure smooth transitions and reduce the struggling of families trying to make the right decision. Our health care law practice includes drafting wills, living trusts, power of attorney documents and living wills. We are helping our clients prepare for health care challenges during senior years as well as preparing for end of life transitions. When we work together as families when everyone is mentally and physically healthy, we can support one another in major life events without unnecessary anguish. Having all the right health care and estate planning documents prepared make it easier for everyone.

A recent study for the website Caring.com “found only 53 percent of adults reporting having a healthcare power of attorney and only 42 percent reported having a will or living trust.[i]”  

Why is it people wait until someone is sick to prepare a health care power of attorney or will? Why do we otherwise wait until we are planning and overseas trip to prepare these important documents? Most incidents involving injury or death are more likely to occur within a few miles of home. People are learning that health care and estate planning documentation is for everyone, not only the rich.

““Families go through a trauma in decision-making in and of itself,” explained Christine Gorka, director of the Clinical Ethics Center at Memorial Medical Center. “We don’t want (families) to feel like they’ve made the wrong decisions, and they often struggle.[ii]

Wills

If you die without a will in Illinois, the laws of intestate succession determine what happens to the assets in your estate. Your assets and property will go to your wife, children and available heirs in statutorily-determined percentages. This can be difficult for families when there have been remarriages or other blended situations. What happens to your minor children and dependents, if any, is also controlled by a will and final testament. Despite the focus on this article being a senior population, everyone should have a will and should consider the additional documents named in this article, regardless of age.   

Living Trusts

A living trust, also called a “revocable” trust, is a legal document authorizing your assets to be placed in a trust, with named beneficiaries, such as yourself, during your lifetime. After the end of your life, your assets will be directed to your “successor trustees” who would otherwise be the named beneficiaries in your will. There are many options. Some people use a will to determine what happens to certain items like family heirlooms and the remainder of the assets are managed through the living trust.

Power of Attorney for Health Care

A power of attorney document allows you to appoint another person, your agent, to make health care decisions for you if you are unavailable. An example of being unavailable includes a coma or a temporary period of unconsciousness such as during a surgery. If there are complications or decisions that need to be made, the individual with a health care power of attorney can make legally binding health care decisions on your behalf. There are also power of attorney documents that give an individual broader legal authority to conduct basic business, transact banking and pay the bills for an individual who is unavailable or lacks capacity.

Living Wills

A living will is similar to a power of attorney for health care and is used in appointing another individual to make decisions about proper health care and specifically the termination of care under certain conditions. Where lifesaving resuscitation may be required to keep a patient alive, the individual named in the living will have the authority to determine whether to use emergency procedures. This also applies to the decision to terminate medical treatment.

Planning for smooth living in your senior years requires attention to detail when preparing health care and estate planning documents. To learn more about elder and health law planning, please call Michael V. Favia & Associates, P.C. to make an appointment by dialing (773) 631-4580.

About us: Michael V. Favia & Associates, P.C. is a health law and litigation firm in Chicago representing individuals, healthcare professionals and organizations with civil legal matters as well as professional licensing and regulation.

Chicago health law and litigation attorney Michael V. Favia and his associates in several locations and disciplines, advise and represent private individuals as well as healthcare professionals in all types of litigation and administrative matters involving licensing and regulatory agencies.

Michael V. Favia and Associates, P.C. represents individual physicians and health care organizations in the Chicago area with a variety of legal matters. With offices conveniently located in the Chicago Loop, Northwest side and suburban meeting locations, you can schedule a discrete meeting with an attorney at your convenience and discretion. Michael V. Favia & Associates is available at (773) 631-4580. Please visit www.favialawfirm.com and feel free to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” the firm on Twitter. You can also review endorsements and recommendations for Michael V. Favia on his Avvo.com profile and on LinkedIn.

 

[i] WANDTV.com, Report: Many adults lack important documents, Feb. 16, 2017, by Joe Strouski.

[ii] See HNi above.

PODCAST: 10 Marketing Tips to Keep Patients Happy and Decrease the Risk of Being Sued

Many health care practitioners think marketing is the sole method to increase the number of patients in a medical practice. Marketing is much more than your collection of brochures and web pages. While our printed materials are important, our brand is really dictated by the opinions of others with whom we interact in our professions. Today we will review a list of 10 cost-effective marketing tips and tactics to boost our brand, keep patients happy and reduce our malpractice risks. Use this link to listen anytime.

Topics covered in this 30-minute interview:

  • Communicating with patients and family members, in and out of the care setting;
  • Respecting the process of patients shopping for ideal health care professionals;
  • Making your office an appealing place to be where patients and their time are valuable;
  • Creating a system to request, receive and respond to patient and family feedback.

Patricia Favia is an award-winning marketing communications and branding professional who is focused on helping health care industry leaders engage their full potential. Ms. Favia works with integrated marketing, communications and advertising to help professionals in the health care industry. In her career in health care marketing, Patricia Favia worked as a director in major health systems in Illinois. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from DePaul University and participates in the Graduate School of Business, Continuing Education Program at Loyola University Chicago.

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Michael V. Favia & Associates are available to advise and represent health care professionals and the general Chicagoland community with a variety of legal issues. With offices conveniently located in the Chicago Loop, Northwest side and suburbs, you can schedule a discrete meeting with an attorney at your convenience and discretion.

For more about Michael V. Favia & Associates’ professional licensing work, please call (773) 631-4580, visit www.IL-Licensing.com and feel free to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” the firm on Twitter. You may also connect with Attorney Michael V. Favia on LinkedIn and on Avvo.com where you may also read client endorsements and reviews.

Brian Clauss, Director JMLS Veterans Clinic, speaks to ISBA Health Care Section Council

The Illinois State Bar Association Health Care Section Council welcomed Brian Clauss, Director of The John Marshall Law School Veterans Clinic at its council meeting on November 18. The Veterans Legal Support Center & Clinic provides free legal assistance when a veteran has been improperly denied benefits by the Veterans Benefits Administration.

Clauss shared how the clinic and its volunteers are successful in assisting veterans with disability claims. He also informed the Council about opportunities for lawyers who want to volunteer and get involved with the clinic. This VA benefit appeals clinic, one of the first of its kind in the U.S., is a nationally recognized pro bono program. In addition to helping veterans with their benefit appeals, the clinic also shares news and resources with veterans who may take advantage of a variety of benefits made available to them in local communities.

About us: Michael V. Favia & Associates, P.C. is a health law and litigation firm in Chicago representing individuals, healthcare professionals and organizations with civil legal matters as well as professional licensing and regulation.

Chicago health law and litigation attorney Michael V. Favia and his associates in several locations and disciplines, advise and represent private individuals as well as healthcare professionals in all types of litigation and administrative matters involving licensing and regulatory agencies.

Michael V. Favia and Associates, P.C. represents individual physicians and health care organizations in the Chicago area with a variety of legal matters. With offices conveniently located in the Chicago Loop, Northwest side and suburban meeting locations, you can schedule a discrete meeting with an attorney at your convenience and discretion. Michael V. Favia & Associates is available at (773) 631-4580. Please visit www.favialawfirm.com and feel free to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” the firm on Twitter. You can also review endorsements and recommendations for Michael V. Favia on his Avvo.com profile and on LinkedIn.

New Rules: CMS overhaul, must comply to participate in Medicare and Medicaid

There is big news in the overhaul for nursing home condition standards. Last month, “the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published a final rule to revise the requirements that Long-Term Care facilities must meet to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs.[i]

The Law Firm of Michael V. Favia & Associates, P.C., works with nursing home directors, administrators and staff to address regulation and compliance matters. We are happy to help nursing home health care professionals with any questions about these new rules.

The last overhaul of nursing home regulations by CMS was done in 1991 and since that time there have been significant advances in patient care and the services available in senior healthcare. The article published by JD Supra Business Advisor is worth reviewing.

Here is a list of the topics covered in the CMS final rule:

  1. Resident Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation;
  2. Admission, Transfer and Discharge Rights;
  3. Resident Assessments;
  4. Comprehensive Person-Centered Care Planning;
  5. Discharge Planning Process;
  6. Quality of Care Requirements;
  7. Quality of Life;
  8. Physician Services;
  9. Nursing Services;
  10. Behavioral Health Services;
  11. Pharmacy Services;
  12. Dental Services;
  13. Food and Nutrition Services;
  14. Facility-Wide Assessment Requirement;
  15. Binding Arbitration Agreements;
  16. Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI);
  17. Infection Control;
  18. Compliance and Ethics Program;
  19. Physical Environment; and
  20. Training Requirements.

“CMS states that the revisions to nursing home regulations are intended to reflect the substantial advances that have been made in the theory and practice of service delivery and safety.[ii]

Nursing home administrators and educators will be busy working on how they can help everyone who works in nursing homes learn the new rules and regulations. Procedures and protocols will need to be developed to ensure nursing homes comply with the CMS rules or otherwise risk losing the privilege of participating in the Medicare and Medicaid billing programs.

About us: Michael V. Favia & Associates, P.C. is a health law and litigation firm in Chicago representing individuals, healthcare professionals and organizations with civil legal matters as well as professional licensing and regulation.

Chicago health law and litigation attorney Michael V. Favia and his associates in several locations and disciplines, advise and represent private individuals as well as healthcare professionals in all types of litigation and administrative matters involving licensing and regulatory agencies.

Michael V. Favia and Associates, P.C. represents individual physicians and health care organizations in the Chicago area with a variety of legal matters. With offices conveniently located in the Chicago Loop, Northwest side and suburban meeting locations, you can schedule a discrete meeting with an attorney at your convenience and discretion. Michael V. Favia & Associates is available at (773) 631-4580. Please visit www.favialawfirm.com and feel free to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” the firm on Twitter. You can also review endorsements and recommendations for Michael V. Favia on his Avvo.com profile and on LinkedIn.

 

[i] JD Supra Business Advisor, CMS Releases the First Comprehensive Overhaul of Nursing Home Conditions of Participation in Over 25 Years. By John Sisher II, Nov. 3, 2016.

[ii] See HNi above.

Favia will work with the firm’s members in the Chicago office and nationwide on professional licensing matters.

Dedicated Medicare Compliance Practice: The QPWB Advantage, Michael V. Favia, Of Counsel

Michael V. Favia and Michael V. Favia & Associates, P.C., are Of Counsel to Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A. (QPWB), the full-service business law firm with offices located in several U.S. states and overseas.[i] QPWB maintains a Dedicated Medicare Compliance Group and works with insurance carriers in connection with direct and indirect claims involving Medicare reimbursement. Because attorney Favia and the firm are Of Counsel to QPWB, the firm has access to the benefits of this advanced compliance practice group.

There are a variety of services QPWBs compliance group can offer to self-insured companies and insurance carriers with worker’s compensation and liability claims. How and when to pay claims and submit reimbursements to Medicare can be daunting when mistakes can result in bad faith claims and unanticipated economic losses.

The QPWB Dedicated Medicare Compliance Group can assume a variety of responsibilities for insurance clients, including without limitation, claim investigation, conditional payment negotiation, and funding submissions where future medical expenses are certain or likely. Because every client and claim is unique, the QPWB group uses a proprietary system to properly assess and manage each and every claim.

“The QPWB Advantage:

  • We address each claim on its own merits and not in a cookie cutter manner;
  • As attorneys, we act as advocates on behalf of our clients focusing on every factual, legal and medical argument to help develop strategies to reduce exposure;
  • We make realistic recommendations so that clients can make informed decisions and work towards understanding and resolving compliance issues in the most economical fashion;
  • The firm provides attorneys with decades of experience in counseling self-insured and insurance clients;
  • Decades of experience meeting with opposing parties and attending Administrative and Judicial pre-trials to address compliance issues.
  • We provide individualized attention to the needs of our clients, from the smallest matter to the largest.[ii]

In addition to direct claim management, QPWB works with external vendors and attorneys focused on primary payer issues, cost projections, medical arguments and claim settlements.

For more information about direct and indirect insurance claims and Medicare compliance, please contact Michael V. Favia & Associates, P.C.

About us: Michael V. Favia & Associates, P.C. is a health law and litigation firm in Chicago representing individuals, healthcare professionals and organizations with civil legal matters as well as professional licensing and regulation.

Chicago health law and litigation attorney Michael V. Favia and his associates in several locations and disciplines, advise and represent private individuals as well as healthcare professionals in all types of litigation and administrative matters involving licensing and regulatory agencies.

Michael V. Favia and Associates, P.C. represents individual physicians and health care organizations in the Chicago area with a variety of legal matters. With offices conveniently located in the Chicago Loop, Northwest side and suburban meeting locations, you can schedule a discrete meeting with an attorney at your convenience and discretion. Michael V. Favia & Associates is available at (773) 631-4580. Please visit www.favialawfirm.com and feel free to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” the firm on Twitter. You can also review endorsements and recommendations for Michael V. Favia on his Avvo.com profile and on LinkedIn.

 

[i] QPWB office locations are located in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Texas, and in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

[ii] See QPWB’s website for more information about the Dedicated Medicare Compliance Practice.

Advising and representing resident physicians facing discipline and program termination

Physicians must complete residency training, practicing medicine in a hospital or clinic under the supervision of an attending physician before being allowed to practice alone without direct or indirect immediate oversight. Many remember the television show, House M.D., staring Hugh Laurie, the attending physician who challenged resident doctors, some of whom, were terminated or simply quit under pressure. Without completing a residency program, these doctors are limited to supervised medical practice. Depending on the program, residency can last three to seven years. When a resident physician is terminated from their residency program, it can stop their career path in its tracks; a resident cannot easily jump into a new program like students can retake classes. Options can include packing up and walking away, or taking prudent steps to save their career in medicine. There are legal considerations for terminated residency program participants.

The best time to talk to an attorney is before you are removed from a hospital residency program.

There are many potential reasons a resident physician could be facing termination from their residency program. In most cases, the procedures involved in terminating a resident involve a hearing before the hospital disciplinary board. Preparing for that hearing and being represented by a healthcare attorney is absolutely necessary when your medical career is on the line. When there are options to appeal a negative hospital disciplinary board decision, the window of team for filing an appeal is usually very short.

Your attorney will likely ask you for a copy of any and all relevant hospital procedures manuals as well as your evaluations, personnel files, and credentialing information. If you are in a position where there will be a hearing with a disciplinary board and you do not have an attorney present, it is best not to sign anything. When answering questions, it can be detrimental to offer more information than necessary to answer simple questions. If you can, talk to an attorney before a hearing before a disciplinary board so you can be prepared. The information you provide at a disciplinary hearing becomes part of the record, something to consider if you plan to appeal an adverse decision.

The results of a disciplinary board investigation and hearing can include suspension, resignation or termination.

While a temporary suspension may be undesirable and inconvenient, your residency is in less jeopardy than being affected by other forms of discipline. The board may weigh allegations of infractions against overall performance and likelihood of future errant practice. The tone of a resident in their response to board inquiry is significant. In the event of a decision to terminate the resident from their program can be followed by an appeal. Winning an appeal of a board finding and decision can be challenging.

The board may offer the resident an option to voluntarily resign from the residency program. A voluntary withdrawal or resignation can be less detrimental when applying to a new residency program in another health system.

Contractual duties and obligations affecting hospital residents.

Most resident programs require participants to sign an agreement containing the terms and conditions of the residency program. Some may want to file a lawsuit against the hospital in connection with an adverse residency program decision. Within most agreements there are provisions for dispute resolution and it is likely there is a mandatory binding arbitration provision. The results of arbitration and the decision of the arbitrator is binding and can be very difficult to overturn with an appeal. Therefore, unless there is clear errant action by the hospital or board, a complaint against them may not only fail to lead you to your requested relief, it may be a negative experience you may have to explain in the future.

The advice and counsel of an experienced health care law and professional licensing attorney is important to any resident physician who may be called to defend their conduct and practice.

For various reasons stated in this article, there are appropriate times to prepare for a hospital residency investigation or review before an administrative or disciplinary board. With the benefit of many years’ experience in working with discipline, public and private organizations overseeing medical practice, Michael V. Favia & Associates, P.C. can advise and represent any resident physician or similar healthcare professional facing review or discipline by administrative agencies and hospital boards. The earlier a potential problem is addressed, the more likely it is that a positive resolution can be obtained through the proper navigation and participation in the administrative process.

About us: Michael V. Favia & Associates, P.C. is a health law and litigation firm in Chicago representing individuals, healthcare professionals and organizations with civil legal matters as well as professional licensing and regulation.

Chicago health law and litigation attorney Michael V. Favia and his associates in several locations and disciplines, advise and represent private individuals as well as healthcare professionals in all types of litigation and administrative matters involving licensing and regulatory agencies.

Michael V. Favia and Associates, P.C. represents individual physicians and health care organizations in the Chicago area with a variety of legal matters. With offices conveniently located in the Chicago Loop, Northwest side and suburban meeting locations, you can schedule a discrete meeting with an attorney at your convenience and discretion. Michael V. Favia & Associates is available at (773) 631-4580. Please visit www.favialawfirm.com and feel free to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” the firm on Twitter. You can also review endorsements and recommendations for Michael V. Favia on his Avvo.com profile and on LinkedIn.

 

Home health, the Illinois Elder Abuse and Neglect Act, reporting laws

One of the most difficult decisions we can face as adults is what to do when our parents can no longer take care of themselves and need professional healthcare and daily living assistance. In recent years, home healthcare is an option many pursue so mom or dad can stay home in the safety and comfort of their own environment. Residential home boarding facilities, are similar to licensed nursing homes and are also an option when the resident has more immediate health concerns and may require more attention. The State of Illinois Department on Aging mission statement is, “to serve and advocate for older Illinoisans and their caregivers by administering quality and culturally appropriate programs that promote partnerships and encourage independence, dignity, and quality of life.” [i] The state publishes a guide containing relevant laws and other resources for families of senior citizens, The Elder Abuse and Neglect Act and Related Laws.

About the Illinois Elder Abuse and Neglect Act

Abuse is defined by the Elder Abuse and Neglect Act (Act) as meaning, “causing any physical, mental or sexual injury to an eligible adult, including exploitation of such adult’s financial resources.” The Act covers eligible adults, defined as, “a person 60 years of age or older who resides in a domestic living situation and is, or is alleged to be, abused, neglected, or financially exploited by another individual or who neglects himself or herself.” The required domestic living situation is, “a residence where the eligible adult at the time of the report lives alone or with his or her family or a caregiver, or others, or a board and care home or other community-based unlicensed facility, but is not [a licensed Nursing Home, or other regulated facility as identified in the Act].[ii]

The focus of the Act, is the location of the elder resident, often at home or an unlicensed and unregulated board home or care facility outside the traditional nursing home system. The licensed nursing homes are covered under separate state laws which direct the reporting of elder abuse and neglect, but the residential and home health operations have no such laws, but for the Act which identifies people who are mandated reporters, to the authorities, of elder abuse and neglect at home or in a local residential boarding home, for example.

About mandated reporters and the elder abuse provider agencies

The Act identifies mandated reporters who are subject to legal liability if they fail to report incidents of elder abuse and neglect. These individuals are those who work professionally in the fields of social services, law enforcement, education, elder healthcare, and a list of occupations identified in different state laws regulating healthcare professions.[iii]

In the City of Chicago there are several elder abuse agencies to whom reports of abuse or neglect are made, and in Chicago they are organized by Zip Code. The Cook County list of agencies and those in other Illinois counties are listed in the Elder Abuse and Neglect book.

If one of the listed mandated reporters knows or has good reason to believe abuse or neglect is taking place, they are directed to make contact with a provider agency, meaning “any public or nonprofit agency in a planning and service area appointed by the regional administrative agency with prior approval by the Department on Aging to receive and assess reports of alleged or suspected abuse, neglect, or financial exploitation.[iv]

What can you do if you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected?

Whether you think you may be a mandated reporter, or you have reason to believe your elderly parent, relative or friend is being abused or neglected, you can certainly contact our health law and litigation firm to talk to an attorney who can tell you more about the reporting procedure and what legal rights if any you may have to take action, if it is necessary to protect the best interests of another in care.

We can also talk to you about your questions about liability if you are a mandated reporter and have questions or concerns about abuse or neglect cases that were reported or should have been reported and but were not reported, or were not reported timely.

Michael V. Favia & Associates, P.C. is a health law and litigation firm in Chicago representing individuals, healthcare professionals and organizations with civil legal matters as well as professional licensing and regulation. We frequently publish information and resources to help healthcare professionals and individual consumers more knowledgeable about news and occurrences in health.

Chicago health law and litigation attorney Michael V. Favia and his associates in several locations and disciplines, advise and represent private individuals as well as healthcare professionals in all types of litigation and administrative matters involving licensing and regulatory agencies.

Michael V. Favia and Associates, P.C. represents individual physicians and health care organizations in the Chicago area with a variety of legal matters. With offices conveniently located in the Chicago Loop, Northwest side and suburban meeting locations, you can schedule a discrete meeting with an attorney at your convenience and discretion. For more about Michael V. Favia & Associates, call us at (773) 631-4580, please visit www.favialawfirm.com and feel free to “Like” the firm on Facebook and “Follow” the firm on Twitter. You can also review endorsements and recommendations for Michael V. Favia on his Avvo.com profile and on LinkedIn.

 

[i] Illinois Department on Aging, About us

[ii] Elder Abuse and Neglect Act, definitions, 320 ILCS 20/2(a)-(e).

[iii] Elder Abuse and Neglect Act, mandated reporters, 320 ILCS 20/2(f-5).

[iv] Elder Abuse and Neglect Act, provider agency, 320 ILCS 20/2(h).

Image Source: http://www.illinois.gov/aging/Pages/default.aspx