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Medicine & the Law

OSHA’s new bloodborne pathogen regs

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been busy issuing regulations, compliance directives and guidance surrounding two separate issues: new requirements aimed at preventing needlestick injuries and revised regulations dealing with recordkeeping of workplace injuries and illnesses. OSHA's latest compliance directive clarifies how these separate initiatives will interact, and physicians in private practice will be substantially affected.

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Justice Dept. OKs third party messenger model

A proposed consent decree filed by the Department of Justice has further validated the use of the third-party messenger model as a means of collectively dealing with managed care contracting while avoiding antitrust scrutiny. The messenger model will come under scrutiny when it is used principally to strengthen the bargaining power of physician group participants, but it may be used appropriately to facilitate information exchange between plans and physicians, thereby enhancing the negotiation process by independent groups.

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Structuring physician-chiropractor relationships

By working together, physicians can add valuable expertise to their practices, share their administrative burdens and limit the necessity of outside patient referrals, lowering their costs and expanding their revenue. Like most new endeavors, however, the decision of whether and how MDs, DOs and DCs should enter into multidisciplinary practices is ripe with legal aspects that must be carefully considered.

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