Kimberly Bocell is a former registered nurse whose law practice is focused on assisting healthcare providers in all facets of health law, including defending health care providers in medical practice litigation and in front of their respective professional boards, as well as assisting with practice issues, business disputes, HIPAA compliance and a host of other health law areas. Bocell graduated from Texas Christian University's Harris College of Nursing in 1998 and earned her J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 2003.

Anatomy of a Lawsuit Part IV: Learn the Jury Trial, the Soul of the Case

Only a small fraction of healthcare liability lawsuits end up being full-blown medical malpractice trials, but it is critical to know the process in case you are ever faced with defending yourself in court. Most medical malpractice cases reach the trial stage only after months, and sometimes years, of legal maneuvering on both sides. There are depositions, the identification of experts, and mediation. Some cases are settled quickly; others are dismissed outright based on the court’s determination. Full Story

Anatomy of a Lawsuit Part II: Experts, Mediation, And Other Relevant Factors

My last blog installment, “Anatomy of a Lawsuit,” addressed the first part of the litigation process: initiation of the lawsuit, filing your answer, the 120-day expert requirement, written discovery, and depositions of the parties and fact witnesses. This blog entry picks up where we left off, addressing experts (designation and depositions), mediation, and other factors that will play into your case. The third, and final, entry will address dispositive motions and other motions impacting the outcome of your case, and the trial process. Experts: The “Heart” of your case Aside from preparing for and giving your deposition testimony, the most… Full Story

Maintaining A Work-Life Balance In Your Healthcare Career

While considering topics for my latest blog entry, I found my eyes wandering to the photographs on my desk of my two boys – 3-years-old and 5-months-old. I began to think about one important topic that sometimes goes under-discussed in professional-type publications: maintaining a good work-life balance. Full Story

Ten Commandments For Malpractice Depositions

Giving a deposition probably ranks up there with root canals on the list of activities people least enjoy. Depositions can be especially stressful for physicians and other healthcare providers who would rather be doing what they’re trained for—caring for patients. Still, more than 1,000 federal medical malpractice cases were filed last year in the United States, and the vast majority involved numerous depositions. These depositions aren’t taken just of the defendant-healthcare provider; often other healthcare staff and medical experts have the unenviable assignment of being deposed, too. If you are one of the “lucky” ones, consider these Ten Commandments to… Full Story

Scrutinize Medicare, Medicaid Billing Before Uncle Sam Does

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder recently announced a crackdown against false medical billing with the arrest of 89 people from Miami to Los Angeles (including Houston) on charges of defrauding the government to the tune of approximately $223 million. Experts estimate that fraud, waste and billing abuses cost U.S. taxpayers 3 to 10 percent (between $30 billion and $100 billion annually) of all Medicare and Medicaid spending. Those arrests are part of a six-year, $250-million effort to stop Medicare and Medicaid fraud and abuse. To say federal prosecutors are casting a wary eye toward government medical bills is an understatement. Most… Full Story

Facebook and Your Medical Practice: Making ‘Friends’ with Social Media

Though the medical community has been slow to adopt social media as part of its business model—and possibly for good reason—social media is here to stay as the new medium of communication. While there are certainly pitfalls associated with healthcare providers’ use of social media, the fact remains that Facebook, Twitter, and other outlets can be effective tools to promote your practice, disseminate information, and share ideas. Social media should not, however, be used by healthcare providers to communicate directly with patients, provide medical advice, promote products, or warrant outcomes. Further, physicians and other healthcare providers need to be cognizant… Full Story

Ensuring Your Patients Know the Risks Before a Procedure

We’ve already discussed the importance of obtaining legal permission from patients before performing any medical procedure. Now we’re going to tackle a tougher topic along the same lines: ensuring that your patient is aware of the risks inherent to the procedure he or she is considering. Know “List A” The Texas Medical Disclosure Panel (Part 7, Chapter 601 of the Texas Administrative Code) dictates what specific risks must be discussed to provide adequate informed consent under the law for certain procedures. Most physicians and health care providers have heard of “List A procedures.” For example, one common List A procedure—epidural… Full Story