D Healthcare Daily’s Most Read Expert Opinions Of 2014

Each week, D Healthcare Daily posts an opinion column written by our stable of expert contributors. Here are the most popular from 2014:

1. Can a HIPAA Violation Give Rise to a Private Cause of Action? By Edward Vishnevetsky

Enacted in 1996, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires covered entities to maintain the confidentiality of patients’ medical records and other protected health information.

If an entity violates HIPAA, the Department of Health and Human Services may impose a civil or criminal penalty against the violator. But what if the HIPAA violation causes calculable harm? Can a person or entity sue for a HIPAA violation?

Generally, no. HIPAA does not give a person or entity the right to file a lawsuit based on a HIPAA violation. However, recent cases may offer a new twist on an old rule.

2. Doug Hawthorne Looks Back, and to the Future: By Doug Hawthorne

For 43 years, my family and I have been blessed to serve Texas Health Resources. This has been an amazing journey and one for which I am extremely grateful. After much prayer and discernment—and with the blessing of the Board of Trustees—Martha and I have decided that it is time for us to spend more time with our children and grandchildren. We will also devote more time to serving the community in areas that are close to our hearts. I have provided the Texas Health Resources Board of Trustees with notice of my intent to step down as CEO at the end of 2014. I will be working closely with the Board as they identify and name a successor.

I am stepping down as CEO but I am not stepping out of the fight to improve the health of the people of North Texas.

3. Maintaining a Work-Life Balance In Your Healthcare Career: By Kimberly K. Bocell

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.

Most of my blog posts have addressed more technical, if not controversial, healthcare legal issues. So I have chosen to write this one from a more personal, motherly perspective.

4. Baylor Scott & White Health Turns One Year Old: By Joel Allison

I am often asked why Baylor Health Care System and Scott & White Healthcare merged in 2013.

Like many big ideas, it had simple beginnings. Believe it or not, it actually began with a discussion over breakfast that eventually led to the board approving the merger.

Dr. Bob Pryor, now the president, chief operating officer and chief medical officer of Baylor Scott & White Health, and I began talking before a Healthcare Coalition of Texas board meeting one morning a few years back about the similarities between our two organizations.

We realized that we shared like-minded missions, values and visions for the future of health care in the communities we served. And we believed together, we would be better positioned to achieve improved health care for Texas and beyond. Now, one year after the close of the largest hospital system merger in Texas history, we can take our first look back on what we promised and what we have so far achieved.

5. You’re Facing The Texas Medical Board. Now What? By Kimberly K. Bocell

The Texas Medical Board has seen patient complaints nearly double during the past 10 years, and such complaints are as anxiety-inducing as lawsuits, if not more. The source of the Board’s increased scrutiny likely can be found in the complainants’ disagreement with tort reform measures and the cap placed on non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits.

Whatever the cause, Texas physicians are finding themselves before the TMB more frequently, facing actions that could significantly impact their medical careers.

Posted in News.