New Jersey Releases Final Period of Registration for Surgical Practices

In early November 2014, the New Jersey Department of Health “NJDOH” and the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners (“NJBME”) sent a letter to every New Jersey licensed physician giving notice of the statutory requirement that every surgical practice in the state register with the NJDOH. The letter alerts physicians that the final registration period notice will be published in the New Jersey Registrar on November 17, 2014, and allows surgical practices sixty days from the publication date to register. Failure or inability for a practice to register by the extension period will result in a state requirement to cease operations.

Final Extension of New Jersey Prescription Blanks

The NJBME and the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs announced the final extension for physicians to commence use of the new prescription blanks. The final extension requires prescribers to be using the new blanks by November 2, 2014. The extension was made in light of some delays printing the blanks.

New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners Proposes Rule for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

The NJBME proposed a rule on October 6, 2014, that would require licensed podiatrists who provide hyperbaric oxygen therapy to receive educational training and be credentialed by a hospital before using hyperbaric oxygen therapy in that hospital. Further, the rule would require that hyperbaric oxygen therapy only be administered in a hospital setting where there are licensed physicians with relevant knowledge present at any time to address possible complications with the treatment.

New Jersey Pushes Bill to Allow for Reversion of Charitable Assets from For-Profit Hospital If Acquired by Nonprofit Hospital

New Jersey legislators pushed for a bill in October that would allow charitable assets set aside from the sale of a nonprofit hospital to a for-profit entity to be used by a nonprofit hospital in purchasing the for- profit hospital. The proposed bill would essentially allow for a reversion of charitable assets to a nonprofit hospital if it purchased a for-profit hospital that had such a charitable obligation set aside.

Hospital Prevails on Health Care Quality and Improvement Act in Discrimination Case

In a recent U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey opinion, Pal v. Jersey City Medical Center, a hospital was able to prevail in a discrimination action under the Health Care Quality and Improvement Act (“HCQIA”). The action was brought by a female doctor of Indian origin who alleged that the defendant, a New Jersey hospital, failed to accept her application for surgical privileges due to discrimination. The HCQIA provides hospitals immunity from money damages arising out of professional peer review actions when the professional review body meets the standards set forth in the HCQIA. Here, the plaintiff was suing for breach of contract and defamation, but failed to successfully disprove the reasonableness of HCQIA in connection with the review and denial of the plaintiff’s application for medical staff appointment and surgical privileges.