The Health Care Law Section has been very active and productive during the past year thanks to the volunteer efforts of many Council and Section members. The Section sponsored numerous educational seminars, roundtable discussions, and special projects for members and non-members. The Section's principal activities during the 2000-2001 program year included the following:
- In December, the Payors Subcommittee sponsored the Managed Care Contracting Symposium in Brighton. Anthony Stasunas of General Motors, Philip Stoffan, Eric Wexler, and Steven Heacock spoke about managed care contracting issues from the employers', providers' and payors' perspectives. Philip Stoffan and Steven Heacock organized the Symposium.
- The Section participated with health lawyers organizations in other states to prepare and submit an amicus curiae brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of a petition for review in the U.S. v. McClatchey case. Gerald Griffith coordinated the amicus brief on behalf of the Section.
- On February 15, the Providers and Payors Subcommittees hosted the annual Legislative Update in Lansing. The Hon. Dale Sugars, chair of the Senate's Health Policy Committee, Colin Ford, manager of Government Relations of the Michigan State Medical Society, Gene Farnum, executive director of the Michigan Association of Health Plans, and Amy Barkholz, senior director of Regulatory Issues of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association discussed pending and upcoming health care related legislation. David Rogers organized the Legislative Update.
- A February 20 HMO roundtable discussion concerning the new HMO statutes was well attended by health care attorneys who represent HMOs and providers. The roundtable discussion was held at Care Choices HMO offices. Joe Aoun, Nancy Lukey, and Kathrin Kudner planned the roundtable discussion.
- In March, the Section co-sponsored the Seventh Annual ICLE Health Care Law Institute. The Institute offered educational presentations and networking opportunities for Section members and other members of the State Bar. Attendance at the Institute continues to grow each year. Alan Gilchrist, Margaret Marchak, Gregory Drutchas, and Nancy Lukey participated in the program committee.
- On March 15, the Section co-sponsored the 2nd Annual MEBC Pension & Benefits Workshop at the Renaissance Club in Detroit. Alan S. Goldberg was the luncheon speaker and spoke on current HIPAA issues. Three workshops followed the luncheon.
- A Stark II roundtable discussion was held in Lansing and Bingham Farms on April 3. Gerald Griffith and Lynn Kriser led an informal discussion of the complex Stark II regulations and their potential effect on Michigan providers. Section members had the opportunity to informally discuss the TBOR2 regulations at a roundtable conference facilitated by Gerald Griffith and Lynn Kriser in Lansing and Bingham Farms on April 10.
- The Payors and Providers Subcommittees sponsored the Alternative Dispute Resolution Symposium on the University of Michigan campus on May 1. Distinguished speakers were Edward Dauer of the University of Denver College of Law, Mary Bedikian of the American Arbitration Association, Peter Leibold of the American Health Lawyers Association and John Sier of Kitch Drutchas Wagner DeNardis & Valitutti. Donna Craig was moderator. Donna Craig, Amy Broman, and Lisa Panah planned the Symposium.
- A roundtable discussion regarding the Blue Cross and Blue Shield hospital participation agreement was held on June 13 in Bingham Farms. Joan Lowes, assistant general counsel of Blue Cross and Blue Shield spoke about the hospital participation agreement and Section members had the opportunity to comment upon and ask questions about the agreement.
- On July 26, the Section co-sponsored with the Michigan State Medical Society a regulatory update seminar for physicians and attorneys entitled, 2001: A Regulatory Odyssey. Speakers addressed the HIPAA and Stark II regulations, particularly as they affect physicians and medical practices. Speakers included Robert Tennant of the Medical Group Management Association, Cynthia Wisner of Care Choices HMO, and Agnes Haggerty, vice president and legal counsel of Trinity Health Plans. Michelle Ridley, Thomas Sparks, Arthur DeVaux, Gary McRay, and Nancy Lukey were members of the program committee for the seminar.
- A Section workgroup chaired by Joy Berent is analyzing the impact of HIPAA on Michigan health care providers, payors and consumers and plans on developing model forms which would comply with HIPAA and state law privacy requirements.
- A Section workgroup is preparing a reference manual for state and federal fraud and abuse laws. David Haron and Keith Soltis are co-chairs of the workgroup in which several attorneys throughout Michigan participate by the internet.
- A workgroup is exploring pro bono activities which the Section may wish to initiate. The workgroup is considering educational programs, partnerships with community service organizations, and assisting individual health care consumers and health care professionals in administrative proceedings. Monica Wilkinson, John Blanchard, Howard Marderosian, Katherine Kudner, Colleen McClorey, and Nancy Lukey are participating in the workgroup.
- At the beginning of June, the Section submitted comments to HCFA regarding the Stark II regulations. A Section workgroup composed of Maria Abrahamsen (chairperson), Leslie Wizner, Laura Napiewocki, and Robert Schwartz analyzed the extensive regulations and prepared comments addressing issues of general concern to Michigan health law attorneys.
- The Section published the sixth annual Year in Review in August. The annual publication summarizes court opinions, legislation, regulations, and attorney general opinions regarding health care law related issues. Gregory Drutchas edited the Year in Review.
- The Section plans to publish an update to the Health Care Records Retention Manual in the fall of 2001 and will make the update available at no charge to all Section members. Gary McRay coordinated and edited the Update. The Health Care Records Retention Manual was originally published in 1996.
- Planning for a Section directory is underway by a workgroup co-chaired by Gerald Griffith and Gregory Drutchas. The Section plans to begin collecting data for the directory in November 2001 and publish the directory at the beginning of 2002.
- The Section is creating an interactive listserve which will allow Section members to exchange thoughts and concerns regarding health law issues. Richard Bouma will moderate the listserve.
- The Section's annual meeting will be held in Lansing on September 13 at 9:30 a.m. The Section is looking forward to a presentation by Professor Raymond Nimmer of the University of Houston Law Center regarding e-commerce in the health care industry. Colleen McClorey planned the annual meeting program.
I am grateful to all Council members for creating, planning and participating in Section activities during the 2000-2001 program year. Also, several other Section members spent (and continue to spend) hours on special Section projects to benefit their fellow health care attorneys and to allow the Section to continue to thrive. I thank them for their fine work.
Nancy L. Lukey, Chair