An Epistle from Procrustes: Putting Doctors on the Iron Bed

My dearest Alexander (whose name means “ruler of men”): I have been referred to you by one of the most infamous Masters of the Universe, Caligula. By way of introduction, my name is Procrustes, the son of Poseidon and a robber-king in my own right. In mortality I was known to some as “The Subduer” and to others as “The Stretcher”; the first title acknowledges my domination of men, the latter describes the means I employed to achieve it – a method I am happy to share with you. MY STORY As … [Read more...]


News Flashes The Texas Medical Foundation Posted December 6, 2004 Employment Law Update: Job Protection for Returning Military; New DOL Forms Available; and the Flu Shots Shortage Posted November 16, 2004 Don't Forget To Shred, Burn, Smash and Otherwise Pulverize the Trash� Posted June 1, 2005 Paying Nurse Practitioners or Physician Assistants Hourly? Then Be Ready To Pay Time-and-a-Half Overtime Posted June 1, 2005 News Flashes Archive Articles From the … [Read more...]

Sue Bob’s Diary: Adventures in HIPAA Land Part 1: The Doctor’s Appointment

Applies to all facilities and covered entities Posted October 1, 2002 By Jerri Lynn Ward, J.D., Garlo Ward, P.C. I pulled into Dr. Eberhardt's parking lot on a hot, steamy Texas Hill Country day in August. As I got out of the car, I could see the heat shimmering up from the parking lot. For weeks, I had been complaining to everyone I knew about a pain in my hip. Finally, my office manager sat me down and said, "Suzanne Roberta Moeckle! You get on the phone right now and call your … [Read more...]

Sue Bob’s Diary: Adventures in HIPAA Land Part 3: A Visit to the Nursing Home, Chapter 1

Applies to all facilities and covered entities Posted November 6, 2002 By Jerri Lynn Ward, J.D., Garlo Ward, P.C. I walked up the sidewalk to Serendipity Village Rest Home to visit my grandparents. One advantage of having lived in the same small town where my folks and their folks grew up was that all of my grandparents got to live in the same rest home. Their lives at Serendipity were one seamless continuation of their lives in the town. As I walked up to the door, I saw a man walk … [Read more...]

Sue Bob’s Diary: Adventures in HIPAA Land Part 4: The Storm

Applies to all facilities and covered entities Posted December 5, 2002 By Jerri Lynn Ward, J.D., Garlo Ward, P.C. I walked into the Serendipity Nursing Home. It was 6 pm on a dark, cold and drizzly Saturday evening in November. I was dateless as usual on this Saturday night (but that's a story for another time), so I had decided to come visit all my grandparents and to put on one of my occasional "film festivals" for the residents of the Serendipity. Mr. Heiligenthal, WWII veteran … [Read more...]

Sue Bob’s Diary: Why HIPAA is like Duck Poop (Do you go by State or Federal Law?)

Applies to all facilities and covered entities Posted January 2, 2003 By Jerri Lynn Ward, J.D., Garlo Ward, P.C. It was a crisply cool and sunny Saturday morning and there I was in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart in our little Texas Hill Country town. Wal-Mart is the closest thing we have to a mall, and along with the Dairy Queen, it is one of the social centers of the town. Our little town doesn't have a Starbucks, so Wal-Mart is where the men of the town gather to have coffee on … [Read more...]

Sue Bob’s Diary: Texas Supreme Court Incites People To “Channel While Dressed Like Tinkerbell”: Another Litigation Floodgate Opens

Applies to ICF-MR's and covered entities Posted January 31, 2003 By Jerri Lynn Ward, J.D., Garlo Ward, P.C. I was taking my daily walk in the neighborhood when I saw a familiar person standing on the sidewalk a block away. I walked up and saw that it was Lucas Pahl. Lucas is the QMRP for several ICF-MR's in our little town and surrounding towns in the Hill Country. Lucas is about my age. He can truthfully be described as tall, dark and extremely handsome. Of course, when he … [Read more...]

Sue Bob’s Diary: Adventures in HIPAA Land: It’s Heeeerrrre!!!

By Jerri Lynn Ward with Commentary by Hugh Barton Posted April 18, 2003 It's April 14 and I had been tearing my hair out over my tax return, so I decided to take a break and go visit Fred Quinn in the hospital and my grandparents at the Serendipity Village Rest Home. I cleaned up and got in my car and headed over to the hospital. Fred Quinn is our little town's florist. He's in the hospital for surgery on those pesky hemorrhoids he's had trouble with for years. I knew about them because … [Read more...]

Sue Bob’s Diary: Soap Opera at the Serendipity (Bad Faith Complaints)

By Jerri Lynn Ward, J.D. Posted June 5, 2003 Today, I was in the produce department at the local HEB Pantry Store trying to open one of those stupid, plastic, impossible-to-open produce bags. I was almost to the point of tearing into it with my teeth when I saw Sam Hershey, the Administrator at the Serendipity Rest Home. Sam has been Administrator at the Serendipity since 1995. Prior to that, he was in the Marines for 20 years. In 2000, he became the owner of the Serendipity because he … [Read more...]

Alert to Nursing Homes and Other Providers of Potential Sanctions and Penalties Under the Medicaid Fraud Prevention Act

In September of 1995, the Texas Medicaid Fraud Prevention Act, as enacted by the 74th Texas Legislature, went into effect. The Act, found in Chapter 36 of the Texas Human Resources Code,seeks to address and punish those individuals and entities, participating in the Medicaid program, found to have defrauded the State Medicaid program. The greatest potential ramifications may apply especially to nursing homes, assisted living facilities, intermediate care facilities for the mentally retarded … [Read more...]