Physician Practice Roundup—OCR resolves complaint that doctor kept patient with disability off transplant list

Male doctor in white lab coat
The government has settled a complaint that a patient with an intellectual disability was denied placement on a heart transplant list. (Getty/Saklakova)

OCR resolves complaint doctor kept patient with disability off transplant list

Health officials settled a discrimination complaint against a hospital system that it had denied a patient with an intellectual disability placement on a heart transplant list.

The Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services announced it resolved the complaint against the University of North Carolina Health Care system, which was made after a staff doctor determined the patient was not a good candidate for a heart transplant because of their developmental learning disabilities and they did not live independently.

The health system agreed to amend the patient’s medical records to make it clear they are eligible to be considered for a spot on the transplant registry. “Every life is precious and no one should be blocked from access to an organ transplant because of stereotypes about persons with disabilities. It is also against the law,” said OCR Director Roger Severino. (HHS announcement)


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CVS tests new concept store with more space for healthcare services

CVS is testing out a new store design that creates more space for healthcare services and less for retail, according to USA Today.

The drug store chain is debuting three HealthHub locations in Houston testing a new concept store format. CVS is adding new space for CVS MinuteClinic nurse practitioners that can provide services such as phlebotomy, diabetic screening and sleep apnea assessment. (USA Today article)

Lawsuit filed by USC alumni alleges sexual misconduct by men’s health doctor

Six male graduates have filed a lawsuit alleging a doctor at USC’s student health clinic sexually abused them during appointments, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The students, who identify as gay or bisexual, accused Dennis Kelly, M.D., who retired last year after two decades at the campus clinic. The lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court against the doctor and the University of Southern California. Kelly denied the allegations of sexual battery and harassment.

The latest lawsuit comes on the heels of a proposed settlement filed in federal court Tuesday that will require USC to put procedures in place for identifying, preventing and reporting sexual abuse and racial misconduct, according to the Associated Press. That $215 million settlement was made after hundreds of students and alumni accused George Tyndall, M.D., a retired gynecologist at the health center, of committing sexual or inappropriate conduct during exams. Tyndall also denied those charges. (Los Angeles Times article, AP article)

HIMSS19: CMMI launching challenge competition to drive AI innovation

The federal government is launching a challenge competition to explore the use of artificial intelligence to predict health outcomes and improve health care delivery.

Adam Boehler, director of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation (CMMI)—the innovation arm of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services—said the federal agency is launching the Artificial Intelligence Health Outcomes Challenge.

The challenge, announced by Boehler during a media briefing at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's (HIMSS) annual conference and exhibition, is being launched in partnership with the American Academy of Family Physicians. (FierceHealthIT)

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