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A doctor shortage looms. Government is using the False Claims Act against bad care. And major hospitals were just hit with suits over nurses’ pay. So it’s no surprise that hospital counsel should insure against high legal bills.
A Doc in the House? A shortage of doctors is surging toward us, and policy-makers must pay attention immediately. It would be a painful irony if our elected representatives succeeded in providing our seniors access to prescription drugs while watching the number of physicians � those whose medical judgment we need for our prescriptions � decline to crisis proportion. by Michael M. GabaBig Bills for Bad Care Maintaining high-quality care in nursing homes is a vital yet difficult task. To help achieve it, the government has relied upon the federal False Claims Act in lawsuits against nursing homes that provide substandard care. This new tactic is controversial. by Sidney Rocke and Stuart SilvermanCourting the Nurses In its latest attack on corporations, the Service Employees International Union filed four class actions in late June against health care systems in Chicago; San Antonio; Albany, N.Y.; and Memphis, Tenn. A close analysis of these lawsuits reveals the union is using these suits as an organizing tool to try to get more registered nurses to join. by K. Bruce Stickler and Robert W. McCannWho Pays Legal Fees? On June 27 a federal district court struck down the Department of Justice’s efforts to cut off the corporate advancement of attorney fees to former KPMG employees. But in-house lawyers, including those at private and nonprofit entities such as hospitals, should not relax quite yet. by Susan F. Friedman and Hope S. Foster

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