Last year I posted a story about Music National Service.  My bro-in-law, Kiff Gallagher, runs it.  Tonight PBS News Hour featured MNS and Kiff in reporting about how music as therapy can assist those with brain damage and other issues.  To me, it’s obvious that music can offer therapeutic benefits, and that our hospitals and even physicians’ offices should consider incorporating music into their therapy protocols.  Think about it, music offers our brains so much.  Why do we respond to it?  It is so many things – soothing, interesting, captivating, attention-grabbing, even mathematic!


Tonight’s PBS News Hour story focused, in part, on young people with muscular dystrophy and other difficult diseases, and touched upon how these young people respond, in their own way and on their own time, to music.  The bottom line is that music works to stimulate (for lack of a better word) the brain in unique ways, allowing the brain “access” to music produces beneficial results.


Music National Service is the one national organization that I know of that is placing musicians into hospitals, VA’s, and schools to jump start this all-important “access” to music.  MSN is doing what needs to be done to stimulate those complicated neurons and synapses that make us unique among animals.


There is nothing as annoying as a series of acronyms for the uninitiated, and one of my goals with this blog is to avoid them.

But in the area of U.S. health care policy and regulation that is a hard, maybe even Sisyphean task.  The following may provide a glimpse as to why:

The U.S. Office of Civil Rights (OCR) announced last year that KPGM would commence audits of covered entities (hospitals and physicians and others who handle Protected Health Information (PHI)).  These audits, called Health Information Portability and Protection Act (HIPAA) audits, have just started.  KPGM already has conducted 20 of these audits, and many more are on the way.  “Covered entities” are well versed in the HIPAA Privacy Rule’s requirements, but as a result of a new law from 2009, the HITECH Act  outside companies that work with covered entities (such as computer storage firms),”business associates,” now also must comply with these rules, and are subject to the same liability as hospitals and physicians for improper disclosure of PHI.  Let’s see what these audits reveal.

23. February 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Health Law · Tags: ,

I wrote back at the end of December about a decision by the U.S. Federal Court to allow “interested parties” to sue the state of California for cuts to Medi-Cal.  Well, today the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it would not reverse the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, and sent the case back.  In other words, those “interested parties” may now have the opportunity to litigate how such cuts will affect the populations they serve.  Put another way, the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling opens the door for the argument that state budgetary problems cannot necessarily translate into cuts in Medicaid heatlh care services.