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Farah & Farah e-newsletter: October 2012

In This Issue


Healthcare Consumers Right to Information Act

This law went into effect January 1, 2009 to provide the health care consumers with reliable and understandable information about health care charges. This bill requires health care providers such as hospitals and surgery centers to furnish to uninsured patients a reasonable estimate of charges for any planned non-emergency medical service and to provide information on the facilities discount or charity policies for which the uninsured patient may be eligible. Information of the charges must be provided within seven days after the person notifies the facility and the facility confirms that the person is uninsured. If the facility fails to provide the estimate information, they will be subject to a $500.00 fine for every time the facility fails to do so. The agency for health care administration must publish on its website undiscounted charges or no fewer than 150 of the most commonly performed adult and pediatric procedures.

You as a consumer now have information that allows you to negotiate with your healthcare provider and your health care facility what you are willing to pay for the surgery or procedure. It is not uncommon for health care providers and health care facilities to reduce fees and charges for someone who is uninsured and has the cash to pay up front for the surgery or procedure. Having the average price of that particular procedure is a good starting point of the negotiation.

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Does Every Contract have to be in Writing to be Enforceable?

Some contracts don’t have to be in writing to be legally enforceable. However, in Florida there is a rule referred to as the “The Statue of Frauds” that requires that some contracts must be in writing and signed to be valid. Under Florida law, contracts involving goods priced at $500 or more promise to pay the debt of another. Promises that can’t be fulfilled within one year must be written and signed to be valid. Additionally, some solicitation sales, home improvement contracts, contracts concerning an interest in land, health care guarantees, and newspaper subscriptions must be written and signed.

Otherwise, a verbal contract may be an enforceable contract in Florida. Although a verbal contract may be enforceable, there are almost always problems of trying to prove the terms of the agreement. If you are trying to sue on a verbal contract, you have the burden of proof, which means you must prove your version of the contract by the greater weight of the evidence which is more than 560%. If the judge or jury doesn’t believe you proved your version of the contract by more than 560%, you will lose. When it comes to proving the terms and conditions on a verbal contract, you should be able to use other written evidence to confirm and prove your version of the contract.

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Can Caffeine help you Sober up After Drinking Alcoholic Beverages?

Studies have shown that ingesting caffeine can increase alertness and performance. It would seem logical that caffeine would be the perfect antidote to alcohol. In fact, there is some evidence suggesting that caffeine can reverse some of the adverse performance effects of alcohol, especially in people who have ingested only a small amount of alcohol. However, there is no evidence that caffeine can reverse the effects of alcohol in an intoxicated individual. Caffeine does not appear to neutralize other negative effects of alcohol intoxication, including increased risk-taking and impaired judgment.

Although caffeine can make you feel less intoxicated, it will not reverse the detrimental effects of alcohol. Do no assume that coffee or any caffeinated energy drink will improve your driving if you have been drinking. You may feel less intoxicated, but, the detrimental effect of alcohol on your driving is still very present.

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Watch out for Those Full Body Scans

In the last several years, I have seen ads in newspapers and magazines advertising a full body CT scan. Although this procedure is not typically covered by insurance companies, many people feel it is worth the money because it provides them with peace of mind that they are not suffering from any serious health care conditions. The CAT scan delivers radiation from just below the chin to just below the hips. The machine fires x-ray beams from different directions providing 3D images of the organs. In fact, the patient is receiving multiple x-rays. The dose of radiation can be hundreds of times greater than the dose from a conventional x-ray.

Although you may think that this scan is providing you with a clean bill of health, the American Medical Association is not recommending these scans due to the fact that these full body scans can produce false positives, which can result in painful and expensive biopsies. They also can produce false negatives because even though they are in 3D, the quality of the resolution is not as high when the images are ordered for a specific reason. As a result, some of the physical problems can’t be picked up, lulling the patient into a false sense of security. Also, any potential gain must be offset by the risks of radiation.

Although you may think that this scan is providing you with a clean bill of health, the American Medical Association is not recommending these scans due to the fact that these full body scans can produce false positives, which can result in painful and expensive biopsies. They also can produce false negatives because even though they are in 3D, the quality of the resolution is not as high when the images are ordered for a specific reason. As a result, some of the physical problems can’t be picked up, lulling the patient into a false sense of security. Also, any potential gain must be offset by the risks of radiation.

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More Information

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Jacksonville Florida 32202
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The attorneys of Farah & Farah in Jacksonville, Florida have experience with personal injury, medical malpractice, product liability, workers’ compensation, social security, injury and negligence lawsuits. Eddie Farah and our team of Jacksonville attorneys are proud to represent working people and families throughout the country.

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