2 Medicolegal News 1 (1974)

handle is hein.journals/medeth2 and id is 1 raw text is: medicolegal news
A publication of the American Society
of Law & Medicine, Inc.
continuing medicolegal education

January 1974

NEWS FROM      THE SOCIETY- New Developments
in Hospital Law

With this edition, MEDICOLE-
GAL NEWS Is being launched on
a regular quarterly basis to be
sent without charge to members
of the AMERICAN SOCIETY OF
LAW AND MEDICINE, INC. and
available to others at $10.00 per
annual subscription.
The inaugural Issue of MEDICO-
LEGAL NEWS has been distribu-
ted to more than 25,000 persons
and organizations believed to be
Interested In the programs of the
AMERICAN SOCIETY OF LAW &
MEDICINE, INC. The response of
readers and of those who have
seen notices about our Society in
other medical, paramedical, legal
and insurance periodicals has far
exceeded our expectations. New
members are daily being added
to our ranks as leading phy-
sicians, attorneys, jurists, insur-
ance personnel, nonphysician
health-care providers, educators
and others interested in medico-
legal problems express support
of our programs, projects and
goals by written comment and
completed membership applica-
tions. We now boast members
from almost every state in the
country, from Canada and as far
overseas as Israel. Regional
activities and local membership
programs of the Society are
being promoted under the impe-
tus of many inspired members
such as Attorney Lawrence Smith
of New Orleans and Attorney
Myron W. Kronisch of Newark,
New Jersey.
Approved by the Executive
Committee on October 13, 1973,
and by the general membership
at a duly called meeting on
December 5, 1973, additions and
amendments to the Society's By-
Laws and Constitution now
enable better and more efficient
government and organization.
The Council Is to be increased
to fifty members to allow broader
and Increased representation.

Ten members-at-large will be
elected annually by the general
membership. Ten members will
represent the field of medicine,
ten the field of law, five the Judi-
ciary, five the field of Insurance,
five the field of education and
five nonphysIclan health-care
providers. The special category
Council members will be elected
by vote of members of the cate-
gory in which they have pre-
viously Indicated as their primary
area of interest.
The Officers of the Society will
be elected by the newly-elected
Council who will convene for this
purpose at the time of the
Annual Meeting.
The new By-Laws also allow
enrollment of insurers arid other
corporate entitles as sponsor,
nonvoting members to provide
financial support needed to
accomplish Society goals and
projects.
The Second Annual Symposium
on Medicolegal Evaluation of
Disability of the AMERICAN
SOCIETY OF LAW AND MEDI-
CINE, INC. was held In Boston
on Wednesday, December 5,
1973. The program, presented
with the cooperation of the
Massachusetts Medical Society's
Orthopedic Section, was a re-
sounding success with record
attendance.
In continuation of this series,
the Third Annual Symposium on
Medicolegal Evaluation of Dis-
ability will be devoted to the
many problems arising In cases
of pulmonary disorders, particu-
larly when of occupational origin.
The program will be under the
direction of Dr. Howard A. Frank,
Clinical Professor of Surgery,
Harvard ,Mledical School, with the
asslstanc6 of Dr. Edward A.
Gaensler, Professor of Surgery,
Boston  University  Medical
School, and Dr. Thomas L.
Delbanco, consultant In Thoracic
(continued p. 7)

The Hilt-Burton Act and Delivery
of Uncompensated Medical Ser-
vices - A Brief Analysis of the
Federal Regulation
by Francis H. Miller, J.D.
Adjunct Professor of Law
Boston University School of Law
When the Hospital Construction
and Survey Act of 19461, more
popularly known as the Hill-
Burton Act, was passed by Con-
gress, facilities receiving federal
funding were required to assure
that they would provide a rea-
sonable volume of services to
persons unable to pay therefor. 2
The general legislative intent was
that this requirement would help
provide access to medical care to
a segment of the population that
had hitherto been denied care or
had been reluctant to seek It be-
cause of lack of financial re-
sources.3 However, what consti-
tuted a reasonable volume of
uncompensated services was not
spelled out in the Act, and the
regulation originally designed to
Implement the requirement 4 was
hardly more specific.
As became Increasingly appar-
ent throughout the next two and
one-half decades, many hospitals
treated the statutory mandate to
deliver uncompensated services
as mere surplusage. If they were
required to account at all for the
volume of uncompensated care
provided, they simply wrote off
their bad debts for the year as
Hill-Burton qualifying services.
This was usually a fairly impres-
sive figure, but not what the
drafters of the statute had In
mind.
In the early 1970's a series of
lawsuits  alleged that certain
facilities constructed or renova-
ted with federal funds under the
Act had consistently refused to
honor their commitment to dis-
burse free or below-cost service.
A most Important aspect of six
of these seven lawsuits was that
(continued P. 4)

' American b ioety of Law and Medicine

Vol 2, No. 1

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