Posted in January 2012

Networking on Social Media Works

The 140:  Social networking has helped me grow professionally. 

The hash#:  #reachout.

As a former lawyer for a state agency, I never had to worry about bringing in business. It was there in spades. I had a good LinkedIn network, many Facebook friends and twitter followers. But meeting up with those folks was not something I had time for. It was frowned upon,  because it took away from the time you had to devote to tasks.
In the last few months, I reached out to many folks in my networks. I shared about myself and what I thought I could do to help them. I found out how they could help me. I asked for help I went to tweetups. I met twitter followers.  I sent notes to people expressing interest in their projects. I volunteered to guest post on their blogs. I started my own blog. And now I have a new opportunity, network members who are now new colleagues, and followers who are friends. And some Facebook friends are more deeply rooted in my life, adding value to my life every day. I am more confident in my networking and will gladly meet for lunch or coffee. So the key for me in adding value to my social network is to take it into the network of reality. Be bold. Say “let’s meet up” and have a fun and engaging time hearing about the person, the work they are doing and their mission in doing it. Brainstorm. As more professionals strike out on their own, you will be surprised at how open and responsive folks can be.

How do you feel about what you’ve read?  Leave a comment and enjoy your day.



Nurse’s Case Against ARRA Thrown Out Again

The 140: Nurses#ARRA-based federal case against HHS dismissed again…#meaningfuluse didn’t prove her case.

The hash: #dismissed

On June 25, 2009, Plaintiffs Beatrice M. Heghmann and Robert A. Heghmann filed a lawsuit against Defendant Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary, Department of Health and Human services alleging constitutional violations in connection with the health care provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the “Stimulus Act”),  (2009).     Ms. Heghmann’s husband served as her attorney.   Specifically, Ms. Heghman alleged that provisions of ARRA violation provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

The complaint alleged that the electronic health record system being developed utilizing federal dollars would undermine patient privacy.  The aspirational goal set forth in ARRA that every person in America possess an electronic health record by 2014 also concerned Plaintiff because she believed there was insufficient assurance that patient could maintain control over who could access their health information. She alleged that she and other could potentially suffer harm if their protected health information was inappropriately disclosed.

The Court granted HHS’s Motion to Dismiss on May 13, 2010, on the grounds that Plaintiffs lacked standing to bring this lawsuit. Judgment was entered for the Defendant on May 24, 2010. On June 2, 2010, Plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal to the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. On March 11, 2011, and after appellate briefing had begun, Plaintiffs stipulated to dismissal of their appeal. On May 4, 2011 , Plaintiffs filed a motion for relief from judgment under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,  asking the Court to vacate its order of dismissal. Specifically, Plaintiffs argue that the Final Rule promulgated on July 2 8, 2010 by the Department of Health and Human Services (“Final Rule”) under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (“HITECH Act”), Title XIII of Division A and Title IV of Division B of the Stimulus Act, refutes the Court’s previous conclusions that (1) the policies and incentives authorized by the HITECH Act are voluntary, and (2) Plaintiffs failed to establish that they would suffer a direct injury-in fact sufficient to confer standing.  The rule pointed to by Plaintiff was the long awaited rule defining “meaningful use” of electronic health records.  This federal rule sets specific objectives that eligible professionals  and hospitals must achieve to qualify for federal incentive payments authorized in ARRA.  Plaintiffs’ motion was denied by the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on January 3, 2012.

This case highlights the concern many patients have about the privacy of their most personal information in the world of HITECH.  They wonder how or if they can opt out of electronic sharing of their health information.  Practitioners may wonder how they would deliver care to a patient who did not want their information exchanged in electronic form

For now, this particular case appers to have reached a conclusion.


S.D.N.Y.,2012. Heghmann v. Sebelius Slip Copy,(S.D.N.Y.)
1:09cv05880 (Docket) (Jun. 25, 2009)


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