The recent Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v. Wade has and will continue to have an important impact on clinicians across this country. We expect clinicians will be faced with new clinical situations and evolving legal and ethical decisions for quite some time.
Please visit this webpage on a regular basis to learn about updates that may affect the state where you practice.
Have questions or need additional guidance?
Email the legal inbox at DobbsQuestions@envisionhealth.com.
1. Clinicians should continue to prioritize appropriate patient care by adhering to commonly understood Medical Standards of Care consistent with applicable law.
We encourage clinicians to familiarize themselves with the laws of the state(s) in which they practice. In the case where a clinician may be concerned about the potential for conflicts between the standard of care and state law, please consult with Envision’s legal department as well as your hospital's legal team per usual protocols.
Envision has summarized the laws for abortion-related care for the following states. Click on the state to download state-specific laws and guidance.
Given the evolving legal landscape, Envision will be updating these summaries on a periodic basis to take into account important developments and changes.
2. Expectations regarding clinical documentation have not changed. Please continue to accurately document any medical encounter.
We remind clinicians that documentation is generally discoverable and may be used against clinicians, patients or others in litigation. Our guidance is, and always has been, to document clearly and accurately the patient’s presenting medical condition and relevant history and not to editorialize, speculate or comment on issues unrelated to patient care.
We remain committed to providing quality, compassionate care, which includes thorough and accurate documentation of the relevant clinical presentation and history of the patient.
3. Clinicians are expected to respect patient confidentiality as required by HIPAA.
The doctor-patient therapeutic relationship is paramount. Although state laws may incentivize “bounty hunters” to report private information about patients, information gathered from doctor-patient interactions is confidential and protected by HIPAA. All Envision employees complete HIPAA training every year and should understand that HIPAA breaches are extremely serious. Occasionally, we learn things about patients in a healthcare setting that fall into the category of “mandatory reporting.” However, absent an express state law, disclosure of events involving spontaneous or induced termination of pregnancy outside of the limited exceptions for disclosures of PHI under HIPAA violates federal law, and may violate state law, and will be treated accordingly. If you believe your state law expressly requires such reporting, please contact either your hospital or the Envision legal department before taking any action. You can also access federal guidance here and Envision’s policies regarding HIPAA compliance at Envision Physician Services.