Everything a Notary Must Know about an Apostille

Everything a Notary Must Know about an Apostille
According to the Hague Conference on Private International Law, “An apostille is a certificate that authenticates the origin of a public document.” In order for the apostille to be used, both the issuing and receiving countries must be party to the Apostille Convention. Additional information about the Apostille Convention can be found in the publication “ABCs of Apostilles.” In addition, the following link provides a list of countries belonging to the Apostille Convention.
I have clients from all walks of life who require assistance in processing their apostille requests. It is important to note that, as notaries, we are assisting with the processing of the client’s paperwork and sometimes providing courier services. The most common documents that need apostilles are birth certificates, school diplomas and transcripts, power of attorneys, and marriage, birth, and death certificates.
While you don’t have to be a notary public to assist with the apostille process, many documents that require an apostille need to be notarized first, so having a notary commission is a plus if you plan to take on this endeavor.
There are several different variables involved when determining how an apostille request should be processed. There is no way all of the variables can be covered in one article. However, the majority of the documents I’ve processed have been fairly simple and have only required an apostille from the Secretary of States Apostille Unit.
Each state handles the apostille request in a different manner. For instance, some states charge a fee per document. At the time of this writing, Texas charges $15 per document apostille. Indiana, on the other hand, does not charge a fee for apostille documents, while New Mexico charges $3 per apostille.
Texas and New Mexico apostille units usually provide same-day service for walk-ins. Indiana does not guarantee same-day service for walk-ins, and if a person is requesting more than 15 documents at one time, the person will have to drop documents off and return in a day or two for pick up.
Before beginning the apostille process, there are several factors that must be considered:
Type of document: This will determine the approval authority. For example, I had a customer who had a Federal FBI background check that needed an apostille for use in Mexico.  Two things to note here: 1- Federal documents must be apostilled by the U.S. Department of State. 2- Mexico is a party to the Apostille Convention, so there was no authentication required, only the apostille.
Country of destination: Is the document to be used in a Hague or non-Hague country? If the document is being used in a non-Hague country, then it will need to be authenticated, not apostilled. (Additional steps are usually required.)
State from which the document originated: This will determine which state issues the apostille. Apostilles are issued by the originating state. For instance, I had a client who lived in Mexico, and he needed an apostille for his college transcripts to use in Mexico. He attended the University of North Carolina, so transcripts had to be notarized by the university’s registrar and then forwarded to the North Carolina Secretary of State’s Office for a Mexico apostille.
Date of the document: Rules regarding the dating of documents will vary from state to state. For instance, if a Texas resident has a certified copy of a birth certificate with a date that is more than three years old, a new certified copy of the document needs to be requested. Birth certificates requiring an apostille in the state of Texas cannot be more than three years old. You need to know your state’s procedures.
These are just a few of the steps involved in processing requests for an apostille. Check with your Secretary of State’s Office for a more detailed explanation.
— By Phyllis E. Traylor, U.S. Army Retired, Contributing Writer with the American Association of Notaries.

Compliance with New Federal EKRA Law Creates Uncertainties in How Clinical Laboratories Pay Commissions to Their Sales Teams

Vague language and last-minute additions to the federal SUPPORT Act of 2018 with its included EKRA provisions mean big changes to how clinical laboratories can legally compensate sales professionals for referrals
 
Clinical laboratories may be at grave financial risk should they fail to properly comply with the Eliminating Kickbacks in Recovery Act of 2018 (EKRA) provision of the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act (H.R. 6, aka, SUPPORT Act).
Labs that compensate their sales staff for referrals to recovery homes (aka, sober living houses) and clinical treatment facilities are particularly vulnerable and should carefully examine the wording in the legislation, legal experts warn.
As Dark Daily reported in “Does New Opioid Law Require Clinical Laboratories to Change How They Pay Sales Employees?,” (April 1, 2019), SUPPORT Act legislation aimed at combating the opioid epidemic could hold dire consequences for how medical laboratories operate due to how it expands oversight over a range of common laboratory practices and workflows.
“For sales-driven laboratories who have evolved practices to comply with Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) requirements, what are now best practices might soon create major concerns regarding laboratory compliance with EKRA [H.R. 6878],” Marty Barrack, Senior Vice President and General Counsel at XIFIN told Dark Daily.
Stiff Penalties Threaten Clinical Laboratories and Pathology Groups
With fines of up to $200,000, 10 years in jail, or both, the new EKRA/SUPPORT Act regulations—passed in October 2018—apply separately from existing federal anti-kickback statute (AKS) regulations. Compliance violations can expose both the laboratory, pathologists, and other individuals to federal prosecution.
“Because this is a criminal statute, some laboratories overlook the fact that felony convictions mean zero payments. This is more than worrying about federal prosecution, it can have a lasting impact on a laboratory’s financials and its reputation,” noted Barrack. “The provisions regarding invoicing will raise concerns with how clinical laboratories bill and write-off co-payments and deductibles in areas previously untouched by AKS requirements.”
Charles Dunham, Health Law Attorney, Corporate and Regulatory Practice, Epstein Becker and Green, P.C., outlined potential payment arrangement concerns at Health Law Advisor, saying, “… one statutory exemption provides that compensation paid to both W-2 employees and 1099 contractors would not violate EKRA if the payment is not determined by or does not vary by:
  • “the number of individuals referred;
  • “the number of tests or procedures performed; or,
  • “the amount billed or received.”
The National Law Review warns that “With the passage of EKRA, laboratories, clinical treatment facilities, and recovery homes should immediately consider reviewing all financial arrangements with healthcare providers, contractors, and employees who are in a position to generate referrals—including marketing personnel and sales reps.”
They further note, “… Previously compliant payment methodologies structured under the Anti-Kickback Statute’s employment safe harbor (such as paying W-2 employees a volume or value-based commission) are now at risk of violating EKRA.”
Vague Wording in Law Creates Confusion
As covered in the December 3, 2018, issue of The Dark Report, the American Clinical Laboratory Association (ACLA) questions whether—under the new law—laboratories can continue providing phlebotomists or specimen collection devices to physicians’ offices under EKRA. While both scenarios are currently permissible under existing federal AKS regulations, the SUPPORT Act and EKRA do not include language that covers such scenarios.
“Primarily, this language was designed to address potential bad actors working in recovery homes and addiction treatment facilities,” Sharon L. West, Vice President of the ACLA, told The Dark Report. “But then language was added to the bill extending that far beyond treatment facilities to include clinical labs. Now, the new law extends to all payers and all laboratory testing services provided to patients.”
While revisions to or amendment of existing legislation is possible, the terms defined in the existing regulations should concern any medical laboratory offering compensation for the referral of patients for testing.
“The lab industry has some influence to help drive revisions of existing statues. The payer industry also has representation,” Barrack notes. “However, revisions may not proceed as quickly or bring the results some labs expect.”
Understand EKRA and Stay Out of Jail!
It’s critical that all clinical laboratories understand the impact EKRA will have on existing payment agreements, billing practices, and workflows. Non- or incorrect compliance could bring hefty fines—and even jail time!
 

 

Total Iron Binding Capacity /TIBC/

Total Iron Binding Capacity /TIBC/

An essential blood test has help indicate a presence of iron deficiency or iron overloading. A health care provider’s are frequently ordered Iron blood test along with Ferritin and Transferrin. Those two tests are so essential to calculate the transferrin saturation. In iron deficiency the iron level becomes low, TIBC is elevated, and transferrin saturation becomes too low. If the iron overloading, the iron level in blood becomes elevated, TIBC is low or normal, and transferrin saturation to increase.