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OIG Workplan Update: From Opioid Misuse to Elder Abuse

The United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (OIG) continues to update its Work Plan monthly. As we previously noted, the OIG has gone from an annual update to monthly updates as a way to enhance transparency. It sets forth various projects including OIG audits and evaluations that are underway […]

Feds Cracking Down on Opioid Prescribers and Dispensers

Healthcare professionals and pharmacies take note: If you are prescribing or dispensing what appears to be an unusual or disproportionate amount of controlled substances, there’s a good chance the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) could come knocking on your door. The federal government recently announced that for 45 days during February and March it “surged” its […]

New Florida Law Makes it Easier for Doctors to Offer Direct Primary Care Agreements

Late last month, Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill (HB 37) allowing physicians, chiropractors and group practices to sign direct primary care agreements (DPC) with patients without having to worry about violating insurance laws. Such agreements are becoming increasingly popular. According to a survey from the American Academy of Family Physicians, nearly 3 percent […]

Ridesharing Agreements Present Anti-Kickback Risks

Earlier this month, Uber announced the unveiling of a new service it has dubbed “Uber Health” which it describes as “a way to partner with healthcare organizations to provide reliable, comfortable transportation for patients.” The dashboard allows healthcare professionals to order rides for patients who either need to get to, or get home from, healthcare […]

What Does Florida’s New Opioid Legislation Mean for Your Practice?

Responding to the spike in opioid-related overdoses and fatalities, the Florida Legislature has passed a bill (HB 21) that institutes limits on the prescribing of opioids, as well as increases funding for treatment. The new legislation mandates that most initial prescriptions would have a limit of three days for Schedule II painkillers such as Oxycontin […]

OIG Report Finds Vulnerabilities at HHAs That Could Lead to Fraud

Home health agencies are required to submit to onsite surveys to ensure they are complying with Medicare standards. But a recent report from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of the Inspector General (HHS OIG) finds that in at least one aspect of the survey HHAs may be skirting their responsibilities. As […]

Dumpster Diver Demonstrates Importance of Proper Medical Record Storage and Disposal

Just because a business closes its doors, it doesn’t mean that it no longer is obligated to safeguard patients’ protected health information (PHI), as one company recently learned. Earlier this month, the receiver appointed to liquidate the assets of Filefax, Inc. agreed to pay $100,000 out of the receivership estate to settle potential HIPAA violations. […]

OIG Report: Medicare Paid out Millions in Improper Payments to Chiropractors

A report issued this month by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) finds that about half of Medicare payments made for chiropractic services between 2010 and 2015 were improper – that is they either were not medically necessary, not billed properly or not sufficiently documented. The report, titled “Medicare needs better controls to prevent fraud, […]

Florida Telemedicine Update

Filed last September by Florida Senator Aaron Bean, Senate Bill 280, which establishes the standard of care for telehealth and defines the scope of practice for the delivery of telehealth services, is winding its way through the 2018 Legislative session. The bill has gone through the Banking and Insurance and the Health Policy committees, and […]

Second FCA Whistleblower Case Dismissed – What’s a Lawyer to Do?

For the second time in the last few weeks, a Florida district court judge has dismissed a whistleblower lawsuit filed against a healthcare company alleging fraud. The most recent dismissal, which took place on February 6, was of a lawsuit against electronic software company Epic that alleged it had overbilled for anesthesia procedures. In dismissing […]

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