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CMS cracking down on fraudsters

Federal agencies are stepping up their efforts to go after providers who engage in healthcare fraud and abuse. On Dec. 3, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services issued new rules designed to crack down on what the agency refers to as “bad actors,” as part of an effort to increase oversight of Medicare providers, […]

Board of Medicine: Drug monitoring program working

Florida, once dubbed the “epicenter of prescription drug diversion,” has made numerous inroads since state lawmakers passed legislation requiring that a prescription drug monitoring program be put into place. Prior to Chapter 893.055, which created new guidelines for operating pain management clinics and approved the creation of a database to collect controlled substance prescription records […]

How to comply with HIPAA during Ebola crisis

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights has put out a bulletin to ensure that HIPAA-covered entities and their business associates are aware of the ways in which patient information can be shared in an emergency situation. The bulletin comes in response to the Ebola outbreak and is designed to […]

Electronic health records create a number of problems for providers

We live in an electronic age where life is supposed to be easier and more efficient and in many ways it is. In the healthcare arena, electronic medical records (EMRs) were supposed to make life easier for doctors by helping to free up time and streamline the process. Case in point, doctors could send prescriptions […]

New telemedicine rule takes effect in Florida

The Florida Board of Medicine has published an update regarding telemedicine standards that took effect on Oct. 26, 2014. The new Rule 64B8-9.0141, Florida Administrative Code, defines what telemedicine is and what physicians are not permitted to do. It states: “Telemedicine shall not include the provision of health care services only through an audio only […]

Stricter standards for compounding facilities take effect

On Oct. 1, a new and stricter law relating to Florida’s compounding industry took effect. The law adds restrictions for compounding pharmacies and outsourcing facilities that ship medications to Florida. It also provides Florida’s Board of Pharmacy and Department of Health with additional oversight and power to penalize these companies, including the authority to inspect […]

HHS target of class action in Medicare appeals backlog fiasco

The ever-growing backlog of appeals at the Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals for inpatient status claims has prompted the Center for Medicare Advocacy to file a nationwide class action lawsuit against the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services. The complaint, filed Aug. 26 U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, alleges that, […]

Appellate court rules on pre-suit requirement in medical malpractice cases

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has upheld a portion of Florida’s medical malpractice law ruling that it does not violate requirements designed to protect a patient’s privacy. By doing so, the appellate court overturned a ruling last year by a Tallahassee federal court judge who found that the law would […]

HHS proposes new safe harbors

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has proposed a rule that would amend the safe harbors to the anti-kickback statute and the civil monetary penalty rules under the authority of the Office of Inspector General. The 94-page proposed rule, if adopted would add new safe harbors and codify civil monetary provisions for gain […]

DEA inspections: Know your rights

Anyone who prescribes, administers, or dispenses controlled substances must be registered with the DEA. This includes manufacturers as well as doctors, hospitals and pharmacies. The DEA is responsible for keeping track of what controlled substances are ordered and dispensed through its ARCOS database – an automated, drug reporting system that monitors the flow of controlled […]