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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 […]

DOJ Memo Spurs Speculation Over Future of Whistleblower Cases

Should a recent internal memo from the U.S. Department of Justice on the dismissal of qui tam cases serve as a bellwether for the healthcare industry, or is it just a re-statement of existing policy issued in light of the increasing number of such cases being filed. That’s the question being asked by many attorneys […]

Appeals Court Issues Precedential Ruling in Charitable Assistance Organization Kickback Case

The increase in enforcement activity related to donations made by pharmaceutical manufacturers to nonprofit patient charitable assistance organizations has resulted in a number of whistleblower or Qui Tam lawsuits. Those lawsuits have hinged on the idea that such donations may be viewed as illegal kickbacks because they could be seen as a means to steer […]

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