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IRS Beefs Up Whistle-blower Awards Program

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law The Internal Revenue Service IRS is hoping that a change in the law and the possibility of a big payout will encourage more whistle-blowers snitching to authorities. Few people are aware of this program. The IRS issued brand new regulations for its own whistle-blower program in August 2012. These were written to recruit more whistle-blowing moles to help flush out financial fraud. The biggest differenc...

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11/17/2014 Comments(0)

Failure to Comply With HIPAA Can Result in Both Civil and Criminal Penalties

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law Even though a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act HIPAA Privacy and Security provisions does not allow a private civil cause of action, it does carry civil and criminal penalties. Anyone who is a health care professional or facility, or deals with a health care professional or facility, should be aware of these legal provisions. Criminal Penalties for HIPAA Violations. ...

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11/11/2014 Comments(0)

Medicare Providers: Make Sure Medicare Has Your Correct Address; Make Sure You Complete CMS Forms 855I Correctly

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law We are constantly consulted by and retained to represent physicians, medical groups, pharmacies, Durable Medical Equipment DME distributors and other Medicare providers on issues relating to deficiencies from site visits and inspections from Medicare contractors and on notices of termination of Medicare billing privileges. Results of Termination from the Medicare Program. These are extremely serious is...

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10/29/2014 Comments(0)

Supreme Court Scrutinizes Dentist Regulating Dentists - Ruling Could Affect Other Regulatory Boards

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law The United States Supreme Court is currently hearing arguments in North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission . The justices will determine whether professional regulatory boards should be exempt from federal antitrust laws and thus be allowed to eliminate low-cost competitors. This case will also decide whether U.S. states can delegate the regulation of professionals, such as ...

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10/22/2014 Comments(1)

Baker Act Basics

By Lance O. Leider, J.D., The Health Law Firm The Florida Mental Health Act, more commonly known as the Baker Act, was passed to allow for the creation of programs designed to "reduce the occurrence, severity, duration, and disabling aspects of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders." Section 394.453, Florida Statutes. The Baker Act contains a wide range of provisions ranging from screening to appointment of legal guardians. But what the Act is most known for are the involuntary evaluation ...

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10/20/2014 Comments(0)

Reap the Benefits of Electronic Health Records, Not the Liabilities - Part 2

By Lenis L. Archer, J.D., M.P.H., The Health Law Firm In part one, I discussed how the recent United States Ebola crisis in Texas appeared to bolster the argument for those wary of the implementation of electronic health records EHRs . To read that blog, click here . Health information technology health IT brings both opportunities and challenges for healthcare providers . EHRs are one of the most debated health IT developments. The intent of such an innovative system is to replace archaic paper...

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10/16/2014 Comments(0)

The United States Ebola Case May Have Cast Doubt On The Use of Electronic Health Records - Part 1

By Lenis L. Archer, J.D., M.P.H., The Health Law Firm The evolving world of electronic technology saturates every type of industry imaginable. Organizational communication and the resources utilized have come full circle; from paper and pens to iPads and keyboards. Healthcare is not excluded from this advancement. Conversion to electronic health records EHRs has been a hot topic in the healthcare world for years. At its inception, the intent of EHRs was to streamline procedures and improve the q...

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10/10/2014 Comments(0)

Just What the Doctor Ordered: More Medicaid Reimbursements May Be On the Way For Florida Physicians

By Lance Leider, J.D., The Health Law Firm Taking Medicaid patients can be seen as a professional obligation for health care providers. In return, good deeds should not bankrupt a practice. There could soon be a resolution to a class-action lawsuit against Florida health and child-welfare officials that would adequately compensate physicians for treating children of poor families. According to the Miami Herald, the lawsuit was initially filed in 2005 by a group of pediatricians, dentists and nin...

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10/7/2014 Comments(0)

What You Need to Know about the Rescheduling of Hydrocodone Combination Products

By Lenis L. Archer, J.D., M.P.H., The Health Law Firm Physicians and pharmacists: mark your calendars. The Drug Enforcement Administration DEA is reclassifying "hydrocodone combination products" from Schedule III to the more-restrictive Schedule II under the Controlled Substances Act. The final regulation will take effect on October 6, 2014. Upon the effective date, this change will have a widespread impact on healthcare professionals, particularly physicians and pharmacists. This regulation was...

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10/2/2014 Comments(1)

Reinstatement After OIG Exclusion is Not Automatic

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law An issue we frequently handle is Office of Inspector General OIG exclusion from the Medicare program following a conviction for a healthcare-related offense. An OIG exclusion blocks a healthcare provider from working for any individual or entity that contracts with federally funded programs in any capacity. For example, if a healthcare provider receives a five-year OIG exclusion, he or she cannot work ...

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9/10/2014 Comments(0)

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