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Florida Information Protection Act (FIPA) Has More Stringent Notice Requirements than Federal Law

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Health Law In 2014, the Florida Legislature passed, SB 1524, which was signed into law on June 20, 2014. It became effective on July 1, 2014. This law, codified as Section 501.171, Florida Statues 2014 , contains broader provisions than federal law for providing notice when there is a breach of or accidental release of personal individuals' information. It applies to much more than medical information; it applies...

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7/2/2015 Comments(0)

Don’t Be Afraid to Invoke Your Fifth Amendment Rights: Why You Should

By: Vivionne N. Barker, J.D., George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Health Law During a criminal proceeding, an accused individual has the right to remain silent or "plead the Fifth. This theory has been commonly referred to as an individual's right to not be compelled to be a witness against himself or to avoid self-incrimination. It follows the accused from the inception of the case through any criminal proceeding or trial. This right is extremely imp...

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7/2/2015 Comments(0)

Federal Employees Need to be Aware of These Warnings During an OIG Interview

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Health Law and Shelby Root Federal employees are subject to criminal investigations and criminal prosecutions by the Office of Inspector General OIG within their respective federal agencies. The OIG of an agency routinely investigates and helps prosecute wrongdoing. If applicable, an investigator will state before the interview the employee's rights in regard to, among other things, remaining silent and obtaining...

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7/1/2015 Comments(0)

Bad Medicine? Anesthesiologist Caught Ridiculing Sedated Patient

By Vivionne N. Barker, J.D. and George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Health Law In a medical suite in Reston, Virginia, a man preparing for a colonoscopy hit the record button on his smartphone’s audio recorder to preserve instructions from his doctor after the procedure. When the patient pressed play on his way home, he was shocked by what he heard. You may be shocked, too. No Laughing Matter. While listening to the recording, the man reportedly...

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6/30/2015 Comments(0)

Medicare to Publish Physician Payment Data Annually: Will This Prevent Medicare Fraud?

By Ritisha K. Chhaganlal, J.D. Billions of dollars are spent annually on Medicare payments to individuals and organizations. For over three decades, the American Medical Association AMA , a prominent physician group in the United States, had successfully argued that a doctor’s right to privacy outweighed the public’s interest in knowing how its tax dollars were used. However, primarily due to increased Medicare fraud, the U.S. government will begin to publish Medicare Part B payments...

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6/30/2015 Comments(0)

Application and Removal from the OIG Exclusion List

By Lance O. Leider, J.D. The OIG exclusion list is a tool to keep track of individuals who have been excluded from participation in federal healthcare programs due to crimes or convictions like fraud or patient neglect. But individuals who are placed on exclusion lists by the OIG don't stay there forever. Each exclusion comes with a different term, and when that term is up, individuals may apply for reinstatement and removal from the exclusion database . Reinstatement doesn't occur automatically...

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6/25/2015 Comments(0)

New OIG Fraud Alert Focuses On Physician Contracts: What to Watch Out For

By: Lance O. Leider, J.D., The Health Law Firm On June 9, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General issued a special fraud alert on physician compensation arrangements. The purpose of the alert was to warn physicians who enter into certain arrangements like medical directorships, department chairs, board of directors seats, and other similar positions to do so carefully. It also is used to ensure that the arrangement reflects fair market value for bo...

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6/23/2015 Comments(0)

Texas Medical Board Enjoined for Possible Antitrust Violations by Federal Court

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Health Law and Shelby Root On May 29, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas granted an injunction against the Texas Medical Board TMB . The suit was brought by a company called Teladoc, Inc. Teladoc, Inc provided medical services to patients through webchats, video chats, and other telemedicine modalities. The TMB had a new regulation which prohibited this type of practice unless there w...

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6/23/2015 Comments(0)

Big Bust Sweeps Out Medicare Fraud

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Health Law and Shelby Root The largest criminal health care fraud takedown in the history of the U.S. Justice Department, in terms of both loss amount and arrests, took place June 18, 2015. The U.S. Department of Justice, along with 900 law enforcement officials, arrested 243 people across the country, including doctors, nurses, and other licensed professionals, for their alleged participation. The individuals ha...

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6/22/2015 Comments(0)

Disabilities and the Medical Education System

By Geor ge F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Health Law Many do not realize it, but schools, universities, medical schools and most other educational progra ms provide access to psychotherapists for their current students and residents. It is important that students, residents and their advocates be knowledgeable about their rights and responsibilities. Although protections exist, the student or resident has the responsibility of notifying the institution ...

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6/9/2015 Comments(0)