The Health Law Blog

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Exemptions for Employment Disqualification By the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) for Health Professionals in Florida

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law Florida law requires that health professionals including physicians, nurses, physical therapists, nurse practitioners, professional counselors and social workers, among others obtain a Level 2 background screening prior to working in a facility licensed by the Agency for Health Care Administration AHCA . This includes third and fourth year medical students, resident physicians and nursing students. Oft...

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8/9/2022 Comments(0)

U.S. Government Renews Coronavirus Public Health Emergency, Extending Health Benefits for Americans

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On July 15, 2022, the United States once again renewed the COVID-19 public health emergency, allowing millions of Americans special access to free tests, vaccines, and treatments. The public health emergency was initially declared in January 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic began. Since then, the Department of Health and Human Services has renewed it each quarter. HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra offici...

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8/2/2022 Comments(0)

DOJ Files False Claims Suit Against Nursing Homes Over "Substandard Services and Nonexistent" Care

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On June 15, 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice DOJ announced it has sued three nursing homes in Ohio and Pennsylvania, citing their grossly substandard skilled nursing services. The False Claims Act FCA complaint against the American Health Foundation AHF , its affiliate AHF Management Corporation, and three nursing homes alleges the facilities fraudulently billed the Centers for Medicare & Medic...

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7/29/2022 Comments(0)

Follow These Rules To Proactively Safeguard Your Mental Health Professional License

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law Licensed mental health counselors, psychologists, and other mental health care professionals are potential targets of licensure complaints from clients in any practice setting. Many legal situations and cases arise because the therapist has strayed over the line and crossed the therapist-client boundary. In reviewing the many disciplinary complaints and lawsuits I have handled, I have put together a li...

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6/24/2022 Comments(0)

Supreme Court Rules Against HHS in Hospital Medicare Reimbursement Case

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On June 15, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court said the federal government improperly cut more than $1 billion a year in Medicare reimbursements to hospitals. This came in a ruling that limits regulators’ power to control what the program pays for certain drugs. In this case, the Supreme Court justices sided unanimously with a group of hospitals suing over drug reimbursement rates for facilities that s...

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6/17/2022 Comments(0)

Supreme Court Weighs Physician Intent in “Pill Mill” Physician Criminal Prosecutions Under the Controlled Substances Act

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law Physicians and other healthcare professionals usually have broad scope to prescribe most drugs, including potentially dangerous ones. However, over the past decade, many limits, often imposed arbitrarily through criminal prosecutions or drastic administrative sanctions, have been used to impose limits. The question was recently put before the U.S. Supreme Court as to how far a physician's judgment can ...

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4/25/2022 Comments(0)

Former Florida Radiology Group Employee Files Class Action, Alleges Stock Value Plan Scheme

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On April 15, 2022, a participant in a Florida-based radiology chain's employee stock plan filed a federal lawsuit in Florida, accusing company executives of scheming to drain the plan’s value for their personal benefit. The former employee of Advanced Diagnostic Group ADG filed a proposed class-action suit claiming company executives improperly diverted money away from the employee stock plan to ...

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4/24/2022 Comments(0)

State Nursing Boards Continue to Delay Licenses Across the U.S. As COVID-19 Pandemic Continues

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law Staffing shortages at hospitals across the U.S. are worsening helped along by state boards and other licensing authorities taking months to process nursing licenses, a recent NPR survey claims. As a result, thousands of new nurses who want to help during the COVID-19 pandemic are reportedly getting sidelined by state bureaucratic red tape. Now, it's resulted in a considerable backlog in nurses waiting ...

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4/21/2022 Comments(0)

Psychiatric Practice and Owner Pay $310,000 to Resolve Allegations They Employed a Physician on OIG's LEIE

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On February 23, 2022, a psychiatric practice and its owner agreed to pay $310,874 to resolve allegations they improperly hired and employed a physician who was excluded from federal healthcare programs. The physician who was hired was on the OIG's exclusion list, the "List of Excluded Individuals and Entities" LEIE . As a result, the government took the position that claims for services the physician p...

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4/21/2022 Comments(0)

Ten Defendants in Florida Indicted For Role in $67 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme Involving Genetic Testing

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On February 28, 2022, ten 10 Florida residents were charged in an indictment in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida for their alleged roles in a $67 million health care fraud, wire fraud, kickback, and money laundering scheme. Federal prosecutors allege that the individuals billed Medicare for bogus genetic tests and durable medical equipment. The Alleged Scheme. The federal in...

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4/11/2022 Comments(0)