The Health Law Blog

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Florida Passes Law for Health Professional Background Screening

By Michael L. Smith, R.R.T., J.D., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law For several years, many healthcare professionals have been required to pass a Level II background check in order to work in most Florida healthcare facilities licensed by the Agency for Health Care Administration AHCA . Many healthcare professionals are also required to pass a Level II background check in order to be licensed by the Florida Department of Health DOH . In March 2020, the Florida Legislature passed ...

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4/4/2021 Comments(0)

Florida Judge Won't Toss Lawsuit Filed By Family of Publix Employee Who Died of Coronavirus

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On February 5, 2021, a judge in Florida refused to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the family of a Publix Super Markets deli worker who died after allegedly catching COVID-19 from a coworker. Judge Carlos Lopez announced that he would not dismiss the lawsuit filed by Gerardo Gutierrez's family, who died on April 28, 2020, from complications caused by coronavirus. The suit was filed in the Florida Circuit Co...

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3/29/2021 Comments(0)

Laws Governing ESAs and Service Animals, Part 3 of 3

By Amanda I. Forbes, J.D. This is part 3 of 3 in a blog series regarding the differences between Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals. Read part 1 and part 2 . The Fair Housing Act FHA is a federal law that "prohibits discrimination in housing because of: race or color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, and disability." Emphasis added . It applies to both emotional support animals and service animals. "emotional illness." Click here to learn more. In addition, the FHA sta...

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3/26/2021 Comments(0)

Florida Court Sides With University of Miami, Says It's Immune To Medical Malpractice Suit

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On October 28, 2020, a Florida appeals court tossed out a medical malpractice suit accusing a University of Miami doctor of providing negligent treatment at a public teaching hospital. A panel of the Florida Third District Court of Appeal upheld a circuit judge’s ruling that the university is protected by sovereign immunity when faculty members provide care at Jackson Memorial Hospital, a teachin...

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3/19/2021 Comments(0)

Former Employee Claims Disability Discrimination In ADA Suit Against Kaiser Permanente

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On November 4, 2020, a former employee of Kaiser Permanente Insurance filed a class-action suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, claiming discrimination. She says the company required her to take a competency test to determine if she could keep her job after the Atlanta business learned of her medical disability anxiety and depression . The suit claims that the insurance...

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3/19/2021 Comments(0)

Three People Charged For $109 Million Scheme to Defraud Medicare, HIPAA Violations

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law In October 2020, Massachusetts federal prosecutors charged three people for their alleged roles in a multi-million dollar plot to defraud Medicare. Two individuals allegedly collected patient data and sold it to the purported mastermind, who used it to submit $109 million in false claims. The two individuals who allegedly obtained the patient information were both located in Florida, wouldn't ya know. ...

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3/17/2021 Comments(0)

Colorado Board of Pharmacy Must Hand Over Patient Identifying Data to DEA

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On April 22, 2020, a federal judge ordered the Colorado Board of Pharmacy to give the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration DEA prescription drug monitoring program data on two pharmacies that the DEA is investigating. The data includes patient identifying information of more than 14,000 patients. The state must turn over the data by May 15, 2020, according to the order. Pharmacy Investigations and Audi...

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3/16/2021 Comments(0)

Civil and Criminal Enforcement of HIPAA Privacy and Security Regs on the Rise

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law The Office of Civil Rights OCR , a division within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services HHS , is the federal organization responsible for investigating complaints and enforcing the Privacy and Security Regulations implementing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, commonly referred to as "HIPAA." As the COVID-19 pandemic seems to be leveling off and more employees are goi...

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3/15/2021 Comments(0)

Former University of Florida Professor and Researcher Charged With Fraud and Hiding China Ties

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On February 3, 2021, a former University of Florida professor was indicted on allegations of fraudulently obtaining a federal grant from the U.S. by concealing his ties with the Chinese government. He is accused of fraudulently obtaining $1.75 million in federal grant money from the National Institutes of Health NIH . He was able to do this by concealing support he received from the Chinese government ...

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3/10/2021 Comments(0)

Medical Information Bureau (MIB) Reports and How They Affect Your Insurance Rates

By Amanda I. Forbes, J.D. When you apply for insurance, an insurance company will look at various factors regarding your history to determine how much your insurance policy will cost. Most insurers obtain a report from the Medical Information Bureau "MIB" and use this in determining the risk you pose and, hence, your policy premium. The MIB checks past records to identify any errors, misrepresentations, or omissions made on an insurance application. An MIB report is similar to a credit report ex...

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3/9/2021 Comments(0)