The Health Law Blog

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Florida Emergency Order Allows Pharmacists to Order, Administer COVID-19 Tests

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On April 24, 2020,Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced he would expand the opportunities for people to obtain COVID-19 tests by allowing licensed pharmacists to order and administer them. For purposes of preparing for, responding to, and mitigating any effect of COVID-19, Emergency Order 20-006 was filed, suspending section 483.813, Florida Statutes. You can click on the link to read the entire Order. A...

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6/3/2020 Comments(0)

Married Telehealth Co-Owners Charged in $56 Million Kickback Scheme

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On February 5, 2020, the owners of two telemedicine companies were charged in New Jersey federal court with defrauding Medicare in an alleged $56 million telehealth scheme involving orthotic braces. Some of the fraud alleged to have occurred was through a Florida location. The married co-owners of Advantage Choice Care and Tele Medicare are reported to have used the companies to solicit kickbacks and b...

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5/15/2020 Comments(0)

Medical Marijuana Considered ‘Essential’ Amid Coronavirus Shutdowns

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On March 17, 2020, amid Coronavirus shutdowns, multiple cities and state health departments have declared medical marijuana dispensaries essential to health care. Many cities are closing or considering closing business and retail operations to stop the spread of the virus. Other "essential" businesses that will remain open include pharmacies, grocery stores, and financial institutions. As of this date ...

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5/15/2020 Comments(0)

Insurer Faces Class Action Lawsuit For Failing to Pay Pandemic Business Interruption Claims

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On April 14, 2020, several companies announced they are considering a class action lawsuit against Hiscox Insurance over its failure to pay business interruption claims relating to the coronavirus lockdown. Hiscox, sold policies before COVID-19 hit. The policies allegedly stated that they would cover claims related to businesses being forced to shut owing to a notifiable disease. Business owners have r...

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5/15/2020 Comments(0)

National Nurse Attorneys Association Releases COVID-19 Paper in Support of Front Line Nurses and Health Workers

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On April 2, 2020, The American Association of Nurse Attorneys TAANA released a position paper providing an analysis of several key legal issues now facing nurses, physicians and other healthcare professionals dealing with the novel corona virus pandemic throughout the U.S. The paper addresses many key challenges faced by healthcare professionals on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the...

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5/7/2020 Comments(0)

Florida Dermatologist Pays $1.74 Million To Settle FCA Suit For Inflated Medicare Claims

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On March 13, 2020, a Florida dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon agreed to pay $1.74 million to resolve allegations that he violated the False Claims Act FCA . United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announced that Dr. Thi Thien Nguyen Tran and Village Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery, L.L.C. agreed to settle the case involving allegedly inflated Medicare claims. The settlement concludes the qui tam wh...

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4/14/2020 Comments(0)

Will a Death from COVID-19 be Considered "Accidental Death" (Meaning Double Indemnification) for Life Insurance Policies or a Death from “Accidental Causes"?

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law Almost all life insurance policies, including term policies, pay a double indemnity, that is, double the limits of coverage if a death occurs from accidental causes as opposed to natural causes. A question arises, given the COVID-19 pandemic, of whether a death caused by the novel corona versus would be considered a natural death or an accidental death. Fortunately, there is some guidance on this issue...

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4/14/2020 Comments(0)

Prosecutors Push To Keep Telehealth Fraud Suspect with Florida Connections in Jail for $424 Million Scheme

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On March 19, 2020, federal prosecutors in New Jersey federal court pushed to keep a suspect involved in a $424 million telemedicine scheme in jail. Authorities called him an "unrepentant conman" who carried out one of the largest health care fraud schemes in U.S. history and is likely to flee the country if released. Fraud and Kickback Telehealth Scheme. The defendant, who owns telehealth companies, ha...

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4/9/2020 Comments(0)

Question: Is Exposure to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) on the Part of Nurses, Doctors, and Health Care Professionals, Covered as Employment-Related Injury For Workers Compensation (WC) Purposes?

By Amanda I. Forbes, J.D. and George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law In answering the question posed in the title of this blog, first, it should be noted that the World Health Organization WHO classifies COVID-19 as an "occupational disease." Reference: World Health Organization, "Coronavirus Disease COVID-19 Outbreak: Rights, Roles and Responsibilities Of Health Workers. . . ." Click here to view the classification by the WHO on our website. ...

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4/8/2020 Comments(0)

Florida Pediatric Group Claims Greenway's EHR Program Not Compliant in Suit

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On March 16, 2020, a pediatrics group in Altamonte Springs, Florida, filed a proposed class action law suit against a health care technology company called Greenway Health LLC Greenway . Altamonte Pediatric Associates PA Altamonte Pediatrics says Greenway sold it an electronic health records EHR program that did not comply with federal standards and cost them a bundle in federal incentive payments. The...

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4/8/2020 Comments(0)