The Health Law Blog

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Judge Rejects Motion to Dismiss $21 Million FCA Suit Against Florida Pharmacy

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On February 13, 2019, a Florida judge turned down a Florida pharmacy’s motion to dismiss a $21 million False Claims Act FCA suit, but allowed its sister company to drop out of the suit. The judge said Z Stat Medical LLC, which operates as Oldsmar Pharmacy and its owner, must face the government’s claims that it engaged in illegal kickback schemes to defraud the government program Tricare. O...

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3/20/2019 Comments(0)

Gov. Ron DeSantis Yanks Large Number of Appointments Made by Former Governor to Board of Medicine and Other Health Professional Boards

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On February 22, 2019, Florida’s new Governor, Rick DeSantis retracted 169 appointments that the former governor made before leaving office. Some of these were to the Florida Board of Medicine, Board of Acupuncture, Board of Optometry, Board of Podiatric Medicine and others. This is not the first time he has called back last-minute decisions made by his predecessor. In January 2019, he retracted 4...

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3/18/2019 Comments(0)

Florida House Passes Bill to Repeal Ban on Smoking Medical Marijuana

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On March 13, 2019, two days before Gov. DeSantis’ deadline to pass a bill repealing Florida’s ban on smoking medical marijuana, the House finally passed the legislation. Florida lawmakers affirmed the right of patients to smoke medical marijuana. The vote was 101 to 11 in favor of revoking the ban. The House approved a Senate bill to include smoking in the language. The bill allows patients...

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George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law 3/14/2019 Comments(0)

Federal Prosecutors Issue Warning to Wisconsin Providers about Their Opioid Prescribing Practices (Part 2 of 4 Part Series)

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law Please Note: This is part two of four in a blog series. This blog will attempt to discuss how the action by the Wisconsin prosecutors contradicts the Alaska Board of Pharmacy Letter. Click here to read part one of this blog. On February 5, 2019, federal prosecutors warned 180 Wisconsin doctors, physician assistants and nurse practitioners that they have been prescribing more painkillers than their peer...

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3/6/2019 Comments(0)

Remedies for HIPAA Violations: Part 2

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law At The Health Law Firm, we often receive questions about possible violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s HIPAA Privacy and Security Regulations. Most often, the questions that we receive concern breaches of confidentiality of medical records and medical information. This two-part blog series will attempt to explain and clarify this issue. Click here to read Part o...

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2/28/2019 Comments(0)

Florida Pharmacy Hit With FCA Suit for Illegal Kickback Scheme Targeting Tricare

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On October 19, 2018, the federal government filed suit against a Florida pharmacy for allegations of illegal kickback schemes involving industry marketers. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida alleges that Oldsmar Pharmacy was involved in illegal schemes that resulted in the federal Tricare program paying more than $21 million in reimbursements for prescriptions and False Claim...

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2/27/2019 Comments(0)

DOH Says Thousands of Florida Doctors, Dentists Skipped Required Opioid Training

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On February 5, 2019, state officials announced that about one in four Florida health care providers failed to take a required two-hour continuing education CE course on prescribing controlled substances. The deadline for the mandated course was January 31, 2019. The Florida Department of Health DOH is now preparing to send non-compliance letters advising the providers that they have 15 days to take the...

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2/22/2019 Comments(0)

Alaska Board of Pharmacy Sends out Letter to its Pharmacists Sending Mixed Signals Over Filling Opioid Prescriptions (Part 1 of a 4 blog series)

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law The "Opioid Crisis" in the U.S. We all know that there is an "opioid crisis" in the U.S. It is probably prevalent in every state. In Florida we have been suffering under it for the past ten to fifteen years. So it is nothing new to Florida. Government regulators including, but not limited to the Florida Department of Health DOH , Florida Attorney General AG , different State's Attorneys' prosecutors of...

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2/18/2019 Comments(0)

Remedies for HIPAA Violations: Part 1

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law Last year 2018 the government collected over $27million in fines levied on health care providers and other covered entities for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act HIPAA privacy violations. At The Health Law Firm, we often receive questions about possible violations of the HIPAA Privacy and Security Regulations. Most often, the questions we see are on breaches of confidentiality of medi...

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2/14/2019 Comments(0)

Florida May Allow Doctors to Avoid Divulging Past Mental-Health Conditions and Drug Issues on License Applications

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law Doctors ask patients about their medical histories every day for in treating them. But what happens when physicians are requested to divulge their own past medical history to the state as part of the licensing process? Before being licensed in the state of Florida, for example, health care providers are required to disclose if they have been treated for mental-health or substance-abuse disorders within...

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1/29/2019 Comments(0)