The Health Law Blog

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10 Biggest Mistakes Physicians Make That Cause DOH Complaints

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law In representing health care professionals in complaints against their licenses, we see similar cases repeatedly. The physician could have avoided many Department of Health DOH complaints that may wind up before the Board of Medicine. These are the ten biggest mistakes we see physicians make that lead to DOH complaints and opened investigations against them. 1. Requiring patients to pay an outstanding m...

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1/25/2022 Comments(0)

Court Assesses $170 Million in Penalties For False Claims Against Two Texas Ophthalmologists and Their Clinic

On November 18, 2021, the Justice Department announced that two Texas ophthalmologists and their eye clinic must pay millions of dollars in penalties for fraudulently billing Medicare. The penalties were assessed in connection with their evaluation and treatment of glaucoma. U.S. District Judge Lynn Hughes assessed $170 million in penalties against the ophthalmologists and their eye clinic in Houston, Outreach Diagnostic Clinic. A Former Employee Blew the Whistle. According to the U.S. Departmen...

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1/24/2022 Comments(0)

Medical Staff Fair Hearings and Peer Review Investigations: Fair Hearings Not Always Fair, Part 1

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law The term "fair hearing" is a term of art used by different individuals and organizations to refer to an internal administrative-type hearing or a private hearing in a hospital or professional association. There are several different types of proceedings that are often referred to as "fair hearings." First, however, this blog will discuss those initiated and held by a hospital's medical staff under the ...

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1/24/2022 Comments(0)

Medical Staff Fair Hearings and Peer Review Investigations: Fair Hearings Not Always Fair, Part 2

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law If you are a physician, nurse practitioner, psychologist, clinical pharmacist, oral surgeon, ophthalmologist, or other licensed health professional with clinical privileges in a hospital, chances are that one day you will be subject to a peer review investigation or Medical Staff Fair Hearing. It may be a simple one-time matter based on a patient complaint or adverse outcome, or it may be a lengthy pro...

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1/24/2022 Comments(0)

Formal vs. Informal Florida Board of Medicine Hearings: What's the Difference?

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law Our attorneys often receive calls from health care professionals regarding the possibility of representing them on short notice at a Board hearing or at a deposition related to a health care matter. Often you will find that merely having an experienced attorney to represent you at a hearing or Board meeting will assist you in avoiding mistakes that damage your case and assist you in preserving your rig...

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12/28/2021 Comments(0)

Are You Going to a Florida Board of Medicine Meeting? You Might Get Surprised By a DEA Agent!

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M. Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law At several recent Florida Board meetings, after hearings at which disciplinary cases were considered by the Board, Drug Enforcement Administration DEA agents approached the health professional. Even in instances where the physician was represented by a health law attorney and he/she was present, the DEA agents confronted the medical professional involved. What Exactly Are the DEA Agents Trying to Do? In...

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12/27/2021 Comments(0)

Doctors: Do You Know How to Prepare for a Florida Board of Medicine Informal Hearing? Follow Our Tips!

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M. Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law If you are scheduled to appear for an informal hearing before the Florida Board of Medicine, there are a number of important facts that you will want to know in order to be properly prepared. This article will cover many of them. The Limited Circumstances for Informal Administrative Hearings. First, you should understand that you will only be at an informal hearing in which you will appear before the Bo...

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12/27/2021 Comments(0)

Alabama Doctors' Pill Mill Convictions Get U.S. Supreme Court Review

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On November 5, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeals of two doctors who were convicted of running a massive opioid "pill mill" operation at their Alabama clinic known as "Pain Specialists of Alabama." An Alabama federal jury found both doctors guilty in 2017 of prescribing opioids in violation of the federal Controlled Substances Act and they were sentenced to 21 and 25 years in priso...

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12/9/2021 Comments(0)

Pennsylvania Hospital Asks Court To Dismiss FCA Suit For Billing Simultaneous Surgeries

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On November 2, 2021, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center UPMC urged a Pennsylvania federal court to dismiss allegations that its physician and star surgeon submitted false medical billings. Last month, the U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit alleging that the surgeon who was involved unlawfully billed the government for performing surgeries on different patients at the same time. The surgeo...

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12/2/2021 Comments(0)

On the Medicare Exclusion List? Get Off of It!

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law Often a physician, dentist, nurse, or other health professional will be placed on the Medicare List of Excluded Individuals and Entities, or the LEIE. This can occur because of a state licensing board action against them, a conviction involving a health-related crime, failure to repay a student loan, or many other reasons. Being placed on this list in itself can have severe consequences beyond just a p...

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12/2/2021 Comments(0)