Call:  (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001
Toll-free:  (888) 331-6620 

What is the corporate practice of dentistry and what does it prohibit?

What is the corporate practice of dentistry and what does it prohibit? https://youtu.be/yb2W3HaZtzE Speaker 1: The corporate practice of dentistry means that a dentist is working for a corporation or other business entity that is controlled by non-dentists. There’s a prohibition in Florida and most other states against this. In Florida, there’s a specific act that […]

Can a Medicare provider have its Medicare number revoked if mail from a Medicare carrier (such as First Coast service Options, Inc. or Palmetto GMA) is returned.

Can a Medicare provider have its Medicare number revoked if mail from a Medicare carrier (such as First Coast service Options, Inc. or Palmetto GMA) is returned. https://youtu.be/0HH3pP88v8M Speaker 1: Yes, it can. A Medicare provider is required, by law, to keep all of its addresses on file with the Medicare program up to date, constantly. […]

Will Medicare deactivate a provider’s Medicare number if the Medicare carriers’ solo practitioners’ brochure is returned to the sender because of an invalid address?

Will Medicare deactivate a provider’s Medicare number if the Medicare carriers’ solo practitioners’ brochure is returned to the sender because of an invalid address? https://youtu.be/OlTFUYJKaAsSpeaker 1: The Medicare administrative contractors such as First Co. Service Options in Florida or Palmetto GBA are authorized to terminate or revoke a billing number for a Medicare provider if any […]

I am a physician. I received a letter from the Department of Health (DOH) containing an administrative complaint. Should I agree to an informal hearing?

I am a physician. I received a letter from the Department of Health (DOH) containing an administrative complaint. Should I agree to an informal hearing? Speaker 1: This means that an investigation of a complaint against your medical license has proceeded significantly, and there are formal charges pending against you. Often physicians and other licensed […]

I am a physician working as an employee in a pain management clinic. The clinic has received a number of subpoenas from the Department of Health for copies of records. Why is this?

I am a physician working as an employee in a pain management clinic. The clinic has received a number of subpoenas from the Department of Health for copies of records. Why is this? Speaker 1: Currently in Florida, as in many other states, pain management physicians are under increased scrutiny by the departments of health of […]

I am a registered nurse. I have received a letter from the Florida Department of Health (DOH) advising me that a complaint has been filed against my license. What should I do?

I am a registered nurse. I have received a letter from the Florida Department of Health (DOH) advising me that a complaint has been filed against my license. What should I do? Speaker 1: Any complaint in Florida is initiated by a simple letter from the Florida Department of Health. That would be against any licensed […]

I have received an election of rights (EOR) form together with an administrative complaint (or notice of intent). Do I need an attorney to assist me in completing it?

I have received an election of rights (EOR) form together with an administrative complaint (or notice of intent). Do I need an attorney to assist me in completing it? Speaker 1: The short answer to this question is yes you do. An administrative complaint is a formal charging document letting you know that formal charges have […]

I am a physician. I received a letter from the Department of Health (DOH) indicating it has issued an emergency order to suspend my license to practice medicine. What should I do?

I am a physician. I received a letter from the Department of Health (DOH) indicating it has issued an emergency order to suspend my license to practice medicine. What should I do? Speaker 1: This is an extremely serious matter. It will mean that this is a public record that’s available to anyone on the Internet […]

I received a letter from a company claiming to be a Zone Program Integrity Contractor (ZPIC) for the Medicare Program stating it wanted to audit my practice. What is a ZPIC?

I received a letter from a company claiming to be a Zone Program Integrity Contractor (ZPIC) for the Medicare Program stating it wanted to audit my practice. What is a ZPIC? Speaker 1: A Zone Program Integrity Contract, or as one of the corporations that contract with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Studies to help […]

Is there a statute of limitations for administrative charges brought against my license as a healthcare professional?

Is there a statute of limitations for administrative charges brought against my license as a healthcare professional? Speaker 1: In Florida, several years ago the Florida legislature did pass a statute of limitations for licensure complaints involving physicians and other licensed healthcare professionals. There are many exceptions, such as if there’s fraud, or if there is […]

I received a letter from the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) requesting copies of patient medical records for a Medicaid audit. What should I do?

I received a letter from the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) requesting copies of patient medical records for a Medicaid audit. What should I do? Speaker 1: In Florida, the Agency for Health Care Administration is the government agency that’s responsible for administering the Medicaid program and for conducting audits of the Medicaid program. This […]

I received a letter from the hospital where I hold clinical privileges. The letter makes references to my causing disruptions in the hospital. Should I be concerned?

I received a letter from the hospital where I hold clinical privileges. The letter makes references to my causing disruptions in the hospital. Should I be concerned? Speaker 1: Yes, you should. Any latter addressing your peer review process or your clinical privileges is a matter to be concerned about, especially one that might mention disruptions […]

Recently my nurse supervisor told me the hospital was requiring several nurses to “voluntarily” submit to urinalysis drug tests. Should I agree to voluntarily submit to a urinalysis drug test?

Recently my nurse supervisor told me the hospital was requiring several nurses to “voluntarily” submit to urinalysis drug tests. Should I agree to voluntarily submit to a urinalysis drug test? Speaker 1: If the drug test is truly voluntary, you should not agree to it. You should immediately consult with an experienced health law attorney that […]

Should I voluntarily relinquish my professional license because I am being investigated?

Should I voluntarily relinquish my professional license because I am being investigated? Speaker 1: As a general rule, you should never voluntarily relinquish your professional license after you have some notice of an investigation, even if you have licenses in other states. A voluntary relinquishment in the face of an investigation, once an investigation has been […]

What happens if I am sued for something I did as a VA physician?

What happens if I am sued for something I did as a VA physician? Speaker 1: If you’re a VA physician employed by the Veteran’s Administration, then you are covered by the Federal Tort Claims Act. This means you yourself have immunity from suit and the government is required to answer any lawsuits. You cannot […]

Dentists, What If You or Someone on Your Staff Tests Positive for COVID-19?

By Achal A. Aggarwal, M.B.A., J.D., and George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law You or a member of your staff has a confirmed case of COVID-19. What now? Your primary concern is for the individual affected. However, as a health professional operating a professional practice, you also have a […]

Nurses: You Must Insure Your Legal Protection

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law I have news for you:  You need professional liability insurance!  But you only need the kind that includes professional liability insurance coverage, and in amount of $25,000 or more. Are you a traveling nurse?  Are you a nurse who works for a hospital or nursing home?  Are you […]

Doctor’s Defamation Suit Okayed for Termination by University over Use of Resident Physicians

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law and Hartley Brooks, Law Clerk, The Health Law Firm On July 11, 2023, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky allowed a doctor to move forward with one of his defamation claims against the university’s provost for allegations made to support his […]

Health Law Attorneys Available for Expert Witness Work

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law The Health Law Firm has a number of experienced health law attorneys who are available as experts to provide opinions and testify as expert witnesses and to speak with newspaper and other media reporters and representatives on various issues, providing background, color, information and […]

Recent Reactionary Law Requires Florida Health Records To Be Maintained Inside U.S.

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law and Hartley Brooks, Law Clerk, The Health Law Firm On July 1, 2023, an amendment to the Florida Electronic Health Records Exchange Act went into effect that prohibits any storage of health care data outside the continental United States, United States territories, or Canada. The amendment came from […]

California Dental Practice Pays $23,000 Settlement For Potential HIPAA Privacy Violations Involving Yelp Posts

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On December 14, 2022, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) settled with New Vision Dental (NVD) over a potential HIPAA Privacy violation. The California-based dental practice paid $23,000 to OCR and agreed to implement a corrective action plan after […]

Facebook’s $725 Million Data-Privacy Settlement’s Impact on Healthcare

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law and Hartley Brooks, Law Clerk, The Health Law Firm Facebook agreed to the largest ever data-privacy settlement in December 2022. The $725 million settlement comes after nearly five years of litigation and contentious negotiations. The class action lawsuit revolves around allegations that Facebook has been sharing […]

Finding a Lawyer Who Accepts NORCAL Insurance to Defend Your License

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law Many nurses, nurse practitioners, and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) carry professional malpractice insurance through NORCAL Mutual Insurance or one of the other similar insurance companies. This insurance is inexpensive and provides excellent coverage. What you may not realize, however, is that such insurance provides many added benefits, other than just coverage on nursing liability lawsuits, provided […]

Medicare Revocation and the Collateral Damage It Can Cause Health Care Providers

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law Many healthcare professionals are unaware of the adverse long-term collateral effects of Medicare revocation or exclusion on their careers and future employment. However, if you are a physician, dentist, nurse, mental health counselor, psychologist, pharmacist, physician assistant, nurse practitioner, massage therapist, or other licensed health professional whose license is revoked or suspended, there may […]

What Payers Are Considered to Be “Federal Payers” Under the Federal Anti-kickback Statute?

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law The federal Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits remuneration in relation to the provision of a “good, facility, service, or item for which payment may be made in whole or in part under a Federal health care program.”  42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b(b).  The Anti-Kickback Statute goes on to define […]

Harvard May Fight Liability Claims for Morgue Manager’s Sale of Cadaver Body Parts

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law, and Hartley Brooks, Law Clerk, The Health Law Firm To read the indictment, click here. On June 14, 2023, the previous Harvard morgue manager, his wife, and three others were indicted on charges of conspiracy and interstate transport of stolen goods in […]

Medications and Other Substances that Mimic Prohibited Drugs on Urinalysis Drug Tests: Cocaine and Imposter Substances (Part 2 of Series)

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law, and Hartley Brooks, Law Clerk, The Health Law Firm When representing nurses and other license health professionals, our firm often encounters issues regarding positive drug tests that employers request.  These clients include nurses, pharmacists, dental professional, mental health counselors, therapists, etc.  Job seekers should be aware that employers, […]

Walmart Announces Pay Raise For Thousands of Pharmacists and Opticians

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On May 31, 2023, Walmart announced it is raising wages for 7,700 U.S. pharmacists and opticians in a nationwide plan to expand healthcare services. The retailer said about 3,700 pharmacists would get a bump in pay, bringing their total average pay to more than […]

Harvard Med School Morgue Director Allegedly Sold Body Parts, Class Action Alleges

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law In a morbid, but extremely popular class action lawsuit filed on June 16, 2023, illegal body parts sales was alleged. The lawsuit was filed against Harvard University and contained allegations that its morgue manager was selling body parts from 350-400 donated cadavers.  […]

Medications and Other Substances that Mimic Prohibited Drugs on Urinalysis Drug Tests (Part 1 of a Blog Series)

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law In representing nurses and other licensed health professionals, we constantly discuss positive drug screenings, usually from employer-ordered drug testing, with our clients.  These clients include nurses, pharmacists, dental professionals, mental health counselors, therapists, etc.  Often these individuals need to remember that if they apply for […]

Supreme Court Says FCA Case Liability Requires Defendants’ Subjective Belief

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law In a precedential decision that leaves the whistleblower plaintiffs bar reeling, on June 1, 2023, the Supreme Court handed down an opinion on the knowledge standard required in False Claims Act (FCA) cases. In a unanimous ruling, the high court said liability of defendants […]

Florida Lawyer Says AHCA Medicaid Final Orders Must Be Accessible Online

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) has come under fire for failing to make Medicaid final orders easily accessible to the public. On April 11, 2023, an attorney asked a Florida appeals court to revive her suit against AHCA, trying to force AHCA into compliance […]

20 Helpful Tips to Prepare For a Medicare Audit & Site Visit From a Medicare Contractor

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law When a healthcare provider receives notice of an audit or site visit from Medicare, the Medicare Administrative Carrier (MAC), or the Integrity Contractor, they must act quickly. These auditing organizations tend to move swiftly, with little warning and even less opportunity for preparation.  Below is […]

Jury Finds Miami Clinical Drug Trial Company Not Guilty in Research Fraud Case

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On May 19, 2023, jurors rendered a verdict to federal prosecutors in a trial against executives from a Miami clinical drug trial company and a local doctor. The CEO of Tellus Clinical Research and one employee were found not guilty […]

What To Know About the New Proposed HIPAA Privacy Rule Changes

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On April 12, 2023, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through its Office for Civil Rights, proposed a rule to strengthen the protections under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule. The proposed rule would prohibit using or […]

Nursing Students Sue Florida College For Deceptive NCLEX Scheme

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On December 2, 2022, four nursing students from HCI College (formerly Health Career Institute) in Florida filed a federal class action lawsuit against the school.  The students claim the school conducted a “malicious scheme” to block 95% of students from graduating and taking the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). The […]

Finding a Lawyer Who Takes CPH & Associates Insurance

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law Our firm often gets calls from nurses and other health professionals who retain us to represent them in complaints against their licenses or in professional licensing complaints and investigations. This includes investigation letters from the Florida Department of Health (DOH), D.C. Health or Louisiana State Board.  […]

Doctor’s Opioid Convictions Tossed After Supreme Court Ruling on Intent

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On March 3, 2023, a federal appeals court overturned the conviction of a doctor accused of unlawfully prescribing opioids after the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling making it harder to prosecute such cases. The Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals […]

DOJ Withdraws Outdated Antitrust Policy Statements For Healthcare Industry; “Safety Zones” Abolished

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On February 3, 2023, the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced its withdrawal of three “outdated” antitrust policy statements applicable to healthcare markets. These have been in effect and relied upon for decades by those in the healthcare industry. The […]

States Take Action to Stop Nurses From Certain Schools From Caring For Patients

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law In late February 2023, multiple states began taking action against licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and registered nurses (RNs) because of the FBI’s “Operation Nightingale.”  This is also being pushed by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCBSN).  “Operation […]

$43 Million False Claims Act Jury Verdict Against Ophthalmology Group

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On February 28, 2023, a federal civil jury returned a verdict against an ophthalmology group in favor of the United States for more than $43 million for violations of the False Claims Act (FCA) and Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS). During the six-week trial, the jury […]

Centene Pays California $215 Million in Alleged Medicaid Overbilling Scheme

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On February 8, 2023, Centene Corp. agreed to pay more than $215 million to the state of California over allegations that Centene overcharged the state for pharmacy services. It is the biggest payout to date by the nation’s largest Medicaid insurer over its drug […]

Are You Taking the USMLE Step Exams? Follow Our Tips If You Want to Score Higher

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law Here are some common-sense tips you should be sure you follow that may help you to reduce stress and score higher when you take your United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step examinations. You should be doing everything within your control to […]

Physician Found Guilty of Re-Using Single-Use Devices During Surgeries

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On January 27, 2023, a North Carolina doctor was found guilty of re-using “unsanitary” medical equipment meant for one-time use on unsuspecting patients during surgeries, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced. After a three-week federal jury trial, she was found guilty […]

Are You a VA Physician Notified of Possible NPDB Report–What To Do

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law When there is a Federal Tort Claim filed against the Veterans Administration (VA) on behalf of a patient, the physicians, nurse practitioners, mental health counselors and other health professionals involved in the care will usually be asked for a statement regarding their role in the care. Be […]

Federal Agents Charge 25 Individuals in Fake Nursing Diploma Scheme in Florida

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On January 25, 2023, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) launched a multi-state coordinated law enforcement action to apprehend individuals engaged in a scheme to sell false and fraudulent nursing degree diplomas and transcripts. The enforcement action […]

FTC Proposes Rule to Ban Noncompetition Clauses in Employer Agreements

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law In a precedent setting move, on January 5, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) proposed a new rule that would ban noncompetition clauses in employment agreements as an unfair method of competition. According to the FTC, noncompetition agreements (also referred […]