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

Florida Pharmacy Claims HHS Wrongly Terminated it From Federal PrEP Progam

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On March 25, 2024, a Florida-based pharmacy alleged in a law suit it filed that U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) abruptly cut it off from a federal program that provides free access to pre-exposure prophylaxis […]

HHS Releases Final Substance Use Disorder Confidentiality Rule

By: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On February 8, 2024, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a final rule modifying the Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Patient Records federal regulations (42 C.F.R. Part 2). The new regulation will supposedly […]

Florida Man Guilty in $36.2M Telemedicine Fraud

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On March 20th, 2024, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, in the Middle District of Florida, announced that a Florida man pled guilty to conspiring to commit health care fraud in a $36.2 million telemedicine fraud scheme. As part of […]

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 […]

Is the DEA Knocking on Your Door? What You Need to Know Right Now!

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law Is the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) knocking at your door or, even worse, going through your files inside your office? This is what you need to know right now! YES, you do have the right to call your attorney. Call your attorney right now. […]

Florida EHR Vendor Pays $45 Million in Whistleblower Case Alleging Kickbacks, FCA Violations

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On November 1, 2022, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that a Florida electronic health record (EHR) vendor would pay $45 million to resolve claims that it violated the False Claims Act (FCA) and Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS). The Justice Department alleges that Modernizing Medicine, Inc. (ModMed) […]

Supreme Court To Review Scope of Identity Theft in Medicaid Fraud Case

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On November 10, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it would weigh in on what it means to commit identity theft.  In the case the Supreme Court accepted for review, the petitioner, a managing partner at a psychological services company, […]

When the DEA Comes Knocking: 15 Tips To Remember For a “Routine” DEA Inspection

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law As the United States continues to open back up from the COVID-19 shutdown, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) is resuming on-site routine inspections.  Therefore, health care professionals must ensure compliance and regulatory efforts are in place. This is part 1 of a 2 part […]

How to Find the Right Attorney for Your Irregular Behavior Case Before the USMLE or ECFMG

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law If you have received a letter from the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Secretariat or the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) accusing you of “irregular behavior,” this is very serious stuff. You need an experienced lawyer to assist you. […]

Centene Reaches $166 Million Settlement With Texas Over Its Medicaid Drug Pricing

The nation’s largest Medicaid insurer, Centene, has agreed to pay $165.6 million to Texas to resolve claims that it overcharged the state’s Medicaid program for pharmacy services. The deal was signed July 11, 2022 but hadn’t been publicly announced until September 19, 2022. The agreement makes Texas at least the 12th state to settle pharmacy billing claims with St. Louis-based Centene. It’s also […]

Centene Agrees to Pay State of Washington $19 Million to Settle Medicaid Fraud Allegations

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On August 24, 2022, managed healthcare company, Centene Corporation, agreed to pay $19 million to the State of Washington to settle fraud allegations. Centene owns and operates Sunshine State Health Plan, d/b/a Sunshine Health, in Florida. In addition, it has been reported that […]

New Florida Legislation Allows Pharmacy Technicians to Administer Immunizations

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On July 1, 2022, Florida passed HB 1209, which now allows registered pharmacy technicians to administer immunizations to patients.  The new law authorizes pharmacy technicians to seek certification to provide immunizations and become “Certified Registered Pharmacy Technicians.” These pharmacy technicians will then be allowed to administer all vaccines […]

Have You Received an OIG Subpoena From the DOH? Follow These Steps!

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issues investigative subpoenas through the Office of the Inspector General (OIG). This agency investigates allegations of fraud, waste, and abuse against Medicare, Medicaid, and other federally funded healthcare programs. These subpoenas are very broad, usually requiring the […]

DOJ Drops Charges in Opioid Case After Supreme Court Ruling

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On August 12, 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it dropped charges against the remaining defendants in a case against a former Ohio drug distributor. In 2019, Miami-Luken, two of its executives, and two pharmacists had been charged with […]

Beware Of the Negative Consequences After Discipline on Your Professional License, Part 1 of 2

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law Do you have a medical, pharmacist, counselor, or nursing license in more than one state?  Do you have a license in more than one profession?  Have you been notified that an investigation has been opened against your professional license?  Are you thinking about resigning your professional license or […]

Doctor Acquitted in $85 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme Requests Reimbursement of Legal Expenses

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On August 12, 2022, a doctor acquitted in a $85 million Medicare fraud scheme filed a motion in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York requesting prosecutors cover the legal fees and expenses she incurred. Mayura Kanekar, a Brooklyn-based doctor, claims […]

Exemptions for Employment Disqualification By the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) for Health Professionals in Florida

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law Florida law requires that health professionals (including physicians, nurses, physical therapists, nurse practitioners, professional counselors and social workers, among others) obtain a Level 2 background screening prior to working in a facility licensed by the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA).  This includes third and fourth year medical […]

U.S. Government Renews Coronavirus Public Health Emergency, Extending Health Benefits for Americans

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On July 15, 2022, the United States once again renewed the COVID-19 public health emergency, allowing millions of Americans special access to free tests, vaccines, and treatments. The public health emergency was initially declared in January 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic began. Since then, […]

DOJ Files False Claims Suit Against Nursing Homes Over “Substandard Services and Nonexistent” Care

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On June 15, 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced it has sued three nursing homes in Ohio and Pennsylvania, citing their “grossly substandard skilled nursing services.”  The False Claims Act (FCA) complaint against the American Health Foundation (AHF), its affiliate AHF Management […]

Completing an Application for a Nursing License? Here Are Some Helpful Tips!

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law The process of obtaining a nursing or health care professional license is not only challenging, but it’s also time-consuming. If you have a criminal conviction or unique circumstance which may negatively impact your ability to be granted a health care license, it’s imperative that you consult with […]

Follow These Rules To Proactively Safeguard Your Mental Health Professional License

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law Licensed mental health counselors, psychologists, and other mental health care professionals are potential targets of licensure complaints from clients in any practice setting. Many legal situations and cases arise because the therapist has strayed over the line and crossed the therapist-client boundary. In reviewing […]

Supreme Court Rules Against HHS in Hospital Medicare Reimbursement Case

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On June 15, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court said the federal government improperly cut more than $1 billion a year in Medicare reimbursements to hospitals.  This came in a ruling that limits regulators’ power to control what the program pays for certain drugs.  […]

Supreme Court Weighs Physician Intent in “Pill Mill” Physician Criminal Prosecutions Under the Controlled Substances Act

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law Physicians and other healthcare professionals usually have broad scope to prescribe most drugs, including potentially dangerous ones.  However, over the past decade, many limits, often imposed arbitrarily through criminal prosecutions or drastic administrative sanctions, have been used to impose limits. The […]

Former Florida Radiology Group Employee Files Class Action, Alleges Stock Value Plan Scheme

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On April 15, 2022, a participant in a Florida-based radiology chain’s employee stock plan filed a federal lawsuit in Florida, accusing company executives of scheming to drain the plan’s value for their personal benefit. The former employee of Advanced Diagnostic […]

Helpful Tips to Avoid Healthcare Fraud Prosecutions

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law Physicians who are approached by non-physicians seeking to entice them into business ventures that make money quickly, should be very leery.  If the business venture offers good financial compensation for little or no work, RUN! Most often those involved in criminal […]

Governor of Mississippi Signs Medical Marijuana Legalization Bill Into Law

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On February 2, 2022, the Gov. of Mississippi signed the “Mississippi Medical Cannabis Act” legalizing medical marijuana in the state. The law permits the use of medical cannabis to treat certain debilitating medical conditions, including cancer, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, muscular dystrophy, […]

How Will Florida’s DNA Privacy Law (HB 833) Affect Healthcare Providers?

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On June 29, 2021, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law HB 833, known as the “Protecting DNA Privacy Act,” which took effect in Florida October 1, 2021. Under the act, collecting or submitting another person’s DNA sample for […]

National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) Disputes and Appeals: Fight Back Against Adverse Reports

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law The National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB), created in 1986, was part of the Health Care Quality Improvement Act (HCQIA). Its purpose is to improve the quality of health care by encouraging state licensing boards, hospitals, health care entities, and professional societies to report into a national data bank those physicians and health professionals who demonstrate […]

CMS Using Medicare Termination to Squash Doctors Involved in Overprescribing Opioids

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law Recently it has come to our attention that there may be a nationwide effort by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) to squelch physicians who prescribe opioids and other narcotic medications. We have seen letters sent out by CMS MACs to physicians notifying them […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Humana Agrees To Pay $11.2 Million to End Nurses’ Overtime Suit

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On September 27, 2021, Humana agreed to pay $11.2 million to end claims that the health insurance company denied a group of nurses overtime pay by misclassifying them as exempt employees.  A Wisconsin federal judge approved the deal with Humana, and a […]

Utah Nurse Must Face Wrongful Death Suit Says 10th Circuit Court of Appeals

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On March 3, 2021, the United States 10th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed, in part, a Utah court’s decision concerning a wrongful death suit on behalf of a 21-year-old inmate.  The court’s  decision affirmed that the jail’s doctor could claim qualified immunity. […]

18 Former NBA Players Indicted For Alleged $4 Million Health Care Fraud Scheme

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On October 7, 2021, 18 former NBA players were charged in New York federal court for an alleged health insurance fraud scheme to rip off the league’s benefit plan, according to an indictment filed in the Southern District of New York.  The defendants […]

Court Rules New York Doctor Can Subpoena Yelp for User Info in Defamation Suit

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On October 7, 2021, the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled that Yelp is subject to a subpoena to reveal the names of anonymous users who left negative reviews for a doctor and his medical practice.  The federal […]