The Health Law Blog

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Orlando City Council Vote to Extend Temporary Ban on Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On November 14, 2016, Orlando's City Council voted to extend its temporary ban on new marijuana dispensaries, less than a week after Florida voters backed a constitutional amendment to expand medical use of the drug. Back in July 2016, city commissioners voted to approve the temporary pause on marijuana dispensaries. The current ban is set to expire December 2016, but the city is pursuing an extension ...

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1/14/2017 Comments(0)

Wisconsin Supermarket Violated FCA With Illegal Kickbacks, Pharmacist Claims

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On December 20, 2016, a pharmacist and whistle blower told an Illinois federal court that Wisconsin and Chicago-area chain of grocery stores, Roundy’s Supermarket, Inc. Roundy’s , knew gift cards it was providing Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries were actually illegal kickbacks. In defense of his False Claims Act FCA Suit, the whistle blower claims the chain proceeded to hand them out any...

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1/11/2017 Comments(0)

Arizona Appeals Court Affirms Dentist's Suspension Over Questionable Prescriptions

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On December 13, 2016, an Arizona appeals court affirmed the suspension of a dentist who allegedly had a history of opioid addiction and who also allegedly wrote dozens of questionable prescriptions. The Arizona appeals court held that the state dental board didn't violate his due process rights and had substantial evidence backing its decision that it wasn't safe for him to practice. The Arizona Court ...

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1/10/2017 Comments(0)

Safeway Pharmacy Settles Medical Negligence and Wrongful Death Suit Over Woman's Death

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On December 5, 2016, a Nebraska magistrate judge signed off on an agreement resolving a widower’s wrongful death suit. The medical negligence suit contends that Safeway pharmacists negligently dispensed methadone and another medication to the plaintiff’s now-dead wife even though using the drugs together is risky, ultimately leading to her death. Medical Negligence. U.S. Magistrate Judge Th...

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1/9/2017 Comments(0)

Appeals Court Affirms $1.37 Million in Sanctions Against Doctor for Dismissed Defamation Suit Against Former Employers

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On November 16, 2016, an appeals court in Texas affirmed a $1.37 million sanction assessed against a doctor. The doctor was ordered to pay the sanction after the dismissal of a defamation lawsuit he filed against his former employers. The doctor's former employers were Baylor College of Medicine Baylor and Texas Children's Hospital. The case had previously been appealed to the Texas Supreme Court. This...

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1/5/2017 Comments(0)

Whistleblowing Doctor Agrees To Split Fees In $785M Pfizer FCA Deal

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On November 29, 2016, Dr. William LaCorte, M.D., a whistleblowing physician in Metairie, Louisiana, helped win a $785 million False Claims Act settlement with Pfizer, Inc., one of the World's largest pharmaceutical companies. Dr. LaCorte agreed with his former lawyers on a split of attorney's fees, which resolves one of the several disputes about paying multiple attorneys. An Agreement Was Reached. U.S...

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12/29/2016 Comments(0)

Florida Court Denies Motion to End Patient Wrongful Death Suit Despite Settlement

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On November 15, 2016, The Florida Supreme Court refused to dismiss a lawsuit over the death of an escaped psychiatric hospital patient for the second time. The suit questions the thin line between medical and ordinary negligence, even though the parties settled their dispute several months ago. The justices offered no explanation when they denied a motion from defendant-appellee Shands Teaching Hospita...

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12/29/2016 Comments(0)

U.S. Enforcing Law For Equal Insurance Coverage For Mental and Physical Illnesses

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On October 27, 2016, President Obama made one more major health care initiative as his presidency comes to an end. The administration is stepping up enforcement of laws that require equal insurance coverage for mental and physical illnesses. Officials are hoping this decision will help combat an opioid overdose epidemic. Drug Addiction Equal to Mental Illness. The White House Mental Health and Substanc...

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12/28/2016 Comments(0)

21 Charged In Extensive Bribery Scheme At Dallas' Forest Park Medical Center

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On December 1, 2016, founders and investors of a physician-owned health care facility in Dallas, Texas, known as the Forest Park Medical Center, were charged in a bribery and kickback scheme. The range of felony offenses stem from their payment or receipt of roughly $40 million in bribes and kickbacks for referring patients to Forest Park Medical Center FPMC , according to a federal indictment in Texas...

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12/28/2016 Comments(0)

DOJ Releases 2016 False Claims Act Recovery Statistics: Third Highest Annual Recovery Ever

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On December 14, 2016, the U. S. Department of Justice DOJ released its annual False Claims Act FCA recovery statistics. It revealed that the DOJ obtained more than $4.7 billion in settlements and judgments from civil cases involving fraud and false claims against the government in fiscal year 2016. What this indicates to me is that, if all of these cases had been brought by individual relators, those r...

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12/28/2016 Comments(0)