The Health Law Blog

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Appeals Court Rules Against Nursing Home: Bankruptcy Cannot Affect Prevent Cancellation of Medicare or Medicaid Contacts

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On July 11, 2016, a federal appeals court stated that a bankruptcy judge did not have the authority to block government health officials from cutting off Medicare and Medicaid payments to a Florida nursing home that was alleged to have violated patient-care regulations. A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services HHS and the ...

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8/22/2016 Comments(0)

Spoiled Eggs: Eighth Circuit Imposes Prison Time on Negligent Executives

By Miles Indest, J.D./M.B.A.; Law Clerk, The Health Law Firm On July 6, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit upheld prison sentences for two executives who had pled guilty to misdemeanor violations of the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act FDCA . United States v. Decoster, No. 15-1890 8th Cir. July 6, 2016 . The decision raises issues concerning the responsible corporate official RCO doctrine and the imposition of criminal penalties for negligence under the FDCA. Strict Liabi...

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8/18/2016 Comments(0)

Rising Executive Compensation May Impact Long Term Sustainability of Health Care Organizations

By Miles Indest, J.D./M.B.A; Law Clerk, The Health Law Firm Health care executive compensation has increased over the past few years, raising several questions regarding its potential effect on the long term sustainability of these organizations. Modern Healthcare Releases Annual Executive Compensation Survey. This month, Modern Healthcare released its 36th annual Executive Compensation Survey, highlighting that the median increase in cash compensation for health care executives was 4.6% over th...

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8/17/2016 Comments(0)

Medical Director's Failure to Perform Duties Makes Florida Health Care Clinic Liable; All Insurance Charges Voided

By Michael L. Smith, J.D., R.R.T., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law A recent U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision, upheld a federal district courts decision which found a Florida Health Care Clinic liable for fraud and other torts. Because of violations of Florida's Health Care Clinics Leave Act, section 400.990, Florida Statutes, it also declared all claims submitted to the insurer for payments were voided. Health Care Clinics are liable for their Medical Directors's ...

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8/16/2016 Comments(0)

Columbia University Agrees to Pay $9.5 Million For Improper Billing in Connection With Medical Research Grants from NIH

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On July 14, 2016, Columbia University agreed to pay $9.5 million to the U.S. government in order to resolve a False Claims Act FCA suit. The suit alleges that the prominent New York university sought and received excessive cost repayments in connection with federal research grants, the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case stated. It is being brought in the Southern District of New York. ...

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8/12/2016 Comments(0)

Florida Harvests It’s First Legal Medical Marijuana Crop

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On July 18, 2016, Florida harvested it’s first legal marijuana crop. The new crop is being stored in multiple vacuum-packed, 441-gram bags in a freezer on the outskirts of Tallahassee. The harvest is the result of months of careful growing, monitoring, coaxing, and finally cultivating, scores of plants in a hidden farm overseen by horticulturalists and protected by armed guards. It is unknown whi...

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8/12/2016 Comments(0)

Gunman Accused of Killing Two at Titusville Hospital Was Waiting For Mental Health Evaluation

Gunman Accused of Killing Two at Titusville Hospital Was Waiting For Mental Health Evaluation By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law The gunman accused of shooting and killing two women at a Titusville hospital on July 17, 2016, was awaiting a court-ordered mental evaluation, according to authorities. The gunman, David Owens, had a long history of mental health problems and it is believed that he sought help over eight times. That exam was ...

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8/11/2016 Comments(0)

Pennsylvania Hospital Agrees to Pay $325,000 to Settle Medicare Overbilling Allegations: Inpatient Codes Used for Outpatient Procedures

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On August 8, 2016, a Pennsylvania hospital accused of overbilling Medicare agreed to settle civil claims with the federal government for $325,000, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Philadelphia announced. The case arose out of allegations that the hospital used inpatient diagnosis codes for routine outpatient procedures. Northampton Hospital Co. LLC Northampton , which operates Easton Hospital, has a...

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8/11/2016 Comments(0)

EPA Reveals That Copper Can Be Used to Combat Hospital Germs

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law Copper producers have taken advantage of a new premise that the base metal is actually good for your health. Copper is used in a wide variety of tasks from construction to electrical wiring, but now it has also been found to have antimicrobial properties that kill 99.9% of germs. According to the Environmental Protection Agency EPA , copper can kill bacteria on its surface within two hours. Often calle...

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8/10/2016 Comments(0)

Illinois Hospital Chain Pays Record $5.5 Million HIPAA Settlement For Privacy Breaches

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On August 4, 2016, one of Illinois' largest hospital chains agreed to pay $5.5 million in settlement for lax data security and breaches of protected health information for millions of patients. This deal is a record payout under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act HIPAA , federal regulators said. Advocate Health Care Network Advocate , which operates 12 hospitals and hundreds of sat...

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8/9/2016 Comments(0)