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Proposed Changes to HIPAA Privacy Rule

HHS has proposed several important changes to the HIPAA Privacy Rule to bring it in line with HHS’s Sprint Toward Coordinated Care initiative. These proposed changes are not yet final. Comments on the proposed rules are due within 60 days of their publication in the Federal Register. Reducing the time that covered entities have to […]

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CMS Provides Additional Expansion Opportunities for High Medicaid Physician-Owned Hospitals

Under the Affordable Care Act’s amendments to the Stark Law, a Physician Owned Hospital (POH) cannot expand the aggregate number of operating rooms, procedure rooms or licensed beds beyond the number for which the hospital was licensed on March 23, 2010. The Secretary of Health and Human Services may grant an exception to this prohibition […]

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Texas Hospice Owner Sentenced for Fraud Scheme

A jury found Rodney Mesquias guilty last week on charges of: conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to obstruct justice, conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks, and six counts of healthcare fraud. Mesquias owned and operated Merida Group, a healthcare company with dozens of locations in Texas. The Department of Justice […]

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Texas Heart Hospital and Subsidiary Management Company to Pay $48 Million to Settle False Claims Act Allegations Related to Alleged Kickbacks

Huge qui tam settlement where the qui tam plaintiffs will recover $13.9 million. The underlying action involves allegations that the Heart Hospital violated the Stark Law and the Anti-Kickback Statute by requiring physician owners to satisfy the Heart Hospital’s yearly 48 patient-contact requirement in order to maintain ownership in the hospital. This settlement arises from […]

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Federal Regulatory Compliance Issues Can Arise in State Court Matters

An interesting read regarding the use of federal regulatory compliance issues (e.g impermissible healthcare kickbacks) to support a state court tort claim. The plaintiffs sued the manufacturer of a immunoglobulin infusion product alleging that the manufacturer improperly induced a physician to misdiagnose their condition by paying the physician impermissible kickbacks through bonuses and commissions. The […]

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Two area home health agency owners charged in health care fraud and illegal kickback scheme

A federal grand jury indicted two home health agency on allegations that they fraudulently billed Medicare more than $10 million. The indictment alleges that Tataw and Anglea Bisong, co-owners of SierCam Healthcare Services LLC, billed Medicare for home health services that were not medically necessary or not actually provided as billed. Under the alleged scheme, […]

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HHS Proposes Modifications to the HIPAA Privacy Rule to Empower Patients, Improve Coordinated Care, and Reduce Regulatory Burdens

The proposed changes to the HIPAA Privacy Rule include strengthening individuals’ rights to access their own health information, including electronic information; improving information sharing for care coordination and case management for individuals; facilitating greater family and caregiver involvement in the care of individuals experiencing emergencies or health crises; enhancing flexibilities for disclosures in emergency or […]

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Former Owner of Health Care Staffing Company Indicted for Wage Fixing

A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Neeraj Jindal, the former owner of a therapist staffing company, for participating in a conspiracy to fix prices by lowering the rates paid to physical therapists and physical therapist assistants in north Texas, including the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, the Department of Justice announced today.  The indictment […]

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Health care company owner to pay $1 million to settle False Claims Act case

The former owner of Providence Home Health and Providence Hospice has agreed to pay $1.05 million to settle claims she knowingly and willfully paid improper kickbacks for referrals of Medicare patients to her businesses, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick along with Special Agent in Charge Miranda Bennett of the Department of Health and Human […]

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Cutting Out the “Middleman”? HHS Resurrects Anti-Rebate Rule for Medicare Part D

[T]he Final Rule will modify the federal health care program’s Anti-Kickback Statute (“AKS”) safe harbors in three key ways: First, it will remove safe harbor protection under the AKS for rebates that a pharmaceutical manufacturer provides to Medicare Part D plan sponsors (either directly or indirectly through the PBMs with which they contract). In apparent […]