Welcome to The Health Law Blog2024-03-14T10:01:01-04:00
1904, 2024

New Jersey Appeals Court Says Plaintiffs Don’t Need Presuit Affidavits to Sue LPNs in Medical Malpractice Cases

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law In a possibly precedent-setting case, on November 9, 2022, for the first time, an appeals court in New Jersey ruled that plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases do not need an affidavit of merit to file claims against a licensed practical nurse (LPNs). The Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, said that an LPN is not included in the "licensed person" definition under the state’s affidavit of merit statute. Additionally, the court's ruling stated that an LPN could not use the absence of such [...]

1904, 2024

Walgreens Accused of Providing Insufficient COBRA Notices, Class Action Lawsuit Says

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On November 30, 2022, a group of former Walgreens workers filed a proposed class action in Florida federal court that accuses the pharmacy chain of sending confusing, incomplete COBRA notices. The former employees sued, saying the company purposely sent former employees “haphazard and piecemeal” information about their rights to continued insurance coverage under the federal COBRA law to save itself money. As a result, the lawsuit claims, they lost access to their medical coverage when they were terminated and, therefore, had to pay out-of-pocket [...]

1604, 2024

Male Surgeon Wins $15 Million Verdict in Suit Based on “Reverse Discrimination” and Anti-Male Bias;  Hospital Requests New Trial

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 In a massive jury verdict awarding a male attending physician more than he requested, a jury found that a hospital demonstrated reverse discrimination and an anti-mail bias in how it handled a female resident physician's complaint against him. On January 8, 2024, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital urged a Pennsylvania Federal court to reverse a $15 million judgment against it over its handling of a sexual assault investigation in a gender bias case. In December 2023, [...]

1504, 2024

Esformes Reaches Plea Deal in Major Nursing Home Medicare Fraud Scheme

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 February 1, 2024, the District Court for the Southern District of Florida announced that Florida nursing home mogul Phillip Esformes had reached a plea deal on pending conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud charges. Esformes, who then owned more than 30 Miami-area nursing and assisted living facilities, was first charged in July 2016 with what the Department of Justice (DOJ) called a $1 billion, decades-long Medicare fraud and money-laundering scheme. Click here to read the [...]

1504, 2024

Florida Man Agrees to Plead Guilty in $110 Million Telemedicine Medicare Fraud Scheme

By: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On February 16, 2024, a Parkland, Florida, man agreed to plead guilty to organizing a Medicare fraud scheme worth $110 million. The federal prosecution is taking place in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The fraud was allegedly perpetrated through two Florida companies the man owned, Expansion Media, LLC, and Hybrid Management Group, LLC. According to federal prosecutors in Boston, the scheme involved utilizing telemedicine and telemarketing enterprises to create fabricated orders for medical equipment, particularly knee braces. The scheme allegedly [...]

1504, 2024

Medicare Final Rule Decreased Physician Payments But Expands Coverage to Counselors

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 November 2, 2023, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule that decreased overall payment rates for services provided under the Physician Fee Schedule (PFS). However, the final rule increased payment rates for outpatient services and expanded telehealth services. The rule went into effect January 1, 2024. Physician Fee Schedule Rate Reductions; Counselors Added. The overall payment rates under the 2024 PFS were reduced by 1.25 percent for 2024. The [...]

1204, 2024

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 allegedly including protected health information (PHI) in its responses to reviews on Yelp. The Complaint and Investigation. On November 29, 2017, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) received a complaint alleging New Vision Dental had posted responses to [...]

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