HHS Releases Final Substance Use Disorder Confidentiality Rule

Attorney and Author George F. Indest III HeadshotBy: 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 help ensure that health care providers have more complete information when treating patients with substance use disorders and improve that regulations compatibility with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Regulations.
Background.
The SUD final rule came out of the bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which, among other things, required HHS to align the Part 2 SUD program with HIPAA Privacy, Breach Notification, and Enforcement Rules.
The final rule strengthens confidentiality protections while improving care coordination for […]

Humana Health Insurer 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 group of more than 200 nurses reached, securing a $36,000 average payment for each nurse involved in the suit.

A Violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

This dispute stems from a class-action lawsuit filed in 2017 alleging that Humana misclassified its clinical nurse advisers as exempt employees and denied them overtime compensation, violating the Fair Labor Standards Act.  Many professionals and supervisors or managerial employees are considered to be exempt from overtime laws.

In the suit, the company faced allegations from nurses who […]

Texas Hospital’s COVID Vaccination Mandate Upheld by Federal Court

George Indest HeadshotBy George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

As some states lift COVID-19 restrictions, the business community is still grappling with the dynamic between the COVID-19 vaccine and workplace operations. To address this, some U.S. employers have elected to adopt mandatory vaccination policies. These policies, in essence, require that, subject to a few exceptions, all employees must receive the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of continued employment.

Not surprisingly, we see various legal challenges to mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies across the country. On June 12, 2021, a federal court in Texas became the first to rule on the permissibility of such policies enforced by private employers. In a landmark ruling, the court stated that mandatory workplace vaccination policies are lawful under Texas and federal law and may be enforced as a condition […]

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 help ensure that health care providers have more complete information when treating patients with substance use disorders and improve that regulations compatibility with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Regulations.

Background.

The SUD final rule came out of the bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which, among other things, required HHS to align the Part 2 SUD program with HIPAA Privacy, Breach Notification, and Enforcement Rules.

The final rule strengthens confidentiality protections while improving care coordination for patients and providers. Patients can seek needed […]

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 lasted from March 2016 to January 2023.

Specifics on this Medicare Fraud Scheme.

The Florida businessman and owner of Expansion Media, LLC, and Hybrid Management Group, LLC, allegedly sold medically unnecessary Durable Medical Equipment (D.M.E.) to medical staffing companies. According to the government, he […]

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 group of more than 200 nurses reached, securing a $36,000 average payment for each nurse involved in the suit.

A Violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

This dispute stems from a class-action lawsuit filed in 2017 alleging that Humana misclassified its clinical nurse advisers as exempt employees and denied them overtime compensation, violating the Fair Labor Standards Act.  Many professionals and supervisors or managerial employees are considered to be exempt from overtime laws.

In the suit, the company faced allegations from nurses who […]

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 lasted from March 2016 to January 2023.

Specifics on this Medicare Fraud Scheme.

The Florida businessman and owner of Expansion Media, LLC, and Hybrid Management Group, LLC, allegedly sold medically unnecessary Durable Medical Equipment (D.M.E.) to medical staffing companies. According to the government, he […]

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

Author HeadshotBy 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 Centene/Sunshine Health reportedly has over $31 billion in contracts with the state of Florida alone. Click here to learn more.

The agreement with Washington State resolves allegations that it overcharged its Medicaid program for pharmacy benefit management services, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced in a press release.

Under the deal, in addition to the $19 million payment to Washington State, the federal government will receive $13.3 million related to the settlement, according to the Attorney General’s […]

By |2024-03-14T09:59:09-04:00March 14, 2024|Categories: Nursing Law Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Centene Agrees to Pay $19 Million to Washington State For Medicaid Fraud Allegations

Maryland & Missouri Become 20th and 21st States to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

Lawyer, Author HeadshotBy George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

Five states had proposals to legalize recreational marijuana on the ballot in the midterm elections held on November 8, 2022. Voters in Maryland and Missouri approved the legalization, while Arkansas, North Dakota, and South Dakota rejected similar proposals. As a result of the vote, Maryland and Missouri became the 20th and 21st states to legalize cannabis for adult recreational use.

Maryland.

Maryland’s voters overwhelmingly approved Question 4 as it passed, with 65% of voters casting ballots in favor. The amendment creates a right to possess and use marijuana and directs the state Legislature to enact laws governing its sale. Following its passage, adults in the state will be allowed to possess up to 1.5 ounces, or two marijuana plants, beginning July 1, 2023.

Additionally, it allows […]

Centene Will Pay $19 Million to Washington State For Medicaid Fraud Allegations

Author HeadshotBy 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 Centene/Sunshine Health reportedly has over $31 billion in contracts with the state of Florida alone. Click here to learn more.

The agreement with Washington State resolves allegations that it overcharged its Medicaid program for pharmacy benefit management services, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced in a press release.

Under the deal, in addition to the $19 million payment to Washington State, the federal government will receive $13.3 million related to the settlement, according to the Attorney General’s […]

By |2024-03-14T09:59:11-04:00February 23, 2024|Categories: Pharmacy Law Blog|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |Comments Off on Centene Will Pay $19 Million to Washington State For Medicaid Fraud Allegations
Go to Top