June 2018

After Investigation Has Ended, Even Investigator’s “Mental Impressions” Are Subject to Release Under Public Records Act

By |2024-03-14T10:00:54-04:00June 1, 2018|Administrative law, Public Records, The Health Law Firm Blog|

The foregoing case summary was prepared by Mary F. Smallwood, Esquire, of The Administrative Law Section of The Florida Bar.

The City of Avon Park (“City”) terminated Michael Rowan’s employment as Chief of Police. In the subsequent administrative hearing, at issue was Rowan’s investigation of certain city council members and alleged deletion of certain information from his work computer.

An investigator with the State Attorney’s Office was called in to investigate those issues; he prepared a report of his findings. The City subpoenaed the investigator to appear as a witness at the administrative hearing on Rowan’s termination, and to bring his report, which the City wanted to rely on. The State sought a circuit court order quashing the subpoena issued to the […]

Florida Supreme Court Overturns Medical Malpractice Caps

By |2024-03-14T10:00:55-04:00June 1, 2018|Health Care Industry, In the Know, The Health Law Firm Blog|

6 Indest-2008-3By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

Florida’s Supreme Court ruled 5-to-2 in favor of invalidating medical malpractice caps on non-economic damages. The initial legislation was put into place in 2003 by the Florida Legislature due to an alleged medical malpractice crisis. The caps limited payments to patients for non-economic damages at $500,000 in most malpractice cases and $1 million in cases involving deaths. However, on March 13, 2014, the Supreme Court concluded that the cap on wrongful death non-economic damages violates the state Constitution’s equal protection clause.

This decision by Florida’s highest court makes Florida the seventh state to make such […]

Author Recommends Medicare Use ‘Procedural Triage’ to Eliminate Backlog of Appeals and Restore Faith in the System

By |2024-03-14T10:01:00-04:00June 1, 2018|In the News, The Health Law Firm Blog|

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

IndestIn a recent law journal article being considered for publication, Author Matthew J. B. Lawrence of the Harvard University Petrie-Flom Center, makes some bold recommendations for Medicare. His hypothesis seems to be that the extremely long delay that health care providers now face in getting a Medicare appeal hearing might be negatively affecting these providers’ view of the fundamental fairness of the system. Currently, the backlog in obtaining a Medicare Appeal Hearing before an administrative law judge is up to approximately 27 months. Mr. Lawrence argues “procedural triage” may be in order.

Following is an […]

2010 District Ruling for $44.9 Million in Tuomey Overturned by U.S. Appeals Court

By |2024-03-14T10:00:29-04:00June 1, 2018|In the News, The Health Law Firm Blog|

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

Tuomey Reversed

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a federal district judge’s 2010 decision for Tuomey Healthcare System on March 30, 2012. (U.S. ex rel. Drakeford v. Tuomey Health. Sys., Inc., 4th Cir., No. 10-1819 (Mar. 30, 2012)) The lower court’s decision ordered Toumey Healthcare System to pay $44.9 million for allegedly violating the Stark Law. (42 U.S.C. § 1395nn) The appeals court decided that the 2010 district ruling denied Tuomey its Seventh Amendment right to a jury trial. 

A physician initiated a qui tam or whistle-blower suit against Toumey […]

May 2018

South Florida Nursing Home Chain to Pay $17M in Whistleblower Suit

By |2024-03-14T10:01:59-04:00May 15, 2018|Nursing Law Blog|

IndestBy George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law
A Miami-based nursing home chain has agreed to pay a record $17 million to settle a False Claims Act suit that was brought by its former Chief Financial Officer (CFO). The United States Attorney’s Office claims that Plaza Health Network, formerly known as Hebrew Homes, allegedly doled out illegal payments to physicians for referrals of Medicare patients from 2006 through 2013.

A Sophisticated Kickback Scheme.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Plaza Health Network hired physicians to serve as medical directors, but in reality these were “ghost positions.” These […]

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