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New York Health Care Law Blog

What are the penalties for violating the Stark Law?

The Stark law was named for its co-sponsor, Congressman Pete Stark, but it may as well have been named for its stark treatment of physicians who violate its regulations. The Stark law is considered a strict liability law—that means that anyone who violates it can be penalized, even if they had no intention of committing a violation. Ignorance of the law isn't an excuse, either. A physician who had no knowledge of committing an infraction may still face the penalties.

But doctors are human, and even the most careful human can make a mistake. When it comes to the Stark law, the ramifications could be severe. Practicing physicians would be wise to know the possible legal penalties of violating the Stark law.

Selling your home services? Follow these tips

Anyone who runs a home health agency knows how all-consuming it can be: You care deeply about your patients, you have hired the best employees out there and you put in the effort to make your care extra personal. Now, after countless hours of hard work, you are ready to sell its services.

After all the energy that went into building up your agency, you will want to follow the right steps to ensure its continued success. Selling your services may benefit your company immensely—but only if you do it right. When you are ready to sell your home health agency’s services, remember these helpful tips.

Medicaid and Medicare fraud at Manhattan pharmacy alleged

It is invariably disturbing and even frightening to receive a subpoena or to be indicted as part of a civil or criminal investigation. A Manhattan pharmacy owner and a pharmacist at the Tribeca locale were recently indicted on grand larceny charges, according to a news report.

Prosecutors allege that the owner and pharmacist defrauded Medicaid of approximately $3 million.

Jury says doctor and fiancée violated Anti-Kickback Statute

When two people become engaged to marry, they pledge themselves to a lifetime of love and companionship. But a federal grand jury has said that a neurosurgeon and his fiancée got much than that out of their relationship.

The pair was found guilty recently of Anti-Kickback Statute violations and submitting false and fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid.

Judge declares mistrial in Menendez case

The New York Times and media outlets across the nation recently spread the news: the sprawling, months-long federal corruption trial of Senator Robert Menendez is over. The powerful New Jersey pol was defiant and relieved after the judge declared a mistrial because the jury was deadlocked.

The trial swirled around the long friendship between Menendez and co-defendant Dr. Salomon Melgen. As regular readers of our New York Health Care Law blog will recall, we wrote in this space about the conviction of Melgen earlier this year in a separate trial on Medicare fraud.

New York City internist sentenced to 33 months for bribery

A New York City doctor of internal medicine was recently sentenced to 2 years and 9 months in prison for taking bribes in a scheme that revolved around Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services LLC of New Jersey.

The 45-year-old internist pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the Anti-Kickback Statute, the Federal Travel Act, and the honest services wire fraud statute.

How nurses can lose their license in ways unrelated to work

Familiar ways that nurses (and other medical professionals, for that matter) can lose their license are often related to their work. For example, falsifying records and neglecting patients are common causes of license suspension or revocation. However, these work behaviors and errors are not the only forms of misconduct you need to avoid.

Even your life outside of work can have consequences on your ability to practice nursing. The following activities can result in disciplinary action from your employer and/or the state of New York.

3 tips for new nurses to avoid misconduct allegations

As a nurse, you must follow high standards of professionalism. When you interact with patients, doctors, nursing assistants and other nurses, you must be mindful of your ethics, morals and conduct. It is important to monitor your own performance and ensure you are doing everything correctly. 

Failing to be professional may lead to accusations of misconduct, investigations or even revocation of your license. Below are some tips for being as professional as possible to avoid misconduct accusations. 

Can stress or anxiety cause you to lose your nursing license?

Stress is an unfortunate part of life for many Americans, especially those whose jobs require long hours or grueling physical labor. As a nurse in New York, you are well aware that both of these factors combine to make one of the country's most stressful and demanding careers.

While nursing can be a rewarding profession, many nurses today are suffering from intense stress-related conditions, including depression, anxiety and burnout. Anxiety and stress can impact nurses unexpectedly, even if - or perhaps especially when - you are new at the job.

Sleep and meals do not count as work in 24-hour shifts

In the state of New York, there is a long-standing practice that if a home care attendant works a 24-hour shift, their employer need only pay them for 13 hours of work. This is because the remaining 11 hours are spent, presumably, eating meals and sleeping. Although this practice has been the legal precedent in New York for years, two recent court cases nearly toppled it entirely.

After hearing the lawsuits, the New York Appeals Court ruled that home health care providers were required to pay live-in attendants a full 24 hours of wages, including the time spent eating and sleeping. The ruling also would have entitled caregivers to receive back wages. This might have had major negative consequences for the home care industry. The cost of supplying back pay as well as 11 additional hours of wages could have been insurmountable for providers.