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New York Health Care Law Blog

Anti-Kickback Statute violations in 2018: A review

The federal government takes health care fraud very seriously. In 1996, the passage of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) resulted in the development of a national program focused on the investigation and prosecution of those who commit health care fraud crimes. The program, now in effect for over twenty years, has resulted in billions of dollars of awards.

As noted in a recent report by Becker’s Hospital Review, some of the biggest Anti-Kickback violation settlements brought in by this program occurred this past year. Some examples include:

DOJ collects over $2 billion in health care fraud for ninth year

The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced collection of over $2.5 billion dollars in judgments and settlements as a result of health care fraud cases. This is the ninth year in a row the government agency has collected over two billion dollars related to this form of fraud.

Health care industry breaks records for mergers in 2018

In past generations, physicians often ran solo practices and house calls were common. Since then, physicians have merged to work together in a private practice or work directly as employees of a hospital or other medical or educational facility.

The health care industry continues to evolve. Researchers may look back and label 2018 the year health care businesses merged. Although mergers were not uncommon in the past, the deals completed last year broke records. Some of the largest transactions include:

NY nurse loses nursing license after accused of stealing meds

Prosecutors recently accused a New York nurse of wrongfully taking pain medications from his employer. The hospital where he works stated he took the medication without proper authorization. The nurse was originally charged with multiple felonies, but through a plea deal the nurse’s defense team reduced the charges to a misdemeanor and entered a treatment program.

As part of the negotiations, the nurse agreed to forfeit his professional license.

Successful strategies for selling your medical practice

As someone interested in selling your medical practice or health care business, you may be weighing your options and trying to determine the best way to move forward. Maybe you are nearing the age of retirement and want to leave your business in someone else’s capable hands, or perhaps you are simply looking to change your lifestyle and want more time with your friends and family.

Regardless of your reasoning for wanting to sell your medical practice, there are certain steps you can take to help prepare your business for the sale and make it more desirable for potential buyers. So, when preparing your medical practice or health care business for a sale, be sure to:

Have you been accused of unprofessional conduct as a nurse?

If you work as a nurse, you are likely already aware of the many hazards and possibilities for malpractice in your daily tasks. Even the most meticulous nurse can face accusal of unprofessional conduct, so if this is something you currently face, you should know you are not alone.

Facing accusations of unprofessional conduct is serious and can threaten your very livelihood. However, you should not despair or worry your career is over. With a strong and strategic plan for facing the accusations and a professional plan of defense, you can come through the accusations. A successful defense strategy can help you salvage your reputation and your career.

NY doctor accused of importing drugs, faces $1M fine

The United States Attorney’s Office recently accused a New York doctor of importing illegal drugs. The doctor, a faculty member and clinical instructor at the University at Buffalo’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, specialized in treating patients who struggle with substance abuse and addiction. Officers state he imported heroin and cocaine to his private residence. They have not yet stated the believed purpose of these illegal substances.

NY dentist accused of Medicaid fraud

Allegations of Medicare fraud can extend beyond doctors, nurses and hospital executives. Those in other professions can also find themselves accused of abusing this system. A recent example involves a case out of the Southern District of New York.

Government accuses a dentist of healthcare fraud: The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently accused a New York man of completing dentistry work without the appropriate license. Prosecutors claim the man performed minor dental work on patients and billed insurance for procedures never completed.

How a DWI impacts your nursing license

There are many ways nurses can lose their licenses, and not all of them relate to actions on the job. The way nurses conduct themselves outside work is just as important. With New Year's Eve quickly approaching, police will arrest numerous people that night for driving under the influence of alcohol. Nurses arrested and convicted for this risk losing their licenses. 

The consequences of an arrest for DWI vary from one nurse to the next. The Board may give you a slap on the wrist, or it may revoke your license for a first offense. It is vital to know how to proceed in such a case so you can continue working as a nurse. 

New law means physicians should review arrangements with labs

It is not uncommon for physicians and physician groups to have arrangements with clinical laboratories. These arrangements may take the form of a small business investment or management arrangement and include financial incentives to use certain labs to provide quality care for patients. In the past, these arrangements were generally not scrutinized by the federal government if they did not result in payment from Medicare or other government providers.

Recent passage of a new law will result in change.

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