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August 2018 Archives

Does HIPAA really protect patients’ privacy?

Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to help ensure the protection of patients’ medical records and personal health information. The rule sets boundaries on the use and release of medical records, established safeguards to help protect the information and holds those who violate these protections accountable for wrongdoing through the use of civil and criminal penalties.

Effort to combat opioid abuse: Johns Hopkins provides guidance

The Department of Justice (DOJ) continues to crackdown on the illegal prescription of opioids. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made clear his focus on opioid-related health care fraud and the prosecution of healthcare professionals that allegedly contribute to the problem. Enforcement efforts have led to the arrest and prosecution of medical professionals throughout the country. Although some have misused their role as a medical practitioner to illegally prescribe opioids for their own financial benefit, many faced false accusations of wrongdoing.

DOJ announces another regional Medicare Fraud Strike Force

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced another regional Medicare Fraud Strike Force to join the current forces in 10 cities throughout the country. Strike Forces are currently present in Brooklyn, Miami, Los Angeles, Detroit, Houston, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Tampa, Chicago and Dallas.

Doctor gets 18 months prison time for healthcare fraud

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York recently announced the sentencing of a physician convicted for healthcare fraud. The government sentenced the physician to 18 months imprisonment, three years of supervised release and the payment of $103,843 in ill-gotten gains as well as $2,669,231 in restitution.

Doctors take note: When to pursue a defamation lawsuit.

The medical field is a noble profession. Those who work in this field know the value of their professional reputation. An attack on a doctor's professional reputation can effectively end his or her career. As such, it is wise physicians that find themselves the subject of such an attack take action to protect their reputation.

VA cardiologist gets 20 months for health care fraud

There are many government programs to help ensure those who need medical care receive treatment, even if they cannot afford needed care. Medicare and Medicaid are two examples and Veterans Affairs Medical Centers are another. Medical professionals can bill these programs for services rendered to certain qualifying patients. Most physicians use these programs within the bounds of the law, others see it as an opportunity for abuse and still others are wrongly accused of such abuse.

NY psychiatrist faces 10 years prison sentence for health care fraud

The United States Attorney for the Western District of New York has charged a local psychiatrist with health care fraud. The medical professional operates a private practice, has served with many nursing homes and has also spoken at consulting engagements for pharmaceutical companies.

Tips to reduce the risk of a health care fraud investigation

The United States Department of Justice Medicare Fraud Strike Force is a government group put together with one focus: take down medical professionals and others that are committing health care fraud. As noted in a recent publication by the New York Law Journal, this group is very successful at this task. It is responsible for the conviction of thousands of medical professionals across the nation.

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