It is not uncommon for a medical practice to expect physicians to abide by a non-compete agreement. This piece will discuss the basic elements needed for a non-compete to survive a legal challenge.
Medical professionals work long hours, often in highly stressful environments. As such, it is no surprise that many doctors find themselves battling professional burnout. It is important to address any feeling of emotional exhaustion — according to a recent study this form of burnout can lead to double the risk of a patient safety incident.
The Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently investigated a New York Veterans Affairs’ hospital. The agency’s investigation was prompted by allegations a surgeon employed at the hospital misreported surgical outcomes of cancer patients.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has petitioned the court to force provision of oral testimony deemed "relevant to a false claims law investigation." The government has accused a group that sponsors Medicare Part C insurance plans of "knowingly disregarding its duty to ensure the validity of data it submitted to Medicare for purposes of calculating" payments.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.