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The Ice Miller Blog

Opioid Crisis Brings Increased Federal Focus on Prosecuting Health Care Fraud

August 4, 2017 by Stephanie C. Courter, Of Counsel
The U.S. Department of Justice announced yesterday the formation of a new Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit. According to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the new unit, which is part of a pilot program, will utilize data analytics “to identify and prosecute individuals who are contributing” to the opioid epidemic. The Department will also fund additional prosecutors tasked specifically with investigating and prosecuting opioid-related health care fraud.

The Doctor Will Skype with You Now

June 7, 2017 by Lindsay M. Miller, Associate
As expressed on Ice Miller’s Internet of Things (IoT) site, the proliferation of the Internet of Things creates unprecedented new uses for internet-enabled devices and heightens the demand for high-speed connectivity among residential and commercial users. One example of such uses is telemedicine and associated applications to monitor patients, personnel, and medical devices.

DOJ Prioritizes Combating Health Care Fraud

May 25, 2017
The investigation and prosecution of health care fraud will remain a priority for the Department of Justice (DOJ). In comments at an American Bar Association conference on health care fraud, the Acting Chief of the Criminal Division, Kenneth Blanco, said Attorney General Jeff Sessions “feels very strongly” about keeping health care fraud a priority. Blanco also said the investigation and prosecution of health care fraud will be “vigorous” under AG Sessions.

Don't Lose your Hospital Medical Staff Privileges

Most hospital medical staff bylaws require members to notify the medical staff leaders if a criminal investigation is pending or an arrest occurs. Many times the investigation or arrest has been widely publicized and a peer review committee of the medical staff may ask you to appear before them so that they can ascertain whether the conduct under investigation affects your clinical or professional competence.

Have Your Patient Records Been Breached? Three Exceptions to the Definition of "Breach"

July 24, 2014 by Margaret R. Emmert,
After the risk assessment establishes the facts related to the impermissible disclosure, the covered entity may find that one of three statutory exceptions to the definition of “breach” applies.

The Burden of Encryption or the Burden of a Breach?

July 10, 2014 by Nicholas R. Merker,
The single largest PHI breach in 2013 involved the theft of four desktop computers from an office; the computers contained more than four million patient records. The additional burden of encrypting that data almost certainly pales in comparison to the burden of notifying millions of patients, going through the investigation and monetary penalties that will probably result, and defending the class action lawsuit that has already been filed.

Could a Misdemeanor Guilty Plea Impact Your License to Practice Medicine?

July 9, 2014 by Myra C. Selby,
Another collateral consequence of a guilty plea, even to a misdemeanor, is disciplinary action against your license to practice medicine in any state in which you hold a license. 

Don't Forfeit Your Medicaid Provider Agreement

Even if you avoid exclusion and civil monetary penalties, Medicare and Medicaid regulations are full of traps for the unwary.

The Difference Between Encryption and Password Protection of Patient Information

June 19, 2014 by Sherry A. Fabina-Abney,
As you may already know, encryption is not the same as password protection. It’s a good idea to use a password to protect any device that contains PHI, but that is not sufficient to protect the PHI from unauthorized access.

Civil Monetary Penalties Can Stack Up For Health Care Providers

The OIG can also impose civil monetary penalties against any person who submits false claims to Medicare or Medicaid, or causes false claims to be submitted to these programs.

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