Federal Court Blasts Hospital’s Kitchen Sink Privilege Claim

Face it.  When the judge uses the words “kitchen sink” to describe your position, you’re in trouble. Lawyers for Chicago’s Mercy Hospital found that out Monday when a federal court ruled on their claim of peer review privilege for hundreds of documents sought by the plaintiff in a malpractice case.  …

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D.C. Circuit Declines Hospitals’ Plea for Relief from CMS Catch-22

Yesterday the D.C. Circuit dismissed a lawsuit brought by the American Hospital Association and five hospitals seeking relief from a notorious Catch- 22 recognized by everyone in the industry—and by the court itself.  As usual, it involves the hated Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs). Here’s how the catch …

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Eighth Circuit Revives Whistleblower Action by Scorned Planned Parenthood Manager

The last time we heard about Susan Thayer’s whistleblower suit against Planned Parenthood, a federal district court in Iowa had thrown it out because she hadn’t provided any specific examples of fraud and therefore had failed Rule 9(b)’s requirement to plead “with particularity.”  That was a relief to …

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OIG Criticizes CMS’s 16-Year Delay in Issuing Regulations; CMS Yawns

Turns out it’s not just health care providers that notice CMS’s foot-dragging. Last Thursday the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of Health & Human Services (HHS) published its report on what CMS has done—or rather, has not done—in response to a Congressional mandate issued in 1997. The mandate …

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HHS Asserts the Everybody-Does-It Defense

Anybody with children has heard the “everybody-does-it” excuse.  You know, you scold your child for eating junk food.  Before the words are out of your mouth, you hear, “All the other kids do it.” If that sounds familiar, your child may have a future as a lawyer for Health & Human Services.  …

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Want to Complain about the 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule? Take a Number.

Winston Churchill famously said that democracy is the worst form of government . . . except for all the others. Apparently Americans feel that way about Medicare’s traditional fee-for-service physician compensation schedule.  Everybody complains about it, but nobody likes any proposed changes.  That’s …

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