CONGRESS EXTENDS MEDICARE “DOC FIX” TO 2015 AND NOBODY’S HAPPY

On Monday the Senate approved yet another one-year delay in implementing the scheduled 24% reduction in physician Medicare fees, and nobody’s happy about it.  Last week even the AMA blasted the House for approving the delay. How can a bill pass if nobody likes it?  How can the AMA be unhappy about a delay …

[Read more...]

COURT CALLS SECOND STRIKE ON WHISTLEBLOWER

For a second time the Maryland federal district court has dismissed a whistleblower suit alleging Medicare fraud for off-label use of a medication patch.  A former sales representative for the manufacturer claimed the patch was prescribed for longer than the FDA-approved 14 days.  The first time around, the …

[Read more...]

CRITICISM OF 340B HOSPITALS CONTINUES

Criticism of the hospitals participating in the 340B drug program continues, and it’s a matter of grave concern to safety-net and other qualifying hospitals. Yesterday the Alliance for Integrity & Reform of 340B issued a report titled Unfulfilled Expectations: An Analysis of Charity Care Provided by 340B …

[Read more...]

WHISTLEBLOWER CASE SURVIVES WITHOUT IDENTIFYING FALSE CLAIMS

In a decision of special interest to academic medical centers, a federal court in Tennessee last Wednesday refused to dismiss a False Claims suit brought by three physician whistleblowers against Vanderbilt Medical Center.  They allege that Vanderbilt billed Medicare for supervising physicians when, in fact, no …

[Read more...]

ILL. COURT QUASHES MED RECORD SUBPOENA IN WRONGFUL DEATH CASE

At first glance, it doesn’t seem out of line for a trucking company to seek medical records in a case where its tractor-trailer allegedly caused a fatal collision.  And, in fact, the Illinois federal district court initially issued the subpoena.  But on March 11 the same court quashed the subpoena. Why?  …

[Read more...]

CRIMINAL INDICTMENT FOR FALSE EHR CERTIFICATION

Hospital executives already lie awake at night worrying about Recovery Audit Contractor audits (RACs), whistleblowers, treble damage recoveries, and $5,500-per-false-invoice penalties.  Now they can add personal criminal indictment to the list—that is, if they plan to falsely certify “meaningful use” of …

[Read more...]