The COVID-19 pandemic has presented hospitals and health care facilities with challenges that go beyond providing comprehensive care to patients suffering from the virus. One of the most common challenges is how to handle patient visitors. Denying or limiting visitors could be seen as a violation of patient rights, and denying access to a visit by clergy could rise to the level of religious discrimination. After receiving a number of complaints in this regard, the HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) recently provided some technical assistance to two hospitals that faced this issue.
In the first case, a COVID-positive patient in a Maryland hospital was separated from her newborn son. Shaken by the separation, the patient requested that a priest be permitted to visit the baby, so he could baptize the child. But the hospital had instituted a ban on all hospital visitation in response to the pandemic, so the request was denied.
Round 2021 of Medicare’s DMEPOS Competitive Bidding (“CBID”) Program has been a doozy to say the least!
From the complexities of the new bidding process announced in 2019 that I initially wrote here and on this article through the uncertainty regarding whether Round 2021 would ultimately be implemented given the COVID-19 pandemic, the Round 2021 CBID Program that goes into effect on January 1, 2021 is shaping up to be much different than originally anticipated. Allow me to breakdown the changes between ‘then’ and ‘now’:
Video on Round 2021 of Medicare’s DMEPOS Competitive Bidding (“CBID”) Program.
Can an employer require employees to be vaccinated against influenza? And, a COVID-19 vaccine likely will be approved in the not-to-distant future. What about that vaccine when it becomes available? These are questions with which many organizations are grappling today. With the confluence of what is expected to be a very active influenza season and the ongoing and unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, employers are contemplating how best to protect their workforce and clients/customers/patients.
One of the most effective ways to achieve this is a mandatory vaccine policy, but is that right for your organization? Mandatory vaccination programs are not new. Depending on your business, a mandatory vaccine policy may be the industry norm. What factors should you consider? What processes would you need to develop to address exceptions?
CAN YOUR BUSINESS MANDATE VACCINATIONS?
In general the answer is yes. Although federal and state laws may vary, such programs are permissible provided any mandatory vaccination policy incorporates processes to address the required exceptions: medical accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); and religious accommodations under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII).
Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic many healthcare businesses are exploring various ways to increase their referrals, and although exchanging fees and gifts in return for referrals may sound like an easy way to obtain additional business, there are state and federal laws that strictly prohibit such activities that are discussed in greater detail below.
Two of the most important laws that all physical therapists should be aware of are the Anti-Kickback Statute and the Stark Law which are used to ensure that medical decisions are not made based on financial incentives. However, each of the laws do have distinctions that you need to be aware of.
If you are a physician, hospital administrator or other licensed healthcare providers working in the Sunshine State, then you are likely familiar with the routine, but still serious, Florida medicare audit. Many times, this can result in an overpayment of claims, which can be costly. You need to be armed with the tools and counsel that can avoid claim denials or overpayments…you need the team at Florida Healthcare Law Firm. From RACs to CERTs and Probes, we know the rules and regulations and make it our business to be on top of trends and changing requirements. Experience shows that if you are in the unfortunate predicament of being evaluated, it is much better to have an attorney present to ensure a successful outcome. What’s more, most experts agree that it is wisest to retain an attorney before the problem arises. You may be able to avoid the situation entirely. At the very least, we will ensure that you and your practice survive the process in one piece.
If you are visited by a Florida medicare auditor, we suggest you take the situation seriously. The extrapolation factor is a case in point. For example, even if only 40 claims are assessed with a 25% denial rate, this could be evidence enough for full denial of all claims from that period. Such drastic measures could be enough to shut down an entire practice. Don’t put yourself, your reputation and your livelihood in jeopardy. Contact us within 30 days of receipt of your demand letter. With 150 years’ collective experience, we can get the process started with a full diagnostic of your practice. We will guide you through and keep your business viable until a satisfactory result is achieved. And even if these pinpointed services aren’t used daily or weekly or even monthly, our full spectrum of resources, including free webinars and frequent healthcare legal blogs, are available to you 24/7. Protect yourself and contact Florida Healthcare Law Firm today to plan for and understand better the ramifications of claim assessment.
Outside of board-certified medical doctors, other licensed providers can benefit enormously from healthcare malpractice insurance in Florida. These licensed providers include physician assistants, osteopathic physicians, osteopathic physician assistants, advanced registered nurse practitioners, naturopaths, physical therapists, chiropractors, dentists, massage practitioners, acupuncturists and occupational therapists.
Even medical assistants can obtain coverage to protect themselves against being named individually in a lawsuit. At Florida Healthcare Law Firm, we can help all of these specialists realize the full power of this type of professional liability coverage and understand its benefits and parameters. Together, our team of attorneys offers 150 years’ experience delving into medical-related cases. This area is not simply part of what we do; it is everything we do. In the unfortunate event of a medical professional or hospital (or both) being named in a case of mistreatment of a patient, our seasoned legal staff will investigate the claim, provide legal representation and partner with you every step of the way until we reach a successful conclusions.
With a complimentary consultation, a money-back guarantee and flat-fee pricing, we approach each of our clients’ cases with a breadth and depth of knowledge in the field that makes us confident we will reach a winning situation for you. In the state, there are situations in which medical practitioners can forego liability coverage. But at what risk? Healthcare malpractice insurance in fl can be tricky. Our team helps you decode the rules of this coverage, determine if you need coverage and to what extent. As the medical field becomes more complicated, experts show that the need for coverage is increasing, especially to protect from financial devastation and human error and to supplement insufficient coverage from a professional’s employer. Let the capable team of Florida Healthcare Law Firm handle your decision to cover yourself and, if necessary, represent you should a claim arise. Contact us today for your free personal meeting.
Most physicians and health care providers know that coverage for liability claims as a result of treating patients is essential…a no-brainer. In fact, the AMA reports that by the age of 55, more than 65% of physicians have been the target of at least one lawsuit. Factor into this equation the time, cost and heartache, and most professionals agree the coverage is well worth it. Yet, the demands of a physician’s schedule can make it difficult to navigate the nuances of medical malpractice insurance for doctors in Florida and throughout the nation.
That’s why Florida Healthcare Law Firm is here to help. We are a comprehensive firm of attorneys who specialize in only one thing: researching, counseling and representing healthcare providers and hospitals. We don’t dabble in healthcare; we know the field inside and out. Collectively, our 150 years’ experience has proven itself time and time again with success stories from professionals who represent a myriad of healthcare specialties. From solo practices to $90 million facilities, our clients come to us with diverse challenges, and we deliver spectacular results with transparency, innovation and expertise that is unparalleled in the industry.
First off, it is important to note that there are no loopholes that allow physicians to work without medical malpractice insurance in Florida. Physicians must carry up to $100,000 in coverage and up to $250,000 in order to have hospital privileges. To the untrained legal eye, the intricacies of these document can be tricky, so our staff is ready to interpret and prepare you before any incident occurs. We advise you on ways to avoid legal suits, including 1) knowing how to document actions, 2) knowing what you can and cannot say when you are speaking with patients, peers and indemnity companies and 3) knowing how to keep working during the law suit. We offer complimentary consultations, webinars and ongoing 24/7 support once you begin working with us. In addition, our services, include telemedicine, payor issues, dental and pharmacy law, regulatory compliance, business transactions, hiring and firing issues. Let us exceed your expectations and protect your reputation. Contact Florida Healthcare Law Firm today.
For some reason, wearing or refusing to wear masks has become a point of personal expression and a topic charged with much emotion. We hear stories every day about confrontations with consumers in the retail industry. But what about when a patient refuses to wear a mask?
In many states and counties, face coverings are still mandated in public. Failure to wear a mask can result in civil or criminal fines or penalties. In a medical practice, even where not required by local authorities, masks may be required. In fact, some of the state Boards of Medicine have adopted minimum standards for safe practice. Those standards frequently include the requirement for both provider and patient to wear masks during all health care encounters. Where the regulations or Board of Medicine standards require all individuals to wear face coverings, a health care provider is well within his/her right to enforce those regulations within the office where health care services are being provided and to discharge a patient who refuses to comply. However, caution must be exercised when discharging a patient from a medical practice.
In general, the state Boards of Medicine do not require physicians to treat patients who are physically and mentally capable of wearing face coverings but refuse to do so. But there are circumstances where a physician may have a duty to provide care and, in such instances, exceptions to the general rule may apply.
The trend that we are seeing affects both buyers and sellers in the health care sector with respect to entities that have received cash infusions from the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) created pursuant to the CARES Act in response to COVID-19. Mergers and acquisitions can come to a significant slowdown, standstill or be terminated altogether if careful planning is not performed to account for the impact the PPP funds received by a healthcare target or seller will have on an anticipated merger or acquisition. While tax and legal considerations have typically followed along with the merger or acquisition and these considerations are important aspects of any merger or acquisition, they have taken a forefront position when it comes to planning for a change of ownership when the healthcare target or seller has received PPP funds.
As we learned earlier, health care entities requested and received PPP funds to sustain them during the public health emergency caused by COVID-19, allowing them to avoid a virtual economic shut-down. These funds were a welcome relief to keep health care entities afloat financially, providing a way to cover certain expenses such as a) payroll costs, b) rent, c) interest on any covered mortgage obligation (which shall not include any prepayment of or payment of principal on a covered mortgage obligation), and d) utilities. Using the PPP funds on these expenses allows for a recipient of the PPP funds to qualify for loan forgiveness under the PPP. That all seemed like welcome relief at the time.
Health law is the federal, state, and local law, rules, regulations and other jurisprudence among providers, payers and vendors to the healthcare industry and its patient and delivery of health care services; all with an emphasis on operations, regulatory and transactional legal issues.