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Healthcare Marketing Lesson: Compound Pharmacy Kickback Scheme

February 13th, 2018 by

healthcare marketingBy: Jacqueline Bain

Monty Ray Grow was a defensive back on the Florida Gators’ football team from 1990 until 1993. He contracted to play for the Kansas City Chiefs in 1994 and then for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1995 and 1996. On February 5, 2018, he was convicted by a federal jury in Miami for his chief role in a massive healthcare marketing scheme designed to defraud Tricare.

Tricare is a health benefit program that provides civilian benefits for U.S Armed Forces military personnel, retirees, their dependents, and some military reservists. Tricare is a Department of Defense Program.

In September 2014, Grow entered into an agreement with a compounding pharmacy in Pompano Beach, Florida, wherein the pharmacy would pay Grow’s marketing company a commission equal to fifty percent (50%) of what the pharmacy netted in Tricare reimbursement from Grow’s referral of Tricare beneficiaries to the pharmacy. (Later on, Grow became an employee of the pharmacy.) Grow then used his commission to offer and pay recruiters to convince Tricare beneficiaries to use this pharmacy. Additionally, Grow offered and paid Tricare beneficiaries themselves to use this pharmacy. read more

DEA Audit & Administrative Proceedings: Steps to Know

November 21st, 2017 by

pharmacy audit deaBy: Matt Fischer

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is responsible for the monitoring of all manufacturing and distribution of controlled substances in the country.  Pharmacies, medical providers (i.e., who either administer, prescribe or dispense), and distributors and manufacturers of controlled substances are required to register with the DEA.  The DEA’s Diversion Control Division is tasked with reviewing applications of potential registrants and monitoring existing registrants through audits and investigations.  However, the question on many registrants’ minds is what happens if violations or deficiencies are discovered?  The answer is it depends.  The consequences will vary based on the level of noncompliance.  Thus, it is essential to be familiar with the laws that apply and most importantly, have a full understanding of the administrative process in order to act quickly to minimize potential adverse action if noncompliance is found. read more

Compounding Pharmacies and Alleged Tricare Abuses Back in the Spotlight

February 16th, 2016 by

compounding pharmacyBy: Jacqueline Bain

On Thursday, February 11, 2016, the United States Attorneys’ Office from the Middle District of Florida announced a $10 million settlement with 4 physicians and 2 pharmacies regarding alleged abuses of Tricare program.  The case against these physicians and pharmacies was prosecuted as part of the United States government’s large-scale effort to combat questionable compounding practices.  Investigations revealed that patients were often prescribed compounded drugs that they never used, and that Tricare paid a mark-up cost of nearly 90% for compounded drugs over and above the pharmacy’s actual costs of making the drug.  Roughly 40% of the claims submitted by the pharmacies in question were written by 4 physicians with an ownership or financial interest in the pharmacies.

Tricare is a federal health care program designed to insure active duty military service members, reservists, members of the National Guard, retirees, survivors and their families.  Tricare outpatient costs have almost doubled in the last 5 years, and compound drugs have accounted for a large portion of that increase.  read more

Physician Joint Venture Pharmacy Opportunities Require Guidance

April 2nd, 2014 by

Final-ACO-RulesFlorida physicians are being approached to become owners of pharmacies to which they may refer, often compounding pharmacies, but may be unaware of the regulatory issues involved.  Physicians need to be aware of the core laws that apply, which include the Florida Patient Self Referral Act (FPSRA), the Florida Anti Kickback Statute, the Patient Brokering Act and the Federal Investment Interest Safe Harbor. read more