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The Legal Diagnosis

Health Care and Life Sciences Law Blog

A law blog devoted to the legal implications for doctors, hospitals, and life science companies.

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Feb 19, 2019

Hospital Pricing Transparency: Are Comparisons Now Possible?

As this blog previously addressed, the price disclosure requirement issued by the Department of Health and Human Services emanated from the Affordable Care Act and requires hospitals to post price information on the internet in a machine-readable format. Starting on January 1, 2019 this became an affirmative obligation for hospitals.» Read More

Feb 07, 2019

Stark and Antikickback Statute Reforms on the Way?

At a Brookings Institution event last month, Eric Hargan, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), announced that the agency will be issuing proposed rules to revise federal fraud and abuse regulations that are seen as hampering care coordination and the transformation to a value-based health care system.» Read More

Feb 05, 2019

Hospital Price Transparency Rules Now in Effect

Starting January 1, 2019, hospitals have been reporting their standard charges online in an easily accessible format, due to a new rule from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

With the passage of the Affordable Care Act, hospitals were required to release a list of prices for their items and services to the public; however, the initial rulemaking required that either the charges themselves be made public, or the hospital’s policy for allowing public review of the hospital’s charges upon request be made public. » Read More

Jan 31, 2019

Lawsuits Allege Oxycontin Manufacturers Mislead the Public About Addiction Risk

There can be no doubt that the dominant and most oft-debated legal issue affecting the practice of medicine today is the prescribing of controlled substances to patients for pain. At the forefront of the debate is the drug Oxycontin, a powerful opioid produced by the privately-held company Purdue Pharma.» Read More

Jan 25, 2019

Governor Murphy Unveils New Initiatives to Fight the Opioid Epidemic and Adds a New Eligible Condition for the Medical Marijuana Program

On Jan 23, Gov Phil Murphy announced an additional eligible condition to qualify patients for the Medical Marijuana Program (MMP) – opioid addiction.  The addition of opioid addiction as a qualifying condition is consistent with the governor’s and Health Commissioner Dr.» Read More

Jan 16, 2019

DOJ Recovers $2.8 Billion in 2018 False Claims Act Cases

The Department of Justice (DOJ) obtained $2.8 billion in settlements and judgements from False Claims Act civil cases in fiscal year 2018.  Of this amount, $2.5 billion, (89%), involved recoveries from the health care industry, including drug and medical device manufacturers, managed care providers, hospitals, pharmacies, hospice organizations, laboratories, and physicians. » Read More

Dec 13, 2018

When Was the Last Time You Checked If Your Practice Has a HIPAA BAA with Its Vendors?

Do you have a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement (“BAA”) in place with all your vendors who have access to your patients’ Protected Health Information (“PHI”)?  If not, you may be exposing your practice to a significant monetary penalty.  On December 4, 2018, the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights released a statement revealing they have reached a $500,000 settlement with a Florida hospitalist group for disclosing PHI to a vendor with whom they did not have a HIPAA BAA. » Read More

Nov 26, 2018

President Trump’s Plan to Reduce Medicare Drug Costs

Labeling Medicare a “rigged system,” President Trump has outlined a plan that he believes would allow it to lower drug prices covered under its Part B coverage. Specifically, the proposal would permit Medicare to implement a new reimbursement scheme that would reduce drug prices to achieve parity with costs in other nations.» Read More

Nov 16, 2018

What Is the Retention Requirement for a Minor’s Medical Records in New Jersey?

In New Jersey, a physician is required to maintain treatment records for seven years from the date of the most recent entry; however, questions always arise about how long a physician must retain medical records for a minor.

The State Board of Medical Examiners does not differentiate between minor and adult patients, and simply sets a seven-year retention requirement. » Read More

Nov 08, 2018

Medical Record Retention – How Long Should Physician Practices Maintain Patient Records?

As most physician practices move towards implementing EHR systems and technologies, medical offices are often prompted to decide whether or not to dispose of old medical records for inactive patients. The question of how long a physician must maintain patient medical records depends on a variety of business and legal factors, as outlined below.» Read More

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