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Prosecutors Target "Drug Dealers in Lab Coats" Print E-mail
Written by Vitale Health Law   
Tuesday, 11 February 2020 19:17

The first few weeks of the new year have seen a high number of healthcare professionals who have pleaded guilty, were convicted or sentenced on charges relating to the illegal prescribing of narcotics, including one who prosecutors described as "the latest drug dealer in a lab coat." The cases are tied to an ongoing crackdown by law enforcement agencies as a result of the opioid epidemic that has accounted for tens of thousands of deaths. These cases only serve to further exemplify the Department of Justice's commitment to going after medical professionals who violate their Hippocratic Oath to do no harm.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 February 2020 20:31
 
Tips for Protecting Seniors from Fraud Print E-mail
Written by AHCCnews   
Monday, 27 January 2020 17:22

While anyone can be a victim of fraud, elderly individuals are especially at risk of falling victim to these scams. Many scammers take advantage of senior citizens because they view them as helpless and can easily trick them into financial scams. Senior citizens also have a lifetime of savings built up that attracts the attention of financial scammers. Because of this, millions of senior citizens end up as victims of such scams each year. Knowing this, it is important for elders and their families to know how to protect themselves from fraudulent activity. There are several actions you can take to ensure that your elderly loved ones and patients do not end up as victims of these scams. Use the following information as guide to learn how to get fraud protection for the seniors in your life.

People Awareness
According to the National Council on Aging, more than 90 percent of elder abuse, which includes financial exploitation, is done by a senior’s family. This includes an elderly individual’s adult children, grandchildren, and others. As such, seniors must be careful with trusting relatives with their money. Not having complete control of one’s money opens the door for financial exploitation. Common methods for financial exploitation include joint account depletion and outright theft. Even if elderly individuals don’t have a high income, they are still at risk of financial abuse. Family members are already familiar with the financial situation of their elderly relatives and have access to their information, making them easy targets.

Solicitor/Seller Awareness
Generally speaking, solicitors are people that deserve suspicion. If you find that a solicitor is from an unknown company or a company that seems suspicious, do not give them any money — even if it’s just a donation. As a general rule, you should especially never give money if you need to provide your credit card information on any forms. Furthermore, know who you are giving your money to. Be informed and see what you can find out about the company to see if it’s reputable before giving them any money or personal information. An exception to the rule can be Girl Scouts and students doing school fundraisers. Otherwise, it’s in your best interest to decline any offers. This includes anyone trying to sell you a product that they claim will be covered by Medicare. In fact, misusing Medicare funds is one of the biggest scams concerning elderly individuals. If you do make a purchase, always get the contact and company information of the seller. If you’re contacted by a solicitor via phone, don’t give out your personal information to them. In fact, you should avoid giving out personal information to anyone over the phone unless you initiated the call yourself.

Shred Financial Documents
As a rule of thumb, you should shred any documents and receipts that have your credit card number, bank account number, Medicare number, and other similar numbers. By doing this, you can prevent someone from using these numbers to access your accounts and money. In addition, you should still monitor your bank account, credit card, and Medicare activity to make sure there’s no suspicious activity going on. A trusted family member can help their senior relatives monitor their accounts and ensure that they do not make any bad purchases.

Direct Deposit
If seniors enroll in direct deposit for the income and benefits they receive, the money will directly go into their account. This will limit financial risks and prevent anyone from stealing their checks. Direct deposit payments are also easy to monitor, especially if they occur at regular intervals.

Identity Theft Protection
Seniors should be signed up for identity theft protection, which oversees personal and financial information in public records, on the web’s black market, and elsewhere. No matter how well you monitor the accounts of your elderly relatives, you cannot ensure complete protection from identity theft. Identity theft often occurs well before victims notice that their identity has been stolen. Working with a professional for identity theft protection will ensure that identity theft is caught right away. These professionals will also take steps to correct the issue if your loved one’s identity is stolen.

Our Caregivers Can Help
By following the aforementioned tips, you can protect yourself or an elderly loved one from being a victim of financial exploitation. While it is probably best for the family members of senior citizens to help protect them from financial scams, it is beneficial to hire home care professionals to ensure they are properly cared for in their homes.

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Assisting Hands provides professional home care services to clients throughout Miami-Dade County. Learn more at https://www.assistinghands.com/miami/.  

Last Updated on Tuesday, 28 January 2020 09:44
 
Medical Office Space 2020 Print E-mail
Written by Amanda Bhikhari   
Tuesday, 21 January 2020 18:31
medical office As commercial real estate continues to grow, the medical office space is evolving to cater to new trends which affect the practice of medicine as well as the real estate industry as a whole. The healthcare sector is beginning to lean toward efficient spaces, and creating greater availability in spaces. Energy Efficiency, 'Home' Design, Technology and Outpatient Centers will be hot topics in the new year.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 January 2020 18:36
 
DOJ Recovers $2.6B in Healthcare Fraud Settlements, Judgments in 2019 Print E-mail
Written by Vitale Health Law   
Tuesday, 14 January 2020 17:51

The federal government said it was making healthcare fraud a priority, and from the numbers just released by the U.S. Department of Justice, it appears to be bearing fruit. The DOJ announced last week that it recovered more than $3 billion in settlements and judgments from civil cases involving fraud and false claims in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2019. Out of that total, healthcare made up the bulk, with $2.6 billion recovered from drug and medical device manufacturers, managed care providers, hospitals, pharmacies, hospice organizations, laboratories and physicians. It is the tenth consecutive year the department's civil healthcare fraud settlements and judgments exceeded $2 billion. The $2.6 billion figure does not include the millions of dollars recovered for state Medicaid programs. Whistleblowers continued to play a big role in recoveries, with 633 qui tam suits filed this past year - an average of more than 12 new cases every week, according to DOJ. Of the $3 billion recovered, more than $2.1 billion grew out of lawsuits filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. During the same period, the government paid out $265 million to the individuals who exposed fraud and false claims by filing these actions, according to DOJ.

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Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 January 2020 18:26
 
State Faces Loss Of Medicaid Funding For Hospitals Print E-mail
Written by Christine Sexton | News Services of Florida via Health News Florida   
Thursday, 09 January 2020 00:00

As Florida lawmakers prepare to start the 2020 legislative session, the state is being confronted with a $70.4 million loss in the coming months in the amount of Medicaid money it gets to fund hospitals, train future physicians and treat people who are mentally ill. Amy Baker, who leads the Legislature's Office of Economic and Demographic Research, is including the reduction --- slated to take effect May 23 --- in budget documents prepared for lawmakers as they begin working on a fiscal 2020-2021 spending plan.
 
 
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