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Compliance Update
New Year: New prescribing laws take effect Print E-mail
Written by Vitale Health Law   
Monday, 09 January 2017 00:00

Two new prescribing laws took effect this month that physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners should be familiar with.

Effective Jan. 1, advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs) and physician assistants (PAs) are allowed to prescribe, order, and administer controlled substances, subject to certain protocols. This came with the passage of HB 423, which was signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott last year.

ARNPs and PAs practicing in Florida must apply for DEA registration to prescribe controlled substances.

The other new law, which came with the passage of Amendment 2 in November, legalizes the use of marijuana to treat certain medical conditions.

The law took effect on Jan. 3, however, the Florida Department of Health has not yet promulgated rules to Amendment 2 and has six months to do so. The department has nine months to implement the regulations.

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2016 A Banner Year for Security Breaches Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 02 January 2017 17:22

Marla Durben Hirsch reporting for Fierce Healthcare on 12/29/16:

Security breaches of electronic protected health information (ePHI) continue to plague the healthcare industry-and the trend shows no signs of abating.

More than 25 million patient records were reportedly compromised as of October 2016. And then, in November, the cases spiked: There were 57 health data breaches-the most in any one month this year, according to the Protenus Breach Barometer.

Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>> 
OIG's new safe harbors, civil monetary penalty exceptions set to take effect Print E-mail
Written by Vitale Health Law   
Monday, 26 December 2016 00:00

On January 6, new safe harbors to the federal anti-kickback statute and amendments to the civil monetary penalty rules will take effect. The expansion of existing safe harbors, along with the addition of new ones, were issued by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General on Dec. 7, and are expected to impact providers, drug manufacturers and pharmacies. You can read them here.

The changes add new safe harbors designed to protect certain payment practices and business arrangements from sanctions under the anti-kickback statute. That statute makes it a crime to knowingly and willfully offer, pay, solicit or receive remuneration to induce or reward business reimbursable under federal healthcare programs. Safe harbors, which are updated periodically, are designed to protect certain business arrangements from prosecution if specific elements of the safe harbor are satisfied.

OIG noted that because of the broad reach of the statute, concern was expressed that some "relatively innocuous commercial arrangements" were covered by the statute and therefore, potentially subject to criminal prosecution.

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CMS Final Rule Overhauls Long-Term Care Facility Regulations Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 19 December 2016 00:00

In a December 16, 2016 MWE post by Monica Wallace, Joel C. Rush, Patrick Callaghan and Chelsea M. Rutherford:

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services issued its long-awaited Final Rule on long-term care facility reform...<This CMS final rule> represents the first comprehensive change to long-term care conditions of participation since 1991. The policies in the Final Rule are designed to reduce unnecessary hospital readmissions and infections, improve quality of care and strengthen safety measures for residents and include elimination of pre-dispute arbitration agreements.

Read more in the current issue of Week in Review>>
OIG's Far-reaching 2017 Work Plan Designed to Root Out Fraud and Abuse Print E-mail
Written by Vitale Health Law   
Monday, 21 November 2016 00:00

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently released its work plan for 2017 and its target list is ambitious.

Each year, the agency releases a plan that summarizes new and existing reviews and areas where it will focus its attention for the coming year. It also shows the areas where work has been completed, revised or removed.

Here are some highlights...

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 November 2016 18:42
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