News from the Health Law Gurus™: July 2014

by Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP
Contact

News from the Health Law Gurus™ is a weekly summary of notable health law news from around the country with helpful links to related content.

$1 Million Settlement Reached in $73 Million Overbilling FCA Suit—Florida-based Halifax Health (“Halifax”) has settled a False Claims Act (“FCA”) suit brought by whistleblower and former compliance officer Elin Baklid-Kunz for $1 million. In the suit, Baklid-Kunz alleged that between 2002 and 2013, Halifax admitted patients for unnecessary and expensive inpatient procedures resulting in overbilling of Medicare in the amount of $73 million dollars. This settlement comes after Halifax reached an $85 million settlement in March over allegations that it had improper financial relationships with referring physicians. The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has until July 21, 2014 to approve of the settlement. Read a Modern Healthcare article on the settlement here.  

Survey of ACA Navigators Finds 10.6 Million People Sought Enrollment Help—In a survey released this week, the Kaiser Family Foundation (“Kaiser”) estimates that approximately 10.6 million people received assistance from “navigators” in shopping for and enrolling in health insurance plans through the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) health insurance exchange (also referred to as the “marketplace”). Navigators are required by the ACA, and their job is to help consumers understand coverage options, apply for assistance, and enroll. Kaiser found that the more than 28,000 full-time equivalent staff and volunteer navigators provided help to consumers, a majority of whom did not understand the ACA or terms like “deductible” or “network service.” To read the Kaiser survey, click here.

Bill to Address Hobby Lobby Decision Blocked by Senate—A Senate bill backed by Democrats and aimed at addressing the Supreme Court’s decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby failed to pass the Senate on Wednesday. In Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court held that closely-held corporations do not need to comply with the ACA’s so-called “Contraception Mandate” if they object to providing employees with contraceptives on religious grounds. The Senate bill would have required that all for profit employers provide contraception coverage to their employees, regardless of religious objections, essentially bypassing the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling. The bill’s supporters could not muster the necessary 60 votes to pass the Senate in the 56-43 vote. Read a Washington Post article on the bill here.

29th Defendant Admits to Taking Bribes in Widespread Lab Referral Bribe Scheme—New York doctor Peter Deplas pled guilty to taking bribes from Biodiagnostic Laboratory Services LLC of Parsippany, New Jersey (“BLS”) in exchange for referrals for lab services, according to a DOJ press release. The larger scheme involved BLS paying millions of dollars in bribes in return for referrals resulting in over $100 million in payments to BLS from payors, including Medicare. For his part, Deplas admitted to taking approximately $120,000 in bribes in the form of sham lease payments and cash payments. Deplas, the eighteenth physician to plead guilty in the scheme, will be sentenced at the end of October and faces up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Read the full DOJ press release here.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP
Contact
more
less

Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.