Akerman LLP - Health Law Rx

What does the Escobar Decision Mean for Healthcare Providers?

On June 16, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court in Universal Health Servs., Inc. v. United States ex rel Escobar, No. 13-317, — S. Ct. — (June 16, 2016), confirmed that the implied certification theory may serve as a basis for…more
| Civil Procedure, Government Contracting, Health

Medical Marijuana’s Florida Debut: A Process Fraught with Constraints

Florida’s limited medical marijuana program is finally almost ready to go live. For those who have been sitting on the sidelines waiting for the right moment to learn about the program, now is that moment. Recently, the Florida…more
| Elections & Politics, Health

Attention Employers: Action Required Before Having Employees or Contractors Sign Non-Disclosure Agreements

In May, President Obama signed the federal Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 into law, the details of which we reported in a recent Akerman Practice Update. The Act allows companies for the first time to bring trade secret theft…more
| Commercial Law & Contracts, Elections & Politics, Health, Intellectual Property, Labor & Employment Law

Accountable Care, Non-Profit Status and the Dangerous Ripple Effect it May Cause

On April 8, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Private Letter Ruling (PLR) 201615022, which denied tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status to a commercial accountable care organization (ACO). This ruling marks the first time…more
| Health, Nonprofit Law, Taxation

Wellness Programs May Need a Check-Up Following Recent EEOC Guidance

Many employers offer some type of “wellness program” to their employees as a way to improve employee health and reduce healthcare spending. Wellness programs can be called many different things, including “weight loss…more
| Civil Rights, Health, Labor & Employment Law

Lights, Camera, Settlement: OCR says a picture is worth $2.2 million

A New York hospital has settled with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) for $2.2 million after allowing a TV crew for the ABC documentary series “NY Med” to film patients receiving…more
| Art, Entertainment, & Sports Law, Health, Privacy

Not a Check-the-Box Exercise: Failure to Have Signed BAA Results in Substantial Fine

A group practice that was the victim of a silver-harvesting scam has agreed to pay the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) $750,000 to settle charges that it released protected health information (“PHI”) of its…more
| Civil Procedure, Health, Privacy, Science, Computers, & Technology

Florida’s Adoption of Federal Exemptions for Wholesale Drug Distribution May Benefit Pharmacies, Practitioners and Hospitals

The 2016 Florida Legislature enacted substantial legislation (Ch. 2016-212, Laws of Florida) to bring Florida’s Drug and Cosmetic Act (Ch. 499, Florida Statutes) in line with the federal Drug Supply Chain and Security Act…more
| Elections & Politics, Health, Science, Computers, & Technology

Prepare for the Unexpected with Data Storage and Retrieval

Last week, a federal court in Illinois encountered another example of unexpected events causing problematic privacy and data storage implications for a healthcare company. The non-profit organization responsible for maintaining…more
| Health, Privacy, Science, Computers, & Technology

Shhh….OCR Releases New HIPAA Audit Protocol

Just in time for the Phase 2 audits, the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR) quietly posted the updated HIPAA Audit Protocol on its website. The new audit protocol has been updated to include…more
| Health, Privacy, Science, Computers, & Technology

Fighting Prescription Drug Abuse Gets a Little Easier for Florida Providers, Pharmacists

Pharmacies, dispensing prescribers, and certain healthcare facilities in Florida will soon have an easier time complying with controlled-substance reporting requirements. Florida established its Prescription Drug Monitoring…more
| Health

Phase 2 of HIPAA Audits Is Underway – Covered Entities and Business Associates Beware

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (OCR) recently announced that it has started obtaining and verifying entity contact information to identify covered entities and business associates for…more
| Health, Privacy, Science, Computers, & Technology

Surprise Medical Bills? The Florida Legislature Offers Some Relief!

With House Bill 221, the last bill to pass during the 2016 legislative session, the Florida legislature took a significant step towards reducing uncertainty for medical costs for persons with Preferred Provider Organization…more
| Elections & Politics, Health

OCR Issues New Guidance on “Reasonable and Cost-Based” Fees Associated with Medical Record Copying and Access

On February 25, 2016, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) released a set of FAQs directed at healthcare providers and plans that are required to comply with the HIPAA Privacy Rule (the Privacy Rule). The guidance emphasizes that…more
| Health, Privacy

Federal Court finds “Systemic Failure” in Processing of Administrative Appeals for Medicare Reimbursement Claims

A win for efficiency: The AHA suit may force shorter adjudication times for Medicare administrative appeals. In 2014, the American Hospital Association (AHA), along with three hospital systems, filed suit against the U.S…more
| Administrative Law, Civil Procedure, Government Contracting, Health
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