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Showing 16 posts in Health Care.

Responding to State Board of Pharmacy Licensing and Regulatory Proceedings

State Boards of Pharmacy are responsible for protecting the health, safety and welfare of the public by regulating the legal distribution of prescription drugs in their respective states, and ensuring the quality of all drugs administered, prescribed, distributed, or dispensed by prescription. That responsibility includes regulating the practice of pharmacy; administering and enforcing pharmacy practice acts and regulations in their respective states; and licensing, regulating, monitoring, investigating, and disciplining pharmacists and pharmacies.

A State Board of Pharmacy may reprimand, cancel, suspend, or revoke the license of a pharmacist or pharmacy that is found to have violated applicable pharmacy laws or regulations. State Board of Pharmacy disciplinary action on a pharmacist or pharmacy license based on disciplinary action by another State Board of Pharmacy is common and can present a multitude of problems for pharmacists and pharmacies that operate on a national basis.

It takes years of dedication and hard work to develop the skills necessary to secure a pharmacist license or operate a pharmacy. If confronted with State Board of Pharmacy disciplinary actions, it is critical for pharmacists and pharmacies alike to know how to respond. More ›

Health Care Providers and Pharmaceutical Distributors Should Heed These Warnings to Reduce the Risk of an Opioid-Related Lawsuit

The national opioid crisis has triggered an avalanche of lawsuits around the country. Pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors are often among the named defendants, but other entities are also at risk. The wide variety of claims that figure in these lawsuits means that all health care industry participants should evaluate their risk of being subjected to an opiate-related claim. Many of these suits are being consolidated into multidistrict litigation (MDL), while others are being handled as individual claims. More ›

Employer Wellness Programs Operating Under a Cloud of Uncertainty

Wellness programs have quickly found favor with many employers: studies indicate that nearly half of employers who sponsor a health plan offer a wellness program. However, wellness programs have been operating under cloud ever since a federal court decision invalidated guidance issued by the EEOC that an incentive to participants equal to 30% of the cost of coverage under the group health plan was permissible. In December 2018, the EEOC revoked its guidance and the agency is expected to offer new guidance later in 2019. More ›

What Health Care Providers Need to Know About the Illinois Gender Violence Act

Years before the rise of the "#MeToo" movement, the Illinois Gender Violence Act (IGVA) was enacted to give victims of criminal "gender violence" a civil remedy. The IGVA creates a civil cause of action for persons who have been subjected to gender-related violence, which is defined in part as, "a physical intrusion or physical invasion of a sexual nature under coercive conditions satisfying the elements of battery under the laws of Illinois." A cause of action under the IGVA exists regardless of whether the alleged act of sexual aggression resulted in criminal charges, prosecution, or conviction. Essentially, any claim involving sexual harassment and physical touching could arguably fall within the scope of the statute. More ›

Sixth Circuit Applies Escobar Ruling in Decision to Resuscitate False Claims Act Case

The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit recently resuscitated a qui tam action under the False Claims Act (FCA), and, in so doing, held that the relator had properly alleged materiality under the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Universal Health Services Inc. v. United States ex rel. Escobar, 136 S. Ct. 1989, 2002 (2016). The Sixth Circuit's decision, U.S. ex rel. Prather v. Brookdale Senior Living Communities, Inc., 892 F.3d 22 (6th Cir. June 11, 2018) addressed a relator's claims under the FCA. The FCA imposes civil liability on those who defraud the federal government by levying fines and penalties, including up to three times the government's damages. Private persons called relators file lawsuits or qui tam actions for violations of the FCA on behalf of the government. More ›

More than 600 Healthcare Professionals Hit by DOJ with Medicare Fraud Charges

The number of criminal charges filed annually by the Department of Justice (DOJ) against health care providers and professionals continues to escalate. On June 28, 2018, the DOJ announced that the Medicare Fraud Strike Force had charged 601 individuals across the United States, including more than 150 physicians, nurses, and other licensed medical professionals for participating in health care fraud schemes involving more than $2 billion in false billings this summer. At the same time, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services initiated suspension actions against numerous providers, including doctors, nurses, and pharmacists. More ›

NLRB Evaluation of Personnel Handbook Finds Moonlighting Policy Unlawful

Health care employers should take note of a recent decision of an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) which struck down a number of employer policies in a Personnel Handbook, including a limitation on anti-moonlighting. Anti-moonlighting provisions are common in health care provider contracts and in personnel manuals of health care providers, including group practices, hospitals and other larger health care employers. The reasons for such rules in the health care setting are straightforward and largely non-controversial. They include the fact that risk to patients go up if employees are fatigued at work. Health care providers also may require varying shifts or mandatory overtime. Such rules minimize workplace conflict when employees are unable to satisfy the staffing requirements of their primary employer because of a second job commitment. Obviously, working for a competitor provider is also something that most group practices, hospitals and other providers, seek to limit. More ›

Illinois Appeals Court Protects Hospital Counsel's Right to Speak with Former Agents of Hospital

For attorneys who represent hospitals in medical malpractice cases, dealing with nursing witnesses who have retired or relocated can be difficult. In addition to the practical issues of finding these witnesses, contacting them and communicating with them remotely, potential legal issues can further complicate circumstances. For example, opposing counsel may take issue with attempts to contact such witnesses under the broad prohibition against defense attorneys communicating with treating witnesses (known as the Petrillo doctrine). Opposing counsel may also seek the exact nature and content of such communication and challenge the existence of any privilege protecting it. While in most cases these issues can be resolved informally among the attorneys, hospital attorneys should keep the case of Caldwell vs. Advocate Condell Medical Center, 2017 IL App (2d) 160456 (Oct. 4, 2017) at ready reference in case they cannot. More ›

Common Mistakes Physician Extenders Make in Their Practices

First of all, for those who may be thinking “what is a physician extender,” a physician extender is a licensed health care provider (not a physician) that provides medical services typically performed by a physician. More ›

EMR and E-Discovery Part Five: On Standard of Care and Final Thoughts

In the final installment of our series, EMR and E-Discovery, author David Levitt discusses the need for healthcare institutions to develop a management strategy for patient care communications and its impact on standard of care. More ›

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