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Ways & Means Committee Holds Hearing on Hospital Consolidation and Physician Integration Print E-mail
Written by Jeffrey Herschler   
Wednesday, 12 October 2011 00:00

One of the primary objectives of the recently enacted health reform legislation was to promote hospital and physician alignment, coordination and integration.  Unsurprisingly, hospitals and physicians have responded to these new incentives with increased merger activity and other integration strategies.  Now, in an unexpected twist, the usually business-friendly, Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means is examining consolidation activity within the health industry to determine the effect these transactions are having on efficiency and health care costs.

Read the full article here  

Source: MWE.com

Last Updated on Thursday, 13 October 2011 09:57
 
Consignment Closets: Still a Viable Option for DME Providers Print E-mail
Written by Albert R. Meyer & Jeffrey L. Cohen   
Wednesday, 07 September 2011 16:50

In the age of heightened regulatory scrutiny, physicians and other health care providers often question whether "Consignment Closet" relationships are legal.  If properly structured these arrangements are not only legal but are of great benefit to patients needing valuable medical devices.  A properly structured relationship will, in all probability, withstand a regulatory challenge by the Office of Inspector General or from other regulatory authorities. 

Consignment Closets or "Stock and Bill" arrangements are used by many durable medical equipment, prosthetics and orthotics suppliers ("DMEPOS").  The DMEPOS supplier places inventory in space rented from a physician's office.  This allows the patient to immediately receive equipment or devices that they need as they leave the physician's office.  The DMEPOS company, not the physician, bills the patient or the patient's insurance carrier (or other third party payor) for the device.  In proper Consignment Closet models the patient should never be forced to obtain devices from the physician's office and are free to use the supplier of his/her choice.  When a patient chooses to obtain the device at the physician's office the physician's staff will instruct the patient on the use of the device or "fit" a brace or other product provided.  The DMEPOS supplier will compensate the physician's office for this service, as well as for administrative services provided by the physician's office staff for providing billing information to the DMEPOS supplier.  The DMEPOS supplier also rents from the physician the space in the physician's office where the DMEPOS supplier's inventory is stored

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Mr. Cohen and Mr. Meyer have over 45 years of combined healthcare legal experience, and have advised clients all over the United States regarding M.D./D.C. arrangements.  With an extensive background in transactional healthcare and corporate matters, particularly as they relate to physicians, the Florida Healthcare Law Firm is immersed in regulatory, contract, corporate, compliance and employment related matters of medical practices and other healthcare businesses.  Mr. Cohen and Mr. Meyer can be reached at www.floridahealthcarelawfirm.com and also by calling toll free at (888) 455-7702.   
Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 September 2011 15:56
 
The IOM Report on Reform of the 510(k) Device Clearance Process and Beyond Print E-mail
Written by MWE.com   
Wednesday, 31 August 2011 17:39

In the second step of the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) initiative to assess and reform the 510(k) clearance process for Class II medical devices, the Institute of Medicine released its commissioned report on July 29, 2011, recommending that the FDA replace the 510(k) clearance process with a new regulatory framework.  The IOM report should be noted by stakeholders for the significance of this recommendation and the extent to which it may impact the direction and scope of upcoming FDA changes to the medical device clearance process. 
Read the full article here.  SOURCE:  MWE.com
 
CMS' 2012 OPPS Proposed Rule Further Revises Physician Supervision Requirements Print E-mail
Written by MWE.com   
Tuesday, 16 August 2011 00:00

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) intends to further revise its physician supervision policy by proposing the federal Advisory Panel on Ambulatory Payment Classification Groups serve as the independent review body to evaluate and recommend physician supervision levels to CMS, and by defining personal supervision and general supervision for all hospital outpatient therapeutic services.

Read the full article here.                SOURCE:  MWE.com

Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 August 2011 13:21
 
Counterfeit Proof Prescription Pads Required for Health Care Practitioners in Florida Print E-mail
Written by MedicalJustice.com   
Wednesday, 10 August 2011 10:14

Under House Bill 7095, also known as the "Pill Mill Bill", counterfeit-proof prescription pads must be used by health care practitioners for prescribing controlled substances listed in Section 893.03 of the Florida Statutes.  The law became effective on July 1, 2011.  However, Surgeon General, Dr. Frank Farmer issued a supplemental order on July 6, 2011, suspending the requirement for health care practitioners to use counterfeit-proof prescription pads for 60 days. 

The Florida Department of Health received many phone calls from both patients and practitioners stating that pharmacies were not filling prescriptions for controlled substances because the prescriptions were not written on the required counterfeit-proof prescription pads. 

"Once we began learning of the unintended consequences to law-abiding doctors and patients with legitimate health care needs, we knew we needed to take action to prevent substantial injury or harm to patients," said Dr. Farmer. "Issuing the supplemental order provides practitioners the time needed to order the necessary prescription pads to ensure public safety over the long term."

"As a licensed practitioner myself, I understand the complexities of running a medical practice," stated Dr. Farmer. "But in the interest of public health and safety to stop the abuse of prescription drugs, I urge all of Florida's licensed health care practitioners to visit DOH's website and order the counterfeit-proof prescription pads."

Dr. Farmer had declared that a "state of emergency" existed due to the prescription drug crisis in Florida.  House Bill 7095 was designed to stop Florida's prescription drug trafficking by cracking down on "pill mills, which are illegal clinics that prescribe painkillers without any medical justification.  Requiring counterfeit-proof prescription pads is one of the ways House Bill 7095 seeks to reduce drug trafficking.  The law additionally, requires reporting of narcotics prescriptions to a state database in seven days instead of fifteen days.  Florida is joining several others states, such as California and New Jersey, by requiring approved counterfeit-proof prescription pads.     

The Florida Department of Health website contains additional information, including answers to frequently asked questions regarding the prescription pads and an approved vendor list.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 17 August 2011 12:58
 
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