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Medicare Trims Payments to 800 Hospitals, Citing Patient Safety Incidents Print E-mail
Written by FHI's Week in Review   
Monday, 04 March 2019 18:30
Jordan Rau reports for Kaiser Health News on 3/1/19:

Eight hundred hospitals will be paid less by Medicare this year because of high rates of infections and patient injuries, federal records show. The penalties pit hospitals against one another in a race to prevent the most infections, blood clots, cases of sepsis, bedsores, hip fractures and other complications. Each year, the quarter of general hospitals with the highest rates are punished, even if their records have improved from the previous year. The number is the highest since the federal government five years ago launched the Hospital Acquired Conditions (HAC) Reduction Program, created by the Affordable Care Act.
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Last Updated on Monday, 04 March 2019 18:32
Pharma Execs Dig in for a Fight Against Outraged Senators Print E-mail
Written by Emmarie Huetteman, Jay Hancock | KHN   
Wednesday, 27 February 2019 00:00
Senators got their first opportunity Tuesday to prod drugmakers about the wallet-emptying prices they charge for prescription drugs. Almost in unison, the executives expressed support for eliminating rebates that flow to industry middlemen instead of patients; for increasing transparency about how they set prices; for shifting to a more value-based pricing system, in which outcomes are rewarded. Together they demurred when asked to commit to lowering list prices on drugs like insulin and the blockbuster rheumatoid arthritis drug Humira. The drugmakers - AbbVie, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Pfizer and Sanofi - appeared before the Senate Finance Committee as lawmakers mull how to best control rising drug prices. 

Last Updated on Monday, 01 April 2019 15:57
Polsinelli Opens Miami Office; Expands Presence in Southeast Region Print E-mail
Written by FHInews   
Tuesday, 26 February 2019 00:00

Polsinelli grows with group of six new attorneys and 22nd office nationwide 

MIAMI (Feb. 26, 2019) Am Law 100 firm Polsinelli has expanded its footprint in the southeastern region of the country with the opening of its 22nd office in Miami. The new office and its associated attorneys strengthen Polsinelli’s market position both in the geographic area and in key industry verticals, with a particular emphasis on health care.  

Polsinelli’s Miami office includes five new shareholders and one associate: James D. Barnett,  Michael P. Gennett, Marisa Rodriguez Wilson, Milton A. Vescovacci, J. Everett Wilson and Brian Seidenberg. The group brings deep experience in a range of practice areas, including middle market corporate, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, health care, real estate and financial services. 

Polsinelli’s Miami office has a particular focus in health care services, including navigating complex Medicare and Medicaid issues provider operations and compliance, managed care, and the regulatory and business issues particular to the industry and health care mergers and acquisitions. Polsinelli’s Miami health care attorneys represent health systems, providers, clinics, home health agencies, pharmacies, managed care entities MSO’s, and provider networks.   

“We’re pleased to announce our expansion in Miami,” said Polsinelli Chairman and CEO Chase Simmons. “We’ve been doing business there for years and our firm’s focus on health care, financial services, real estate and midmarket corporate work has been well received in the Miami market. The time to commit to Miami and the State of Florida is right, and we look forward to adding these talented lawyers to our client service offering.”   

The Polsinelli Miami office is located downtown in the Miami Center high-rise, 201 S. Biscayne Boulevard, just blocks from the Biscayne Bay waterfront. The new Miami group includes: 

• James D. Barnett, Shareholder, Real Estate Practice Group. Barnett represents buyers, sellers, developers, landlords, tenants, lenders and borrowers in transactions throughout the United States. He brings extensive experience with complex real estate transactions, including office, retail, hotel, marina and industrial properties. He also serves as counsel to major financial institutions in connection with complex commercial loan workouts, foreclosures, and deeds in lieu.

• Michael P. Gennett, Shareholder, Health Care Operations Practice Group. Gennett’s practice focuses on healthcare licensing, as well as Medicare and Medicaid compliance issues. He represents health care practitioners and providers, including medical practices, medical equipment companies, home health agencies, pharmacies and surgical centers. Gennett defends False Claims Act whistleblower cases and data breaches.  

• Marisa Rodriguez Wilson, Shareholder, Health Care Operations Practice Group. Wilson provides counsel for regulatory issues at the state and federal levels, assisting health care providers with operational and compliance issues, complex regulatory matters, mergers and acquisitions, licensing, Medicare and Medicaid. Her clients include health care clinics, home health agencies, managed care providers, diagnostic centers, and pharmacies.     

• Milton A. Vescovacci, Shareholder, Corporate & Transactional Practice Group. Bringing experience in a wide array of industries, Vescovacci represents buyers and sellers in the sale or acquisition of business operations and interests. He serves as general outside counsel to several medium and small-sized companies, and provides counsel to members of board of directors and controlling shareholders on corporate governance matters. He represents health care providers, PBMs, third-party administrators, pharmacies, wholesale pharmaceutical distributors and medical technology companies. Vescovacci is a co-founder of the new Miami office.

• J. Everett Wilson, Shareholder, Health Care Alignment & Organizations Practice Group. A leading health care attorney, Wilson was earlier this month elected chairman of the Board of Directors for the Health Foundation of South Florida and is currently the Chair-Elect of the Health Law section of the Florida Bar. He focuses his practice on the representation of health care providers and entities in the health care insurance sector. He assists clients in nearly every area of health care law, with a particular focus on issues relating to Medicare and Medicaid, provider operations, managed care and the regulatory and business issues in health care mergers and acquisitions. Wilson is a co-founder of the new Miami office.

• Brian Seidenberg, Associate, Real Estate Practice Group. Admitted in Florida, New York and New Jersey, Seidenberg’s real estate practice focuses on complex real estate acquisitions, dispositions, leasing, financing and ongoing real estate development issues.

  While Polsinelli’s physical presence is new in Miami, the firm’s current business in the area has become increasingly important. Demand continues to rise, creating the need for a physical presence and opportunity for further growth. Additionally, the firm’s focus areas align with those of the new group of attorneys, particularly in health care, real estate, finance and corporate and transactional services. 

  “We feel that Polsinelli’s national platform and deep health care bench with over 100 health care lawyers will benefit our health care clients in Miami and around the country,” said J. Everett Wilson. “Our clients will be able to tap deep cross disciplinary teams to execute on their strategic plans as health care continues to change at a staggering pace.” 

Polsinelli’s Health Care Department represents one of the largest concentrations of health care attorneys and professionals in the country. The firm was recognized as a leader in health care law in 2018 as “Law Firm of the Year” in Health Care by U.S. News & World Report. The practice is currently ranked by the American Health Lawyers Association as the largest health care practice in the nation, and was nationally ranked by Chambers USA in 2018. 

The firm’s newest location increases the firm’s momentum in coast-to-coast expansion. In May, the firm expanded its West Coast presence with eight attorneys and a Seattle office location to better serve regional clients in health care, technology and government investigations services.   

In his first year as CEO and Chairman, this marks the first office expansion for Simmons, who assumed the new role on Jan. 1. 

 About Polsinelli   Polsinelli is an Am Law 100 firm with more than 850 attorneys in 22 offices. Ranked #30 for Client Service Excellence1 and #10 for best client relationships2 among 650 U.S. law firms, Polsinelli was also named among the top 30 best-known firms in the nation3. The firm’s attorneys provide value through practical legal counsel infused with business insight, and focus on health care, financial services, real estate, intellectual property, mid-market corporate, labor and employment, and business litigation.

Last Updated on Friday, 15 March 2019 06:19
Groundbreaking Rules for Electronic Health Records Proposed Print E-mail
Written by Vitale Health Law   
Monday, 18 February 2019 00:00
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is proposing new rules that could pave the way for increased exchange of healthcare data by 2020. The rules, issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), would allow patients to have access to their electronic health records (EHR) at no charge. They also would be able to transfer them more easily from one provider to another. Instead of having patient information in disparate systems, the rules give all payers the ability to exchange data seamlessly and allow patients to obtain a complete picture of not only their own healthcare, but also their insurance claims information in one place. This would allow for better coordination of care.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 February 2019 17:37
Lab to Pay $63.5M to Settle Kickback Allegations Print E-mail
Written by Vitale Health Law   
Tuesday, 05 February 2019 18:19
Inform Diagnostics, an Irving, Texas-based pathology laboratory company, has agreed to pay $63.5 million to settle allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by  engaging in improper financial relationships with referring physicians. The settlement stems from allegations that the company violated the Anti-Kickback Statute and the Stark Lawby providing referring physicians with subsidies for electronic health records (EHR) systems and free or discounted technology consulting services. The Anti-Kickback Statute and the Stark Law restrict the financial relationships that health care providers, including laboratories, may have with doctors who refer patients to them.
Last Updated on Friday, 22 March 2019 17:54
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