Compliance Update

Facility Visitors, Religious Freedom and COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented hospitals and health care facilities with challenges that go beyond providing comprehensive care to patients suffering from the virus. One of the most common challenges is how to handle patient visitors. Denying or limiting visitors could be seen as a violation of patient rights, and denying access to a visit by clergy could rise to the level of religious...

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Walmart an Opioid Villain? The Curious Case of a Deep-Pocketed Defendant

As the opioid crisis ravaged communities across the United States two years ago, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas at the time, Joe Brown, set about fixing blame on Walmart, alleging its pharmacies were filling prescriptions from “pill mill” doctors facilitating drug misuse and abuse by overprescribing narcotics. The Department of Justice has also had a long-running civil...

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Nursing Homes, ALFs and Other Long-Term Care Facilities Face Challenging Legal Times in the Age of COVID-19

The superintendent and former medical director of a state-run soldier’s home in Massachusetts have been indicted in what that state’s Attorney General described as the first criminal case in the country against nursing home operators related to the pandemic. Late last month, Attorney General Maura Healey announced that Superintendent Bennett Walsh and former Medical Director David Clinton of the...

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What’s All This Talk About 340B Discount Drug Programs?

There has been so much in the news lately about 340B Discount Drug Programs and the fraud that accompanies them. The 340B Discount Drug Program allows manufacturers participating in Medicaid to agree to provide outpatient drugs to certain designated clinics and hospitals at significantly reduced prices. The typical discount ranges from 30% to 50% off the drug’s list price. In turn those...

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Teva Charged With Paying Kickbacks to Increase Sales of MS Drug

Teva Pharmaceuticals has joined a growing list of healthcare organizations alleged to have used charitable foundations to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in kickbacks. Earlier this month, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Boston filed a complaint against Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. and Teva Neuroscience, Inc., the maker of Copaxone. It alleged the company conspired with a specialty pharmacy...

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The ethical case for allowing medical trials that deliberately infect humans with COVID-19

Could intentionally infecting volunteers in COVID-19 trials speed up a vaccine?  AP Photo/Ted S. Warren   Despite the urgent need to beat COVID-19, health officials may be delaying the development of an effective vaccine. Authorities in the U.S. and elsewhere are yet to authorize an ethically charged research procedure called “human challenge trials.” Challenge trials entail deliberately...

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