Physician Law Blog

http://physicianlaw.foxrothschild.com/

Recent Blog Posts

  • Pennsylvania Department of Health Issues New Physician Regulations for Medical Marijuana As first posted on our sister blog, “In The Weeds” (Fox Rothschild’s Cannabis Law Blog), the Pennsylvania Department of Health issued its long-awaited proposed temporary regulations regarding physicians on April 11, 2017.  A copy of the temporary regulations can be found here:  PA Temporary Physician Medical Marijuana Regulations The temporary regulations provide additional detail on the physician registration process, including the required four-hour training session regarding the legal use of medical marijuana and research on its effects, as well as the process... More
  • Physician Investment in Grower-Processors and Dispensaries of Medical Marijuana in Pennsylvania Until March 20, 2017, the Pennsylvania Department of Health (the “DOH”) will be accepting applications from companies seeking permits as Grower/Processors and/or Dispensaries of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.  Among other things, these applications require that the applicant raise substantial funding.  To do so, certain applicants have been seeking investment from physicians.  If you receive such a request, we encourage you to consult with a knowledgeable attorney before contributing funds to or agreeing to purchase securities in such a company. It is important... More
  • Health Law Alert – Medicare Quality Payment Program We recently issued a Health Law Alert on the Medicare Quality Payment Program, focusing specifically on what physicians and their medical practices need to know to be in compliance with the Program in 2017.  The Alert may be accessed at this link: Fox Rothschild Health Law Alert – Medicare Quality Payment Program You may also view some of our recent posts on the Physician Law Blog for more information on the Medicare Quality Payment Program.  In short, compliance with the Program in 2017 can... More
  • Are You Ready for the New Medicare Quality Payment Program? (Part 2): Basics of the MIPS and How to Qualify in 2017 The Medicare incentive programs with which you and your medical practice are familiar will soon be no more.  As of January 1, 2017, these programs (including the Electronic Health Records (EHR) Meaningful Use Incentive Program, the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS), and the Physician Value-Based Modifier Program) will morph into the new Medicare Quality Payment Program (QPP).   The QPP will also include a fourth category of incentives entitled “Clinical Practice Improvement Activities”, which we discuss in more detail below. The purpose... More
  • Are You Ready for the New Medicare Quality Payment Program? (New Blog Series) You may have heard that a transformation of Medicare’s physician payment program is in the works.  However, you may not know that the structure of the new program, called the “Quality Payment Program”, has been finalized and will begin its first reporting year on January 1, 2017.  Now is the time for you and your practice to get up to speed on the new Quality Payment Program.  This post is the first in a new Blog Series that we will be publishing... More
  • King of Nursing Homes Sentenced to 2 Years in Prison and $786,000 in Repayments and Fines In March 2016, we covered the conviction of Dr. Venkateswara Kuchipudi for violating the federal anti-kickback statute by referring nursing home patients to Sacred Heart Hospital (in Chicago) in exchange for kickbacks. For a summary of the case, please see our post here: Nursing Home Fraud Scam Results in Conviction for King of Nursing Homes Dr. Kuchipudi was convicted of one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and nine counts of illegally soliciting or receiving benefits in return for... More
  • What is the Medicare Quality Payment Program and How May It Affect My Practice? There are big changes coming to the Medicare incentive programs as we know them.  Beginning on January 1, 2017, the new Quality Payment Program (the “Program”) will replace all existing Medicare incentive programs with a comprehensive incentive model.  The Program will involve a modified set of EHR Meaningful Use requirements, new quality of care metrics, new cost efficiency goals and “clinical practice improvement activities” (for which physicians will be rewarded for care coordination, beneficiary engagement and patient safety).  The Program... More
  • Upcoming Deadline to Apply for ‘Hardship Exception’ to 2015 Meaningful Use Requirements — July 1, 2016 The deadline for providers to file a hardship exception application to the electronic health record (EHR) meaningful use requirements for the 2015 reporting period is July 1, 2016. If you have any concern that your practice or certain eligible professionals in your practice may have been unable to meet the meaningful use requirements for the 2015 reporting period, it may be appropriate for the applicable provider to file a hardship exception application with CMS to avoid future payment adjustments.  Note also that certain provider types... More
  • OIG Issues Advisory Opinion on Transportation Aid and Lodging Benefits In a recent Advisory Opinion (No. 16-02), the OIG concluded that it would not seek sanctions against a state-run hospital (the “Hospital”) under the federal anti-kickback statute or the civil monetary penalty law for two arrangements under which the Hospital provides transportation aid and short-term lodging to pregnant women covered by federal health care programs.  Although the OIG stressed that the unique factors of the arrangements led to its decision, the OIG’s analysis offers some insight into its concerns regarding the... More
  • Nursing Home Fraud Scam Results in Conviction for “King of Nursing Homes” Called by some the “King of Nursing Homes” for his many low-income nursing home patients in northeast Illinois, Dr. Venkateswara Kuchipudi was recently convicted for referring patients to Sacred Heart Hospital in Chicago in exchange for kickbacks.  Kuchipudi became the fifth physician and tenth defendant to be convicted for a massive Medicare and Medicaid fraud scheme that led to the closure of Sacred Heart Hospital. Kuchipudi’s arrangement was not overly complicated.  He struck a deal with the Owner and CEO of... More