Do Not Forget to Review These Items in the New Year

By: Stephen H. Siegel

With the holidays behind us, the world should become a more orderly place. In fact, that frequently is not the case. In addition to remembering to use 2018 as the correct year for checks, etc., every new year seems to be the point in time to start new diets, new exercise plans, and other well-intentioned resolutions. The start of the year is also an excellent time for medical practices and other healthcare businesses to either review or make plans to review a number of important matters. Here are a few of the issues that merit review, either early in the year or at a later pre-determined time.

Licensure and Certification
Even if the time for renewing professional or business licenses, permits, or certifications is not early in the year, now is the time to add these items to your calendar to be done at a later date. DO NOT rely on receiving and timely acting once the notice for renewal is received from the Board of Medicine, Secretary of State, or another licensing or accrediting organization, like the Medicare program. If those licenses and permits are not timely renewed, the business will be harmed with little opportunity or relief, especially inexpensive relief.

Business Organization
Typically, a healthcare business is organized as a professional corporation, limited liability company, or partnership in order to take advantage of certain federal tax benefits available to these entities. In any case, it is prudent to review the businesses’ articles of incorporation/organization, operating agreement/bylaws, etc., at least annually in order to ensure that they accurately reflect both what the owners want and what the business is doing.

Please visit South Florida Hospital News and Healthcare Report to continue reading. 

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Former Federal Prosecutor Benton Curtis Named Partner at Broad and Cassel

MIAMI (Jan. 2, 2018) — Statewide law firm Broad and Cassel LLP today announced Benton Curtis has been named a partner in the firm’s Miami office, effective Jan. 1.

A former federal prosecutor for 10 years, Curtis focuses his practice on white collar criminal and civil matters and complex civil litigation, government investigations and compliance counseling, with an emphasis in the health care industry. He is a member of the firm’s Health Law and White Collar Defense and Compliance practice groups.

“Since joining the firm just over two years ago, Ben has proven himself as a rising star in the profession and firm,” said Gabriel Imperato, a managing partner and co-chair of the firm’s White Collar Defense and Compliance department. “He has become an integral part of the firm’s white collar practice, and we look forward to his continued success in this new role.”

To continue reading, please click here.

 

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December 2017 NLRB Changes Direction

Please click here to learn more about the December 2017 NLRB Memorandum and recent changes.

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Uncertainty is Creating Fear, and Private Equity Claims to be the Savior

The following article, written by Heather S. Miller, was published by the Palm Beach County Medical Society.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) and passage of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) and its primary vehicle, the Merit-Based Incentive System (MIPS), have been transformative influences in the health care sector. Despite attempts to repeal and replace the ACA, the sentiment underlying MACRA – the transition from volume to value-based payments – is here to stay. Many small practices seem reluctant to take MACRA seriously, despite the fact that it puts yet another significant percentage of a provider’s Medicare reimbursements at risk. Large practices, understanding the uncertainties of complex payment reforms requiring advanced technology and business savviness to remain competitive, are responding by merging with other groups, joining hospital systems, or selling their practices to private equity investors. This niche is well-suited for private equity firms, as they feed on uncertainty.

Please click here to continue reading on Page 20 of the Palm Beach County Medical Society’s “On Call” Newsletter.

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Taking Florida into the Future with Telemedicine

The following article, written by Kristina G. Maranges, was published by the Florida Bar Health Law Section Winter 2017 Newsletter.

On October 31, 2017, the Telehealth Advisory Council issued its recommendations to Florida Governor, Rick Scott, and the Florida Legislature on how to increase the use and accessibility of services provided via telehealth. The report comes on the heels of a state and national shortage of healthcare practitioners to serve our country’s growing and aging population. Echoing HHS’s designation of telehealth as a means or method  of delivering healthcare, not a type of healthcare service, and noting Florida regulations include multiple definitions of “telemedicine” but no definition of “telehealth” and these terms are commonly used interchangeably, the Council recommended a definition of “telehealth” to replace all existing definitions. “Telehealth is defined as the mode of providing health care and public health services through synchronous and asynchronous information and communication technology by a Florida licensed health care practitioner, within the scope of his or her practice, who is located at a site other than the site where a recipient (patient or licensed health care practitioner) is located.”

Recognizing the lack of adequate insurance coverage and reimbursement for healthcare services as barriers to the delivery and growth of telehealth services, the Council next recommended the Florida legislature require both coverage and reimbursement parity, excluding Medicare plans. Specifically, insurance policies must provide coverage for health care services delivered via telehealth if coverage is available for the same service provided in-person without the imposition of any additional conditions for coverage of services by the insurer,, and payment rates must be the equivalent to rates for comparable in-person services. Regarding Medicaid, the Council recommended the Agency (1) modify its telehealth fee-for-service rule to include coverage of store-and-forward (transmission of recorded health history like X-rays and photos through a secure electronic communications system to a practitioner who uses the information to evaluate the case or render a service outside of a real-time or live interaction) and remote patient monitoring (personal health and medical data collection from an individual in one location via electronic communications technologies, which is transmitted to a provider in a different location for use in care and related support) modalities; and (2) develop a model that would allow Medicaid Managed Care plans to utilize telehealth in order to meet network adequacy.

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Have you seen CMS’ 32 measures under consideration for value based programs in 2018?

Visit this link for information directly from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Posted in Regulatory | Tagged , , , , ,

Firm Client Tops Nation in Medicare Savings

Broad and Cassel client, Palm Beach Accountable Care Organization, tops the nation in Medicare savings, as detailed in the article below from the Palm Beach Post: 

A doctor group based in Palm Beach County leads the country in saving taxpayers money while meeting goals for keeping Medicare patients happy and healthy.

Palm Beach Accountable Care Organization based in Palm Springs saved taxpayers $62 million and was allowed to keep $30 million of that for 2016 because it earned high scores for patient health and satisfaction, according to federal officials. The group ranked No. 2 nationally in shared savings a year ago.

“We’re keeping our patients healthier and out of the hospital,” said board chairman Richard Weisberg. “The savings are good and we’re proud of those. Keeping patients healthy is most important.”

The group of 275 primary-care doctors and 175 specialists serves 69,000 Medicare patients from St. Lucie County to Miami-Dade County.

Please visit this page to continue reading. 

 

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Predictive Analytics: New Frontiers in Hospital Pharmaceutical Inventory Management

The following article, written by Paul R. DeMuro, Ph.D. and Richard M. Klass, was published by South Florida Hospital News and Healthcare Report.

It’s 3:00 a.m. The administrator on duty gets a frantic call from the pharmacy. “We ran out of cytarabine! This means no treatment for our existing leukemia patients and turning away ten newly diagnosed with appointments tomorrow! My doctors are screaming at me!

Panic sets in. The administrator thinks: “What if we can’t get other hospitals to lend us a supply? Do I dare access the ‘gray market’? Can we compound the drug ourselves?”

A good inventory control model can reduce such frenzied situations and:

• Minimize total inventory costs, including holding (interest rate) and order placement expenses.
• Support just in time inventory levels – having supplies when you need them and stocking nothing else saves cash outlays, and optimizes storage space. Remember, over-stocking is just as bad as under-stocking.
• Ameliorate out-of-stock situations of the most critical drugs, particularly those with no substitute alternative.
• Minimize expired pharmaceutical waste. “U.S. hospitals and long-term care facilities annually flush approximately 250 million pounds of unused pharmaceuticals down the drain.” Mismanaged expiration dates is a big cost driver.

To continue reading, please click here.

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Assistance with Rules Requiring Emergency Power

Emergency rules requiring emergency power sufficient to maintain an ambient temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit or below for 96 hours in nursing homes and assisted living facilities have just been announced. All nursing homes and assisted living facilities MUST submit an emergency management plan by October 31, 2017, and fully comply by November 15, 2017, unless a variance is obtained.

A link to the emergency rule for nursing homes can be found here.

A link to the emergency rule for assisted living facilities can be found here.

What if your facility cannot timely comply?

Many nursing homes and assisted living facilities will not be able to comply with the emergency rule deadlines. If your facility cannot timely comply with the emergency rule or has questions, we can help.

Broad and Cassel LLP represents two major provider associations in connection with the emergency rulesWe can assist your facility with:

  • Variance Petition: If you are unable to implement the applicable emergency rule’s requirements by November 15, 2017, we can petition the appropriate agency on your behalf and request additional time to comply with the emergency rule.
  • Notifications of Compliance: If you are already in compliance or able to get into compliance by November 15, 2017, we can prepare and submit a notification of compliance on behalf of your facility.

For preparation of the variance or notification of compliance, our rates are $1,500 for engagements entered into prior to October 13th and $2,500 for all engagements entered between October 13th and 24th. All other legal services will be charged at the blended hourly rate of $250.00 per hour. Due to the large number of variances and notifications of compliance we anticipate preparing, Broad and Cassel will not give priority to emergency rule petition engagements after October 24, 2017.

Please visit this link for a client information package. 

For more information, contact Jay Adams, Esq. at 850-681-6810 or via email at jadams@broadandcassel.com.

Posted in Care Delivery, Compliance, David Miller, Douglas Mannheimer, Frank Rainer, Jay Adams, John Loar, Joshua Brian, Leonard Collins, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jamie Gelfman Joins Broad and Cassel’s Health Law Team

FORT LAUDERDALE (Sept. 28, 2017) – Statewide law firm Broad and Cassel LLP today announced the addition of Associate Jamie Gelfman to the firm’s Health Law Practice Group in the Fort Lauderdale office.

Prior to joining Broad and Cassel, Gelfman was an associate at Panza, Maurer & Maynard, P.A. where she primarily practiced in the arenas of administrative and regulatory law. While there, she advised clients on health care compliance issues; aided in the investigation, mitigation and reporting of HIPAA breaches; assisted with reimbursement issues and licensure issues with AHCA; and prepared HIPAA Privacy and Security Policies, Notices of Privacy Practices, HIPAA Authorizations for Use and Disclosure, Business Associate Agreements, and Informed Consents. To continue reading, please click here.

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