• Controlled Substances Act,  Health Care

    Stethoscopes, Handcuffs and Pain

    When does managing pain become a crime? And, what can a healthcare provider do to stay out of trouble in these days of the “opioid epidemic”, new federal legislation and the criminal prosecution of doctors? I make a few suggestions here in Pain Management News: That’s the question many physicians, nurse practitioners (NPs), certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) and physician assistants (PAs) are asking in the wake of a tidal wave of prosecutions related to pain medicine. This has been partly spurred on by the “opioid epidemic.” There has been a sharp spike in convictions—either by guilty plea or by conviction after a trial—of health care professionals involved in pain medicine.…

  • Health Care

    Electronic Medical Records and Federal Criminal Prosecution

    Electronic medical records (or “EMR”) were supposed to be a boon to the provision of healthcare. As two Boston-area physicians point out, EMR are anything but a benefit: Electronic medical records, or EMRs, were supposed to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of health care, and provide instant access to vital patient information. Instead, EMRs have become the bane of doctors and nurses everywhere. They are the medical equivalent of texting while driving, sucking the soul out of the practice of medicine while failing to improve care. Read the whole article: Death By A Thousand Clicks: Leading Boston Doctors Decry Electronic Medical Records The additional problem for healthcare professionals is that…

  • Compliance,  Health Care

    Tuomey, Stark, FCA and Advice of Counsel

    This has been a long saga, even by FCA standards: Judge orders Tuomey to pay $276.8 million for Stark, False Claims Act violations (via ModernHealthcare.com). In summary: A federal judge ordered South Carolina’s Tuomey Healthcare System to pay $276.8 million for violating laws that bar hospitals from paying doctors to refer Medicare patients for treatments. On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Margaret Seymour ruled against Tuomey (PDF) on virtually every post-trial issue and granted the government’s request to impose $39.3 million in Stark penalties and another $237.5 million in False Claims Act fines. Seymour also rejected Tuomey’s attempts in legal filings to nullify the verdict. The damage amount is believed to…