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Medical Malpractice Legal Briefs

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Medical Malpractice Legal Briefs

What substances are driving NYS opioid epidemic?

We constantly hear about the “Opioid Epidemic”. I decided to take a look at the numbers. In New York, quarterly statistics are required in all sorts of categories of opioid problems. Looking at the dozens of counties around New York, as well as the statewide statistics, over 90% of people that [...]

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Responding to CMS Investigation

Watch out for 3rd party companies that are hired by CMS to investigate Medicare/Medicaid usage by private offices. Usually three investigators ring your bell and walk in unannounced. They attempt to overwhelm and intimidate your office so as to immediately obtain the desired patient charts. They are very aggressive and threatening. [...]

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High Dose Opioids

Whether you are a physician, an NP, PA, an RN, or any other health care provider, if it comes to your attention that a patient is on a high dosage of morphine equivalent units of an opioid, bring it to the attention of the prescribing entity. One of the easiest reminders [...]

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CPT Codes Suggested by Medical Device Salespeople

Beware of sales people attempting to sell you a new and improved machine that will miraculously double your income. Do NOT take as gospel the CPT codes they “suggest” you use. Often, they will show you examples of how well their clients did billing under these codes. YOU are responsible for [...]

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Driving While Intoxicated

Even though the police pulled you over while you were not treating patients, if you plead to even a misdemeanor, that will be reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank, also known as your permanent professional report card. If you have been either found guilty by a jury or admitted your [...]

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Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) Forms

Please do not forget to sign your Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) forms, electronically or otherwise. It must be a valid signature of else the government, under the False Claims Act can claim fraud! A substitute signature is NOT valid! This was just recently decided by a federal district court in [...]

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CDC Guideline for Chronic Pain and Prescribing Opioids

The CDC has advised of "misapplication" of the CDC Guideline for Chronic Pain and Prescribing Opioids. It states in part: "When opioids are started, clinicians should prescribe the lowest effective dosage. Clinicians should avoid increasing dosage to 90 or more morphine equivalent units per day. The recommendation statement does not suggest [...]

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A patient falls while leaving the office. Is it Medical Malpractice?

If a patient falls while leaving the office and injures herself, is it medical malpractice? I hate to sound like an attorney, but it depends. If the patient was discharged after anesthesia and was unsteady on her feet, maybe. If the doctor’s medical assistant negligently helped the patient off the examining [...]

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Preferred Practice Guidelines Concerning Professional Licensure

I have recently been inundated with comments about an article that I wrote. It was published by a major magazine concerning the applicability of various Preferred Practice Guidelines concerning professional licensure and disciplinary actions. While it might make a practitioner feel better to moan over the guidelines sustaining “cook book” medicine, [...]

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Unscheduled Office Visits

Two investigators flashing badges come unannounced and unscheduled to visit your office. What should you do? If they do not have a warrant to search, be polite, but ask them to leave the premises. Inform them that you have an attorney and your attorney will be happy to contact them. Ask [...]

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