Category Archives: Health Care

electronic health records at the doctor s office

Computers are now ubiquitous in everyday life, but some doctors find that their practice is being hurt, not helped, by advancing technologies. Electronic health records (EHRs), have been incorporated in private practices and hospitals across the country, but over the last few years, doctors and nurses have reported dissatisfaction with these new methods. Health care lawyers in Miami say that common mistakes in using EHRs, as well as inherent design flaws in the product, have increased this negative response, and
– Continue Reading

florida legislators fear potentially rising costs in health insurance

The Affordable Care Act goes into effect on October 1, 2013, when people will be able to select insurance plans from the new, federally-run options. But because the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has not yet approved the proposed health care plans for Florida under the terms of the Affordable Care Act, residents do not have an accurate estimate of how much insurance will cost them next year. In other states, price projection has been subject to increase
– Continue Reading

accountable care organizations

An accountable care organization, or ACO, is a health care organization that uses a payment and care delivery model to bring together provider reimbursements and quality health care. ACOs have been touted as a key feature of the impending federally-sponsored health care reform. The group of health care providers who make up an ACO aim to reduce the total cost of care for any given group of patients. These providers agree to be held responsible for the quality, care, and
– Continue Reading

attorney spotlight aldo m leiva

Last month, federal agencies began the process of auditing healthcare professionals and their business partners across the country, checking to ensure that all hospitals, private practices, and other medical facilities are in compliance with the HIPAA Omnibus Final Rule and the HITECH Act. These acts are changing requirements for healthcare facilities and medical professionals, and will impose strict penalties for noncompliance.  In January 2013, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services gave medical companies eight months to update their
– Continue Reading

critical care nurses suffer from sleep deprivation

Studies show that a lack of sleep can negatively impact one’s abilities to make decisions, focus his/her attention, and retain information. The risk for injury or mistakes is elevated when someone is sleep deprived, and even more so when that person is also administering medical care. Nurses and doctors, especially those who work in a hospital or emergency room, are often pulling double shifts, running around the clock to ensure that their patients are receiving the best care. But when
– Continue Reading

medicare is dropping doctors

In an unexpected decision, Medicare Advantage has begun dropping physicians from their insurance plans, weeding out doctors that it considers too expensive to cover, health insurance lawyers in Fort Lauderdale report. Along with the elimination of these physicians, insurance companies have begun to exclude doctors in commercial networks from their “narrower network” plans, which in turn excludes these doctors from participation in the state health insurance exchanges. Without these options, physicians across the country are being forced to evaluate how
– Continue Reading

dissatisfied patients compromise quality of care

The relationship between a doctor and a patient is a complex one, due in large part to the intimate nature of healthcare and medicine, and the trust a patient must place in his doctor to do what is best. Just as patients rely on doctors for their health, doctors need patients to keep their practices going. And in today’s world, healthcare lawyers in Fort Lauderdale say, it is sometimes hard for doctors to draw the line between pandering to a
– Continue Reading

misdiagnosis study

In the medical field, a diagnosis is built on the study of a patient’s symptoms, and could lead to any number of treatment options, decisions, and results. A misdiagnosis, even in the early stages, can be a setback for both doctor and patient, and can sometimes even lead to a loss of trust or confidence, and potentially even have negative medical effects. Medical malpractice defense law firms in Florida, Georgia, New York and New Jersey report that over the last
– Continue Reading

motivational interviewing

Doctors know that when stubborn patients choose not to listen to their diagnoses or the medical advice they have been given, they run the risk of causing more harm to themselves, and may even end up sicker than they were during their initial visit. Additionally, the doctors themselves are at risk for potential lawsuits or liability claims, especially if a stubborn patient is displeased with the advice he or she has received, medical malpractice defense attorneys in Fort Lauderdale say.
– Continue Reading

new york doctors want to go bare

In Florida, medical professionals and institutions have the option to go bare — meaning they can forgo traditional medical malpractice insurance coverage in favor of cutting costs across the board. Without insurance, doctors and hospitals can eliminate the costly annual premiums paid to insurance companies, and in some cases, the money saved can work toward cost-cutting measures for patients and procedures. Medical malpractice defense attorneys at Lubell Rosen, a Florida law firm with offices in New York, New Jersey and
– Continue Reading

florida blue expects rate increases

In this year’s health exchange, one in three Florida consumers chose Florida Blue, the state’s leading health insurance provider, health insurance attorneys in Fort Lauderdale report. But even with all of these new customers enrolling, Florida Blue executives say that the company may be forced to raise rates to handle the incoming enrollees who are older, sicker, or in need of more extensive and expensive coverage.  Florida Blue CEO Patrick Geraghty said in an interview that the company “will be
– Continue Reading

ocr announces round of surveys for hipaa hitech

Last year, healthcare lawyers at Lubell Rosen reported the amendments made to two major regulatory guides in the medical field — the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH). Both acts were updated to provide better security and accountability standards for the privacy of protected health information (PHI), electronic protected health information (ePHI), and breach notifications.  Now, to prevent audit violations and ensure that HIPAA and HITECH standards
– Continue Reading

florida blue grants policy extensions

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty has announced that he will let insurance companies extend plans that had been previously threatened by cancellation under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), at least for the next year. President Obama recently publicized his plan to combat the overwhelming wave of people who received cancellation notices as soon as the ACA went into effect on Oct. 1 of last year. McCarty says Florida’s insurance companies will be taking advantage of the extension. While the extension
– Continue Reading

possible medical marijuana coming to florida

As many states begin to allow recreational as well as medical uses for marijuana, the Florida Supreme Court may be voting on a proposed constitutional amendment that would make it legal for doctors to prescribe patients marijuana for medicinal purposes. At this point, justices are set to give their opinion regarding the ballot initiative, before voters will see it this year. Medical malpractice defense lawyers in Florida say that, if passed, the amendment would open up new possibilities, as well
– Continue Reading

practice acquisition costs more

In a recent trend, hospitals have been hiring physicians to work under the hospital’s umbrella, healthcare attorneys in Fort Lauderdale report. While many – including hospital administrators – have touted this partnership as “aligning” practices and healthcare goals, a new study published by the National Institute for Health Care Reform (NIHCR) suggests that there may be a more financially-focused goal in place.  According to the NIHCR’s study, this trend, known as practice acquisition, is spiking the costs for outpatient procedures
– Continue Reading

protecting assets during a lawsuit

Doctors and medical professionals sometimes face lawsuits with high price tags: the plaintiff’s demand for full restitution, hefty legal costs, and other malpractice-related fines. In many cases, the doctor’s malpractice insurance coverage can protect him or her from the bulk of these charges, but there are cases in which the malpractice verdict awards the plaintiff with an amount in excess of the doctor’s coverage. Medical professionals need to take steps to protect their personal assets as much as possible in
– Continue Reading

acp position paper calls for reform

The current medical liability system in the United States is in shambles and needs a complete, multifaceted overhaul, according to a recent position paper published by the American College of Physicians (ACP). In the paper, ACP outlined the problems with the existing system, and offers nine separate solutions that would improve the medical liability system if implemented correctly, healthcare lawyers in Florida, Georgia, New York and New Jersey say.  According to the paper titled “Medical Liability Reform: Innovative Solutions for
– Continue Reading

smartphones in the hospital

Our society has become increasingly dependent on smartphones for a wide variety of personal and professional tasks. Smartphones, with their host of available applications and features, even go so far as to replace laptops and desk computers, PDAs and day planners. But when a doctor or nurse is recording and relaying sensitive information, such as personal patient data or treatment and diagnostic ideas, using a smartphone may not be the best way to go, healthcare attorneys in Fort Lauderdale say,
– Continue Reading

steven lubell and mark rosen selected as finalists for leaders in law 2014 awards

Founding partners Steven Lubell and Mark Rosen of Lubell Rosen have been named finalists for the Leaders in Law 2014 awards, presented by Lifestyle Media Group. “It is an honor to be recognized by fellow distinguished legal professionals through this esteemed awards program,” said Mr. Lubell. “Within our industry, we are surrounded by many talented, dedicated individuals who are committed to providing the best service possible to their clients. To be honored as finalists by these same individuals brings Mark and me
– Continue Reading

liability for impaired patients

When doctors prescribe medications for patients, they often have to trust that the patient will follow instructions, and stick to the prescribed dosage and schedule in order for the treatment to work. However, when a patient disregards the doctor’s instructions, mixes medications, or ignores the warning labels, he can end up hurting himself or others. In these cases, medical malpractice defense lawyers in Florida, Georgia, New York and New Jersey recommend that doctors and nurses take precautions to ensure that
– Continue Reading

telehealth services and the patient physician relationship

In today’s medical world, physicians rely on more than just doctor’s visits to interact with, treat, and diagnose their patients. With the wealth of technology now available, and the ever-changing advances in communication options, more physicians are turning to telehealth services to offer more routes for health care to their patients. Although doctors in rural areas have been using telehealth services to communicate with a widespread group of patients who may not be centrally located, doctors across the country have
– Continue Reading

attorney spotlight bernard m cassidy

The recent changes in healthcare law have led to stricter measures of enforcement for audit violations and noncompliance with federal regulations, even if these violations are unintended or unfounded. Doctors accused of Medicare or Medicaid fraud, insurance fraud, misuse of controlled substance prescriptions, illegal billing, and falsifying medical diagnoses may find themselves charged with white collar crimes, equal in severity and penalty to drug trafficking, robbery, and other criminal activities. These charges are serious, and could cost a physician more
– Continue Reading

lubell rosen announces appellate win

This month, Lubell Rosen partners Mark L. Rosen and Steven L. Lubell announced their win in appellate court in a case involving OBGYN Specialists of the Palm Beaches, Marie Morel, M.D. and Perinatal Specialists of the Palm Beaches. The attorneys appealed a September 2011 trial jury decision that ordered the defendants to pay a $2.5 million settlement as a result of a medical malpractice lawsuit filed by two Florida parents.  In 2011, a jury in Palm Beach County awarded a
– Continue Reading

the coverage gap

Despite the intentions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which promised to provide affordable health insurance to all Americans, many lower-income adults in Florida and across the country are having a hard time finding affordable and decent coverage, health insurance attorneys in Fort Lauderdale report. Several million people, including about 1 million in Florida alone, are falling in between the income requirements for Medicaid and other need-based coverage options, in a problem that has been labeled “the coverage gap.”  In
– Continue Reading

bundled payment plans

Bundled payments are becoming a popular option for patients who require expensive, complex medical procedures that often involve more than one doctor and treatment. But although these plans have been hailed as “win-win-win” situations for all parties involved—doctor, patient, and clinic—healthcare lawyers in Florida, Georgia, New York and New Jersey say that doctors who are asked to participate in bundled payment plans should carefully evaluate the choice they are presented. They should also consider the pros, cons, and legal implications
– Continue Reading

cms takes steps to reduce medicare fraud

Medicare and Medicaid provide a much-needed service for individuals and entities that need help affording quality health care, but the influx of fraudulent activity has detracted significantly from the organizations’ abilities and resources. Last month, in an effort to put a stop to existing fraud schemes and prevent new ones from cropping up, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a new list of regulations that will allow them to better evaluate individuals and entities that use
– Continue Reading

doctors feel pressure to do it all

Doctors in today’s medical field are being pulled in two very different directions – on one hand, they need to continue to provide quality medical care and do the best they can for their patients’ health and well-being. But on the other hand, they need to appease the corporate forces behind the institutions for which they work – hospitals, clinics, and private practices – and bring in increased revenue, all while cutting costs and avoiding lawsuits. This can be a
– Continue Reading

aafp says med school training reform needed

According to a new reform proposal from the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), medical schools across the country should change their teaching methods for incoming and current students, health care lawyers in Florida report. Currently, the hospital-based system for medical students at the graduate school level does not do enough to encompass the changes made in recent years through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is also commonly referred to as Obama Care. Because these updates have caused major
– Continue Reading

florida leads aca enrollment 2015

The first full year of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more popularly known as Obamacare, had little effect on Florida’s rate of insured residents, as the state remained third worst for insurance coverage last year. The U.S. Census Bureau reported that Florida had 3.85 million uninsured residents in 2013, which is higher than the 3.82 million reported in 2012. The population growth for this period put the rate of insured residents at 20 percent, a rate higher than every state
– Continue Reading

aca exemptions

In theory, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has made it mandatory for all Americans to obtain health insurance, or pay a penalty for not doing so. But in practice, some groups have received exemptions from the law’s requirement, based on religious principles or other outside circumstances. Organizations like Medi-Share, a religious group established in 1993 by members of the not-for-profit Christian Care Ministry, which chip in to pay off members’ medical bills and debt, are exempt under the ACA’s built-in
– Continue Reading

florida s health insurance marketplace

In the insurance world, October 2014 marks the first full year of the Health Insurance Marketplace. Over the last year, Florida updated the insurance marketplace to accommodate the law’s requirements and changes, putting a new face on the insurance business in the state. At Lubell Rosen, our health insurance lawyers want to take a minute to update Florida residents about the facts and figures for insurance coverage in the Marketplace in the wake of Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Florida
– Continue Reading

rising insurance premiums may risk cancer patients lives

Doctors and analysts have been using a patient’s health insurance coverage and provider as an indicator of how likely he or she is to survive a cancer diagnosis, health insurance lawyers in Fort Lauderdale report. Based on new data, uninsured young adults are most at risk for being diagnosed with a metastatic disease, being treated poorly or not thoroughly enough, and dying soon after receiving their diagnoses, as opposed to the relative success and survival rates of their insured colleagues. 
– Continue Reading

medicaid care and pediatricians

Pediatricians who treat poor or low-income children in Florida have been fighting back against low Medicaid payments in the state’s courts for the past several years. Now, a pending class action lawsuit could change the tide of the fight, and give pediatricians and other primary care doctors the ability to determine what is fair and adequate compensation from Medicaid and other plans, health care attorneys in Fort Lauderdale report.  The original lawsuit against the Agency for Health Care Administration, the
– Continue Reading

medicaid pay raises

In the last year, doctors in private practice have taken in hundreds of new patients mostly covered through Medicaid and Medicare as part of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) expansion program. This program has provided insurance coverage to millions of previously-uninsured Americans nationwide. These doctors have been compensated through the ACA’s two-year pay raise provision designed to entice primary care physicians to see more Medicaid patients by offering raises and incentive pay. But on Dec. 31, 2014, the pay raise
– Continue Reading

drug use in the workplace doctor patient confidentiality

Health care attorneys know that treating colleagues as patients is always tricky, because you –as the treating physician or nurse – end up in possession of personal details about your patients that cannot be shared with others, including a mutual employer, under health care laws. However, when you discover in the course of treating a colleague that he or she is using drugs that could potentially affect his or her work performance and the health and safety of other patients,
– Continue Reading

obamacare subsidies in jeopardy

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to pass judgment on billions of dollars in insurance subsidies currently being granted under the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare, health insurance attorneys in Fort Lauderdale report, and the repercussions could be ugly if the findings are unfavorable. More than 30 states currently provide insurance subsidies to Obamacare enrollees who need them, and if the U.S. Supreme Court ruling deems them invalidated, recipients could be struggling to retain their insurance coverage.
– Continue Reading

2015 is bringing serious change

Previously, our health care lawyers in Florida discussed the ways in which the Medicaid pay raise expiration will affect primary care physicians practicing in the state. This change led to a nearly 50 percent cut in pay for doctors offering services to Medicaid patients in 2015. Now, we are taking a look at other big upcoming changes — some positive, some negative — that will heavily impact pay rates for physicians this year. High Deductibles Deductibles are on the rise
– Continue Reading

hipaa security breaches

Recently, Anthem Inc. reported one of the first, and by far the largest, widespread data theft to specifically target personal health information of hundreds of millions of consumers. In the massive security hack, data for more than 80 million past and present customers has been compromised, including names, Social Security numbers, addresses, contact information, medical records and IDs, income statistics, birthdays and more. This sensitive identifying information can be used in a variety of fraudulent schemes, including identity theft and
– Continue Reading

anti kickback laws

In 1972, the United States Congress passed a series of federal anti-kickback laws designed to prevent doctors and health care providers from recommending specialists and other medical professionals based on incentives or kickbacks they may receive. The anti-kickback laws are intended to protect patients from receiving inappropriate or improper referrals that could be harmful to their health and well-being. In response to the federal statutes, many states, including Florida, have adopted their own anti-kickback statutes to monitor referral programs and
– Continue Reading

hipaa violations could lead to serious charges

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) strictly regulates a doctor or medical professional’s ability to share, receive and store private health information for patients. While this is critical to protecting sensitive information and keeping private medical data under wraps for the safety and privacy of patients, it can be tricky for doctors who want to help find cures, diagnose particularly challenging sets of symptoms, or share knowledge and information with their colleagues. However, HIPAA violations have serious penalties,
– Continue Reading

the ebola aftermath

The Ebola virus may have died down in the United States, but the disease continues to ravage West Africa, and its recent spread through our country has highlighted some serious breaches in protocol and disease control. Fort Lauderdale health care lawyers have learned that now, major medical organizations are working to correct these issues. After a recent trip to West Africa, Director Thomas Frieden, M.D., MPH, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reported that the
– Continue Reading