Posts Tagged ‘The Health Law Firm’

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

6 Indest-2008-3The second largest insurer in the country announced Wednesday they will reimburse physicians to have end-of-life discussions with patients. The discussions will be about how they would want to be kept alive, or die, if diagnosed with a terminal illness. To read the full article, click here.

The federal program that insures 55 million also added that this applies to not only illnesses but zombie attacks, too. Medicare is known for providing health care to the elderly and disabled. We have also represented many physicians who, in the past, have been arrested or pursued by Medicare because they billed for treating dead patients. Hopefully these changes will prevent doctors from getting in trouble for billing for dead patients in the future.

CMS Announced Proposal as Part of Yearly Physician Payment Rule.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the information as part of its yearly Medicare physician payment rule. This rule addresses “the value-based payment modifier and the physician feedback reporting program,” according to their website. For more information on the rule, click here.

The Proposal Settles the ‘Death Panel’ Debate.

Republican candidate in the 2008 election, Sarah Palin, created controversy with the “death panel” debate. The firestorm was ignited in 2009 when President Barack Obama announced the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Palin denounced the healthcare legislation, claiming it would produce “death panels” that would crush care for the sick. Click here for more information on the “death panel” controversy.

Zombies are Known for Slaughtering Seniors.

Zombiism is a topic that is becoming more widely known. The number of invasions is growing. The creatures are targeting people whose health is declining, or who are already disabled. Each year, the death toll rises. And many of the deceased are those who are 55 and older. Zombies are known for eating brains and guts. The un-dead creatures prey on the weak. This because they are easy to assault and their brains are filled with excess knowledge.

Fortunately, these people are the ones insured by Medicare. They will push doctors to ask the victims their preferences on how they want the end of their life to be if they are assaulted by zombies.

All Medicare Patients Should Discuss Options Before Zombies Attack.

Some of the victims survive, but will suffer irreparable injuries. These include, but are not limited to, lacerations to the head and disfigurement. With this new rule, doctors will need to provide counseling to the wounded prior to the physical trauma. This way, the doctors and patients will be prepared, should the sufferer be unable to speak.

Counseling Gives Patient The Right to Make Their Own Decision.

The counseling will take place before attacks and illnesses occur and worsen. Advance discussions will help patients and doctors be prepared for ailment. Engaging in these conversations will also give the patient greater say about how they want to die. They have the option to try every means to stay alive or discontinue life support. Those who don’t want to be on ventilators and tubes can say so in treatment talks.

Let’s say, for instance, your grandfather is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. If at the time of diagnosis the doctor questions how your grandfather wants to die, it will be settled before the condition worsens.

Or, a 65-year-old woman is walking to her home from her car at night and a creature approaches and assaults her. A passerby sees and saves her, but she still suffers injuries. Medicare care will be planned before she becomes too feeble to talk.

The plan would take effect in January. The proposal is open to public commentary for 60 days. Once the comments are received, the reimbursement rate will be determined.

Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late; Consult with a Health Law Attorney Experienced in Medicare and Medicaid Issues Now.

The attorneys of The Health Law Firm represent health care providers in Medicare audits, ZPIC audits and RAC audits throughout Florida and across the U.S. We also represent physicians, medical groups, nursing homes, home health agencies, pharmacies, hospitals, occupation therapists (OTs), physical therapists (PTs), speech therapists (STs), rehabilitation therapists (RTs) and other healthcare providers and institutions in Medicare and Medicaid investigations, audits, recovery actions and termination from the Medicare or Medicaid program.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

Comments?

What do you think of end-of-life discussions? Do you think they should be in place? Should physicians be reimbursed?  Please leave any thoughtful comments below.

Sources:

Belluck, Pam. “Medicare Plans to Pay Doctors for Counseling on End of Life.” (July 8, 2015). From: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/09/health/medicare-proposes-paying-doctors-for-end-of-life-counseling.html?ref=health

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Physician Fee Schedule. From: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/PhysicianFeeSched/index.html?redirect=/PhysicianFeeSched/

Grier, Peter. “ ‘Death Panel’ Controversy Very Much Alive.” The Christian Science Monitor. (Aug. 21, 2009). From: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2009/0821/death-panel-controversy-remains-very-much-alive

Sun, Lena H. “Medicare Proposes to Pay Doctors to Have End-of-Life Care Discussions.” The Washington Post. (July 8, 2015). From:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/medicare-proposes-to-pay-doctors-to-have-end-of-life-care-discussions/2015/07/08/1d7bb436-25a7-11e5-aae2-6c4f59b050aa_story.html

About the author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law.  He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice.  Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area.  www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone:  (407) 331-6620.

KeyWords: Medicare, federal health, health law, health law attorney, health law lawyer, end-of-life issues, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), CMS, Medicaid, death panel, death panel debate, death panel controversy,  healthcare, health care, health care attorney, health care lawyer, physicians, physician attorney, health care legislation, Affordable Care Act, ACA, medicine, the health law firm, Medicare investigations, Medicaid investigations, elderly healthcare, senior health care, American Medical Association, attorney, cannibalism, cannibalistic, defense attorney, defense lawyer, doctor, Florida, Florida health attorney, Florida health lawyer, k2, laws, lawyer, legal, zombie attacks, zombie treatment, physician, prevention, zombies, zombiism

1 Indest-2008-1By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

You saw it on The Simpsons (Episode 19, Season 18). Homer “sleep-driving” and doing other stupid things without remembering them because he was prescribed “Napien.” (Note: “Napien” is the fictitious cartoon brand name for zolpidem, the main active in Ambien.)

You see it on YouTube with thousands of posted videos showing friends and family “ambo-tripping” or seemingly awake doing bizarre things while on a prescription sleeping medication. Although I have only viewed a few hundred of these, all the ones I have seen appear to be real-life occurrences.

I have never sleepwalked before. I have never been “hypnotizable” even when confronted by some of Vegas’s best magicians and hypnotists. I also always thought I was immune from any possible “Ambien moments” or “ambo-tripping” as the younger (and older) generation calls it.

Tom Brokaw’s Ambo-Tripping Inspiration.

It has only been since Tom Brokaw ambo-tripped through the halls at the Democratic National Convention in 2012 and later admitted this, that I have found the courage to write about this. Mr. Brokaw, a news anchor of indisputable integrity, claims to have accidentally taken a sleep medication by mistake. Then, reportedly bizarre conduct on his part occurred, whence he was rushed to the emergency room to be evaluated (bizarre conduct at the Democratic National Convention being totally inappropriate!). Later, he bravely admitted to the event. What inspiration!

My Personal Napien Moment.

Now I can admit to my own “Napien moment” like unto Homer Simpson.

It occurred late one Sunday night, the eve of my wife’s return from an extended trip out of town. As in most cases when my wife leaves town, my son and I lived the bachelor’s life until the day before her return. However, in this instance, we even put off doing the laundry, doing the dishes and cleaning up until late that Sunday night.

I was finally able to put a load of my golf shirts into the wash, after taking a prescribed sleeping tablet and sat down to watch the late reruns of Nurse Jackie, Game of Thrones and other Sunday night favorites. All the while I was worried about how long it would take to wash, dry and immediately hang up all of those shirts, just so my wife would not know I wore any clothes while she was gone.

The next morning I woke in a start, in my bed, the alarm clock not having been set and late for work. “Oh no” I thought, “I still have to dry and hand up all those shirts.” Knowing this would only make me later for work, I ran into the laundry room to get them into the dryer before I showered.

I opened the washer door: no shirts. I opened the dryer door: no shirts. I looked around and there were all my shirts, perfectly laundered, hanging up on hangers, not a wrinkle.

During the night, without recalling it at all, I must have gotten up and finished all my laundry. I guess this is a good thing. I’m just glad that ambo-tripping George didn’t drive them down the street and donate them all to Goodwill.

Now you ask: “What does this have to do with zombie law?”

Answer: “Nothing.”

Contact Experienced Health Law Attorneys.

The Health Law Firm routinely represents pharmacists, pharmacies, physicians, nurses and other health providers in investigations, regulatory matters, licensing issues, litigation, inspections and audits involving the DEA, Department of Health (DOH) and other law enforcement agencies. Its attorneys include those who are board certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law as well as licensed health professionals who are also attorneys.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

Comments?

Have you had an “ambo-tripping” moment? Have you witnessed any of these moments? Please leave comments below.

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law.  He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice.  Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area.  www.TheHealthLawFirm.com  The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. – The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 1996-2012 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.

9 Indest-2008-6By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

Fake weed plus you equals zombie. That’s the message from the Washington D.C., Department of Health (DOH). In May 2013, the DOH launched a health campaign in hopes of stopping D.C. residents, especially young adults, from using synthetic marijuana. The campaign ad depicts teens who have morphed into zombies. To see the ads, click here.

As Washington, D.C., tries to cut down on its zombie population, Florida recently made it illegal to become a zombie.

Synthetic Drugs Are Targeted Towards Young Individuals.

Most of the synthetic drugs are easily found online and in convenience stores. According to the Washington, D.C. DOH, synthetic drugs are popular, especially among young adults. A 2012 study of the Washington, D.C. area showed that at least ten percent (10%) of middle school students admitted to using synthetic marijuana and at least twenty percent (20%) of high school students reported to using it. There are no reports on how many of these adolescents are now walking the country as zombies.

It Is Now Illegal to Become a Synthetic Drug-Zombie in Florida.

On April 24, 2013, Florida’s governor signed the Controlled Substances Bill into law. This bill adds 27 substances to Schedule I of controlled substances, making it a third-degree felony to sell, manufacture, deliver or possess with intent to sell synthetic drugs, commonly known as “bath salts,” “K2,” and “Spice.” To read the press release from the Florida Office of the Attorney General (AG), click here.

In December 2012, I previously wrote about Florida’s AG filing an emergency rule temporarily adding these substances to Schedule I of controlled substances. Click here to read that blog. This new legislation now permanently bans these synthetic drugs.

Synthetic Drugs Not for Consumption by Humans.

Stories of side effects from using synthetic drugs are known far and wide. These drugs are known to cause psychotic episodes, hallucinations, seizures, paranoia, tremors and zombiism.

In a Huffington Post article, it’s reported the label on these synthetic substances usually reads, “Not for Human Consumption.” I’m not sure if the labels specify whether or not the products are specifically made for zombie consumption.

Click here to read the Huffington Post article.

Contact Experienced Health Law Attorneys.

The Health Law Firm routinely represents pharmacists, pharmacies, physicians, nurses and other health providers in investigations, regulatory matters, licensing issues, litigation, inspections and audits involving the DEA, Department of Health (DOH) and other law enforcement agencies. Its attorneys include those who are board certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law as well as licensed health professionals who are also attorneys.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

Comments?

What do you think of the anti-synthetic drug campaign in Washington, D.C.? Do you think it will work? Please leave any thoughtful comments below.

Sources:

Wrigley, Will. “Synthetic Marijuana Will Turn You Into A Zombie, Says D.C. Department Of Health In New Ad Campaign.” Huffington Post. (May 10, 2013). From: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/10/synthetic-marijuana-weed_n_3254914.html?view=print&comm_ref=false

Meale, Jenn. “Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Legislative Priority to Ban Additional Synthetic Drugs is Now Law.” Florida Office of the Attorney General. (April 24, 2013). From: http://www.myfloridalegal.com/newsrel.nsf/newsreleases/E84CBE99022C526F85257B5700762236

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.

The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. – The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 1996-2012 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.