Our Health Law Team Is Pleased to Welcome Richard Harrow to O’Connell and Aronowitz

O’Connell and Aronowitz continues its rapid growth to its health care and criminal law practices with the addition of Richard S. Harrow, Esq. Mr. Harrow was a prosecutor in the New York State Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit for 27 years, where his positions included serving as Regional Director for the NYC Region and […]

O&A Attorneys Present at NYCQAL Annual Conference

On March 14, 2011, five attorneys of the O’Connell and Aronowitz law firm presented at the annual conference of the New York Coalition for Quality Assisted Living, Inc. (NYCQAL) held in Atlantic City. Formed in December 2005, NYCQAL is a not-for-profit corporation organized to advocate for the continued viability of adult care, assisted living and other […]

OIG Fraud and Abuse Testimony Highlights Medicaid and Medicare Fraud Strike Forces, and Greater Use of Exclusionary Remedies for Officers and Management

On Wednesday March 2, 2011, several members of the Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service (“HHS”), including Inspector General Daniel R. Levinson, headed to Capitol Hill to testify before several House and Senate Committees on the topic of the OIG’s efforts to combat Medicare and Medicaid fraud […]

Medline Settles False Claims Act Allegations for $85 Million In Spite of Government’s Failure to Intervene

Medline Industries, Inc. and its affiliated charitable foundation, The Medline Foundation, have just settled a whistleblower action brought by Sean Mason, a former employee, for $85 million. Mason alleged that Medline violated the False Claims Act by giving kickbacks to hospitals and other healthcare providers that purchase medical products under Medicare and Medicaid. Medline Industries […]

Federal District Court Clarifies False Claims Act Liability for Regulatory Violations

The United States District Court for the Northern District of New York recently dismissed with prejudice a complaint by a whistleblower against Dialysis Clinic, Inc. on the grounds that the relator could not plead details of any alleged false billing.  United States v. Dialysis Clinic, Inc., 5:09-CV-00710, 2011 WL 167246 (N.D.N.Y. Jan. 19, 2011). The […]

CMS Screening Protocols for Enrolling and Revalidating Providers Effective March 23

The Affordable Care Act of 2010 required the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to establish standards for screening Medicare, Medicaid, and CHIP providers, suppliers and eligible professionals based upon the level of risk associated with the category of provider.  CMS has identified three categories of risk—“limited,” “moderate” and “high”—and the type of providers, suppliers […]

BlueCross and BlueShield Pays $25 Million to Settle Medicaid Fraud Claims

On February 24, 2011, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois announced a $25 million settlement agreement with BlueCross and BlueShield of Illinois (BCBS) regarding alleged Medicaid fraud under the False Claims Act.  The government, according to the agreement, alleged that BCBS wrongfully terminated insurance coverage for private duty, skilled nursing  for children needing […]

Obama Administration Moves for Expedited Appeal of Florida Decision Nullifying Health Care Law

On March 9, 2011, in the ongoing litigation regarding the constitutionality of President Obama’s Health Care Law, known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”), the United States submitted to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals a motion to expedite consideration of its appeal of a Florida federal district court’s decision, which struck down PPACA […]

NY Court of Appeals: Legislature Must Amend Penal Law to Include Health Care Insurance Fraud

In a recent New York State decision, the Court of Appeals held that New York Penal Law 170.60, insurance fraud in the first degree, does not necessarily encompass a fraudulent health care insurance act.  In People v. Boothe, decided on February 24, 2011, the defendant CEO of a managed health care provider was indicted on […]

American Medical Association Introduces New Policy on the Use of Social Media

The American Medical Association (AMA) recently approved a policy for physician’s use of social media.  This policy is available here.  The AMA noted that while “social networking and other similar Internet opportunities . . . enable individual physicians to have a professional presence online” they also “create new challenges to the patient-physician relationship.” In an […]