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Austin Texas Legal Issues Blog

DEA suspends pharmaceutical company’s registration

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently suspended the license of a pharmaceutical company amidst allegations of suspicious orders for controlled substances. The DEA stated that the suspension was due to a determination that continued operation of the business would “constitute a substantial likelihood of imminent danger to public health and safety.”

The agency has accused the company of illegal distribution of Oxycodone and Hydrocodone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated the pharmaceutical company provided pills that fueled the current opioid drug crisis.

OIG most wanted list includes TX home health care company owner

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) has named a former Texas health care company owner as one of its “most wanted.” The agency indicted the business owner on various criminal charges related to health care fraud, including conspiracy to pay kickbacks and money laundering.

What is the OIG’s role? The OIG is a government agency that investigates allegations of health care fraud. The agency has four goals: fight fraud and abuse, promote quality and safety, secure the future of health services and advance excellence and innovation within the field.

Study: TX OBs wrongly blamed for high maternal mortality rate

The journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology released a study in 2016 that found the maternal mortality rate in Texas "mysteriously skyrocketed between 2010 and 2012." The researchers stated that the number of pregnancy related deaths doubled in this two-year time span. The publication led to concerns about the healthcare system in Texas and the type of care provided by obstetricians in the state.

A new study provides some clarity and removes the blame from medical professionals in Texas.

TX doctor's medical license suspended, allegations of assault

The Texas Medical Board (TMB) recently suspended the medical license of a family and occupational doctor. The TMB moved forward with the suspension based on allegations of improper prescriptions of drugs and sexual assault of two patients. The TMB stated at this time, the physician's suspension is listed as "temporary."

Texas pediatrician fired amidst allegations of child porn

The Texas Medical Board (TMB) has suspended the medical license of a pediatrician due to allegations of possession of child pornography. The allegations resulted in the immediate termination of the physician’s position at a local hospital.

The physician’s home was searched subject to a warrant. The search resulted in the seizure of a laptop and external hard drives that allegedly contain evidence of these crimes. A criminal complaint was filed with the United States District Court Western District of Texas, according to a recent article by a local CBS affiliate.

TX nurse accused of causing stroke-like injuries to patients

A registerd nurse that has cared for patients at Christus Mother Frances Hospital - Tyler and at Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital in Tyler faces criminal charges. He is accused of intentionally introducing air into the patients' circulatory systems. This can lead to an air embolism and cause a stroke.

The RN is allegedly responsible for the death of one patient and a sudden decline from stable health into a vegetative state of two other patients.

TX pediatrician’s license suspended after “erratic” behavior

The Texas Medical Board recently suspended the medical license of a pediatrician out of Rockwall, Texas. There are no prior disciplinary issues on record for the 62 year-old physician. He had practiced for 14 years in Texas prior to the suspension.

What led to the suspension of the pediatrician’s license? Co-workers alerted the board and triggered the investigation. The co-workers stated they were concerned the physician’s behavior would result in injury to patients. The co-workers allege the physician did not have focus, would slur speech and would behave inappropriately with patients.

Texas radiotherapy center ends 5 year investigation by DOJ

SightLine Health LLC, a Texas radiotherapy center, recently took steps to end an ongoing investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ was looking into allegations that the practice violated the Anti-Kickback Statute when it offered financial incentives to other medical practitioners in exchange for patient referrals.

In an effort to end the investigation, SightLine Health agreed to a settlement with the government. The settlement agreement includes a payment to the DOJ of $11.5 million and involvement in a Corporate Integrity Agreement. The agreement will exist between SightLine and the HHS-OIG. It involves SightLine, along with its parent company and any physician investors, be subject to internal and external monitoring. The agreement is set to last for five years and is customary after a government healthcare investigation of this nature.

Ambulance provider settles fraud claim

Emergency Medical Services Alliance (EMSA) recently agreed to settle a claim based on allegations of Medicare fraud. Federal officials claimed that the ambulance service provider was submitting false claims for compensation from Medicare and Medicaid. This allegedly resulted in over $109 million in fraudulent payments.

Background: What led to these accusations?

Texas nurse accused of stealing morphine, faces felony charges

A registered nurse (RN) out of Texas is facing criminal charges for allegedly stealing morphine.

What types of charges come with this type of allegation? These accusations were severe enough to result in criminal charges. The allegations in this case were serious enough support second degree felony charges for possession of morphine.

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