Government officials continue to investigate and prosecute allegations of health care fraud throughout the medical community. Hospitals, physicians, chiropractors, dentists and diagnostic labs are all open to investigations and allegations of wrongdoing. Leaders within these markets can take steps to proactively reduce the risk of such allegations. One example: putting together a voluntary compliance program.
The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently announced it will invest $6.5 million into two commercial diagnostic labs. The agency has stated it expects the labs, one in Nashville, TN the other in Austin, TX, to use the funds to boost staffing and infrastructure with an ultimate goal of increasing their COVID-19 testing capacities.
The coronavirus pandemic has impacted hospitals and private practices in many ways. Leaders in these organizations need to change how they operate their practices to better ensure patients receive the care they need while also reducing the risk of exposure to the virus for patients and medical care providers.
Earlier this fall, the Department of Justice (DOJ) accused a genetic testing company of health care fraud. The DOJ essentially accused the lab of violating the federal False Claims Act, discussed in more detail in a previous post available here. Instead of fighting the allegations, the lab has chosen to move forward with a settlement agreement.
Lawmakers are taking action against the current opioid addiction crisis. One specific example involves the passage of the Eliminating Kickbacks in Recovery Act of 2018 (EKRA). The law, discussed in detail in a previous post available here, is designed to help better ensure those who are treating patients battling opioid addiction focus on patient care as opposed to financial motivations.
The Eliminating Kickbacks in Recovery Act of 2018 (EKRA) is part of the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act (SUPPORT). This new law will go into effect in October.