Telehealth

On April 10, Virginia-based nurse practitioner Daphne Jenkins was sentenced to prison for her participation in a $7.8 million telemedicine fraud scheme that involved medically unnecessary orders for durable medical equipment (DME). As part of the scheme, Medicare claims were submitted based on false documentation and tainted by kickbacks.  

The orders Jenkins signed were pre-populated

The 2024 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule final rule, released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) earlier this month, extended certain telehealth-related flexibilities that were implemented during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. CMS issued a Fact Sheet summarizing the telehealth updates, as well as other important Medicare policy changes.

Until 2020

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently released two resource documents to help healthcare providers explain the privacy and security risks of telehealth to their patients.

The first document, entitled “Educating Patients about Privacy and Security Risks to Protected Health Information when Using Remote Communication Technologies

The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) has announced that its third annual Telehealth Awareness Week will take place September 17-23, 2023. The official website for the event states:

“During the week, the ATA invites telehealth solution providers, hospital systems and medical practices, patient advocacy leaders, policymakers, and other stakeholders to highlight the need to establish

On Thursday, September 14, in the next installment of Rivkin Radler’s Healthcare Compliance Lunch & Learn series, Rivkin Radler partner Eric D. Fader will present an update on the regulatory landscape for the provision of telehealth services, including recent changes to federal and state laws and rules.  The program will take place from 12:00 noon

A June 12 article in Part B News, “Doing telehealth from home? If you’re zoned out, take steps to fix it,” discussed possible local zoning restrictions on providers who render telehealth services from their homes. Khoren Bandazian, a partner in Rivkin Radler’s Real Estate, Zoning and Land Use, and Health Services Practice Groups

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced on April 11 that the Notifications of Enforcement Discretion issued under HIPAA and the HITECH Act during the federal COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) will expire when the PHE ends on May 11.

The four Notifications of Enforcement Discretion that will

For those who just can’t get enough fraud, here are some of the “leftovers” from this edition of Fraud Week that your editor thought noteworthy.

Read about a pharmacy biller’s fake copay assistance scheme:

https://www.justice.gov/usao-edmi/pr/woman-convicted-billing-claims-part-65-million-pharmaceutical-coupon-fraud

Genetic testing kickback schemes

In TX: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/laboratory-owners-and-executives-charged-health-care-kickback-scheme

In FL: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/ocenture-llc-and-carelumina-llc-settle-allegations-false-claims-unnecessary-genetic-testing

And here’s a big one in GA: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/lab-owner-convicted-463-million-genetic-testing-scheme-defraud-medicare

DME kickback

On January 11, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra formally renewed the federal COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE) for another 90 days. The PHE, which originally went into effect on January 31, 2020, provides important flexibilities for healthcare providers and Medicare beneficiaries and waives key reporting requirements. Some important telehealth