New York Hospital Pays $2.2 Million Settlement With OCR After Allowing Crew to Film Dying Patient

George IndestBy George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law
On April 21, 2016, The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) announced that New York Presbyterian Hospital (NYP) has agreed to pay $2.2 million to settle allegations that it violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). According to OCR, the hospital violated the HIPAA Privacy Regulation by allowing a film crew to record patients without their prior authorization.

Alleged “Egregious Disclosure.”

In a statement, OCR said NYP “blatantly” violated the HIPAA rules by its “egregious disclosure” of two patients’ protected health information (PHI), the term used by HIPAA to describe confidential patient medical information, during the filming of an ABC News health series at its facility. Among other things, NYP allegedly allowed the ABC film crew to film one patient who was dying and another patient who was in significant distress, without their prior consent, said the OCR.

In addition, OCR also found that NYP “failed to safeguard patient health information and allowed ABC film crews virtually unfettered access to its health care facility.”

The Settlement.

In addition to the $2.2 million settlement, NYP agreed to a two-year corrective action plan (CAP). As part of the settlement, NYP is required to ensure it has HIPAA compliant policies and procedures in place, conducts adequate staff training and promptly investigates and reports to OCR any compliance failures.

“This case sends an important message that OCR will not permit covered entities to compromise their patients’ privacy by allowing news or television crews to film the patients without their authorization,” said Jocelyn Samuels, OCR’s Director. “We take seriously all complaints filed by individuals and will seek the necessary remedies to ensure that patients’ privacy is fully protected.”

Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced in Representing Health Care Professionals and Providers.

At the Health Law Firm we provide legal services for all health care providers and professionals. This includes physicians, nurses, dentists, psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health counselors, Durable Medical Equipment suppliers, medical students and interns, hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, pain management clinics, nursing homes, and any other healthcare provider. We represent facilities, individuals, groups and institutions in contracts, sales, mergers and acquisitions.

The lawyers of The Health Law Firm are experienced in both formal and informal administrative hearings and in representing physicians in investigations and at Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine hearings. We represent physicians accused of wrongdoing, in patient complaints and in Department of Health investigations.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 and visit our website at www.ThehealthLawFirm.com.

Sources:

Mangan, Dan. “Hospital pays $2.2M after allowing crew to film dying patient.” CNBC News. (April 21, 2016). Web.

“NY hospital that allowed filming agrees to $2.2 million settlement with OCR.” Health Lawyers.org. (April 21, 2016). Web.

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: The Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (OCR), New York Presbyterian Hospital (NYP), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), violating privacy rules, HIPAA Privacy Regulation, HIPAA investigation defense attorney, OCR investigation defnse counsel, HIPAA Privacy lawyer, breach of medical privacy attorney, medical record breach lawyer, protected health information (PHI) leak attorney, corrective action plan (CAP) lawyer, HIPAA compliance attorney, legal representation for health care facilities, legal representation for health care professionals, health care attorney, defense lawyer, health law, The Health Law Firm

“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 © 2016 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.

Florida Doctor, Clinic Owner Charged With Drug Trafficking in Orlando Area

George IndestBy George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law
An Orlando based pain clinic that had patients from the panhandle to Miami has come under investigation according to Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation agents. The owner of the clinic, A Stop Pain Management, as well as it’s doctor were arrested on April 20,2016.

Prescribing Drugs Unnecessarily.

According to authorities, patients paid $250 to $300 per visit to see a doctor at A Stop Pain Management on East Colonial Drive and left with a prescription for hydrocodone or oxycodone.

Between November 2014 and November 2015 alone, clinic employees prescribed 800,000 such pills, MBI Director Ron Stucker said. “The doctor and the business were prescribing drugs unnecessarily, without medical necessity,” Stucker said.

Not The First Run-In With Law Enforcement.

The state’s Department of Health (DOH) shut A Stop Pain Management down in 2011, after finding out the clinic’s former doctor had dispensed more than a 72-hour supply of an opioid to a patient who was not going through an insurance company to obtain the drug. The doctor allegedly surrendered his federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration that allowed him to prescribe controlled substances. But the clinic reportedly kept operating without a properly licensed physician.

Additionally, DOH officials later allowed the clinic to re-open. DOH officials also filed an administrative complaint against the clinic’s doctor, alleging that he improperly prescribed controlled substances and did not keep proper records in 2013. The clinic’s owner is currently being held in Orange County Jail on a $1.9 million bond. The clinic’s doctor is also currently being held on a $1 million bond.

This is far from the first time pain clinics have been in the news for crimes such as this, click here to read one of my prior blogs on a similar case.

The “Big Deal” With Overprescribing.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) published a report in June 2013, to address prescription drug abuse which it believed to be a serious and growing problem in the United States. It reported that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) characterized prescription drug abuse as an epidemic. In 2010, it was found that approximately seven million people in the United States, were misusing prescription drugs. Furthermore, overdoses of prescription painkillers ranks as one of the leading causes of accidental death in the U.S.

Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced in the Representation of Health Professionals and Providers.

The attorneys of The Health Law Firm provide legal representation to physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, CRNAs, pain management doctors, dentists, pharmacists, psychologists and other health providers in different cases involving allegations of overprescribing narcotics and pain medications, in Department of Health (DOH) investigations, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigations, FBI investigations, Medicare investigations, Medicaid investigations and other types of investigations of health professionals and providers. These include criminal investigations by local police and law enforcement authorities, investigations by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), complaints against professional licenses by the Florida Department of Health (DOH), investigations and prosecutions by the Medicaid Fraud Control Units (MFCU), and other types of cases. We have represented professionals in administrative investigations and administrative hearings at both the state and federal level.

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

Source:

Lotan, Gal. “Pain-clinic owner, doctor arrested on drug-trafficking charges.” Orlando Sentinel. (April 20, 2016). Web.

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: Florida health attorney, health law attorney, Florida health lawyer, The Health Law Firm, health law defense lawyer, health professional attorney, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), physician defense lawyer, physician overprescribing, Florida Department of Health (DOH) investigations defense attorney, legal representation for pain management clinics, physician prescribing controlled substances, administrative complaint, administrative hearing defense lawyer, Florida Board of Medicine, physician license defense attorney, pain management doctor defense lawyer, disciplinary action defense attorney

“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 © 2016 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.