Pharmacist Dismissed From FCA Kickback Suit

4 Indest-2009-3By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

Former Ukrainian Village Pharmacy, Inc. (UVP) president, Svitlana Kharlamova, cannot be held liable for her alleged retaliation against another pharmacist.  Former UVP employee, Yury Grenadoyor, had filed a lawsuit accusing Kharlamova of participating in a scheme to waive Medicare co-payments.  On December 16, 2016, the lawsuit accusing Kharlamova for retaliating against Grenadoyor was dismissed by U.S. District Judge Harry D. Leinenweber.  Ukrainian Village Pharmacy, Inc., is located in Chicago, Illinois, and was purchased by CVS.

Appellate Court had Previously Dismissed Part of Case.

The U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals had previously dismissed the majority of the allegations, but left the retaliation claim.  The trial court judge, Judge Leinenweber, said the retaliation claim did not apply to Kharlamova because she was a partial owner of UVP and therefore, she individually, was not considered to be the employer under the FCA.

UVP Sold To CVS.

Grenadyor was looking to recover some of the money that Kharlamova earned when the pharmacy sold to CVS in 2010, according to the opinion.

Judge Leinenweber wrote, “Grenadyor cites a plethora of related authority to argue that he should be able to collect from her for the dissolved entity’s liabilities. This is all irrelevant, because it fails to address why Kharlamova should be liable in the first place as an individual under the FCA or IWRPA.”  IWRPA stands for the Illinois Whistleblower Reward and Protection Act.

The lawsuit was filed in 2009 and claimed that UVP and several other pharmacies, largely controlled by the same family, forgave copays and did not tell Medicaid or Medicare.  The pharmacies still wanted the maximum reimbursement from the government, which could possibly be seen has a kickback because it increased their sales at the government’s expense.

Judge Keeps Retaliation Claim.

The Seventh Circuit upheld an earlier ruling from 2014 by Judge Leinenweber dismissing the case against all defendants, but kept in tact the retaliation claim. A plea from Grenadyor for the U.S. Supreme Court to hear his case was not accepted by the court. The retaliation allegation was left against Kharlamova and one more individual, Vasily Shevchuk.

Judge Leinenweber dismissed the claims against Kharlamova, but threatened to withdraw an earlier default judgement entered against Shevchuck for failing to respond to the lawsuit.

Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced in Representing Pharmacists, Pharmacies, and Other Health Care Providers.

At the Health Law Firm we provide legal services for all health care providers and professionals. This includes pharmacists, pharmacies, 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.

Sources:
Howk, Drew. “Seventh Circuit: ‘Information and Belief’ Insufficient Under 9 (b).” False Claims Act Defense. (December 4, 2016). Web.

“United States Grenadyor v. Ukrainian Village Pharmacy Inc.” FindLaw. (December 3, 2014). Web.

Corso, Jessica. “Pharmacy President Dropped From FCA Kickback Suit.” Law360. (December 16, 2016). Web.

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law is an attorney with The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. http://www.TheHealthLawFirm.com  The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Avenue, Altamonte Springs, Florida 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.

KeyWords: false claims, False Claims Act (FCA), Anti-kickback statute, Medicare false claims, Medicaid false claims, Medicare audit, The Health Law firm reviews, Medicaid audit, False Claims Act lawyer, fraudulent billing, health law firm, legal representation for health care providers, reviews of The Health Law Firm, Medicare fraud defense attorney, Illinois Whistleblower Reward and protection Act (IWRPA), health law, Medicaid fraud defense attorney, legal representation for False Claims Act, health law attorney, The Health Law Firm

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of and a registered service mark of The Health Law Firm, P.A., a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 2016 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved

New Jersey Woman Confessed to $1 Million DNA Testing Medicare Fraud Conspiracy.

3 Indest-2009-2By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

On December 1, 2016, Sheila Kahl pled guilty in a New Jersey federal court n December 1, 2016. She admitted to taking part in a $1 million Medicare fraud scheme. Kahl admitted to two conspiracy charges deriving from a scheme involving a nonprofit organization that appeared to help seniors navigate through federal benefit programs. In reality, the organization served as a front to subject elderly victims into taking unnecessary DNA tests that Kahl and others would send to clinical labs for analysis. The participants in the scheme received “commissions” each time the labs were paid by Medicare or a private insurer.

A Scam For Senior Citizens.

Under the disguise of working for The Good Samaritans of America, a nonprofit organization that helps guide senior citizens through benefit programs, Kahl and others were able to gain access to low-income senior housing complexes and put on fear-based presentations to scare and convince residents that the tests were needed to avoid vulnerability to major health problems.

Scott J. Lampert, a special agent for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General stated, “This conspiracy involved stealing private medical information and used particularly callous scare tactics to convince elderly and vulnerable Medicare beneficiaries to submit medically unnecessary DNA testing. Today’s plea resulted from joint law enforcement action to detect and block a planned multistate expansion of this deplorable scam against the program and its enrollees.”

With no health professionals involved, Kahl and the others were able to conduct the check-swab DNA tests in the community rooms where the presentation they gave took place.

Kahl Did Not Act Alone.

Those who participated in the fraud scheme used Craiglists advertisements to recruit health care providers to authorize the tests and send them off to either a lab in Virginia or in California. The healthcare professionals received thousands of dollars per month to sign their names to requisition forms authorizing tests for patients they had never examined.

Co-conspirator Seth Rehfuss and Kahl then would pose as healthcare providers that sent the tests to the labs and were able to gain access to the patients’ test results. An investigation revealed that the conspirators were actively working toward spreading the fraud scheme outside of New Jersey to multiple other states.

Kahl Faces Jail Time.

At the end of the scheme, Medicare had paid out more that $1 million to two clinical laboratories. Rehfuss obtained more than $100,000 and paid “commissions” to Kahl of tens of thousands of dollars.

A criminal case against Rehfuss is currently pending in New Jersey federal court, however, Kahl faces up to 15 years in prison when she is sentenced in March 2017.

Contact Experienced Health Law Attorneys.

The Health Law Firm routinely represents pharmacists, pharmacies, physicians, nurses and other health providers in Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) investigations, Medicare Audit defense, regulatory matters, licensing issues, litigation, inspections and audits involving the DEA, Department of Health (DOH) and other law enforcement agencies. Its attorneys include those who are board certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law as well as licensed health professionals who are also attorneys.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at http://www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

Sources:
Wolf, Alex. “NJ Woman Admits Role In $1M DNA Testing Medicare Fraud.” Law360. (December 1, 2016). Web.

Park, Katie. “Pt. Pleasant Woman Part of $1M Medicare Fraud.” Asbury Park Press. (December 1, 2016). Web

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law is an attorney with The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. http://www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Avenue, Altamonte Springs, Florida 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.

KeyWords: Medicare fraud defense attorney, healthcare fraud scheme, reviews of The Health Law Firm, Medicare fraud scheme, health law, Medicare fraud defense lawyer, Medicare investigation defense lawyer, Medicare audit defense counsel, The Health Law Firm reviews, co-conspritator in Medicare fraud scheme, health acre fraud defense counsel, healthcare fraud legal defense attorney, health law criminal defense attorney, health law criminal legal representation, The Health Law Firm, whistle blower defense lawyer

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of and a registered service mark of The Health Law Firm, P.A., a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 2016 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.

Major Health Care Reform Bill On FDA Approvals, Mental Health Policy Clears House

8 Indest-2008-5By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

On November 30, 2016, the House of Representatives passed the 21st Century Cures Act. The new bill overwhelmingly passed wide-ranging legislation meant to overhaul the drug approval process, boost biomedical research, and many other significant health-related policies.

The Bill.

The bill would change research prioritization and medication review rules at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Additionally, it would push medication development rules for a variety of items including new antibiotics to medical devices. The mental health reforms, originally developed in Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Reform Act of 2016, would create a greater emphasis on evidence-based mental health treatments. It aims to increase cooperation between federal agencies on mental health policy.

The bill passed with a 392-26 vote, largely supported by Republican National Committee (GOP) leaders like whip Steve Scalise, R-La. Scalise called the legislation an advance that would save millions of lives and move medical innovation back to U.S. shores.

Providing Additional Funding.

In addition to the push for medical development, the bill also encompasses a host of other big initiatives. This includes more than $5 billion in funding for the NIH and money to help the FDA; $1 billion for tackling the opioid epidemic; and provisions that are meant to help pair Americans who suffer from serious mental illnesses with available psychiatric beds.

The bill is expected to pass the Senate by the beginning of December 2016.

To learn more about the importance of raising awareness about mental health issues, click here to read one of my prior blogs on this topic.

Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced in the Representation of Psychiatrists, Mental Health Counselors, Psychologists, Social Workers, and Marital and Family Therapists.

The attorneys of The Health Law Firm provide legal representation to psychiatrists, mental health counselors, psychologists, social workers and family therapists in Department of Health (DOH) investigations, medical malpractice investigations, business transactions, contracts, structuring business ventures, clinical privileges actions, professional licensure matters, Board hearings, business litigation, Medicare and Medicaid audits, and other types of investigations of health professionals and providers.

Often the early advice and representation of an experienced health law attorney can help avoid discipline which will be on your record for a lifetime.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

Sources:

Mukherjee, Sy. “House Just Passed the Biggest Health Reform Bill Since Obamacare.” Fortune. (November 30, 2016). Web.

Macagnone, Michael. “Bill On FDA Approvals, Mental Health Policy Clears House.” Law360. (November 30, 2016). Web.

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law is an attorney with 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 Avenue, Altamonte Springs, Florida 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.

KeyWords: Legal representation for mental health professionals, legal representation for medical development, mental health defense lawyer, legal counsel for mental health counselors and professionals, legal representation for psychiatrists, psychologist defense attorney, reviews of The Health Law Firm, The Health Law Firm attorney reviews, The Health Law Firm, attorney for mental health counselors, psychologist defense attorney, mental health legislation, additional funding for medical development and mental health policies, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigations, FDA investigation defense attorney

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of and a registered service mark of The Health Law Firm, P.A., a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.

Safeway Pharmacy Settles Medical Negligence and Wrongful Death Suit Over Woman’s Death

PS 4 Indest-2009-3By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

On December 5, 2016, a Nebraska magistrate judge signed off on an agreement resolving a widower’s wrongful death suit. The medical negligence suit contends that Safeway pharmacists negligently dispensed methadone and another medication to the plaintiff’s now-dead wife even though using the drugs together is risky, ultimately leading to her death.

Medical Negligence.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas D. Thalken, granted a stipulation of dismissal in Brian Crawford’s litigation alleging that Safeway is liable for his wife’s death. Crawford alleges that Safeway is responsible for his late wife’s death because its pharmacists gave her both methadone and fluconazole, despite the fact that the medications are contraindicated for simultaneous use. Click here to read the order in full.

Brian Crawford, who originally filed suit in April 2014, alleged in an amended complaint later that year that Safeway “breached its duty to decedent Hilary Crawford by failing to provide reference material appropriate for the efficient and safe practice of pharmacy for use by its registered pharmacists which would alert the dispensing pharmacist of the adverse drug-drug interaction of methadone and fluconazole prior to the point of dispensing and delivering to decedent Hilary Crawford.”

To read the amended complaint, click here.

Crawford alleges that the failure to provide its pharmacists with those materials led to a number of missteps that contributed to her death in April 2012. For example, the pharmacists failed multiple times to provide Hilary Crawford with counseling and information about the increase in methadone when she was starting larger doses. Also, she was twice given another prescription for the drug before the prior one had run out, the complaint alleged.

The pharmacists also allegedly made several errors surrounding the dispensing of fluconazole to treat a yeast infection she contracted, according to the complaint.

The Other Side of the Story.

In its defense, Safeway moved to exclude the testimony of Brian Crawford’s toxicology expert, Henry Nipper, contending that his opinion lacked reliability. The company then followed up with a summary judgment bid in September, saying that without Nipper’s testimony, Brian Crawford wouldn’t be able to prove causation.

“There is not admissible evidence against Safeway that the combination of fluconazole and methadone taken by the plaintiff’s decedent caused her death. Rather, the overwhelming evidence is that the plaintiff’s decedent took twice as much methadone as she was instructed to by the pharmacy and by her physician. She exhibited signs of overdose in the several days prior to her death,” Safeway said. “Unfortunately, the signs and symptoms were not appreciated by her family and friends.”

However, Judge Thalken denied the motions in late September 2016, and the parties reached a settlement in October 2016, according to court filings.

To learn more about medical negligence suits, click here to read one of my prior blogs.

Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced in Representing Pharmacists, Pharmacies, and Other Health Care Providers.

At the Health Law Firm we provide legal services for all health care providers and professionals. This includes pharmacists, pharmacies, 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:

“Safeway Settles Medical Negligence Suit Over Woman’s Death.” Lexis Nexis. (December 5, 2016). Web.

Posses, Shayna. “Safeway Settles Medical Negligence Suit Over Woman’s Death.” Law360. (December 5, 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: Medical negligence lawsuit, wrongful death lawsuit, medical negligence defense attorney, wrongful death defense lawyer, legal representation for medical negligence, legal representation for wrongful death lawsuits, legal representation for pharmacists, legal representation for pharmacies, defense attorney for health care professionals, reviews of The Health Law Firm, The Health Law Firm attorney reviews, Louisiana Board of Pharmacy attorney, Colorado Board of Pharmacy defense legal counsel, Virginia Board of Pharmacy defense lawyer, Kentucky Board of Pharmacy defense attorney, District of Columbia (D.C.) Board of Pharmacy lawyer, Louisiana pharmacist attorney, Colorado pharmacist defense legal counsel, Virginia pharmacist defense lawyer, Kentucky pharmacist defense attorney, District of Columbia (D.C.) pharmacist lawyer

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of and a registered service mark of The Health Law Firm, P.A., a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 2016 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.

Healthcare Providers Service Organization (HPSO) Insurance

3 Indest-2009-2By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

There have been times where we were told by the health professionals we represent, especially pharmacists, licensed mental health counselors (LMHCs), advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs), massage therapists and physical therapists that after they received a complaint regarding their license from the Florida Department of Health (DOH) they had hard time trying to  find an experienced attorney in Florida who would accept their professional liability insurance.  In this case, I am speaking specifically about Healthcare Providers Service Organization (HPSO) Insurance.

HPSO Insurance Helps Aids Costly Legal Fees.

The healthcare professionals who are covered by HPSO Insurance have outstanding insurance coverage.  HPSO Insurance provides professional liability coverage that protects in the event of a lawsuit or negligence claim.  However, often times the professional receives a notice of an investigation, a subpoena for a deposition in someone else’s case, a demand because of an allegation of sexual harassment or sexual impropriety, a complaint because of a breach of medical records confidentiality or Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy complaint, or some other administrative type of action.

HPSO provides great coverage for these.  For example, HPSO currently reimburses up to $10,000 in legal fees and expenses just for representation of you at depositions.  HPSO currently reimburses up to $25,000 in legal fees and expenses for your defense in a DOH or Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) notice of investigation or complaint.  HPSO currently reimburses up to $25,000 in legal fees and expenses for your legal representation in defense of a complaint or investigation regarding breach of medical confidentiality.

If you are a pharmacist, own a pharmacy, are a massage therapist, own an assisted living facility (ALF), are a mental health counselor or a social worker, or you are one of the many other types of health care professionals who HPSO insures, it should be fairly easy to find experienced health lawyers to represent you, especially in Florida.

Get Insurance Now.

It is very important for every health professional to carry insurance that covers any investigation, complaint or administrative hearing that might be filed or opened against your license.  You may think that you are covered for this by your employer, but you are not.  If your employer contradicts this, ask for a statement in writing that your employer will pay for your legal defense for any such matter arising during your employment.

What typically happens, especially in the case of a hospital employee, nursing home employee, pharmacy employee or corporate employee, is that the employer is the one who terminates the employee and then files a complaint with the DOH.  The DOH then opens an investigation against the health professional.  The employer is not going to pay your legal defense costs if the employer has reported you.

You may very well be out of work, out of money and face an investigation and complaint that could terminate your professional license and career.  You should not take this chance.  Insurance such as HPSO Insurance is inexpensive and reliable.  Buy it while you can afford it. After the actions have occurred, it is too late.

Connect an Experienced Health Law Attorney if You are Contacted by an Investigator.

Also, you should immediately contact an experienced health law attorney if you are telephoned or visited by any investigator, or if you receive a letter advising you that an investigation has been opened regarding your care.  Call immediately for advice before you speak with an investigator or provide any documents or statements of any kind.

You cannot and should not seek “legal advice” on what to do from the investigator, from a DOH employee, from your professional board or from any attorney representing any of them.  They are not your friends.  They are on the side against you. You should definitely not take any advice from them.

Be Cautious of Cheap Insurance Policies.

If you have good insurance, it will pay for your legal expenses from the very beginning, so use it.  However, beware of cheap insurance policies from professional associations that do not provide any coverage for disciplinary complaints and licensure investigations.  Always check to be sure this is covered.  Get it in writing.  With some companies you have to pay an extra premium to obtain this coverage.  With some insurers, they do not offer it, and you have to purchase a completely separate policy covering just this.  It is worth it!  Do it!

Contact Experienced Health Law Attorneys.

The Health Law Firm routinely represents pharmacists, pharmacies, physicians, nurses and other health providers in investigations, regulatory matters, licensing issues, litigation, inspections and audits involving the DEA, Department of Health (DOH) and other law enforcement agencies. Its attorneys include those who are board certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law as well as licensed health professionals who are also attorneys.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at http://www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

About the Author: About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law is an attorney with The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. http://www.TheHealthLawFirm.com  The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Avenue, Altamonte Springs, Florida 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.

KeyWords: Healthcare Providers Service Organization (HPSO) Insurance, professional liability insurance, health professionals, doctors, nurses, advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs), massage therapists, licensed mental health counselors (LMHCs), social worker, assisted living facility (ALF), physical therapists, psychologists, defense attorney, defense lawyer, Florida defense attorney, experienced health lawyer Florida, experienced health attorney Florida, Florida defense lawyer, health facilities, Florida license defense, Florida Department of Health (DOH), DOH investigation, Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) investigation, AHCA complaint, administrative lawyer, administrative complaint, administrative hearings, administrative attorney

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of and a registered service mark of The Health Law Firm, P.A., a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 2016 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.

U.S. Enforcing Law For Equal Insurance Coverage For Mental and Physical Illnesses

8 Indest-2008-5By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

On October 27, 2016, President Obama made one more major health care initiative as his presidency comes to an end. The administration is stepping up enforcement of laws that require equal insurance coverage for mental and physical illnesses. Officials are hoping this decision will help combat an opioid overdose epidemic.

Drug Addiction Equal to Mental Illness.

The White House Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force (Task Force) said that insurers need to understand that coverage for the treatment of drug addiction must be comparable to that for mental health conditions like depression and schizophrenia. According to the administration, insurers may not require prior approval for drugs to treat opioid addiction if they do not impose similar restrictions on drugs prescribed for physical and mental illnesses.

Additionally, the Obama administration said that insurers clearly violated the law if they charged higher co-payments for mental health care or if they imposed stricter limits on the number of visits to mental health care professionals.

Federal laws and rules such as The Mental Health Parity Act (MHPA), have been adopted with bipartisan support, but the Task Force found that compliance in these laws has been slow in being implemented.
The Task Force, which President Obama created in March 2016, called for more frequent audits of health care plans and warned insurers against imposing stricter requirements on mental health services than on other types of medical health care. Click here to read the Presidential Memorandum from the White House about the Task Force.

According to the administration, about one in five American adults experience some kind of mental illness each year. Additionally, more than 20 million American adults have a “substance use disorder” involving drugs or alcohol.

The recognition and proper treatment of mental illness, as well as drug addiction, is extremely important. To learn more, click here to read one of my prior blogs.

To learn more on how others are trying to expand the awareness of mental health, click here to read one of prior blogs on this topic.

If you are a mental health care professional, click here to learn how The Health Law Firm can benefit you.

Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced in the Representation of Psychiatrists, Mental Health Counselors, Psychologists, Social Workers, and Marital and Family Therapists.

The attorneys of The Health Law Firm provide legal representation to psychiatrists, mental health counselors, psychologists, social workers and family therapists in Department of Health (DOH) investigations, medical malpractice investigations, business transactions, contracts, structuring business ventures, clinical privileges actions, professional licensure matters, Board hearings, business litigation, Medicare and Medicaid audits, and other types of investigations of health professionals and providers.

Often the early advice and representation of an experienced health law attorney can help avoid discipline which will be on your record for a lifetime.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

Sources:

Pear, Robert. “U.S. enforcing laws to help fight opioid abuse.” The New York Times. (November 7, 2016). Web.

Gold, Jenny. “Federal Panel Calls For Stricter Enforcement Of Mental Health Care Parity Law.” NPR. (October 31, 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.


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Mental Health awareness, equal insurance coverage for drug addiction and mental health illnesses, The White House Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force, The Mental Health Parity Act (MHPA), legal representation for mental health professionals, mental health professional defense attorney, legal counsel for mental and wellness health professionals, legal representation for mental health counselors, mental health defense lawyer, legal representation for psychiatrists, psychologist defense attorney, reviews of The Health Law Firm attorneys, The Health Law Firm reviews, The Health Law Firm

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of and a registered service mark of The Health Law Firm, P.A., a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 2016 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.

Legal Access to Marijuana Expands: California Legalizes Recreational Pot & Florida Legalizes Medical Marijuana

8 Indest-2008-5By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

After looking at the red and blue map of America from the recent presidential election, it may be time to add some green. On November 9, 2016, the movement to legalize marijuana, which has been in the public eye for some time now, took a giant step forward. Voters in California voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Voters in Florida, the third most populous state, overwhelmingly finally said yes to legalize medical marijuana use.

Expanding Legal Access to Marijuana.

Twenty-five states have already approved the use of medical marijuana and four states allowed recreational use. California, along with Massachusetts and Nevada approved the legalization of recreational pot use. Florida was joined by Arkansas, Montana and North Dakota in approving medical marijuana use.

Florida’s Amendment 2 passed with 71 percent of the vote. Those opposed to Amendment 2 feared that its passage would lead to pop-up dispensaries with little supervision. But supporters are convinced that it’s a necessary treatment for a wide variety of conditions from seizures to PTSD, addiction to opiates and cancer.
In 2014, the amendment got 57.6 percent of voter’s approval, just missing the 60 percent needed to pass.

Legalization Support.

According to national polls that were conducted, a solid majority of Americans support legalization of marijuana. Gallup’s latest survey for 2016 gauged support at 60 percent, up from 14 percent from when the question was first posed in 1969. Gallup says 13 percent of U.S. adults currently report using marijuana, nearly double the percentage who reported using pot in 2013. Click here to read the recent poll on marijuana support.

To learn more on the legalization of marijuana, click here to read one of my prior blogs.

Contact Experienced Health Law Attorneys for Medical Marijuana Concerns.

The Health Law Firm attorneys can assist health care providers and facilities, such as doctors, pharmacists and pharmacies, wanting to participate in the medical marijuana industry. We can properly draft and complete the applications for registration, permitting and/or licensing, while complying with Florida law. We can also represent doctors, pharmacies and pharmacists facing proceedings brought by state regulators or agencies.

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

Sources:

Hale, Nathan. “Marijuana Ballots: Calif., Fla. Say Yes To Legal Pot.” Law360. (November 9, 2016). Web.

“Marijuana legalization: California, Nevada, Florida voters say yes but Arizona rejects.” Fox 5. (November 9, 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: Medical and recreational marijuana use, legal counsel for medical marijuana, marijuana defense attorney, legal representation for medical marijuana growers and distributors, expanding marijuana industry, medical marijuana defense attorney, The Health Law Firm Reviews, lawyer for medical marijuana growers and distributors, health lawyers for marijuana distributors, legal counsel for marijuana industry, approval of Florida’s Amendment 2, reviews of The Health Law Firm, The Health Law Firm attorney reviews, The Health Law Firm

The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of The Health Law Firm, P.A., a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999, and is also a registered service mark.

Copyright © 2016 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved