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Health Law Archives

FDA drug approval: too fast, too slow or just about right?

In the realm of federal oversight over marketplace drug approval, do officials from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration act so cautiously that they dangerously slow up the process and materially delay the marketplace entrance of new drugs and medications that many consumers badly need?

Health care organizations ill-prepared to fight against ransomware attacks

While, thankfully, reports of kidnappings and hostage takings are extremely rare on U.S. soil, U.S. companies and governmental entities are increasingly becoming targets of extortion cyber attacks called rasomware attacks. Using encryption viruses that are often disguised as email links or attachments, would-be thieves are able to access "compromised computer files" and essentially hold them ransom. In cases where a company fails to pay a Bitcoin ransom, the thieves threaten to delete all of the affected files.

Under Medicare, preauthorization now required for durable medical equipment

For individuals who are age 65 and older or who are permanently disabled, Medicare provides vital health insurance coverage to help pay for doctor visits, medical procedures, hospital stays, physical therapy, prescription drugs and medical equipment. According to The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, during 2014, Medicare spending totaled $597 billion and accounted for 14 percent of the federal government’s total budget. Additionally, during 2013, Medicare spending accounted for “22 percent of national health spending, 26 percent of spending on hospital care, and 22 percent of spending on physician services.”

How HIPAA applies to patients with mental health conditions

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, annually, 20 percent of the U.S. adult population "experiences mental illness." Whether a mental health condition like depression is related to a specific event or is a genetic and chronic condition; mental health conditions are disabling and can also be difficult to treat.

Important Changes Made to "Incident to" Billing in CMS 2016 Revisions to Physician Fee Schedule

Medicare pays practitioners for "incident to" services at the applicable Medicare payment rate as if the practitioner personally furnished the service. For example, if billed by a physician, they are paid at 100 percent of the fee schedule amount, and if billed by a nurse practitioner or clinical nurse specialist, they are paid at 85 percent of the fee schedule amount. Payments are subject to the usual deductible and coinsurance amounts.

In topsy-turvy health care environment, compliance can be tricky

Business transactions in the health care field are moving at a record pace in 2015. Analysts say the driving forces behind the robust merger and acquisition activity are many. Low interest rates get some of the credit. But the desire for scale is important, too.

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