Imagine that you -- like virtually all your peers -- are a participant within the sprawling American medical industry who merely seeks to go about your job on a daily basis in a conscientious and ethical manner.
It hardly equates to a news event these days to note that health care costs are a material concern to scores of millions of people across the country, including high numbers of New York residents.
Unquestionably, we live in an age of cutting-edge and quickly evolving technologies, with that reality transforming life in fundamental ways.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Medicare spending for 2016 is expected to reach $560 billion and is projected to continue to increase exponentially with Medicare spending costs soaring to $866 billion by 2024. If these projections are accurate, there's growing concern among many economists that the Medicare program will soon be insolvent.
The complex nature of billing practices within the health care field makes it particularly vulnerable to errors and possible acts of fraud. In cases where a hospital or nursing home employee believes that an employer is engaging in dishonest financial practices aimed to defraud the federal government, a lawsuit may be filed under the False Claims Act.
The rise of social media has forever changed not only how individuals communicate with one another in their personal lives, but also how businesses communicate to and with consumers. Traditionally viewed as a more informal and personal means of communication; hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities must walk a fine line when attempting to navigate the new world of social media marketing.
Within recent decades, there's been growing concern about the rising costs of health care and the lack of transparency on the parts of physicians, hospitals and insurance providers with regard to those costs. While some states have taken steps to compel health care providers, facilities and private insurance companies to provide detailed information related to the costs of the services provided and specifics related to the coverage of these services, a recent ruling by members of the U.S. Supreme Court indicates that the American public likely won't be privy to this type of information any time soon.
Increasingly in industries, workplaces and households around the world, privacy is becoming a longed-for relic of the past. While one's right to privacy was previously assumed; from an individual's personal identifying information to a bank's list of security codes— in today's digital age information is easily and readily discovered and shared.
An announcement by the Supreme Court could be good news for health care providers. It might not. What legal observers seem to agree on is that regardless of the outcome, it should give providers a better understanding of when they run the risk of violating the federal False Claims Act.