Yesterday, Governor Abbott signed HB 1325 into law. This allows a federally approved program for Texas farmers to grow hemp. "The bill, which passed both the Texas House and Senate unanimously, will allow for a federally-approved program for Texas farmers to grow hemp as a crop, including procedures for sampling, inspection and testing." It is important to note that it will not be legal to grow until 2020 after the federal government has written rules which have completed the … [Read more...] about Texas Governor Signs Bill Allowing Cultivation of Hemp & USDA Legalized THC
In McAllen Hospitals LP et al. v. Lopez issued by the Texas Supreme Court, a group of nurses lost a case in which they claimed that they were intended to have been paid a yearly salary rather than hourly. A yearly salary would have meant more money. The Court found: The Court stated that “we hold there is no evidence that would have allowed reasonable, fair-minded people to find that the employer and its employees had a meeting of the minds on a fixed amount of pay. We … [Read more...] about Nurses Lose Overtime Case in Texas Supreme Court
Grand Rounds Legal Podcast will discuss current events, legal issues and other topics important to health care professionals, practices and businesses. I am proud to announce our first episode with Greg Thrash, owner of Innovations in Medical Revenue. To participate in the survey mentioned in the podcast, click here. Click below for the first episode. … [Read more...] about Welcome to the First Grand Rounds Legal Podcast: “Staying Profitable and in Compliance”
Drug manufacturer Insys Therapeutics Inc. has agreed to pay $225 million in order to end federal investigations into allegations that it used illegal marketing schemes to push a powerful opioid-based painkiller. Federal prosecutors allege that company used kickbacks and veiled bribes in order to sell a fentanyl spray, called Susbys, which is designed for cancer patients suffering from severe pain. The company agreed to pay a $2 million criminal fine and forfeit $28 million. … [Read more...] about Insys Therapeutics Inc. to Pay $225 Million to End Opioid Investigation
This is from the "when you are a hammer, everything is a nail" category: Many chronic pain patients say they have been unfairly targeted in response to the opioid crisis, as doctors cut their dosages to near nothing, causing significant disruption in their treatment. While the 10-day limit will not apply to chronic pain patients, some have said it will have negative effects on those in acute pain, who might just be figuring out their medical diagnosis. “We need to be protecting patients … [Read more...] about Texas Legislature votes to Limit Opioid Prescriptions to 10-day Supply.
An omnibus bill to "get more mental health services to students in Texas Public Schools," was signed into law by Governor Greg Abbott yesterday. The bill will require: "school districts to offer mental health and suicide prevention curricula if they do the same with physical health. The curricula and training will include signs of mental health conditions and substance abuse, strategies for maintaining student to student positive relations, conflict resolution, and information about how grief … [Read more...] about Texas HB 18 Signed into Law by Gov. Abbott
Despite a huge shortfall between reimbursement and the cost of care, two bills designed to partially alleviate that failed: The failed legislation, Senate Bill 1050 and House Bill 3342, would have set up a long-term care quality provider participation program (QPPP) that provided additional compensation to SNFs that met certain quality metrics. … [Read more...] about Medicaid Rate Increase Fails in Texas Legislature
Proposed HR 2143, would prevent physicians from self-referring Medicare patients to in-office "ancillary services." According to the Congressmen who introduced the bill: “Multiple GAO studies have outlined the rampant abuse and waste of more than $3 billion of taxpayer money through Medicare reimbursement for unnecessary services that are driven purely by greed for personal profit,” Speier said in a statement. “Now is the time to improve the quality and … [Read more...] about Proposed Congressional Bill Would Affect Ancillary Services
Administrator Seema Verma has directed CMS to undergo a comprehensive reive of nursing home regulations, guidance and processes: Administrator Seema Verma said that the goal is to bolster safety and quality in SNFs across the country. “This is not business as usual — we are pushing beyond the status quo,” she wrote in a blog post Monday. “CMS’ approach to oversight of nursing homes is constantly evolving,” she added. “Just as we’re unleashing innovative strategies and technologies in other … [Read more...] about Comprehensive Review of Nursing Home Regulations Planned?
The PDPM takes effect on October 1, 2019. You can read about the concerns being raised on behalf of nursing homes under the model here. … [Read more...] about Provider Concerns about Patient-Driven Payment Mode