The Health Law Blog

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Denver Coffee Shop May Become First Business to Allow Social Marijuana Use

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On December 12, 2017, the first application to allow social marijuana use in a business has landed in Colorado. This first application seeks to allow vaping and use of edibles southwest of downtown. Denver is the first in the U.S. to allow public consumption at businesses and at permitted events. You won't have to fly all the way to Amsterdam any longer to partake of the weed. The Coffee Joint. The fir...

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1/16/2018 Comments(0)

Can “Green Banking” Be a Possible Solution to Marijuana Industry Money?

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On December 22, 2017, California announced a possible solution to the problem of banks being unwilling to handle money from the legal marijuana industry. Talks are underway between the state, banks and federal regulators on a plan to allow banks to serve a marijuana market that is expected to grow to $7 billion annually by 2020 in California. Starting January 1, 2018, it will be legal to grow and sell ...

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1/12/2018 Comments(0)

Appeals Court Affirms Discipline for Doctor Who Sold Prescriptions at Bar

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On December 15, 2017, a physician who sold painkiller prescriptions to patients at a bar and restaurant, had his two-year probation for unprofessional conduct upheld by a Maryland appeals court. The court upheld the decision after it found that the evidence supported the state board’s disciplinary decision. Unprofessional Conduct Alleged. The Court of Special Appeals affirmed the ruling by the Ma...

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12/28/2017 Comments(0)

State of Florida Sued as DOH Fails to Grant New Pot Licenses

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On November 22, 2017, a plant nursery and a man who has epilepsy, filed suit alleging that it's "high time" for the Florida Department of Health DOH to comply with a Florida constitutional amendment and its implementing legislation. The constitutional amendment requires the DOH to license more medical marijuana treatment centers. According to the suit that has been filed, DOH's failure to do so is depr...

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12/26/2017 Comments(0)

Mentally Ill Inmate Gouges Out Own Eyes, Sues Colorado County for Negligence

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On December 7, 2017, a mentally ill inmate in the Boulder, Colorado, jail sued Sheriff Joe Pelle in federal court, claiming that the jail staff failed to stop the man from using his fingers to gouge out his own eyes after several prior attempts to do so. The inmate sued Pelle and 21 other jail employees in U.S. District Court in Denver. He claimed that he blinded himself because they failed to heed war...

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12/22/2017 Comments(0)

Nursing Home Chain Hit With $1.5 Million Verdict in Sex Discrimination Lawsuit as Jury Sides with Former Employee

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On November 2, 2017, a former elder care facility executive was awarded a $1.5 million verdict by a federal jury in Washington state. Irene Riggs claims she was fired for complaining about the "sexually charged" environment created by a supervisor's inappropriate conduct with a nurse. After a three-day trial, the jury awarded her over $232,000 in lost wages up to the date of trial, nearly $802,000 in f...

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12/13/2017 Comments(0)

Big News For Nursing Homes: Federal Government’s Ban On Nursing Home Arbitration Blocked

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On November 7, 2016, a Mississippi federal judge temporarily blocked enforcement of the federal government’s ban on mandatory arbitration in cases involving nursing homes. The order from U.S. District Judge Michael P. Mills granted a preliminary injunction sought by the American Health Care Association AHCA and prevents the ban from taking effect on Nov. 28. The proposed rule, released by the Cen...

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12/11/2017 Comments(0)

U.S. Court in Florida Dismisses Whistleblower’s Complaint Against Nuclear Pharmacy

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On September 28, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida dismissed a relator's whistle blower's False Claims Act FCA complaint against a nuclear pharmacy in Tampa. The court found that the relator failed to plead fraud with the required amount of specificity that the law requires. The case was filed against GE Healthcare, Inc.'s nuclear pharmacy. The Allegations. GE Healthcare ...

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12/9/2017 Comments(0)

Health Care Software Double-Bills Government For Anesthesia Services According to FCA Suit

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On November 2, 2017, a relator in a Florida federal False Claims Act FCA case, claimed that Epic Systems' Epic health software wrongly defaults to double-billing for anesthesia services. As a result, the government is being overbilled by hundreds of millions of dollars, according to relator Geraldine Petrowski. The Relator’s Allegations. In an amended complaint, the relator alleges Epic billing s...

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12/8/2017 Comments(0)

Florida Woman Lands Herself 6.5 Years in Prison, Owes $45 Million for Medicare Fraud Scheme

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law On November 22, 2017, a Florida woman who was accused of a $45 million Medicare fraud, received a six-and-a-half-year prison sentence, following a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court decision in her case holding that the government could not freeze untainted assets. Sila Luis received an 80-month prison sentence in addition to being ordered to pay $45 million in restitution. This came after a 2016 guilty plea to a...

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12/5/2017 Comments(0)