Author Archive

Earning Additional Practice Revenue as a Civil Surgeon: Part II

During our most recent blog, we considered the general nature of USCIS’ civil surgeon program. Today, we will discuss the process of applying to become a civil surgeon. A physician applies for inclusion in the civil surgeon program by sending a letter requesting inclusion to the relevant USCIS District Director. Click here to determine the

Seeking New Revenue Streams: Some Physicians Begin to Offer Immigration Examinations

As governmental and commercial insurance reimbursements continue to decline, physicians are increasingly seeking out new revenue streams. One such source of new revenue for some practices is the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (“USCIS”) civil surgeon program. In response to a recent question from an internal medicine practice, I would like to take some time

Jury Awards Deaf Patient $400,000 for Doctor’s failure to Provide Interpreter

In a remarkable development, a New Jersey jury has just awarded a deaf patient $400,000 for her doctor’s failure to provide an American Sign Language (“ASL”) interpreter. According to the complaint filed by the patient, Irma Gerena, she was referred to a Jersey City-based rheumatologist in 2004. She alleged that she visited the rheumatologist for

Harvard Wants Your Genome, But Warns of the Privacy Risks

Harvard University’s Personal Genome Project is seeking volunteers willing to “share their genome sequence and other personal information with the scientific community and the general public.” In 2001, Harvard’s Human Genome Project made history by releasing the first draft of a complete human genome. Now Harvard is seeking 99,999 volunteers who are willing to ‘show’

President Signs Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act

Last week, we explored the details of the Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act of 2008, which was passed by the House of Representatives on September 23, 2008 and approved by the Senate on September 30, 2008. Yesterday, the President signed this bill into law. As a quick recap, the new law proscribes the

Anthem BCBS of Indiana Climbs On Board the Pay-For-Performance Bandwagon

Medicare implemented its Physician Quality Reporting Initiative,which is also known as PQRI. Doctors who satisfied the quality of care and reporting requirements under PQRI received bonuses equal to 1.5% of their 2007 reimbursements. A very limited number of small to medium size practices have opted to participate in PQRI due to the onerous reporting requirements

US Lawmakers Seek to Regulate Online Pharmacies

Earlier this week, the Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act of 2008 was presented to the President for his signature. The Ryan Haight Online Pharmacy Consumer Protection Act of 2008 is aimed at regulating the online pharmacies that have proliferated during the last five years. In particular, the Act would require each online pharmacy

Medicare to Stop Paying for Certain “Never Events”

Beginning tomorrow, Medicare will no longer provide reimbursement for certain newly added “never event.” In particular, Medicare will refuse to provide reimbursement for the following conditions: Surgical site infections following certain elective procedures Legionnaires’ disease Extreme blood sugar derangement Lung collapse (Iatrogenic pneumothorax) Delirium Ventilator-associated pneumonia Formation/movement of a blood clot (Deep vein thrombosis/Pulmonary Embolism)

President Signs Identity Theft Enforcement and Restitution Act

Earlier today, the President signed the Identity Theft Enforcement and Restitution Act, which strengthens federal law regulating the inappropriate access and use of certain data. As explained by the House of Representatives (and quoted below), Identity Theft Enforcement and Restitution Act amends the federal criminal code to: Authorize criminal restitution orders in identity theft cases

HHS to Host Medical Identity Theft Town Hall

As readers of this blog may recall, earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, asked the consulting group of Booz Allen Hamilton to perform an assessment and evaluation of United States’ medical identity theft problem. As part of this assessment and evaluation,