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Healthcare Technology Update Print E-mail
Written by Jeffrey Herschler   
Wednesday, 04 January 2012 00:00

According to a recent article in the Daily Business Review, the healthcare technology sector is 'white hot' for investors. The author, Mike Seemuth, also points out that the health sector is rapidly creating new jobs in the region, second only to hospitality in South Florida. He lists Miami based CareCloud, Consult A Doctor of Miami Beach and Ft. Lauderdale's MAKO Surgical as examples of healthcare technology firms that are attracting capital and hiring new workers.

The enthusiasm surrounding healthcare tech is not universal however. A recent article in Fortune entitled Mobile health: Hallelujah or bah humbug? questions the validity of crossing healthcare with mobile devices. The author, Lisa Suennen, wants to know if mobile is the future of healthcare, or more hype than substance. She also revisits 1999's crop of eHealth companies "...and the trail of a bazillion incinerated VC dollars and careers."

Meanwhile, Jupiter Medical Center just launched its new MedWaitTime online service. According to the facility's press release,

"The MedWaitTime service is designed for people with non-life-threatening conditions. By visiting www.jupitermed.com/er, a user can reserve the next available appointment for Emergency Department treatment and choose to wait comfortably at home until then. The online service has a fee of $8.99 to save a spot, which is refunded if the patient is not seen within 30 minutes of the scheduled time."

Last Updated on Wednesday, 11 January 2012 06:48
 
America's Health Rankings Releases Florida Findings Print E-mail
Written by Jeffrey Herschler   
Tuesday, 20 December 2011 20:17

This report is compiled annually by United Health Foundation. The latest report shows Florida has improved its position to 33 overall. It was 37th last year and 35th in 2009. Florida's strengths include low air pollution and high rates of immunization according to the foundation. The study notes the following challenges:
  • High rate of uninsured population
  • Low high school graduation rate
  • High geographic disparity within the state
  • It is further noted that smoking is down; about 13% of the state's residents smoke. Meanwhile obesity is up; over 22% of the population is obese with especially high rates among the non-Hispanic blacks at 38.8 percent

    Click HERE to view the report.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 December 2011 20:24
 
Path Lab Proposal Shot Down by OIG Print E-mail
Written by Jeffrey Cohen, Esq.   
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 12:52

The Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services recently (October 11, 2011) shook its head at a proposal involving a pathology lab management services business that was to be owned by physicians. The proposed arrangement had the following features:

1. A path lab management business ("Manager") would be formed and the business would be owned by doctors;
2. The Manager would provide a list of management services to a path lab;
3. The path lab ("Lab") would not be owned by the doctors that own the Manager;
4. The Manager would provide a fixed amount of hours of services each year and would receive a percentage of the Lab's income (fixed percentage in advance) and that fee would approximate the Lab's use of the Manager's services for the year;
5. The physician Manager investors would be in a position to refer to the Lab;
6. The ownership interests of the physician investors in the Manager would exceed forty percent (40%);
7. More than forty percent (40%) of the Lab's revenues would come from the physician investors.

The OIG decided that the proposed arrangement posed more than a minimal risk of violating the Anti Kickback statute. The OIG also said the manager cannot refer its own patients or generate business in connection with the proposed arrangement. The OIG focused on the following points in its advisory opinion:

1. The Manager's "usage fees" to the Lab are percentage based and not flat and set in advance;
2. The ownership interests of the doctor investors in the Manager would exceed what is specified in the so called "small entity" Safe Harbor;
3. The physician owners of the Manager have no experience in managing a lab, but are in a position to generate referrals to it.

Though the regulatory Safe Harbors (to the Anti Kickback Statute) are illustrative of permissible arrangements, the OIG is clearly sticking very close to them. Where federal or state healthcare program dollars are involved, physician investors would do well to make sure they are Safe Harbor compliant.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

With over 20 years of healthcare law experience following his position as legal counsel for the Florida Medical Association, Mr. Cohen is board certified by The Florida Bar as a specialist in healthcare law. His practice immerses him in regulatory, contract, corporate, compliance and employment related matters. Mr. Cohen is the founder of The Florida Healthcare Law Firm.
www.floridahealthcarelawfirm.com | 888-455-7702
Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 December 2011 13:01
 
N.E. Florida's Largest Hospitals, Group Practices Announced Print E-mail
Written by Jeffrey Herschler   
Wednesday, 16 November 2011 12:09

NEWS YOU CAN USE 

According to the Jacksonville Business Journal, NE Florida's largest hospitals are Shands Jacksonville with 695 licensed beds followed by Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville/Wolfson Children's Hospital (619 beds) and Northeast Florida State Hospital (613 beds). Top Group Practices in the area are University of Florida Jacksonville Physicians, with 414 doctors and 1,520 support staff, Mayo Clinic Hospital (369 doctors and 1,096 support staff) and Baptist Primary Care (172 doctors and 650 support staff).

Meanwhile back in South Florida, Alice Taylor has been named Chief Executive Officer of Broward Health Imperial Point Medical Center

PRESENTED BY MF HEALTHCARE SOLUTIONS

 
Trends in Employer Healthcare Costs Print E-mail
Written by Michael Newhouse   
Thursday, 03 November 2011 09:06

NEWS YOU CAN USE

Employer healthcare costs are expected to increase in 2012 at the lowest rate in more than a decade at 5.4%, but employee cost of benefits is likely to outpace the growth of their earnings. The smaller increase reflects cost-cutting efforts by employers. Many are moving workers into lower-cost health plans or slashing expenses by raising insurance deductibles. In the absence of any cost-cutting, employers said they expect their average health benefit costs to rise 7.1%. That is down from about 9% each of the last five years, according to William M. Mercer & Co.
Last Updated on Saturday, 12 November 2011 16:40
 
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