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The Health Law Firm was established in 1999, bringing together a team of top attorneys with decades of experience in the legal and healthcare fields. Based in Orlando, Florida, the firm provides legal representation for healthcare providers. The services we provide include reviewing and negotiating contracts, business transactions, defense of professional licensing cases, representation in investigations, defense in credentialing matters, Medicare and Medicaid audits, opinion letters, commercial litigation, covenants-not-to-compete, restrictive covenant litigation, incorporation, formation of corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs), Board of Medicine hearings, peer review actions, Board of Dentistry cases, Department of Health investigations, pain management and pain medicine physician defense, pain management clinic defense, Zone Program Integrity Contractor (ZPIC) audit defense, Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) audit defense, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) defense, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) search warrant and subpoena defense, Department of Health (DOH) subpoena defense, representation in clinical privileges hearings, representation before the Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG), National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) representation, United States Medical Licensing Examination (U.S.M.L.E.) challenges and representation, all types of commercial and business litigation, administrative hearings, negotiation of contracts and other matters of Health Law and legal representation of health care professionals.

Hawaii Gets Green Light For the Opening of First Medical Marijuana Dispensary

5571 darken lighten center w skin softBy Carole C. Schriefer, R.N., J.D.

After waiting 17 years, Hawaii will begin dispensary sales of medical marijuana to patients. Maui Grown Therapies got the green light from the Hawaii Department of Health (DOH) to begin selling medical cannabis. I know (from reliable sources, that is) that Hawaiian grown marijuana has always been a favorite with the connoisseur.

The First Dispensary Sales of Marijuana in Hawaii.

The Maui dispensary, Maui Grown Therapies, has been pre-registering patients and will begin selling medical cannabis to patients by appointment only, said Freitas Gorman, director of community relations and patient affairs. Walk-in sales will start in about a week.

In 2000, Hawaii was among the first states to legalize medical marijuana. But the state didn’t legalize dispensaries until 2015, so the state’s 18,000 patients had to grow or obtain the drug on their own.

“This is an important day for qualified patients and caregivers on Maui who now have assurance the medical cannabis they purchase at Maui Grown Therapies has been thoroughly tested and is safe for them to use,” said Virginia Pressler, director of the state Department of Health, in a statement. “Implementing a new health program is always challenging, and the dispensary program was no exception.”

To read the press release from the DOH, click here.

To stay on top of medical marijuana issues, be sure to check out our Medical Marijuana Law Blog regularly.

Contact Experienced Health Law Attorneys for Medical Marijuana Concerns.

The Health Law Firm attorneys can assist health care providers and facilities, such as doctors, pharmacists and pharmacies, wanting to participate in the medical marijuana industry. We can properly draft and complete the applications for registration, permitting and/or licensing, while complying with Florida law. We can also represent doctors, pharmacies and pharmacists facing proceedings brought by state regulators or agencies.

Sources:

Bussewitz, Cathy. “FIRST MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARY OPENING IN HAWAII.” The Associated Press. (August 8, 2017). Web.

Department of Health. “First dispensary receives approval from Department of Health to
begin sales of medical cannabis for Hawai‘i patients.” State of Hawaii, DOH. (August 8, 2017). Web.

About the Author: Carole C. Schriefer is an attorney and registered nurse. She practices with The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its regional office is in the Northern Colorado, area. http://www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 155 East Boardwalk Drive, Fort Collins, Colorado 80525. Phone: (970) 416-7456. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida area.

KeyWords: Medical marijuana legislation, medical marijuana defense attorney, legal representation for medical marijuana, legal representation for Department of Health issues, medical marijuana representation in Florida, Medical and recreational marijuana use, legal counsel for medical marijuana, marijuana defense attorney, complex health related business transactions, legal opinions on medical issues, legal representation for medical marijuana growers and distributors, legal counsel for medical marijuana, DOH defense attorney, The Health Law Firm attorney reviews, The Health Law Firm reviews, Florida medical marijuana defense attorney, Board of Medicine defense lawyer, reviews of The Health Law Firm, access to medical marijuana in Florida, The Health Law Firm

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of and a registered service mark of The Health Law Firm, P.A., a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 2017 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.

 

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Defense Counsel Accepting Healthcare Providers Service Organization (HPSO) Insurance To Defend Pharmacy Complaints Should Not Be Hard To Find

5571 darken lighten center w skin softBy Carole C. Schriefer, R.N., J.D.

We often hear from callers and clients in pharmacist and pharmacy licensing complaints, Department of Regulatory Activities (DORA) investigations, nursing cases, and DEA cases, that they had good insurance coverage with Healthcare Providers Service Organization (HPSO) Insurance, but could not find an attorney that would accept it. Often these pharmacies and pharmacy owners retain us after action has been taken to appeal or attempt to reverse an adverse disciplinary action taken against their nursing license.

For pharmacists and pharmacy owners carrying good professional liability insurance such Healthcare Providers Service Organization (HPSO) Insurance, there is no reason why you should have any difficulty in immediately locating an experienced attorney to defend you in a complaint or investigation. Our firm and its attorneys have accepted HPSO Insurance for over 25 years. Additionally, all of our attorneys are members of The American Association of Nurse Attorneys (TAANA)

Our firm has attorneys that are licensed in and can defend pharmacists, pharmacy owners and pharmacy technicians in Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Additionally, there are many states, such as Tennessee, Georgia, Oregon, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, and others, which allow us to appear before their boards of nursing and represent clients in these state under their “multi-jurisdictional practice” rules, because this is an area in which we routinely practice.

Legal areas in which we can represent a HPSO insured that HPSO will pay for include: administrative hearings, complaints against your pharmacist or pharmacy license, an investigation of a complaint made against your pharmacist or pharmacy license, a deposition for which you may be subpoenaed, a complaint made for violation of HIPAA or patient privacy, and many others.

Regardless of the state, contact us at:

Main Office:
The Health Law Firm
1101 Douglas Ave.
Altamonte Springs, FL 32714
Phone: (970) 416-7456
Fax: (866) 203-1464
Website: http://www.TheHealthLawFirm.com
Internet Contact: http://www.TheHealthLawFirm.com/contact-us/

By appointment at:
155 E. Boardwalk Drive
Suite 424
Fort Collins, CO 80525

One last word, regardless of whether you are covered by HPSO Insurance or not, if an investigator contacts you to obtain a statement from you, whether orally or in writing, always, always, always, consult with an experienced attorney in this area BEFORE giving any statement or talking to the investigator about anything.

Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced in Representing Pharmacists, Pharmacies, and Other Health Care Providers.

At the Health Law Firm we provide legal services for all health care providers and professionals. This includes pharmacists, pharmacies, physicians, nurses, dentists, psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health counselors, Durable Medical Equipment suppliers, medical students and interns, hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, pain management clinics, nursing homes, and any other healthcare provider. We represent facilities, individuals, groups and institutions in contracts, sales, mergers and acquisitions.

 

About the Author: Carole C. Schriefer is an attorney and registered nurse. She practices with The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its regional office is in the Northern Colorado, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 155 East Boardwalk Drive, Fort Collins, Colorado 80525. Phone: (970) 416-7456. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida area.
KeyWords: Legal representation for pharmacists and pharmacies, legal representation for licensing complaints, Department of Regulatory Activities (DORA) investigations, Legal representation for DORA investigations, DORA investigation defense attorney, legal representation for nursing cases, legal representation for DEA cases, Healthcare Providers Service Organization (HPSO) Insurance, legal representation for cases involving HPSO insurance, HPSO insurance attorney, legal representation for adverse disciplinary action, legal representation for pharmacy owners, legal representation for pharmacy technicians, administrative hearings attorney, legal representation for complaints against your pharmacist or pharmacy license, legal representation for an investigation of a complaint made against your pharmacist or pharmacy license, legal representation for a complaint made for violation of HIPAA or patient privacy, health attorneys representing pharmacists and pharmacies in Colorado, health attorneys representing pharmacists and pharmacies in Florida, health attorneys representing pharmacists and pharmacies in Louisiana, health attorneys representing pharmacists and pharmacies in Virginia, health attorneys representing pharmacists and pharmacies in the District of Columbia, reviews of The Health Law Firm, The Health Law Firm attorney reviews

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of and a registered service mark of The Health Law Firm, P.A., a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 2017 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved

Finding A Colorado Attorney/Lawyer Who Will Take Nurses Service Organization (NSO) Insurance to Defend Nursing Board Complaints

5571 darken lighten center w skin softBy Carole C. Schriefer, R.N., J.D.

If you are a nurse who has good professional liability insurance such as Nurses Service Organization (NSO) Insurance, there is no reason why you should have any difficulty in immediately locating an experienced attorney to defend you in a complaint or investigation.

We often hear from callers and clients in professional licensing complaints, Department of Regulatory Activities (DORA) investigations, nursing cases, and DEA cases, that they had good insurance coverage with Nurses Service Organization (NSO) Insurance, but could not find an attorney that would accept it. Often these nurses retain us after action has been taken to appeal or attempt to reverse an adverse disciplinary action taken against their nursing license.

This should not be a difficult task. Our firm and its attorneys have accepted NSO Insurance for over 25 years. Additionally, all of our attorneys are members of The American Association of Nurse Attorneys (TAANA)

Our firm has attorneys that are licensed in and can defend registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, nurse practitioners, and certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) in Colorado, Florida, Louisiana, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Additionally, there are many states, such as Tennessee, Georgia, Oregon, Pennsylvania, New York, Delaware, and others, which allow us to appear before their boards of nursing and represent clients in these state under their “multi-jurisdictional practice” rules, because this is an area in which we routinely practice.

Legal areas in which we can represent a NSO insured that NSO will pay for include: administrative hearings, complaints against your nursing license, an investigation of a complaint made against your nursing license, a deposition you may be subpoenaed for, a complaint made for violation of HIPAA or patient privacy, and many others.

Regardless of the state, contact us at:

Main Office:
The Health Law Firm
1101 Douglas Ave.
Altamonte Springs, FL 32714
Phone: (970) 416-7456
Fax: (866) 203-1464
Website: http://www.TheHealthLawFirm.com
Internet Contact: http://www.TheHealthLawFirm.com/contact-us/

By appointment at:
155 E. Boardwalk Drive
Suite 424
Fort Collins, CO 80525

One last word, regardless of whether you are covered by NSO Insurance or not, if an investigator contacts you to obtain a statement from you, whether orally or in writing, always, always, always, consult with an experienced attorney in this area BEFORE giving any statement or talking to the investigator about anything.

Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced with Nursing Issues Today.

The attorneys of The Health Law Firm provide legal representation to nurses, nurse practitioners, and CRNAs in investigations, contract negotiations, licensing issues and at Board of Nursing hearings. They also advise nurses wrongfully accused of diverting drugs and those wrongfully terminated from employment. Its attorneys represent nurses in DOH investigations, Board of Nursing cases and administrative hearings.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

About the Author: Carole C. Schriefer is an attorney and registered nurse. She practices with The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its regional office is in the Northern Colorado, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 155 East Boardwalk Drive, Fort Collins, Colorado 80525. Phone: (970) 416-7456. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida area.

KeyWords: Legal representation for nurses, legal representation for licensing complaints, Department of Regulatory Activities (DORA) investigations, Legal representation for DORA investigations, DORA investigation defense attorney, legal representation for nursing cases, legal representation for DEA cases, Nurses Service Organization (NSO) Insurance, legal representation for cases involving NSO insurance, NSO insurance attorney, legal representation for adverse disciplinary action, administrative hearings attorney, legal representation for complaints against your nursing license, legal representation for an investigation of a complaint made against your nursing license, legal representation for a complaint made for violation of HIPAA or patient privacy, health attorneys representing nurses in Colorado, health attorneys representing nurses in Florida, health attorneys representing nurses in Louisiana, health attorneys representing nurses in Virginia, health attorneys representing nurses in the District of Columbia, reviews of The Health Law Firm, The Health Law Firm attorney reviews

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of and a registered service mark of The Health Law Firm, P.A., a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 2017 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved

 

New Report Reveals Massive $2.4 Billion Marijuana Impact on Colorado Economy

3 Indest-2009-2By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

On October 27, 2016, the Marijuana Policy Project issued a report for 2015 stating that the state-legal medical marijuana industry had a $2.4 billion economic impact on the Colorado economy. The cannabis industry, the fastest-growing business sector in Colorado, is credited with funding 18,005 direct and ancillary full-time jobs in 2015, according to the report. The Marijuana Policy Group (MPG) who issued the report, is a Denver-based economic and market research firm that consults with businesses and governments on marijuana policy.

What Does This Mean For the State of Colorado?

The size of the marijuana industry is quite substantial now and the world is taking notice. As a result, new jobs are being created and operating businesses are generating substantial revenue. However, in the coming years, the estimated growth rate will eventually slow to about 11.3 percent as visitor sales drop off as more states legalize, according to the report.

By 2020, Colorado’s marijuana industry is expected to surpass tobacco as the state’s largest excise revenue source, but cannabis sales also should reach a saturation point, MPG said. As such in Colorado, the cannabis industry generates more economic output and employment per dollar spent than 90 percent of other industries, according to MPG’s report.

Click here to read the MPG’s report in full.

Not All Positive News.

But there is a down side for the marijuana industry. As the marijuana industry in Colorado continues to grow, so will the problems that the industry will face on a day-to-day operating basis. Business owners in the marijuana industry can expect an increase of claims such as product liability claims, customer slip and fall claims, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) claims, shareholder lawsuits, and other types of problems that affect any large business. However, this is merely the cost of doing business and one of the prices for success in the U.S.

Be Prepared, Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late.

Those involved in the marijuana industry, especially business owners, need to be prepared to ensure they are in a position to defend lawsuits like those mentioned above. Business owners should make sure they are adequately insured and hire legal professionals with experience in marijuana law to provide adequate advice on important issues.

To read more on the status of the marijuana industry and how The Health Law Firm can assist you, click here.

Contact Experienced Health Law Attorneys for Medical Marijuana Concerns.

The Health Law Firm attorneys can assist health care providers and facilities, such as doctors, pharmacists and pharmacies, wanting to participate in the medical marijuana industry. We can properly draft and complete the applications for registration, permitting and/or licensing, while complying with Florida law. We can also represent doctors, pharmacies and pharmacists facing proceedings brought by state regulators or agencies.

To contact The Health Law Firm please call (407) 331-6620 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

Sources:

Levine, Steve. “Marijuana Industry has $2.4bn Economic Impact on Colorado.” AHLA Weekly. (October 27, 2016). Web.

Wallace, Alicia. “Report: Colorado weed is now a behemoth with a $2.4 billion economic impact.” (October 26, 2016). Web.

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. http://www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.

KeyWords: Growing marijuana industry in Colorado, Marijuana Policy Group (MPG) report, medical marijuana defense attorney, lawyer for medical marijuana growers and distributors, health lawyers for marijuana distributors, legal counsel for marijuana growers and distributors, medical marijuana laws, medical marijuana legalization, product liability claims defense attorney, customer slip and fall claims defense attorney, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) claims defense attorney, reviews of The Health Law Firm, The Health Law Firm attorney reviews, The Health Law Firm

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of and a registered service mark of The Health Law Firm, P.A., a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 2016 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.

Colorado Judge Reduces Fraud Conspiracy Claims Against Aetna, UnitedHealthcare

5571 darken lighten center w skin softBy Carole C. Schriefer, R.N., J.D., The Health Law Firm
On July 14, 2016, a Colorado federal judge partly dismissed allegations against several surgical centers in claims filed by insurance companies Aetna and UnitedHealthcare. The judge disagreed that the two surgical centers committed fraud by waiving patient fees or violated antitrust laws by sending hefty bills to the insurers.

The dismissals applied to counterclaims filed by Aetna and UnitedHealthcare against four out-of-network surgical centers that are suing the insurers for allegedly blocking patient referrals. Although the centers accuse Aetna and UnitedHealthcare of anti-competitive efforts to destroy the centers’ business model, the insurers allege that the business model — which involves waiving patient fees and recruiting patients from in-network doctors — is itself illegal.

Click here to read more.

 

The Dismissed Allegations.

U.S. District Judge William J. Martinez, dismissed allegations of fraud and negligent misrepresentation against the two insurance centers. He did so after finding that the billing claims submitted to both Aetna and UnitedHealthcare disclosed “that the patient’s responsibility has been reduced to approximate in-network rates,” and that the insurers were therefore not deceived.

Additionally, the judge also dismissed counterclaims brought under state and federal antitrust laws. Those counterclaims were announced on an alleged price-fixing conspiracy among the insurance centers to bill insurers at 800 percent of Medicare reimbursement rates. Judge Martinez found that the two insurers had no obligation to pay the inflated rates and therefore were not harmed.

“To the extent [Aetna and UnitedHealthcare] paid a reimbursement that was artificially inflated by a price-fixing conspiracy, the injury was self-inflicted,” the judge wrote. “The court is unwilling to hold that paying an illegally inflated price constitutes antitrust injury when the paying party disregards its right to pay less or nothing at all.”

Counterclaims and Violations.

Judge Martinez also threw out several other counterclaims brought under other various theories and laws, including the Colorado Consumer Protection Act.

But he refused to dismiss counterclaims alleging tortious interference, unjust enrichment, civil conspiracy and violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

The judge said that the tortious interference counterclaim is potentially viable because both Aetna and UnitedHealthcare sufficiently alleged that inducing patients to “shirk their out-of-network cost-sharing” would violate Colorado’s abuse-of-health insurance statute.

To read Judge Martinez’s order in full, click here.

The case is Kissing Camels Surgery Center LLC et al. v. Centura Health Corp. et al.

Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced With Healthcare Business Practices.

The Health Law Firm routinely represents physician groups and practices with issues involving establishing, licensing, selling, merging, and intergroup affiliation. If you are considering establishing an ACO or have been approached to become a participant in one, you can contact The Health Law Firm at (970) 416-7456 or (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 or you can visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

Source:

Overley, Jeff. “Aetna, Anthem, United Can’t Ax Referral-Blocking Claims.” Law360. (July 17, 2016). Web.

About the Author: Carole C. Schriefer is an attorney and registered nurse. She practices with The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its regional office is in the Northern Colorado, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 155 East Boardwalk Drive, Fort Collins, Colorado 80525. Phone: (970) 416-7456. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida area.

KeyWords: Waiving patient fees, violating antitrust laws, healthcare fraud allegations, anti-competitive efforts, blocking patient referrals, legal representation for health care fraud allegations, Colorado Consumer and Protection Act, Colorado’s Abuse-of-health insurance statute, inflated Medicare reimbursement rates, Medicare fraud defense lawyer, health care fraud and abuse defense attorney, antitrust defense lawyer, legal counsel for antitrust allegations, Colorado health lawyer, The Health Law Firm

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. – The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 2016 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.

Marijuana Dispensary Fights IRS in Colorado Federal Court Over Disallowed Tax Deductions

5571 darken lighten center w skin softBy Carole C. Schriefer, R.N., J.D., The Health Law Firm

On May 10, 2016, a marijuana dispensary urged a Colorado federal court to preserve its challenge to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) rejection of its tax deductions. The dispensary, Alpenglow Botanicals LLC, says the agency’s stance that the business violates federal drug law poses a threat to the Centennial State’s legalized marijuana industry.

IRS Acted Out of Its Jurisdiction?

According to the dispensary, the IRS acted outside its jurisdiction by allegedly conducting a secret criminal investigation of the business, adding that the owners of the dispensary have never been convicted, or even accused, of violating the Controlled Substances Act.

In February 2016, Alpenglow alleged that the IRS was stepping outside of its jurisdiction by determining that the company was a drug trafficker, but the IRS said that it was simply enforcing a civil provision of the tax code. To read more click here,  to read the initial complaint, click here.

Furthermore, Alpenglow said the IRS lacks the authority to determine whether the dispensary’s business activities violate a criminal statute outside of the Internal Revenue Code. As a result of the agency’s actions, the owners of the dispensary were stuck with a combined increase in tax liability of more than $53,000, according to the brief. To read the response to the motion in full, click here.

IRS Stance: Businesses May Be Legal Under State Law, Marijuana is a Controlled Substance Under Federal Law.

Alpenglow is one of many marijuana retailers that have challenged the IRS stance that although the businesses may be legal under state law, marijuana is a controlled substance under federal law and taxpayers cannot deduct expenses related to businesses that run afoul of federal drug laws.

“Although the IRS’s actions result in the collection of revenue, this will be short-lived, as this policy, if allowed to continue, will quickly stamp out all of Colorado’s legalized marijuana industry,” Alpenglow said, arguing that the agency’s practice unlawfully converts tax charges into  penalties in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

In a similar case from 2015, the U.S. Tax Court said that the owner of two California medical marijuana dispensaries was prohibited from claiming deductions related to the businesses under federal drug trafficking laws and upheld a $1.2 million tax deficiency assessed by the IRS. Click here to read about this case.

For more information on medical marijuana legislation, click here to read our medical marijuana law blog.

Contact Experienced Health Law Attorneys for Medical Marijuana Concerns.

The Health Law Firm attorneys can assist health care providers and facilities, such as doctors, pharmacists and pharmacies, wanting to participate in the medical marijuana industry. We can properly draft and complete the applications for registration, permitting and/or licensing, while complying with Florida law. We can also represent doctors, pharmacies and pharmacists facing proceedings brought by state regulators or agencies.

To contact The Health Law Firm please call (407) 331-6620 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

Sources:

Sheehan, Hannah. “Colo. Pot Dispensary Fights IRS Over Uprooted Deductions.” Law360. (May 11, 2016). Web.

Powell, Christine. “IRS Deduction Denial Beyond Jurisdiction, Pot Dispensary Says.” Law360. (May13, 2016). Web.

About the Author: C. Schriefer is a nurse-attorney with The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. http://www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620. It has a branch office in Fort Collins, Colorado.
KeyWords: Colorado medical marijuana industry, medical marijuana, marijuana dispensaries, Internal Revenue Services (IRS), Alpenglow Botanicals LLC., violating federal drug laws, legalized marijuana industry, legal defense of medical marijuana retailers, health law defense attorney, health law, The Health Law Firm

The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. – The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 2016 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved

Colorado Medical Society Warns Insurance Companies that Mergers Could Be Harmful

5571 darken lighten center w skin softBy Carole C. Schriefer, R.N., J.D., The Health Law Firm

The Colorado Medical Society is warning that the merging of Anthem and Cigna and Aetna and Humana could drive doctors away and harm patient care. The mergers would turn four giant health insurers into two: Anthem Inc., which is affiliated with Blue Cross Blue Shield, wants to acquire all outstanding shares of Cigna for $54 billion. Aetna is offering to buy out Humana for $37 billion.

The Warning From the Colorado Medical Society.

Dr. Michael Volz, the medical society president said its members, “overwhelmingly believe, based on their experience with these companies, that the mergers will result in higher premiums, less patient time with physicians, lower reimbursement and reductions in staff.”

Additionally, Volz predicted that the mergers of these giant insurers would force some doctors out of community-based practices and lead others to leave Colorado or retire early.

The Insurers Say the Merger Will Result in More Affordable Health Care in Colorado.

Representatives from the insurance groups disagree with the warning from the Colorado Medical Society. “Expanding access to affordable health coverage is the foundation of our combination with Cigna and will remain Anthem’s top priority,” said Anthem spokeswoman Joyzelle Davis.

Anthem is confident that the proposed merger “will be reviewed on the facts by the DOJ and appropriate state authorities,” she said. “The transition has already achieved key milestones including shareholder approvals and approval in numerous states.”

What Do the Doctors Think?

In the March-April issue of the medical society’s magazine, a survey of Colorado doctors was given and focused on their anxieties about both mergers. Seventy-three percent of those in active practice oppose the mergers, the survey revealed. Seventy-five percent thought that they would bring about higher premiums and 72 percent felt that they would reduce patient access to needed care and payments to doctors.

The mergers need the approval from state regulators and must pass an antitrust review from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced in Representing Health Care Professionals and Providers.

At the Health Law Firm we provide legal services for all health care providers and professionals. This includes physicians, nurses, dentists, psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health counselors, Durable Medical Equipment suppliers, medical students and interns, hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, pain management clinics, nursing homes, and any other healthcare provider. We represent facilities, individuals, groups and institutions in contracts, sales, mergers and acquisitions.

The lawyers of The Health Law Firm are experienced in both formal and informal administrative hearings and in representing physicians in investigations and at Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine hearings. We represent physicians accused of wrongdoing, in patient complaints and in Department of Health investigations.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 and visit our website at www.ThehealthLawFirm.com.

Sources:

Olinger, David. “Guild warns pair of insurance company mergers could harm patient care.” The Denver Post. (May 5, 2016). Web.

Colliver, Victoria. “Aetna’s proposed $37 billion health merger under microscope.” SF Gate. (May 5, 2016). Web.

About the Author: C. Schriefer is a nurse-attorney with The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620. It has a branch office in Fort Collins, Colorado.

KeyWords: Insurance company mergers, Anthem Inc., Cigna, Aetna, Humana, Colorado Medical Society, Colorado Medical Society warning, U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), higher patient premiums, lower reimbursement, reductions if staff, legal representation for health care professionals, health care defense attorney, health law, The Health Law Firm.

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. – The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 2016 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.