AHLA's Speaking of Health Law

The Lighter Side of Health Law - July 2022

July 26, 2022 AHLA Podcasts
AHLA's Speaking of Health Law
The Lighter Side of Health Law - July 2022
Show Notes Transcript

AHLA's monthly podcast featuring health lawyer and blogger Norm Tabler's informative and entertaining take on recent health law and other legal developments. 

To learn more about AHLA and the educational resources available to the health law community, visit americanhealthlaw.org.

Speaker 1:

This episode of ALA , speaking of health law is brought to you by HLA members and donors like you. For more information, visit American health law.org .

Speaker 2:

Hi, I'm norm Taber with this month's edition of the lighter side of health law fraud squared. You have to hand it to Jorge Perez of Miami. He and his fellow conspirators managed to turn each false lab bill into a double fraud. You might call it fraud squared. Here's how it worked. First. They conducted unnecessary lab tests, nothing new there. What was new was falsely claiming the tests were conducted at critical access hospitals that they controlled. And of course, critical access hospitals are eligible for higher reimbursement than other sites, including the sites where the lab tests were actually performed. What do you get when you apply this fraud squared approach? Well, in this case, you got $1.4 billion in false bills. That's billing with a B of course, Jorge and his buddies got caught. Otherwise we wouldn't know about the scheme they're charged with healthcare fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. The case is us versus Perez metal district Florida. When sunny gets blue, remember the Johnny Mathis hit when sunny gets blue . I thought of it when I saw the news that sunny Bawan former COO of the now defunct lab testing company, Theranos was convicted of criminal fraud and conspiracy by a California criminal jury. Pretty soon the tune will change to when sunny gets orange, the tarnished silver lining, if wearing a COVID mask as a cloud, Massachusetts attorney, Jeffrey Rosen thought he had found the silver lining Jeffrey was defending Liz Williams in a lawsuit. They both wore masks during her video deposition. That's when he had his brainstorm, he would feed Liz the answers to the questions. No one would know because they couldn't see his lips. ALA Jeffrey had forgotten one small detail. The opposing lawyer could hear Jeffrey despite his mask, just as he could hear Liz, despite her mask. And what he kept hearing from Liz was her parroting. What Jeff had just told her to say, and Jeffrey didn't do this just once he did it over 50 times. What did Jeffrey have to say for himself? When the plaintiff's attorney moved for sanctions, your honor, I didn't do anything wrong because the answers I fed my client were the right answers. Strangely the court didn't think much of Jeffrey's defense ruling, that he was guilty of misconduct referring the matter to the disciplinary authorities and disqualifying him from the case. Liz's punishment is that the plaintiff can show a video of the Jeffrey and Liz ventriloquism act to assist the jury in assessing her credibility. The case is Barksdale versus Williams district of Massachusetts today's procedural quiz. Here's today's legal quiz. The facts are simple, but they produce an interesting blend of civil and criminal law. Zach Miller received inpatient mental care. After threatening to strangle, his grandmother released, he immediately attacked and killed his grandfather. He pleaded guilty, but mentally ill to manslaughter. And then he sued his mental healthcare providers for medical malpractice. If that sounds crazy, remember, Zach is mentally ill. First quiz question. Can the providers win with collateral estoppel arguing that Zach can't re-litigate the issue already decided in court, namely his criminal responsibility for his grandfather's death give up the answer is no, the defense would apply. If Zach had been found guilty after litigating the issue, but since he pleaded guilty and there was no trial, the principle did not apply. Second question. How about the principle that a person criminally convicted can't file a civil suit, blaming someone else for his criminal conduct that doesn't apply either Zach pleaded guilty, but mentally ill. So it's not clear that he can be considered criminally responsible. The case is Miller versus lock Shamar , Indiana court of appeals. Good news for Fido . The pit bull. If you live in New York and have a dog, you may be interested in this, a New York law that went into effect earlier this year, generally prohibits insurance companies from charging homeowners, higher premiums, just because they have a dog of any quote, specific breed or mixture of breed. So if your insurance company charges you more than your neighbor, because your pup is a descendant of Cujo while the neighbors is lastly, the 14th, you have a case full disclosure. I have a bulldog named Albert, the hands on approach. You might say New York city board of elections, general council , oops , make that former general council . Steve Richmond took a truly hands on approach to his job. His assessment of job seekers, involved measuring their body parts, placing them in wrestling holes and having them do the same to him and requiring at least one applicant to perform pushups. While Steve lay on top of the applicant, Steve has pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors, a self disproving boast lawyers boast all the time. Often the boast is blatantly untrue, but it's rare that the boast actually disproves itself. Well , Virginia lawyer, Aaron Bergen managed that feat. And in writing no less a probation officer miscalculated sentencing guidelines for Erin's client, an error she corrected and apologized for. Nevertheless, Erin sent her this email quote don't bleep around with me again. I will always be the best bleeping attorney in the courtroom. Try and pull that kind of bleep again. And you'll be begging to get off the witness stand. Well, that little bit of boasting got Aaron publicly reprimanded by the Virginia bar for violating ethics rules on fairness to parties, respect for the rights of third parties and acts reflecting adversely on a lawyer's fitness to practice law. Aaron is required to schedule an evaluation with the lawyer's assistance program, enter into a contract with the program, complete four hours of ethics, CLE and apologize to the probation officer. I don't want to call Aaron a liar, but it's hard for me to believe a guy with a record like that could be the best bleeping attorney around the case is in the matter of Aaron Bergen seventh district subcommittee of the Virginia state bar make mine a double Massachusetts lawyer, John Salo shelled out $1,900 for wine for a C event. He could have charged the event sponsor for the $1,900, or he could have charged his firm for the $1,900 . What he couldn't or at least shouldn't do is what he did, which was charged both the sponsor and his firm, $1,900. Each his now former firm reported him to the board of bar overseers and he is been suspended for a year and a day. The case is Henry Jonathan Salo , Massachusetts Supreme judicial court. The quirks of federalism, Arizona resident, Pam Minoff carries a state issued patient medical marijuana registry ID card, allowing her to possess marijuana, to treat her arthritis and joint disease. So the marijuana should not be a problem. When an officer pulled her over for speeding and smelled marijuana right wrong, because Pam was pulled over in Iowa. And what works in Arizona doesn't necessarily work in Iowa. It's called federalism. The Iowa Supreme court shot down Pam's arguments and upheld her conviction for illegal drug position . Know the court ruled your Arizona marijuana registry card is not a valid prescription or order for the marijuana. It doesn't specify the type or dosage as a valid prescription would and your marijuana wasn't dispensed by a physician. So your card is not a valid order. Two lessons, one state's law doesn't necessarily apply. Once you cross into another state, second marijuana and speed don't mix. The case is Iowa versus middle cough , Iowa Supreme court, looking for any excuse virtually every day . There's a decision on whether to enforce the arbitration provision that's standard in the nursing home industry, a family member sues the hospital for negligence. The home moves to dismiss because the admission agreement calls for arbitration, the home usually wins, but it's clear that courts increasingly strained to find a way to rule in favor of the plaintiff. Here's an example. Doreen Adams sued Mount Lebanon and rehab center alleging that it's negligence resulted in her mom's death. Mount Lebanon played the arbitration card pointing to the provision of the admission form . No reply , Doreen mom wasn't bound by that. She didn't sign the form, but you did Mount Lebanon responded. And you said you had your mom's power of attorney. You checked the box answering yes, to that very question, but snare Doreen, that's not proof that I actually had the power of attorney. You never saw the power of attorney form . Did you? Maybe I wasn't telling the truth. The court siding with Doreen ruling that without actually seeing the power of attorney form , the home did not carry its burden to prove Doreen's mom was bound by the arbitration provision. The case is Adams versus Mount Lebanon operations superior court of Pennsylvania. Well , that's it for this month's edition . I hope you liked it. I'll be back next month with another edition of the lighter side of health law.

Speaker 1:

Thank you for listening. If you enjoy this episode, be sure to subscribe to a H L a speaking of health law, wherever you get your podcasts to learn more about ALA and the educational resources available to the health law community , visit American health .