5 Ways In Which the New Law Expands New Jersey’s Medical Marijuana Program

On July 2, 2019, New Jersey’s Governor, Phil Murphy, signed into law the Jake Honig Compassionate Use Medical Cannabis Act (“Act”) which greatly expands and reforms New Jersey’s Medical Marijuana program.

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Responsibilities of New Jersey’s Pharmacists In Charge

New Jersey pharmacy owners know that every New Jersey pharmacy must appoint a Pharmacist-in-charge (“PIC”) and a pharmacy cannot operate without a PIC for longer than 30 days. Below we review some of the many responsibilities that go with the title.

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OCR Proposes Changes to the Civil Rights Enforcement Section of the Affordable Care Act Section 1557

The Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) and the Office of the Civil Rights (“OCR”) recently proposed changes to Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (“Act”). This Section of the Act prohibits civil rights discrimination in certain health programs or activities. Some of the major changes, include, among others, revising the regulatory definition of what constitutes discrimination on the “basis of sex”. The proposal also includes healthcare conscience protections. Additionally, the proposed rule would eliminate taglines and notices requirement and it would revise the language access and grievance procedures of the rule.

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Electronic Medical Records Company Settles with OCR for HIPAA Violation

An electronic medical records company recently settled with the Office of the Civil Rights (“OCR”) for violating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) following a discovery of a cyberattack on its servers which contained the protected health information (PHI) of approximately 3.5 million individuals.

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Recommendations from DOH Biannual Medical Marijuana Report

The New Jersey Department of Health’s recent biannual report recommended ways to improve the New Jersey’s Medical Marijuana Program in three key areas.

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What Is OIG’s Risk Spectrum

The Office of the Inspector General (“OIG”) recently published the False Claims Act settlements risk spectrum for the first quarter of 2019. The risk spectrum identifies the number of settled cases and their assigned risk category.

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Physicians and Dentists – Know the Hidden Costs of Your Technology/Marketing Contracts

Many website design and development contracts as well as marketing and electronic medical records agreements (“technology contracts”) contain onerous terms and layers of user fees. If a physician or a dentist (“provider”) decides to part ways with the vendor under a technology contract the transition may be costly or cost prohibitive. One of the best ways providers can protect themselves against a slue of additional costs and concerns about possible loss of data is to have the contract reviewed by a healthcare attorney before signing on the dotted line.

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OIG Looks to Remove a Safe Harbor for Certain Drug Rebates; Proposes Two New Ones

In a newly proposed rule the Office of the Inspector General (“OIG”) is proposing to exclude from the discount safe harbor certain types of remuneration offered by drug manufacturers to Part D plan sponsors and Medicaid MCOs that may pose a risk to the Federal health care programs and beneficiaries. The OIG is also proposing to add two new safe harbors. The first would protect certain manufacturer point-of-sale reductions, and the second would protect certain fixed service fees that manufactures pay to pharmacy benefits managers for services rendered to the manufacturer that meet specific criteria.

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Recent Expansion of Scope of Practice for Dental Hygienist in New Jersey

The New Jersey Board of Dentistry (Board) recently expanded the scope of practice of licensed dental hygienists, limited registered dental assistants in orthodontics and registered dental assistants. Effected providers should become familiar with these expanded parameters.

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Expanding Role of Pharmacists and Certified Medical Assistants in New Jersey

The New Jersey Board of Pharmacy and the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners recently adopted new regulations and amended existing ones that effect the way providers practice. The changes concern pediatric immunizations performed by pharmacists and the administration of subcutaneous and intramuscular injections and venipunctures by certified medical assistants. We briefly summarize these recent changes below.

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CMS Proposes Sweeping Changes to E/M Service Codes and Telemedicine

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) recently published a proposed rule that, if codified, would bring about sweepings revisions to many Medicare payment policies under the physician fee schedule. Among many other changes CMS is proposing to simplify the documentation requirement for evaluation and management (E/M) code levels 2 through 5 but also proposes a flat fee for those levels of services. These and certain other proposed policy changes are briefly summarized below.

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New York Dentists Face New Dental Anesthesia Requirements

New sweeping regulations went into effect on July 1, 2017 for dental anesthesia services in New York. The regulations, among other things, would require dentists to have additional and specific continued education courses, meet specific practice requirements and maintain more exacting records than previously required. The regulations will also impose more stringent requirements on dentists providing dental sedation to patients 12 years old and younger. We provide a summary of the new requirements in the article that follows.

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NYS OMIG Focuses on Compliance, Fraud, Waste & Abuse and Detection

New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG) annual 2018-2019 Work Plan highlights three areas of concern for the agency: (1) provider compliance; (2) identifying and addressing fraud, waste and abuse in the program; and (3) improving methods of detecting fraudulent activities.

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CERT Audit Finds Insufficient Documentation Results in Improper Payments

Recent analysis by the Comprehensive Error Rate Testing (CERT) initiative of physical therapy claims revealed that insufficient documentation contributed to improper payments issued to providers.

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Pharmacies Beware of Potential Gabapentin Reporting Requirements

New Jersey’s Division of Consumer Affairs is proposing to amend the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) to require pharmacies to electronically transmit information about prescriptions filled for gabapentin.

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NJ’s New Rules for Companion Service

The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs (“Division”) recently proposed amendments and a new rule to implement a 2014 law concerning health care service firms.

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NY’s OMIG Finds Basic Compliance Program Gaps

The Bureau of Compliance (BOC) within the New York State Office of the Medicaid Inspector General (OMIG) recently performed an assessment of providers’ compliance programs. The results indicate that providers sometimes fail in relatively less complicated and readily addressable ways.

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New Jersey Places New Limitations on Opiod Prescriptions

Several of New Jersey’s professional licensing Boards recently adopted new controlled dangerous substance prescription requirements. Prescribers should be aware of the changes to avoid running afoul of the new regulations.

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New Blanket Waivers for Electronic Prescribing Approved in NY

In recognition of limitation of certain electronic prescribing software the NYS Health Commissioner approved a new blanket waiver for electronic prescribing requirements.

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Billing for Dually Eligible Beneficiaries

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has once again issued guidance reminding providers that federal law bars Medicare providers from billing a Qualified Medicare Beneficiaries (QMB) under any circumstances.

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