Chicago-based Law Firm Opening a Healthcare Practice in Dallas

Chicago-based Katten Muchin Roseman is expanding its presence in Dallas with a newly added healthcare practice, according to The Texas Lawbook. The firm employs more than 600 lawyers across 14 US offices, London, and Shanghai. Katten snagged Lisa Atlas Genecov, a former partner at Norton Rose Fulbright who was in charge of healthcare transactions, and Cheryl Camin Murray, who was a partner at Winstead and a shareholder in their healthcare industry group. Kenya S. Woodruff, who will also join the healthcare team, focuses on the creation and maintenance of healthcare facilities for various medical providers. Katten opened its Dallas branch in February,… Full Story

Taking Stock of How DFW’s NICUs Stack Up

In 2013, state legislators passed a bill that required the Department of Health and Human Services to rate the ability of Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) to care for critically ill newborns here in Texas. After the hospitals apply for a certain level of care, ranging from more or less healthy premature babies in Level I to babies who need life support in Level IV, a team from the American Academy of Pediatrics or Texas Perinatal Services, a division of the nonprofit Texas EMS, Trauma & Acute Care Foundation, visits the hospitals and gives their rating recommendation rating to the… Full Story

Next Health Owners Plead Guilty to Money Laundering and Kickbacks

Two men plead guilty in a medical kickback case in Dallas where doctors steered patients to certain hospitals and were paid for it, according to the Dallas Morning News. The owners of the Next Health network of pharmacies, Andrew Hillman, 42, and Semyon Narosov, 54, gave people $50 gift cards to urinate in cups at Whataburger bathrooms. The urine was sent for superfluous testing at Next Health labs acting as a wellness study, according to the DMN. The allegations came to light from a 2017 lawsuit in which United Healthcare sued Next Health for $100 million. Hillman and Narosov admitted that Next… Full Story

Novus Medical Director Becomes Fourth To Plead Guilty In Frisco Home Health Scheme

Another defendant in the federal case against Frisco-based Novus Health Services has taken a guilty plea. Dr. Charles Leach, medical director for Novus from 2014 to 2015, admitted to his role in the $60 million scheme on Tuesday, the Dallas Morning News reported. This is the case in which the feds allege Novus CEO Bradley Harris directed home health nurses to speed up the death of elderly patients by administering certain drugs, among other claims. With the plea deal, Leach, 66, says he signed blank prescriptions and was aware Harris, who is not a doctor, often directed the medical operations.… Full Story

Judge Rules Against Fetal Burial Law in Austin Courtroom

We have a conclusion to the fetal remains burial case, which I’ve been following in this space via updates from the Texas Tribune. The publication says Wednesday that a judge has struck down Senate Bill 8, which would’ve required healthcare providers to cremate or bury fetal remains. U.S. District Judge David Alan Ezra cited logistical issues with the law. He also said that if instituted, it would represent “a violation of a woman’s right to obtain a legal abortion under the law as it stands today.” The ruling comes more than a month after the trial concluded. Here’s the Trib… Full Story

Reliant Rehab To Pay $6.1M After Settling Allegations It Paid Kickbacks

Plano-based Reliant Rehabilitation Holdings Inc. will pay the federal government $6.1 million to settle claims the company paid kickbacks to skilled nursing facilities and doctors. The Justice Department alleged Reliant, which is a massive national provider, violated the False Claims Act. The feds say Reliant hooked up clients with nurse practitioners on the cheap or on the free, and that the violations took place between April 1, 2013, and May 1, 2017. Reliant settled the claims without admitting wrongdoing. The case was heard in the Northern District of Texas. Here’s how a release from the Justice Department breaks it down:… Full Story

Tarrant County Commissioners Issue Bond Proposal To Fund More Than $1.2 Billion In JPS Upgrades

It’ll be up to Tarrant County voters to decide whether the JPS Health Network gets a host of facilities improvements including a new behavioral health hospital, new main hospital tower to include a level one trauma center, a new cancer center, four new regional health centers, and a new ambulatory surgical center. The total cost could be more than $1.2 billion, and the Tarrant County Commissioners are asking citizens to approve the issuance of a $800 million bond for the projects. The county says it can get them done without raising taxes. The bonds would be issued in several series… Full Story

MedPAC Recommendations Could Impact North Texas’ Dozens of Stand-alone ERs

In June, when the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission issued a two-pronged recommendation regarding stand-alone emergency departments, it pointed to one metropolitan area to illustrate growth in independent freestanding ERs: Dallas. From 2013 to 2017, the Dallas metro went from having 25 such facilities to 73. The entire U.S. has just 200. The recommendation issued by MedPAC calls for changes in the way Medicare bills stand-alone ERs and, to be clear, has nothing to do with independent freestanding ERs, which are not associated with a hospital and which the federal government doesn’t recognize. It has everything to do with stand-alone ERs… Full Story

Texas Tribune Runs Through Factors On States’ Side in Fight To Dismantle ACA

All arguments have been submitted in the case that pits Texas and 19 other states against the Affordable Care Act, according to the Texas Tribune. That means a federal judge, right here in North Texas, now holds the key to the healthcare law’s future. Experts say a ruling should come in the next few months, according to the Trib, which ran through several factors in Texas’ favor in a story this week: It’s not the first time Texas has sued over Obamacare, but this attempt has several weighty advantages. One comes from Congress, which in December shrunk the penalty for… Full Story

Pharma Company AstraZeneca To Pay Texas $110 Million Over Alleged Fraudulent Marketing

AstraZeneca agreed this week to pay the state of Texas $110 million to settle a pair of lawsuits in which the state accused the pharma giant of fraudulent marketing. The suits separately deal with the drugs Seroquel, which is an antipsychotic medication, and Crestor, to lower cholesterol. Texas claimed AstraZeneca marketed Seroquel to Texas Medicaid providers who treated children and adolescents—even though the drugs weren’t approved for use among that population—and made hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegal payments to a couple former state hospital doctors to influence the drug’s use. The state claimed AstraZeneca similarly pushed beyond the… Full Story