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Medical Marijuana Dispensaries: Maintaining Business Records for Federal Income Tax Purposes, Not as Hard as it Sounds

Posted in Guest Contributor, Medical Marijuana, Trends
Generally, medical marijuana dispensaries are not allowed to deduct expenses for federal income tax purposes because buying and selling marijuana, even for medical reasons, is considered “trafficking in illegal drugs.”  Such dispensaries, however, are allowed to offset income by cost of goods sold (“COGS”) if they maintain sufficiently reliable records to allow the IRS to… Continue Reading

Early New Year’s Resolution: Update Partnership and LLC Agreements to Comply with New IRS Audit Rules

Posted in Compliance Issues, Guest Contributor, Physician Practice Models, Regulations
In 2015, Congress repealed the complex and heavily criticized Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 (“TEFRA”) partnership-level audit rules which apply to partnerships and most LLCs.  The new audit rules, which Congress adopted in place of the TEFRA rules, go into effect in less than a month (on 1/1/2018).  This change in audit… Continue Reading

20 Years of HIPAA – Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Going

Posted in Guest Contributor, HIPAA, Privacy, Security
On August 21, 1996, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) was signed into law by President Bill Clinton. The original purpose of the Act, which amended the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, was to improve the portability and continuity of health insurance coverage, combat waste, fraud, and abuse, promote the use… Continue Reading

Dialing in on Health Care Delivery Through Telemedicine

Posted in Guest Contributor, Technology, Telemedicine
With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, millions of newly insured patients have entered the health care market, bringing attention to the need for expanded access to services. Meanwhile, rapid advancements in the use of high-speed data transmission have paved the way toward using Internet technology to alleviate this problem, while addressing numerous inefficiencies… Continue Reading

Traveling for Medical Care — The Increasing Popularity of Medical Tourism

Posted in Guest Contributor, Medical Tourism, Trends
Medical tourism is the term used to describe the movement of patients across international borders in pursuit of medical care and treatment. While in the United States the term is usually associated with Americans leaving the country in search of low-cost treatments — particularly cosmetic surgery, dental care, fertility treatments, and heart surgery — the… Continue Reading

Government Opposes Health Care Merger Between Penn State Hershey and PinnacleHealth Citing Potential for Reduced Competition and Increased Prices

Posted in FTC, Guest Contributor, Mergers
This week, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General (“Attorney General”) publicly opposed the anticipated merger between Penn State Hershey Medical Center (“Penn State Hershey”) and PinnacleHealth System (“PinnacleHealth”). This partnership would be one of the biggest health care mergers Central Pennsylvania has ever experienced. The FTC and Attorney… Continue Reading

Concierge Medicine – A New Frontier

Posted in Guest Contributor, Physician Perspectives, Trends
Concierge medicine is a relatively new, but rapidly growing and evolving supplement to traditional medical care. A concierge physician charges an annual retainer fee that provides the patient with additional services that are not covered by insurance, but which enhance accessibility, the amount of time spent with the physician, and hopefully a much more personalized… Continue Reading

Mental Health Reform Act of 2015 Proposes Overhaul to America’s Mental Health System

Posted in Guest Contributor, Legislation, Medicaid, Medicare
On Tuesday, August 4, Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn) and Bill Cassidy (R-La) introduced The Mental Health Reform Act of 2015. The bill proposes reforms to Medicare and Medicaid, introduces new grant programs, and enhances the federal government’s commitments to integrating physical and mental health and improving mental health services. According to Murphy, the bill will… Continue Reading

21st Century Cures Act Passes House: Could Usher In Broad Reforms to Drug Approval Process

Posted in FDA, Guest Contributor, Legislation, Prescription Drugs and Medical Devices
On Friday, July 10th the U.S. House voted overwhelmingly to streamline the approval process of prescription drugs and medical devices by the FDA. If passed in the Senate and signed by President Obama, the “21st Century Cures Act” (the “Act”) would foster significant regulatory changes in the introduction of new drugs to the market. The… Continue Reading

CMS Issues Final Rule for Medicare Shared Savings Program

Posted in Accountable Care Organizations, Guest Contributor, Medicare
This month, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued a final rule (the “Final Rule”) regarding an update to the Medicare Shared Savings Program (the “Program”). The Final Rule will seek to enhance primary care services, reduce administrative burdens, and provide flexibility in the Program in order to maintain and enhance participation in… Continue Reading

CMS Issues New Proposed Rule to Modernize Managed Care for Medicaid

Posted in Affordable Care Act (ACA), Guest Contributor, Legislation, Medicaid, Regulations
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) has issued a new proposed rule (the “Proposed Rule”) intended to “modernize Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) managed care regulations to update the programs’ rules and strengthen the delivery of quality care for beneficiaries.” As CMS continues it mission toward creating better care, smarter… Continue Reading

Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network Is Open for Registration

Posted in Guest Contributor, Medicare
On March 25, 2015, the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”), launched the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network (the “Network”), an ambitious  private-public partnership designed to further move the health care system away from quantity-based care and closer to value-based, quality-driven care. The Network is being established to “help the U.S. health… Continue Reading

Proposed Reforms to Liver Transplant System Address Disparity, Raise Ethical Questions

Posted in Guest Contributor, Legislation, Trends
  Each year over 1,500 individuals in the United States die while waiting for a liver transplantation. Another 1,500 candidates are removed from waiting lists because they are deemed too medically frail to receive a liver. Some reformers believe that these figures can be reduced by changing administrative procedures used to determine how organs are… Continue Reading

Attorneys in the Time of Cholera

Posted in Guest Contributor, Physician Perspectives
  This is the story of how lawyers are fighting the cholera epidemic in Haiti. I am a physician with a subspecialty in infectious diseases. Since 2003, I have periodically travelled to Haiti to deliver basic medical care in underserved areas. I was also in Haiti two months after the earthquake that devastated the country… Continue Reading

Avenues to Asylum: Collaborations between Medical and Legal Professionals

Posted in Guest Contributor, Physician Perspectives
On a personal basis, my experiences with attorneys have been confined to generally unpleasant but necessary conversations about money and real estate, all of which are memorialized in hourly fees. However, in my human rights work as a physician, I have valued, if not treasured, my interactions with the attorneys with whom I work. Since 2005,… Continue Reading