On 15 November 2016, the European Commission (“the Commission”) opened its second report on Regulation (EC) No 1901/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12...08 December 2016
OIG Issues Advisory Opinion Allowing Hospice to Provide Free “Community Services”
The hospice said that the services to be provided would include things like companionship, transportation, running errands, food preparation, and providing respite for caregivers, and they would be provided by unpaid volunteers. This “community services” program would not be actively marketed to the community, and the services would be available only to individuals who reside in their home, and not those in skilled nursing facilities. The hospice would employ a volunteer coordinator to oversee the volunteers and communicate with those receiving the services, but the expenses would be kept separate and would not be included on the hospice’s, or its parent hospital’s, cost report.
The factors identified by the OIG as protecting against fraud and abuse included: (1) that the hospice will not actively market the program in the community, but will educate hospital case managers and physician offices about its availability for eligible patients, and will provide individuals who opt to receive the services with information about their right to choose a provider of home health or hospice services, and a list of known providers in the patient’s service area; (2) the arrangement is unlikely to increase federal health care program costs because the services would be provided by volunteers and the costs associated with the program would be segregated, and (3) the eligibility criteria for receiving hospice care, and the relatively small monetary value of the services act as a safeguard against the risk of overutilization that is often associated with the inducement provided by free services.
This Advisory Opinion is similar to one issued to the Hospice of Martin & St. Lucie in 2000 regarding a program to provide volunteer services to individuals in their homes and in nursing homes.
On 26 September 2016, a new EU-US collaboration between the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was announced. This new collaboration is ...06 October 2016
As reported here, earlier this month the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued a decision declining to transfer marijuana out of Schedule I. As marijuana remains a Schedule I...07 September 2016