SpecialtyFocusDocArt
Specialty Focus  
 
   Volume IX | Issue 21      
   May 26, 2020         
 
 
Practice specific news, analysis and commentary for Florida's Medical Specialists
Telemedicine Applications Put Your Practice at Risk of a Cyberattack
 
The current COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the use of telemedicine. It has forced the sudden adoption of telemedicine by many medical practices and healthcare systems, accompanied by government and payer emergency measures that have helped to make telemedicine care easier. Most of these emergency measures will sunset, and while most physicians and patients will welcome the return to safe in-person visits, the dramatic increase in virtual care is here to stay. The use of telemedicine apps, along with the large number of people working remotely, has created the potential for the acceleration of cyber security breaches. 
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Novavax starts Phase 1 coronavirus vaccine trial after $388M from Bill Gates-backed group
Evie Fordham reports for FOXBusiness on May 25, 2020 :

Maryland-based Novavax said dosing for the Phase 1 clinical trial of its coronavirus vaccine candidate would begin Monday.

"Administering our vaccine in the first participants of this clinical trial is a significant achievement, bringing us one step closer toward addressing the fundamental need for a vaccine in the fight against the global COVID-19 pandemic," Novavax President and CEO  Stanley C. Erck said in a statement. "We look forward to sharing the clinical results in July and, if promising, quickly initiating the Phase 2 portion of the trial."
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COVID-19 Healthcare Fraud: It's Started
A Georgia woman was arrested earlier this month in connection with a scheme in which she is alleged to have sought to pay and receive illegal kickbacks in exchange for referring Medicare beneficiaries for expensive cancer screening and COVID-19 tests.

Loosened healthcare regulations, including blanket waivers of the federal Anti-kickback Statute (AKS) and physician self-referral law ( Stark) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, could result in an onslaught of these types of healthcare fraud cases in the months to come.

According to the complaint, the defendant, identified as 32-year-old Ashley Hoobler Parris, aka Ashley Hoobler and Ashley Parris, started her scheme around October 2018 by soliciting kickbacks from labs in exchange for referring Medicare beneficiaries for expensive genetic cancer screening tests ( CGx Testing), regardless of medical necessity.

Hoobler and her co-conspirators would obtain doctors' orders for CGx testing for those beneficiaries by paying illegal kickbacks to co-conspirators at telemedicine companies. She also received illegal kickbacks in exchange for sending the completed CGx swabs and doctors' orders to a laboratory.
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