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The Medicare Audit: Tips from a Healthcare Attorney

By Jason Martin, Esq. on Aug 17, 2015 10:00:00 AM

Medicare audits are serious matters.  

If a healthcare provider receives a notice from a Medicare contractor along with a request for medical records, it is a signal that the provider may not be complying with billing, coding, or documentation guidelines.  An audit determination could cause recoupments of overpayments, ; actions for fraud, including criminal prosecution, ; and/or revocation of Medicare billing privileges.  Healthcare providers are encouraged to act swiftly in the event of a Medicare audit.  Below is a basic list of suggestions that healthcare providers to should consider:

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How a Debt Collection Lawyer Can Help Businesses Collect Debts

By Jason Martin, Esq. on Aug 10, 2015 9:00:00 AM
Non-paying customers can ruin a business. Large account receivables create cash flow problems, and in the worst cases, business insolvency. If a business cannot collect from its own customers, it will be unable to pay its employees, lenders and/or suppliers. Businesses often fail to put into place proper mechanisms or procedures for identifying late paying customers and how to compel them to pay. Some businesses make the mistake of hiring a collection agency to collect debts. Unfortunately, such agencies are limited in their methods for collection. Usually, they resort to phone calls to the non-paying customer which can be easily ignored. Here are several reasons why businesses are better off hiring a debt collection lawyer to help collect from non-paying customers:
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Debt Collection Tips for PA Businesses

By Jason Martin, Esq. on Aug 3, 2015 9:00:00 AM

A business that is owed money from a customer often faces a dilemma: Should the business file a lawsuit against the customer to compel payment or should the business “write off” the debt. Many businesses decide to write off the debt because the balance owed may not justify the fees and costs to proceed with a lawsuit, or the business may believe that the debt is uncollectible due to insolvency of the customer or perhaps the customer has moved and the whereabouts are unknown. Businesses cannot and should not write off debts. Instead, a business should implement the following tips in order to increase its chances of recovering payment from an otherwise non-paying customer.

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Estate Planning and Special Needs Trusts in PA

By Jason Martin, Esq. on Jul 13, 2015 5:31:50 PM

Children who have a physical or mental disability may qualify for benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, subsidized housing or other benefits. In order to qualify for SSI, for example, the child must meet Social Security’s definition of disability and the child’s income and resources must fall within specific eligibility limits. In 2015, the child cannot be working and earning more than $1,090.00 per year and the child cannot have assets worth more than $2,000.00. 

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Questions to Ask a PA Estate Planning Attorney

By Jason Martin, Esq. on Jul 6, 2015 1:26:17 PM

Estate planning is necessary for everyone.  No one knows what the future holds, so it is extremely important to anticipate and arrange for how your assets will be distributed upon your death. For Pennsylvania residents, the first step is to contact an estate planning attorney in PA.   There is a large number of estate planning attorneys with the expertise to assist you.  So how do you decide which one is right for you?  And how do you know that the attorney is detail oriented enough to make sure that your final estate plan is sufficient for you and contemplates many different

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Tips for Finding A Good Healthcare Attorney in PA

By Jason Martin, Esq. on Jun 23, 2015 2:18:32 PM

Healthcare is a unique area of law that requires attorneys to have a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience.  Hospitals, physicians, chiropractors, physical therapists and other healthcare providers often need a lawyer to help them start their healthcare practice, or navigate the insurance and Medicare minefields, or provide an analysis of a particular arrangement under the Federal Stark or Anti-kickback laws, or assist them with regulatory matters.  So how does a healthcare provider find a good healthcare attorney?

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5 Reasons You Should Call Divorce Attorneys in PA

By Jason Martin, Esq. on Jun 11, 2015 1:00:00 PM

When it comes to divorce, advanced planning can go a long way.  Recognizing and prioritizing your divorce goals from the start will save you time, money, and stress throughout the divorce process.  Part of this planning should be finding and contacting experienced divorce attorneys in PA.   Skilled divorce attorneys can not only ensure that your rights are protected throughout your divorce, but will be the ones to remove the stressful burden of divorce from your shoulders.  The following are a few important reasons why you should contact experienced divorce attorneys in PA:

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Can an Attorney Stop Debt Collection Harassment?

By Jason Martin, Esq. on Jun 4, 2015 10:30:00 AM

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Many individuals, families and businesses across Pennsylvania have all been adversely impacted by the economic recession.  While the recession may be over for some, others are still feeling the effects of increased debts and obligations that remain unpaid.  Creditors try hard to collect these outstanding debts. Some use collection agencies that send nasty letters and make annoying and consistent phone calls. But, creditors cannot harass you for payment.  There is a very specific law known as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act that governs how creditors are lawfully able to pursue the collection of unpaid debts.  An experienced debt collection lawyer can ensure that your rights are protected.  

What is the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act?

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, or FDCPA, prohibits debt collectors from using abusive, unfair, or deceptive practices to collect from you.  This includes collection agencies, lawyers who collect debts on a regular basis and companies that buy delinquent debts and then try to collect them.

The FDCPA covers almost all types of debts, other than those you may incur in running a business. Debts covered under the FDCPA often include credit card debt, medical debt, and your mortgage. 

What does the FDCPA prevent?

While the FDCPA is not a complete barrier from communications made from a debt collector, it does set forth a number of specific, inappropriate things debt collectors cannot do. For example:

  1. Harassment - They cannot "harass, oppress, or abuse you or any third parties they contact." Debt collectors cannot threaten violence/harm, they cannot publish your name, they cannot use profane language, or they cannot repeatedly call you to annoy you.

 

  1. False Statements - Debt collectors cannot lie when attempting to collect a debt.
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House of Representatives Vote to Repeal Federal Estate Tax

By Jason Martin, Esq. on May 28, 2015 11:30:00 AM

As reported in a recent article on syracuse.com,  in a 240 to 179 decision, the House of Representatives voted on April 16, 2015 to repeal the Federal Estate Tax.  While the bill to repeal this tax has passed, President Obama has threatened to veto the bill.  He made clear that he wants to raise the tax rate, not eliminate it, as it only affects approximate 5,400 estates per year (less than 1% of all estates), but would generate approximately $269 billion over the next decade. This bill will soon become a point of contention in the 2016 presidential race.  

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