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Medicare works toward getting rid of negligent doctors

Floridians might have heard about this news. Medicare wants to ban negligent doctors who have been found to be engaged in fraudulent or harmful prescribing of medications to protect patients. According to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the effort, known as a "proposed rule," will help federal agencies make changes that will significantly alter Medicare plans. Previously, the agency has placed a higher priority on making medications accessible; now, the agency will be making sure to get rid of harmful prescribers.

According to the Jan. 6 news release, physicians who abuse prescribing powers can actually be kicked out of plans. They could also be removed from the plans if they had their licenses suspended or revoked by state regulators, or if their right to prescribe painkillers or controlled substances had been restricted. Previously, ProPublica had found that a number of doctors working with Medicare had been criminally charged or convicted; some had been terminated from state Medicaid programs, and others had lost their licenses.

The proposed changes would take place starting on Jan. 1, 2015, according to the news, and it's hoped that a number of the changes will help address the problems pointed out by ProPublica's investigation. With the changes in place, it's suspected that patients will be at a lower risk of injury due to harmful prescribing.

Medical providers should have your best interests in mind. When they are negligent or over-prescribe drugs, you could be injured for life. If you're dealing with a medical malpractice case or are injured due to negligence, it's important that you seek both medical and legal help.

Source: ProPublica, "In A Major Shift, Medicare Wants Power to Ban Harmful Prescribers" Tracy Weber and Charles Ornstein, Jan. 06, 2014

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