New Jersey doc took $25,000 in cash kickbacks; Prosecutors try to get Melgen's defense attorneys dismissed

> A New Jersey doctor was indicted for accepting approximately $25,000 in kickbacks in exchange for referring patients for blood and DNA testing. Vincent Destasio is accused of taking from sales representatives at a marketing company for two laboratories that specialized in blood testing and DNA testing that had no knowledge of the arrangement. Announcement

> Federal prosecutors in the case against Salomon Melgen, the Florida ophthalmologist charged with orchestrating a $105 million fraud scheme, have filed a motion to remove Melgen's attorneys from the case, citing a conflict of interest. Prosecutors wrote that Melgen could claim his attorneys, Matthew Menchel and Kirk Ogrosky, told him it was OK to continue billing Medicare for a single vial of Lucentis when using it for multiple patients, which would make them key witnesses in the criminal trial, My Palm Beach Post reports. Article

> An OIG evaluation of the Delaware Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) found a lack of adherence to certain performance standards traced back to the absence of final written policies and procedures. Although Delaware reported 28 convictions from 2012 to 2014, the MFCU did not file pertinent reports to the OIG or the National Practitioner Data Bank within the required time frame. Report

Health Payer News

Novartis has struck a performance-based deal with Cigna and Aetna that could signal a new wave of drug-pricing throughout the industry. The model allows insurers to pay based on how well the heart medication--Entresto--improves costumer health. Some believe this value-based approach is better suited for drugs that have experiences sales shortfalls. Article

Health Finance News

A lawsuit filed by the American Hospital Association in 2014 that sought to compel the federal government to clear the backlog of recovery audit contractor appeals has been reinstated by an appeals court. Article

And finally… How is this not a deleted scene from Office Space? Article