Regulatory: When is a permanent injunction not permanent?

When it involves Medicare payment data about physicians

For more than 30 years, Medicare has kept the payments it makes to individual physicians confidential based upon a permanent injunction that was entered in 1979 by the Middle District of Florida in Florida Medical Ass’n, Inc. v. Dep’t of Health, Education and Welfare.

In the case, the American Medical Association and the Florida Medical Association (FMA) were co-plaintiffs and successfully obtained a permanent injunction preventing the release of physician-specific Medicare payment data. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has relied upon the FMA Injunction as a basis to deny Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for such data since that time.

Contributing Author

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Jim Hoover

Jim Hoover is a partner and health care attorney with Burr & Forman LLP (Birmingham, Ala.). He represents hospitals, physician practices, pharmacies, medical device manufacturers,...

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