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Lacktman, Wein Quoted in mHealthIntelligence About OIG’s Approval of Free SmartPhone Giveaway for Medication Adherence Tracking

05 February 2019
Partner Nate Lacktman and Of Counsel Emily Wein were quoted in the mHealthIntelligence article, “OIG Oks Free Phones in mHealth Project Targeting Medication Adherence,” about the Office of the Inspector General decision to approve a digital health care company’s plan to loan free smartphones to patients enrolled in a project tracking medication adherence. The OIG last month ruled in favor of the digital health company’s plans which gives phones to patients enrolled in a digital therapeutic program in which they track medication adherence through an ingestible sensor and corresponding mobile health platform. This is the sixth time that the OIG has approved a projects like this.

Lacktman and Wein said the OIG ruled that the program did not violate anti-kickback laws for numerous reasons and also noted that the OIG’s ruling is specific to the case, but it points to support by the federal government for programs that improve access to care and health outcomes.

“OIG included its traditional disclaimer that the advisory opinion can only be relied upon by the specific company that requested it, and the opinion would be null if any material facts were not disclosed,” they wrote. “Companies offering similar digital health therapeutics or remote patient monitoring programs should closely review the opinion because it offers insight into the government’s view on how technology can promote access to care. Companies evaluating or developing similar programs offering free or discounted technology should carefully consider the safeguards enumerated in OIG’s analysis prior to launch.”