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Recess Update on the Affordable Care Act and Its Repeal and Replacement

The momentary lull in congressional activity on health care provides an opportune time for an update on the efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA)....more

Senate Begins Discussions of Affordable Care Act Modifications

Senate Republicans have released a draft of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) that aims to repeal and replace a number of provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Senate bill mirrors many of the terms in the...more

HHS Finalizes Health Insurance Market Stabilization Rules

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has finalized regulations designed to help stabilize the individual and small group health insurance markets and, in particular, the health insurance exchanges...more

ACA Repeal and Replace Plan is Released

The House Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce Committees have released, in two parts, budget reconciliation legislation, the first steps of Congress' proposal to "repeal and replace" the Affordable Care Act. Reconciliation...more

CMS, IRS Address Affordable Care Act Issues in Transition

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the IRS have each published guidance on matters arising under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It is too early to tell whether these measures—some of the first guidance...more

Data Breach Class Action Reinstated Against Horizon Healthcare Services Inc.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has vacated a district court's dismissal of a data breach class action filed against Horizon Healthcare Services Inc., in the wake of the 2013 theft of two computer laptops...more

Ballard Opinion Letter Program to Replace IRS Determination Letter Program

The Internal Revenue Service has largely ended its determination letter program by which sponsors of individually designed retirement plans can obtain confirmation that their plan documents are tax-qualified. The IRS has...more

Federal Court Enjoins U.S. Agency’s Nursing Home Arbitration Agreement Ban

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency within the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, recently issued a final rule prohibiting nursing homes and other long-term care facilities from utilizing...more

FTC Scores Another Victory in FTC v. Advocate Health Care Network

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) won another decisive victory in its effort to fight health care provider consolidation when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed a district court’s decision denying the...more

U.S. Agency Prohibits Nursing Home Arbitration Agreements

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency within the U.S. Health and Human Services Department, has issued a final rule that includes prohibiting nursing homes and other long-term care facilities from...more

FTC Wins Key Appellate Victory in FTC v. Penn State Hershey Medical Center

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) won a decisive victory today in its efforts to slow the record pace of health care provider consolidation, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit reversed a District Court's...more

FTC Finally Loses a Hospital Merger Challenge … Now What?

Handing the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) its first defeat in a federal court hospital merger challenge in more than a decade, a federal district court judge yesterday denied the joint request of the FTC and the Attorney...more

HIPAA Audits Coming Your Way – Are You Ready?

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Health and Human Services has begun Phase 2 of its audit program under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). In this phase, OCR will: -...more

Creating a Social Network of Tax Savings: The Use of LLCs in Structuring Philanthropic and Public Good Activities

The use of a limited liability company (LLC) by Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan as the vehicle for advancing of “philanthropic, public advocacy, and other activities for the public good” has recently received a...more

Final Rules for Preventive Services

The U.S. Departments of Treasury, Labor (DOL) and Health and Human Services (HHS) have issued interim final regulations and Frequently Asked Questions and Answers on the cost-free coverage of preventive services under the...more

Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Care Act Subsidies in King v. Burwell

In a much-anticipated decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that individuals who enroll for coverage in a health insurance exchange may qualify for a subsidy to make that coverage more affordable, regardless of whether...more

New Guidance on Cost-Sharing Limits and Provider Nondiscrimination Rules

The U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury have jointly issued a new set of FAQs that clarifies the application of the rules establishing cost-sharing limits. For 2016, non-grandfathered group...more

Guidance Clarifies Preventive Care Requirements

Recent guidance issued jointly by the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury clarifies how the Affordable Care Act's requirement to provide cost-free coverage for preventive care applies to...more

Anthem's Breach: How Employers Should Respond

With the news of the breach of security at Anthem health plans, many employers have been wondering whether their employees are affected and how they should respond. The breach extends to members in Anthem-affiliated plans and...more

Internet of Things: Federal Agencies Offer Privacy and Data Security Best Practices

The recently released Federal Trade Commission staff report, Internet of Things: Privacy & Security in a Connected World, provides companies with insight into the FTC's consumer privacy and data security expectations for the...more

Expatriate Plans Exempted from Many Affordable Care Act Provisions

In the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act (the recently enacted federal budget bill often known as the “CRomnibus” legislation), Congress has exempted health plans designed to cover expatriates from most...more

IRS Seeks to Curb Popularity of ‘Skinny’ Health Plans

The Internal Revenue Service, in Notice 2014-69, has concluded that certain unconventional group health plan designs that offer limited or no coverage for in-patient hospitalization services and/or physician services will not...more

Health Plan ID Program Suspended

Late on October 31, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Office of E-Health Standards and Services announced that it was suspending the program that required all health plans to register for a health plan ID...more

Health Plan ID Requirements and Other End-of-Year Considerations

Employers and other health plan sponsors may be focused on preparing for the commencement of the employer mandate under the Affordable Care Act on January 1, 2015, but a number of other deadlines and developments are emerging...more

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