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Chasing Payments: District Court Holds that Providers Lack Standing to Sue ERISA Plans for Benefits if the Patients Remain Liable...

A district court in Tennessee recently rejected ERISA claims by healthcare providers against a plan insurer, holding that the providers lacked standing to sue under ERISA as their patients’ assignees. Brown v. Blue Cross...more

House and Senate Appropriations Committees Approve Funding Bills with Riders Targeting DOL, NLRB Initiatives

Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees advanced bills this week to fund various federal agencies for FY 2016. Each chamber approved versions of spending measures that include riders prohibiting funding for a...more

NLRB Affirms Its Previous Decision Requiring Employer to Continue Providing Annual Wage Increases Beyond Contract Expiration

We previously blogged about the NLRB’s relatively shocking September 2012 decision in Finley Hospital (359 NLRB No. 9), in which the Board held that an employer was required to continue providing wage increases after the...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: Duke Hit with Antitrust Suit for Non-Poaching Agreement with UNC

Universities and medical institutions in close geographic proximity may have faced the same issues as Duke and UNC when their faculties started departing for richer positions at the other’s campuses. With ever-increasing...more

How to Keep What is Yours: Practical Considerations for Healthcare IT Protection

One of the worst kept secrets is the experienced and expected growth in healthcare IT. In 2013, over $650 million was invested into healthcare IT companies, and the trend is continuing to grow. Combined with the fact that...more

Court Enjoins Outpatient Primary Care Physician’s New Employment as a Hospitalist

A Pennsylvania appellate court recently granted an employer’s request for enforcement of a restrictive covenant against a hospitalist, finding that his departure from the primary care office setting did not affect the terms...more

Recapping Major Non-Compete News from Around the Nation

..New Mexico has passed a new law that limits physician non-compete agreements. Although the law places some limitations on restrictive covenants for doctors, it is not an outright ban of such restrictions (of the...more

Managing Institutional Risk: Fraud-Proofing Your Organization

In this presentation: - Top 5 Fraud and Abuse Risks Facing Health Systems - Results of Enforcement Action - Top 5 Steps Health Systems Can Take To Minimize Fraud & Abuse Risk - Non-Compliant...more

North Carolina Business Court Holds Pleading Stage Too Early to Dismiss Broad Non-compete

On May 7, 2015, Judge Gregory McGuire of the North Carolina Business Court denied defendants’ motion to dismiss a claim that a physician’s assistant breached non-competition and non-solicitation provisions in her employment...more

Traps for the Unwary: A Look at Employees and Benefits in M&A Transactions

Employees drive the success of a company. In fact, in some industries (technology, for example) talent acquisition can be a primary motivation for a transaction. From identifying the target’s key employees, to assessing the...more

Traps for the Unwary: A Look at Employees and Benefits in M&A Transactions

Employees drive the success of a company. In fact, in some industries (technology, for example) talent acquisition can be a primary motivation for a transaction. From identifying the target’s key employees, to assessing the...more

Hospitals Are Still In The OFCCP's Crosshairs

On February 12, 2015, U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) underscored its intent to continue to scrutinize hospitals, including nonprofit hospitals. The OFCCP found that Lahey Clinic...more

Physician Non-Compete Agreements and Antitrust

Antitrust claims based on employee non-compete agreements generally fail because the plaintiff cannot establish antitrust standing. In the Eleventh Circuit, the test for antitrust standing requires the plaintiff show (1)...more

Ninth Circuit Calls Into Question “No Reemployment” Provisions In California Settlement Agreements

On April 8, 2015, in Golden v. California Emergency Physicians Medical Group, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals broadly interpreted California’s statutory provisions regarding restrictive covenants in the context of...more

SEC Blows the Whistle on Confidentiality Agreements

Thanks to a recent enforcement action brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), it may be time to review and revise the confidentiality provisions in employment agreements, severance agreements, employee...more

New 'Golden Rule' Removes the Peace from Employer Settlement Agreements

Under California Business and Professions Code Section 16600 (“Section 16600”), “every contract by which anyone is restrained from engaging in a lawful profession, trade, or business of any kind is to that extent void.”...more

Employer's "No Re-Hire" Provision May Violate California's Non-Compete Laws

Pretty much everyone knows that California courts do not favor covenants not to compete. We even have our own state laws that address this very issue (Business & Professions Code section 16600). But what about provisions in...more

Toss or Keep Document Retention in a Hospital Setting

Deciding how long to hold on to specific records in your hospital can be a challenging task, especially when the facility deals with so many different types of records. You may be tempted to hold on to everything indefinitely...more

Non-Compete Nonsense: Louisiana Enforces Non-Competes Against Cardiologists (but not Car Dealers)

A recent case out of the Louisiana Court of Appeal reminds us that some states will enforce physician non-compete agreements, even in the absence of a clear protectable interest and even where such enforcement threatens harm...more

Supreme Court Rules No Presumption of Lifetime Vesting of Retiree Health Benefits

The Supreme Court overturned the Sixth Circuit’s long-standing Yard-Man presumption, ruling that courts should apply ordinary contract principles to determine whether benefits have vested....more

The Cost of Health Care Isn’t the Price of Health Care

It’s common to use the term “cost of health care” to mean the price of health care. But there is a difference—often a huge difference....more

U.S. Supreme Court Invalidates Yard-Man Presumption for Collectively-Bargained Retiree Health Benefits

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, 574 U.S. ____ (2015) that ordinary principles of contract law should govern the interpretation of provisions for retiree healthcare benefits under collective...more

What Employers under Collective Bargaining Agreements Should Know about the Decision in M&G Polymers v. Tackett

Recently, the United States Supreme Court undertook a significant course-correction in the vesting of retiree health benefits under collective bargaining agreements (“CBAs”). ...more

Nondisclosure Agreements: A Lesson from Daughters of Charity

On February 23, 2015, Daughters of Charity Health System filed a complaint in Santa Clara County against Service Employees International Union, the local SEIU affiliate, and Blue Wolf Capital, the SEIU’s ally in a bid for the...more

Court Holds That Physician’s State Law Claim For Disability Benefits Is Preempted by ERISA: Hershan v. Unum Group Corporation

A federal court has held that a radiologist’s state law contract claim for certain disability insurance benefits arose under a welfare benefit plan governed by ERISA and was therefore preempted by ERISA. In Hershan v. Unum...more

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