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Halbig v. Burwell: A Death Blow for the Affordable Care Act?

On July 22, 2014, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in Halbig v. Burwell that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) authorizes the issuance of tax credits to assist...more

NY Legalizing Medical Marijuana with the Compassionate Care Act

Severely ill patients in New York State are celebrating Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s signature of a bill that legalized medical marijuana in New York for many severely ill patients[1]. As noted by Assembly Speaker Silver in his...more

The Check’s in the Mail - Who Is Responsible for Payment in a Delegated-Network System?

In today’s healthcare system, reimbursement issues involve not only prompt pay statutory provisions but also various risk-shifting arrangements included in a delegated-network system of managed care. When the insolvency of...more

Employee Benefits Developments - April 2014

Supreme Court Holds Severance Payments Are Subject to FICA Taxes - Reversing a decision by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that severance payments to employees who were...more

HIPAA Impaired Providers and the ER - What Happens When Your Employee Becomes Your Patient?

I was speaking this week at IAHIMA’s Annual Conference on the issues relating to HIPAA audits and recent updates from OCR and ONC. As part of my program we typically solicit questions prior to the presentation, most of which...more

Labor & Employment E-Note - April 17, 2014

In This Issue: - Employers Face Increasing Number of Religious Bias Suits - Small Business Owners Concerned About Overtime Pay Requirements - Rising Number of Wage Theft Lawsuits Highlight Enforcement Issues -...more

A Brief Overview of the Case Law Regarding "Failure to Train" Claims - And Its Implications for Medical Device Manufacturers

In recent years, causes of action for “failure to train,” or allegations predicated on a duty to train, have been on the rise in cases against medical device manufacturers. Historically, however, such claims and allegations...more

State Action Doctrine At The Supreme Court: Take Two

The Supreme Court has a renewed interest in the state action doctrine. After declining to clarify what types of state action are exempt from federal antitrust scrutiny for years, the Supreme Court agreed to hear its second...more

Kentucky Legalizes Marijuana Oil

Recently, the vastly conservative state of Kentucky Senate unanimously voted (38-0) to pass a bill that would legalize the medical use of marijuana oil. The bill was largely supported by the Kentucky state governor, as well...more

Missouri Supreme Court Holds Federal Act Does Not Preempt Missouri Law Barring Subrogation Of Personal Injury Claims

In essence overruling a previous opinion from the courts of appeal, the Missouri Supreme Court has held that the Federal Employee Health Benefits Act (“FEHBA”) does not preempt Missouri law prohibiting the subrogation of...more

Law Prof: The Clean Air Act Needs a Reboot  [Video]

Feb. 24, 2014 -- Professor David Schoenbrod talks about some of the inadequacies of The Clean Air Act along with potential solutions to the problem....more

$4 Billion Price Tag for Pleasing Plaintiffs' Bar? New Study Estimates Costs of FDA's Proposed Rule on Generic Drug Labeling

An economic consulting group recently published findings that a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed rule will increase annual healthcare costs by $4 billion. The FDA's proposal, announced in November 2013, would allow...more

Feds’ Argument in Favor of Premium Tax Credit Gains Momentum, Still Under Attack in Federal Courts

A second federal district court judge has ruled in favor of the government on one of the most serious challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA). The court dismissed a challenge to the...more

Disclosure v. Blocking Statutes

The recent decision in Secretary of State for Health and others v Servier Laboratories Ltd and others;; National Grid Electricity Transmission plc v ABB Ltd and others [2013] EWCA Civ 1234, concerned an appeal by two...more

BB&K Police Bulletin: Ordinance Prohibiting Marijuana Cultivation Upheld

Compassionate Use Act and Medical Marijuana Program Do Not Preempt a Municipality’s Police Power to Prohibit the Cultivation of Marijuana Overview: A California court of appeal recently affirmed a trial court’s...more

Second Circuit Holds In-House Lawyer Precluded from Blowing Whistle on Former Employer

The Second Circuit issued an opinion tackling the interplay between an attorney's ethical obligation to maintain client confidences and the ability to act as a "whistleblower" to report unlawful conduct to the government. The...more

Reefer Madness: Employees May Use Medical Marijuana Yet Be Fired For Doing So

Despite twenty states allowing the use of medicinal marijuana and two more – Colorado and Washington – allowing recreational marijuana use, employers remain unaffected. Courts consistently find that employers may terminate...more

Court Rejects Marijuana Retail Sale Defense: Medical Marijuana Program and Compassionate Use Act Ban Sales for Profit

A California appellate court recently held that neither the Compassionate Use Act (CUA) nor the Medical Marijuana Program Act (MMPA) allows the sale of marijuana for profit and provided clarification on how to determine...more

Can A State Impose Civil Penalties On A Drug Or Device Company For Using A Federally-Approved Label?

Overview - States have increasingly brought actions under Medicaid fraud or consumer protection statutes seeking civil penalties and restitution from the makers of prescription drugs. Many top-selling drugs have been...more

A Federal Court Holds HIPAA Preempts A Florida Medical Malpractice Pre-Suit Requirement

Judge Hinkle, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, recently held that one of Florida’s pre-suit requirements for pursuing a medical negligence claim under Florida law is contrary to federal law and...more

Making it Legal - Washington State’s New Pot Laws Finally Finalized

Finally, after almost one year of planning, debate, and hearings, Washington State adopted new regulations related to the growth, sales, and regulation of marijuana. Residents of Washington at last have the information they...more

Court Overturns Presuit Patient Authorization Requirement Under Florida Medical Malpractice Statute

On September 25, 2013, the Northern District Court of Florida, Tallahassee Division, ruled that Florida Statute § 766.1065 violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) by requiring a...more

New York Federal Court Rules Public Hospitals Are Exempt from State Labor Laws

On October 16, 2013, a New York federal district court granted a partial motion to dismiss a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) class action suit against the New York City Health & Hospitals Corp. (HHC), finding that HHC is a...more

Courts Split On Whether Mandatory Contraceptive Coverage Violates Religious Freedoms Of For-Profit Corporations

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s preventive services mandate, non-grandfathered group health plans must provide 100% coverage of contraceptives for women, subject to exemptions and safe harbors for...more

Supreme Court May Decide Issue of the Level of Specificity Required Under Rule 9(b) in FCA Whistleblower Suits

The United States Supreme Court recently indicated its potential interest in hearing arguments in a key False Claims Act (FCA) case that would address a circuit split over the important issue of the level of specificity of...more

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