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"2014-15 Supreme Court Highlights"

Approaching the midpoint of its 2014-15 term, the Supreme Court has added to its docket several cases with potentially wide-reaching implications for a range of important policy and business issues. The Court accepted for...more

Williams Mullen and Local Counsel, Bryan Davis, Win Declaratory Action Against HSD in New Mexico!!

For those of you who follow my blog, you know that the single state agency in New Mexico, Human Services Department (HSD), accused 15 behavioral health care providers, which made up 87% of the mental health care in NM, of...more

Low Medicaid Reimbursement Rates Violate the Supremacy Clause?! …The Supreme Court to Weigh In!

Today is a big day. Not only will most of us return to work after a long weekend, but the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on a very important issue....more

Food Fights Make Bad Law

The axiom "hard facts make bad law" never held so true than in the case of the Minnesota Supreme Court's decision in Medical Staff of Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center vs. Avera Marshall, issued on December 31, 2014. ...more

AZ Supreme Court Holds AZ Legislators Have Standing to Challenge AZ Law, But Media Mischaracterizing the Lawsuit

It seems that the media have become so accustomed to polarizing the topic of Medicaid expansion that reporters seem incapable of truly assessing the issues objectively and reporting accordingly. This has happened recently...more

Texas Appeals Court Invalidates Certain Medicaid Payment Hold Rules

Last week, a Texas appeals court invalidated three rules that permitted the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) and the Texas OIG to impose a pre-notice payment hold against a Medicaid provider in certain...more

New Jersey Court Supports Peer Review Immunity for Hospital

On November 24, 2014, the New Jersey Appellate Division affirmed a lower court’s decision to dismiss a physician’s lawsuit against a hospital based on federal and state statutory immunity provisions that shield hospitals and...more

Fourth Circuit Applies Sovereign Immunity to Shield State Hospital Supervisors from Suit

Some employers are immune from liability by virtue of their status as a state-run operation. Employees have become more creative in attempting to obtain recovery from their employers in such situations by naming individual...more

D.C. Circuit Upholds Contraceptive Coverage Mandate

Last week, a unanimous three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit upheld the religious accommodation to the Affordable Care Act’s (“ACA”) contraceptive coverage mandate (Priests for Life v. HHS, D.C. Cir. No. 13-5368, Nov. 14,...more

DC Circuit Dismisses Appeal By Three Hospitals Challenging Subcontractor Status

On November 14, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia dismissed as moot an appeal by three hospitals affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The hospitals had challenged...more

Illinois Supreme Court Rejects Constitutional Challenge to Medical Licensing Amendments

Last month, a unanimous Illinois Supreme Court rejected assorted constitutional challenges to 2011 amendments to the Department of Professional Regulation Law governing medical licensing. In an opinion by Justice Burke, the...more

The Only Surprise Is That It Took This Long...The First Ebola Class Action Has Been Filed

I am always amused by the manner in which class action lawyers attempt to capitalize on current events and public fears in bringing a “cutting edge” lawsuit that will garner a great amount of media attention. Although the...more

Class Action Claims: Gluing Together Systemwide Judicial Relief

The award of class action certification is often the gateway for obtaining lifesaving systemwide judicial relief in broken correctional health care systems. It also can be the beginning of a decades-long, burdensome and...more

The Contraception Coverage Controversy Continues…

As we have been discussing, the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) requires all health plans to cover preventive health services for women, including all Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”)-approved contraceptives, at no cost (i.e....more

Religious Institutions: October 2014

Timely Topics - Church splits and property disputes are not new, but they have certainly grown in number in recent years. In the seminal case on church property disputes, Watson v. Jones, 80 U.S. (13 Wall.) 679, 20 L....more

Ninth Circuit Upholds Alameda Safe Drug Disposal Ordinance, Triggering Implementation of King County Secure Medicine Return Rule

On September 30, 2014, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the Northern District of California’s summary judgment that the Alameda Safe Drug Disposal Ordinance (the “Ordinance”) does not violate the dormant Commerce Clause of the...more

U.S. Supreme Court Update - September 2014

The Supreme Court is set to hear three state tax cases during its 2014-2015 term. The three cases, Alabama Department of Revenue v. CSX Transportation, Inc.; Comptroller of the Treasury of Maryland v. Wynne; and Direct...more

Medicare Beneficiaries Sue HHS Over 489-Day Backlog in ALJ Appeals

The Center for Medicare Advocacy (CMA) filed a complaint last week on behalf of five Medicare beneficiaries in federal district Court in Connecticut requesting a court order requiring the Secretary of HHS to clear a massive...more

The Hobby Lobby Decision and Religious-Based Exemptions

On June 30, 2014, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling which held that a closely held, for-profit entity can object to certain aspects of the birth control mandate imposed by the Patient Protection and Affordable...more

Summer 2014 SCOTUS Roundup: Burwell v. Hobby Lobby

To close out our review of the Supreme Court’s summer decisions impacting labor and employment issues, we’ll examine the ramifications of the much-publicized and hotly discussed Burwell v. Hobby Lobby....more

Supreme Court Holds That The ACA Mandate To Include Group Health Coverage For Certain Contraceptives Violates The Religious...

On June 30, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that closely held, for-profit corporations may claim a religious exemption from the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) mandate of providing certain types of...more

For-Profit Corporations Can Object to Federal Laws on Religious Grounds

The United Statutes Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby decision holds that for-profit closely held corporations can object, on the basis of sincerely held religious beliefs, to the contraception mandate imposed by the Patient...more

Four Myths of the Hobby Lobby Decision: Separating Fact from Fiction

Unless you have been living on another planet the past few weeks, you have probably heard that the United States Supreme Court rendered a decision in a case involving the arts and crafts store Hobby Lobby pertaining to...more

Does “Hobby Lobby” Apply to My Family Business?

On Monday, June 30, 2014, the United States Supreme Court ruled that “closely-held” for-profit companies could be exempt from the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) requirement to offer birth control coverage to their employees. As...more

Impact to Calif. Employers From Hobby Lobby Ruling

On June 30, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case, holding that closely held corporations could refuse to provide contraceptive coverage mandated by U.S. Department of Health...more

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