Health Updates

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Health Plan Identifiers – November 5, 2014 Deadline

What Is a Health Plan Identifier (HPID)? A health plan identifier is a standardized 10-digit number that is unique to a plan. Who Must Obtain an HPID in the Coming Weeks? Large “controlling health plans”...more

Supreme Court’s 2014-15 Term: Antitrust Case May Impact the Activities of Alcohol Industry Public/Private Organizations

On October 14, 2014, the United States Supreme Court heard oral argument in a case that could have significant implications for hybrid public/private “regulatory” bodies. Many such bodies, like state and local wine...more

Life Care Centers Seeks Sixth Circuit Review of Decision Allowing Statistical Sampling/Extrapolation in FCA Case

Last week, we posted about U.S. District Court Judge Harry Mattice’s September 29th ruling that government attorneys could extrapolate from a small sample of patient admissions to over 50,000 patient admissions (and over...more

OCR Issues Guidance on Application of HIPAA Privacy Rule after Windsor

The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional in United States v. Windsor prompted many businesses to review and revise their employee benefit plans. However, the...more

OIG Proposed Anti-Kickback Safe Harbors and CMP Regulations: The End of Frustration or Just the Beginning?

On October 3, 2014, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) published an unexpected, yet long-awaited, set of proposed rules that would add new anti-kickback law safe harbors,...more

Federal Bills Pursue Comprehensive Data Breach Notification

The recent string of wide-scale data breach disclosures by major retailers has led to a growing call for federal legislation to protect consumer information and establish uniform data breach notification...more

Complying with Recent Changes to the Physician’s Notice of Privacy Practices

A physician practice’s Notice of Privacy Practices (“NPP”) acts as the “roadmap” to the practice’s permitted uses and disclosures of their patients’ protected health information (“PHI”). ...more

‘Health Care’-Related Calls: Ambiguity at the Intersection of HIPAA and TCPA

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has established exemptions from certain requirements of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) for health care messages regulated under the Health Insurance Portability and...more

What Employers Need to Know About Employer Payment Plans

Some employers may have offered employees pre-tax dollars to help purchase insurance. Such arrangements are called Employer Payment Plans. Now, however, Employer Payment Plans are prohibited under the Affordable Care Act...more

Proposed Approach for Applying the “Look-Back” Method When the Section 4980H Measurement Period Changes

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued Notice 2014-49 which describes a proposed approach for determining an employee’s full-time or part-time status for purposes of the employer shared responsibility rules under...more

IRS Proposes Key Changes to Schedule H's Community Health Needs Assessment and Financial Assistance Policy Questionss

On October 8, 2014, the IRS released drafts of the 2014 Form 990, Schedule H and Instructions, proposing significant changes related to a hospital facility's compliance with Section 501(r) of the Internal Revenue Code. These...more

Ebola Preparedness for Employers: U.S. OSHA Launches Ebola Web Page

The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has launched an Ebola Web Page for employers providing information on Ebola and how to protect workers. OSHA states that workers, including...more

Hospital’s Extortion & Fraud Too Quick to Violate RICO

Danielle Bennion and her co-plaintiffs filed a RICO (Racketeer Influenced & Corrupt Practices Act) action alleging that Mountain View Hospital and co-defendants engaged in a plan of extortion and wire fraud for the purpose of...more

CMS Announces Program to Fund ACO Growth, Extends Fraud and Abuse Waivers

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) announced a new initiative, the ACO Investment Model, on October 15, 2014. Under the model, ACOs which are made up of “providers [who] lack adequate access to … capital”...more

Another Federal Court Decertifies FLSA Collective Action of Hospital Workers Challenging Auto-Deduct Policy

We have previously discussed that, while medical providers have become a common target of plaintiffs asserting wage and hour claims arising out of so-called “auto-deduct” policies, more and more courts are realizing that the...more

Mintz Levin Health Care Qui Tam Update - Recent Developments & Unsealed False Claims Act Cases: October 2014

Trends & Analysis - Between our last Qui Tam Update and the end of June, 65 health care–related qui tam cases were unsealed (28 in April, 18 in May, and 19 in June). Within those 65 cases...more

Critical Access Hospital Soothsayers and the 96-Hour Physician Certification Requirement

This year critical access hospitals (CAH) have struggled to implement procedures to comply with both the "two-midnight" rule and the 96-hour physician certification requirement. The combination of both puts physicians in a...more

CMS Reopens Application Period for Meaningful Use Hardship Exception

CMS Reopens Application Period for Meaningful Use Hardship Exception - the period during which certain eligible providers may request a hardship exception from qualifying as a Meaningful User under the Medicare EHR Incentive...more

Supreme Court Examines Boundaries of Antitrust Immunity in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. FTC

On October 14, 2014, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. FTC, a U.S. Court of Appeals Fourth Circuit decision upholding an FTC finding that the North...more

Getting the Most Out of Physician Practice Acquisitions: Considerations for Converting Acquired Physician Practices into...

Hospitals acquiring physician practices need to balance competing considerations when determining how to fit them in the larger organization. Financial considerations weigh heavily, but so do considerations about finding some...more

Highlights of OIG's Proposal to Amend Safe Harbors to the Antikickback Statute and CMP Rules, and to Add New Safe Harbors

On October 3, 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a proposed rule to establish new safe harbors under the antikickback statute and the civil monetary penalty (CMP) rules,...more

Health Headlines: Also in the News - October 2014

On September 30th, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released draft guidance concerning the proposed oversight framework for regulating laboratory developed tests....more

Guidance for Employers Regarding Ebola

On September 30, 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed the first travel-associated case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the United States. The patient died of Ebola on October 8. More recently, on...more

Time to “Start Talking!” - Ohio Governor’s movement leads to new informed consent requirement

Citing that “most teens who abuse pain relievers say they get them from family and friends,” the use of prescription pain drugs continues to take center stage and has spurred an Ohio law requiring new procedures when...more

Protecting Healthcare and Other Employees From Ebola

News that a U.S. based health-care worker in Dallas has contracted Ebola while caring for a patient with the disease has raised questions about the protections that health care facilities and other employers must provide for...more

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