Health Updates

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Washington Court of Appeals Expands "Jeopardy" Element of Claim for Wrongful Discharge in Violation of Public Policy

This month the Washington State Court of Appeals, Division III issued a ruling in Becker v. Community Health Systems, Inc. that expands protections in a wrongful termination action based on violation of a public policy....more

Healthcare Reform in the U.S. Territories; Prepayment of Taxes for Puerto Rico Retirement Plans

The summer of 2014 has brought further guidance for health plan coverage in the U.S. territories and for retirement plan coverage in Puerto Rico. Issuers and employer sponsors of Puerto Rico group health plans and employer...more

California Legislative Update: August 2014

AB 2074 amends Section 1194.2 of the California Labor Code to allow an employee who alleges minimum wage violations to file suit for liquidated damages any time before the expiration of the statute of limitation on the...more

Africa Update - August 2014 #4

In This Issue: - Leading the News - United States – Africa Relations - North Africa - East Africa - West Africa - Sub-Saharan Africa - General Africa News - Excerpt from...more

GAO Issues Report on Post-Payment Claims Reviews by CMS Contractors

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued a report entitled “Medicare Program Integrity: Increased Oversight and Guidance Could Improve Effectiveness and Efficiency of Post-Payment Claims Reviews,” which...more

Developments Impacting Benefits for Same-Sex Spouses

As federal and state agencies and courts further examine the implications of the Supreme Court of the United States’ ruling on same-sex marriage in U.S. v. Windsor, the laws and regulations governing employee benefits for...more

New York Certificate of Public Advantage (COPA) Program Alert: Revised Regulations Are Particularly Relevant to DSRIP Participants

On August 27, 2014, the New York State Department of Health ("DOH") issued revisions to its proposed regulations implementing the Certificate of Public Advantage ("COPA") process, which will facilitate immunity for New York...more

Third Circuit Affirms Dismissal of FLSA Overtime Claims in Hospital Meal Break Cases

On August 26, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the District Court’s dismissal of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime claims brought against a myriad of health care systems and their...more

Is The EEOC Off The Rails With This New “Wellness” Lawsuit? Don’t Think So.

Last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit against Wisconsin-based Orion Energy Systems, Inc., over its wellness program and its treatment of ex-employee Wendy Schobert, who was not a fan of the...more

HHS OIG Issues Report on Questionable Billing for Medicaid Pediatric Dental Services

What you need to know: The Office of Inspector General for the US Department of Health & Human Services recently published the results of its study on Louisiana dentists who may be providing unnecessary dental...more

Ten Things to Know About the 2014 North Carolina Legislative Session

The North Carolina General Assembly has completed its 2014 session. During this “short session,” Legislators focused primarily on adjusting the second year of the State budget enacted last year, but also considered a number...more

Seventh Circuit Limits “Worthless Services” Theory under False Claims Act

On August 20, 2014, the Seventh Circuit struck another blow against relators’ and the federal government’s increasingly aggressive False Claims Act theories of liability. Rejecting the relators’ use of the “worthless...more

Benefits of Physician Disclosure To Patients of Medical Errors

No matter how dedicated a physician is to her medical practice, or how careful she is to avoid treatment errors when providing care to her patients, nonetheless mistakes cannot be entirely avoided....more

New York Proposes Revised Regulations for Health Care Collaborations

Today, New York health regulators proposed revised rules that would allow health care providers to merge or cooperate with one another without being subject to federal or state antitrust scrutiny....more

AHA Responds to Proposed Home Health Face-to-Face Changes

As previously reported, on July 7, 2014, CMS issued the Calendar Year 2015 Home Health Prospective Payment System Proposed Rule (Proposed Rule). On August 18, 2014, the American Hospital Association (AHA) submitted comments...more

DEA Issues Final Rule Up-Scheduling Hydrocodone Combination Products from Schedule III to Schedule II

On August 22, 2014, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) published a final rule upscheduling hydrocodone combination products (HCPs) under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) from Schedule III to Schedule II. The...more

EEOC Sick Over Wellness Programs

Last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the “EEOC”) filed a lawsuit against an employer under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) related to its maintenance of a wellness program. Although far from a...more

Health Care Reform Implementation Update August 2014

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) made announcements this week regarding the Open Payments system and the availability of Affordable Care Act (ACA) Consumer Assistance Program grant funds, issued a request...more

OIG Okays Medigap Insurer’s Arrangement for Discount on Inpatient Deductibles

Last Monday the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of Health & Human Services posted an advisory opinion (No. 14-07) allowing a Medigap insurance company to strike a deal with hospitals for discounts—even waivers—of the...more

Another Court Weighs in on Rule 9(b)’s Requirements Under the False Claims Act

A federal district court recently dismissed a qui tam relator’s complaint in a declined case against the Hospital for Special Surgery (“Hospital”), its former CEO, and an outside billing company alleging that they violated...more

New Data Disposal Law in Delaware Requires Action by Impacted Businesses

While the federal government continues its inaction on data security bills pending in Congress, some U.S. states have been busy at work on this issue over the summer. A new Delaware law H.B. 295, signed into law on July 1,...more

Don’t Put Off That New HIPAA Business Associate Agreement: September 23, 2014 Deadline Looms

It’s been a while, but we have another HIPAA deadline just around the corner: September 23, 2014. September 23, 2014 is the date by which all HIPAA business associate agreements need to be in compliance with the...more

Reluctance Of Physicians To Disclose Medical Errors

In a New York Times article on July 15, 2014 which discussed how doctors are loath to apologize for non-preventable errors, Dr. Abigail Zuger noted that, “[i]n health care…apologies are a hot topic, the subject of much...more

HIPAA For Lawyers And Law Firms: What you need to know to prevent your law firm from paying MILLION$

For years now lawyers and law firms providing professional services to health care providers or health insurance plans should have had in place essential safeguards to meet the responsibilities and requirements as business...more

Hospital’s Failure to Abate Patient and Visitor Violence Against Employees Results in OSHA Penalty

Hospitals, remarkably, are one of the most hazardous places to work. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, hospital workers have an estimated rate of 8.3 assaults per 10,000 workers compared to an estimated 2...more

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