News & Analysis as of

Drug & Alcohol Abuse

Office of Civil Rights Issues Guidance on HIPAA in Light of Opioid Crisis

by Burr & Forman on

With an increased focus on opioid use and addiction, the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) has issued guidance related to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of...more

DHS Issues Draft Opioid Prescribing Guidelines

by Stinson Leonard Street on

In an effort to combat the ongoing epidemic of opioid misuse and opioid-related morbidity and mortality, the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) Opioid Prescribing Work Group (OPWG) recently issued Draft Opioid...more

Proposed Medicare Advantage and Part D Regulations for CY 2019 – CMS Takes on the Opioid Epidemic

Americans today are facing an opioid epidemic that stems in part from the misuse of prescription drugs. CMS takes aim at this crisis in its CY 2019 Medicare Advantage and Part D Proposed Rule (Proposed Rules) by setting out a...more

U.S. Department Of Transportation Publishes Guidance For Updating Drug And Alcohol Testing Policies

by Jackson Lewis P.C. on

The drug testing panel utilized by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s operating agencies will change on January 1, 2018. (Click here to read our blog post on that change). DOT published guidance on December 1, 2017 to...more

"Breaking Bad" News: Sharing PHI During Opioid Crisis

by Baker Ober Health Law on

In response to President Trump's declaration of the opioid crisis as a public health emergency, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released guidance intended to educate health care providers on how they can respond to requests...more

Department of Transportation Adds Four New Drugs to Testing Panel

by FordHarrison on

On November 13, 2017, the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced that it is amending its drug-testing program to require testing for synthetic opioids. The new DOT regulations now harmonize with the Department of Health...more

De-Bunking the Opioid Litigation Epidemic

by Kelley Drye & Warren LLP on

If you type ‘opioids’ into a search engine, chances are you’ll be greeted with headlines like: “Opioid abuse is in everyone’s backyard”. The Washington Post writes: “Even this puppy wasn’t safe from America’s opioid crisis”;...more

The Opioid Epidemic: Are We Headed Toward a Tipping Point?

by Burr & Forman on

Health care law and policy occupy a prime place in the current news cycle. Much of the attention revolves around the actions or inactions of Congress and the White House, particularly with regard to their impact on the future...more

DOT Amends Employee Drug Testing Requirements

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: On November 13, 2017, the Department of Transportation amended its drug testing program regulation which, among other things, adds certain semi-synthetic opioids to its drug testing panel. ...more

Fourth Circuit Affirms Health Care Fraud Convictions for Billing Insurers for Medically Unnecessary Services

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Fourth Circuit found that the medical necessity of a given service constitutes a material element of representations regarding submissions for payment, potentially providing payors with another legal...more

President’s Opioid Commission Issues Final Recommendations: Implications for Health Care Stakeholders

by K&L Gates LLP on

In late October, President Trump declared the nation’s opioid addiction crisis a public health emergency. Less than a week later, the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis (the “Commission”)...more

Court Confirms That “Perceived Alcoholics” Can’t Bring Workplace Claims In NYC

by Fisher Phillips on

In a solid win for New York City employers, the New York Court of Appeals held that a worker cannot bring a disability discrimination claim under New York City law based solely on a perception of untreated alcoholism. Through...more

OCR Clarifies Privacy Rule for Sharing PHI on Opioid Overdoses

In the wake of the national opioid overdose crisis, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has provided clarification on when covered entities are permitted to disclose patient information during opioid emergencies....more

Data Privacy + Cybersecurity Insider - November 2017 #2

by Robinson & Cole LLP on

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has signed into law the Cyber Civilian Corps Act, which established the Michigan Cyber Civilian Corps, dubbed MiC3. The corps has been in existence for three years but not statutorily deployed. ...more

Preparing for the Opioid Litigation Epidemic

by Kelley Drye & Warren LLP on

According to almost every major media outlet, America is now in the midst of an opioid addiction crisis. People across the U.S. are developing dependencies, and even overdosing, on opioids: drugs like OxyContin, Hydrocodone,...more

Wal-Mart Manager Terminated for Alleged Drug Abuse Files ADA Disability Bias Claim

Last Monday, former Wal-Mart manager Kathryn Silva filed an ADA disability bias claim in the Middle District of Pennsylvania that alleged Wal-Mart terminated her because she refused to sign a “last chance agreement.” The...more

New York’s Highest Court Narrowly Construes New York City Human Rights Law To Bar Disability Discrimination Claims Based on...

Last month, New York’s highest court took the unprecedented step of construing the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) more narrowly than its state and federal counterparts to bar plaintiffs’ city law disability...more

Is Your Hospital Compliant With the Revised Joint Commission Standards for Pain Assessment and Management?

by Nossaman LLP on

On January, 1, 2018, The Joint Commission’s (“TJC”) new and revised pain assessment and management standards go into effect for TJC accredited hospitals. The changes to the standards stem from a review commenced by The Joint...more

Labor & Employment E-Note - October 2017

by Burr & Forman on

Employers often struggle with the balance between effective employee management and oversight and respect for employee privacy in the workplace. Mobile associate Emily Crow discusses common methods by which employers regulate...more

Health Care E-Note - October 2017

by Burr & Forman on

Health care providers are constantly receiving requests for copies of patient medical records. Some requests come by way of the patient exercising his/her right to access his/her medical records, some come by way of patient...more

New York’s Highest Court Rules That Perceived Alcoholics Are Not Protected Under New York City Human Rights Law

by Jackson Lewis P.C. on

The New York Court of Appeals ruled that the New York City Human Rights Law (“NYCHRL”) does not permit a claim of disability discrimination based solely on a perception of untreated alcoholism. To sustain a claim, an...more

OIG Work Plan – October 2017 Update

by Baker Ober Health Law on

The OIG added five new items to its Work Plan with its October 2017 monthly update. This is a decrease from the nine new items added to the Work Plan with the September 2017 update. (For more information on last month's Work...more

The Opioid Crisis: Declaring a National Emergency and the Effect on Remote Prescribing through Telemedicine

by McDermott Will & Emery on

On July 31, 2017, President Donald Trump’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis recommended that he declare the opioid epidemic a national emergency. In August 2017 and again on October 16, 2017, the...more

Combating Opioid Abuse in the Workplace: A Proactive Approach For Employers

by Bowditch & Dewey on

Imagine your employee “Bob” has recently missed a lot work for unexplained reasons. Bob’s coworkers notice that he sometimes “nods off” while working, and his supervisor just reported to you that Bob became enraged while...more

The case for capacity: Supreme Court of Canada upholds employee’s termination based on breach of “no free accident rule” in...

by DLA Piper on

Managing employee drug and alcohol addictions has long been a thorny issue for employers. Because addiction is accepted as a mental disability, it is a delicate balancing act to ensure employee privacy and human rights are...more

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