• September 2, 2014

    Dealmakers Q&A: Gray Plant's Mark Williamson

    The announcement of a transaction involving the acquisition of a publicly held company often leads to the filing of one or more “strike” suits against the public company. Reform is needed — likely through judicially imposed shifting of attorney fees — in order to reduce the number of frivolous suits, says Mark Williamson of Gray Plant Mooty.

  • August 29, 2014

    Texas Federal Judge Strikes Down State Abortion Restrictions

    A Texas federal judge deemed unconstitutional two major state abortion restrictions Friday, just days before one was scheduled to take effect, saying that the laws place undue hardships on women seeking abortions and prompting the state to immediately appeal.

  • August 29, 2014

    Medicare Floats Deal To Clear Hospital Appeals Backlog

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Friday offered to pay 68 cents on the dollar to hospitals that drop appeals of rejected claims for inpatient reimbursement, potentially helping clear an epic appeals backlog that’s infuriated providers and sparked litigation.

  • August 29, 2014

    Gay Marriage Ban Challenges Cleared For Florida High Court

    A Florida appeals court has rejected the state attorney general's request to stay its appeals of two rulings overturning the state's same-sex marriage ban, instead consolidating and certifying them for consideration by the Florida Supreme Court.

  • August 29, 2014

    Health Providers Get More Time To Meet E-Record Standards

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Friday finalized a rule that will give eligible medical professionals and hospitals more time to meet the increasingly demanding standards for use of electronic health records, citing certification delays for necessary records technology.

  • August 29, 2014

    Va., Okla. Same-Sex Couples Urge High Court To Hear Cases

    Following decisions in their favor, same-sex couples from Virginia and Oklahoma have urged the U.S. Supreme Court to review rulings that found against same-sex marriage bans in their states, saying the time is now to clarify whether those types of prohibitions are unconstitutional.

  • August 29, 2014

    Providers Get Conditional Cert In UnitedHealth Claims Suit

    A New Jersey federal judge on Thursday granted conditional class certification in a suit alleging UnitedHealth Group Inc. improperly demanded reimbursement for overpaid claims, but the class lost a lead plaintiff after the judge reconsidered an earlier determination of the plaintiff's standing to sue.

  • August 29, 2014

    Planned Parenthood Must Face FCA Claims, 8th Circ. Says

    The Eighth Circuit on Friday revived most of a former Planned Parenthood employee's whistleblower suit, breathing new life into allegations that the health care provider engaged in a multiyear scheme of submitting false Medicaid claims that resulted in inflated reimbursements.

  • August 29, 2014

    Feds Join Whistleblower Suit Over UnitedHealth Hospice Billing

    The U.S. Department of Justice has intervened in two False Claims Act lawsuits brought by whistleblowers who say that for years, UnitedHealth Group Inc. defrauded Medicare by billing for hospice care delivered to patients who weren’t terminally ill.

  • August 29, 2014

    Australia To Privatize Gov’t-Owned Insurer In $4B IPO

    Australia is following through on plans to privatize government-owned private health insurer Medibank, officials said Friday, in an initial public offering estimated to raise almost $4 billion.

  • August 29, 2014

    Care One’s Sanctions Motion In TCPA Row Called A Diversion

    A plaintiff’s attorney on Thursday blasted health care provider Care One LLC’s motion to sanction him in New Jersey federal court in a proposed class action that alleges the company violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, claiming Care One is trying to substitute a motion for sanctions for a viable defense.

  • August 28, 2014

    Winners In 10th Circ. Marriage Ruling Seek High Court Review

    The couples who won a Tenth Circuit decision striking down Utah’s law against same-sex marriage joined their legal foes in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the decision in an unusual move intended to prompt the high court to make the decision apply nationally.

  • August 28, 2014

    More Deals Expected This Fall As Economy Pushes M&A Surge

    The surge in mergers and acquisitions activity over the first half of the year is expected to continue into the fall, with more deals expected in the health care and telecommunications sectors, M&A attorneys say.

  • August 28, 2014

    Overruns Plague Federal Health Exchange Contracts, IG Finds

    The inspector general of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued the first in a series of reports on contracts related to the development of the federal health care exchanges, finding Tuesday that one-third of the contracts have already exceeded their expected costs and seven have doubled in price.

  • August 28, 2014

    FTC Fires Back At LabMD's Sanctions Bid In Data Security Row

    The Federal Trade Commission has shot back at LabMD Inc.'s push to sanction the agency for its handling of a key piece of evidence in the parties' ongoing data security fight, arguing the request ignores evidence that “amply” demonstrates the company's allegedly lax data safeguards.

  • August 28, 2014

    Pa. Expands Medicaid In Win For Hospitals, Insurers

    The Obama administration on Thursday approved Pennsylvania’s plans to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, a win for hospitals and private insurers that should reap big financial benefits as an estimated 600,000 residents gain coverage.

  • August 28, 2014

    IRS Delivers Guidance, Forms For ACA Employer Mandate

    The Internal Revenue Service on Thursday released draft forms and guidance instructing employers on how to comply with reporting requirements arising from the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate.

  • August 28, 2014

    10-Day Termination Triggered Time On Noncompete: Ind. Court

    An Indiana appeals court ruled Thursday that an in-home health care company couldn’t hold a former employee to a two-year noncompete agreement after he was fired for 10 days in 2009, finding the clock had started ticking on the contract even though he was rehired. 

  • August 28, 2014

    NJ Doctors Can't Dodge Atlantic Health FCA Claims

    A group of New Jersey physicians couldn't pare claims from a federal False Claims Act suit as a New Jersey judge on Tuesday denied their motion to dismiss claims they fraudulently billed Medicare for unnecessary services at Atlantic Health Systems Inc. hospitals.

  • August 28, 2014

    Calif. Hospital Settles Homeless Dumping Suit

    A Los Angeles-area hospital will pay $700,000 and adopt “thorough and humane discharge policies” to resolve a lawsuit alleging it dumped homeless and mentally ill patients onto Skid Row, the latest in a long line of such settlements, city officials said Wednesday.

Expert Analysis

  • 5 Reasons Large Companies Are Turning To Boutique Firms

    David M. Levine

    The departure of attorneys from large firms is a trend that has increased as a result of the Great Recession and its aftermath, and boutique firm partners who previously worked at large firms understand the potential large-firm pitfalls, say attorneys with Levine Kellogg Lehman Schneider & Grossman LLP.

  • Ebola, ZMapp, And The §101 Guidance

    Gregory S. DeLassus

    As the world cheers what appears to be the early success of ZMapp, the experimental anti-Ebola virus antibodies developed by San Diego-based biotech startup MappBio, one consideration that has not gotten much press-ink is the relevance of U.S. patent law to this startling and inspiring technology, says Greg DeLassus of Harness Dickey & Pierce PLC.

  • Jury Is Still Out On Scope Of Arbitration Clauses

    Allan A. Joseph

    Corporate America should take notice of the trend among state courts that is narrowing the scope and reach of arbitration clauses and consider revisiting the engineering behind their protective shield, says Allan Joseph of Fuerst Ittleman David & Joseph PL.

  • Perils Of Communicating With Customers By Phone Or Text

    Given the large number of calls that can be made electronically, damages for Telephone Consumer Protection Act violations can run into the millions. In this short video, Sutherland partner Lewis Wiener discusses the TCPA and how businesses that communicate with customers by phone or text may be impacted.

  • Medical Directors At Risk Under Anti-Kickback Statute

    Steve Grimes

    Over the years, the scope of prohibited conduct covered by the Anti-Kickback Statute has expanded, giving the federal government extraordinary power to investigate and prosecute those suspected of putting their own financial well-being ahead of their patients’ care, say Steve Grimes and Dan Rubinstein of Winston & Strawn LLP.

  • 4 Trends In FTC Antitrust Regulation And Enforcement

    Leslie John

    The Federal Trade Commission has increasingly challenged conditional pricing practices, but without articulating a bright-line rule. Practitioners should always consider whether the economic realities of a client’s industry lends itself to one analysis over the other, say attorneys with Ballard Spahr LLP.

  • Fresenius Opens Door To FCA Tax Breaks

    Lawrence Hill

    Fresenius Medical Care Holdings Inc. v. U.S, recently decided by the First Circuit, opens the door for corporations to seek deductions for the double damages portion of False Claims Act awards in the absence of a tax characterization agreement, say attorneys with Shearman & Sterling LLP.

  • AKS Unlikely To Be Raised Over Pharma Discount Sales

    Stephanie Trunk

    A recently issued opinion from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General assented to a drug manufacturer’s online discount program for branded drugs, making discount and referral arrangements less likely to raise concerns when they avoid federal reimbursement systems, say Stephanie Trunk and Brian Schneider of Arent Fox LLP.

  • How To Control Risk And Cost Of E-Discovery

    "If you follow the philosophy of saving everything you're just multiplying exponentially the costs and risks of litigation and investigations," says Robert Owen, partner in charge of Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP's New York office and president of the Electronic Discovery Institute.

  • Sponsors Should Mind FDA Informed Consent Guidance

    Gail H. Javitt

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's draft guidance on informed consent, though nonbinding, reflects the FDA’s current thinking about what is necessary for sponsors to fulfill their legal obligations and comes as the U.S. Department for Health and Human Services considers a broad overhaul of the Common Rule, say Gail Javitt and Ryan Kaat of Sidley Austin LLP.