• October 1, 2014

    Missouri Group Sues HHS Over Health Insurance Rate Info

    A Missouri consumers group sued the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday in federal court, claiming the department has violated the Affordable Care Act by improperly withholding information on increased rates Missouri consumers will pay on the federally run insurance marketplace.

  • October 1, 2014

    FDA Finalizes Cybersecurity Guidance For Medical Devices

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued final guidance on Wednesday advising medical device manufacturers to build safety controls into network-connected devices to protect against data breaches and viruses that could put patients' safety at risk.

  • October 1, 2014

    Liberty Medical Unveils Plan For $47M Stalking Horse Sale

    Bankrupt diabetes testing supply company Liberty Medical Supply Inc. unveiled a plan Wednesday to sell the bulk of its assets in a stalking horse auction with the floor set by a bid valued at a minimum of $46.5 million in cash and assumed liabilities.

  • October 1, 2014

    3rd Circ. Denies Stay To Therapists In NJ Gay Conversion Row

    The Third Circuit on Tuesday refused to stay its decision upholding a New Jersey law prohibiting counselors from treating minors with “conversion therapy” to change their sexual orientation while opponents of the law mount a U.S. Supreme Court challenge.

  • October 1, 2014

    EEOC Fires Off 2nd-Ever ADA Suit Over Co. Wellness Program

    A plastics manufacturer illegally required its worker to either undergo a health risk assessment and biometric test or suffer costly consequences, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleged Tuesday in its second Americans with Disabilities Act suit over a company wellness program.

  • October 1, 2014

    Transatlantic Wins 1 More Shot To Plead Humana Claims

    A Florida federal judge on Tuesday gave Transatlantic LLC one more chance to plead its breach of contract and racketeering claims against Humana Inc. in a $46 million suit claiming the health insurer did not adequately pay the shipping company for services administered through the Medicare Part C program.

  • October 1, 2014

    Hospitals Say HHS Owes Them For Low-Income-Patient Care

    Seven hospitals in four states sued the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday in D.C. federal court, alleging the agency has stiffed them for years on Medicare payments for hospitals serving impoverished areas and unfairly tried to impose retroactive penalties on them.

  • October 1, 2014

    7th Circ. Asked To Rehear Medicare Research Funding Case

    Chicago teaching hospital Rush University Medical Center on Tuesday urged the full Seventh Circuit to review its panel decision to strike down a ruling allowing Medicare compensation for Rush’s “pure research” costs, claiming the court had issued a prior opinion offering a contradictory interpretation of the statute at hand.

  • October 1, 2014

    7th Circ. Rightly Nixed $9M FCA Verdict, Nursing Home Says

    An Illinois nursing home on Wednesday urged the Seventh Circuit not to reconsider its panel decision overturning a $9 million False Claims Act judgment against the company, saying whistleblowers had failed to prove even a single false claim.

  • October 1, 2014

    Dealmakers Q&A: Stradley Ronon's Alycia Vivona

    Based on my review of the applicable legislative testimony, I believe that adoption of the Standard Merger and Acquisition Reviews Through Equal Rules Act would represent an appropriate reform of the U.S. antitrust laws, says Alycia Vivona, co-chairwoman of the mergers and acquisitions practice at Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young LLP.

  • September 30, 2014

    ACA Neglected To Fund Insurance Risk Corridors, GAO Says

    The Affordable Care Act did not properly authorize spending on so-called risk corridors intended to shield health insurers from heavy losses, but there may be other sources of funding for the program, the U.S. Government Accountability Office reported Tuesday.

  • September 30, 2014

    Humana Underpaid For Medicare Advantage Care, Suit Says

    Humana Medical Plan Inc. on Monday removed to Florida federal court a breach of contract suit filed by Boca Raton Regional Hospital Inc. alleging the Medicare advantage organization underpaid the hospital for services provided to Humana's Medicare advantage members.

  • September 30, 2014

    Novartis' FCA Suit Discovery Request Slammed By States

    California, New York, New Jersey and eight other states on Monday challenged Novartis Pharmaceutical Corp.’s bid for information on their medication adherence programs, saying the information is irrelevant to a whistleblower suit accusing Novartis of paying kickbacks to pharmacies.

  • September 30, 2014

    Gordon & Rees Continues To Grow With New Tampa Office

    Fast-growing litigation and transactions law firm Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani LLP has bolstered its Florida presence with the Monday opening of a new Tampa office, which will focus on commercial litigation, construction, health care, employment and technology work.

  • September 30, 2014

    US Urges 11th Circ. To Toss Claims In ACA Contraception Suit

    The U.S. government on Friday urged the Eleventh Circuit to affirm a district court's dismissal of most claims in a suit brought by a Catholic media company over the contraceptive insurance requirements of the Affordable Care Act, arguing that the company's allegations contradict the reasoning of the high court's Hobby Lobby decision.

  • September 30, 2014

    UnitedHealth Snaps Up Texas Management Firm MedSynergies

    UnitedHealth Group Inc. said Tuesday its health services unit Optum is buying Texas-based MedSynergies Inc., a provider of medical practice management services, in a deal with undisclosed terms that will extend the insurance company’s reach into the integrated health care service industry.

  • September 30, 2014

    Noel Canning Can't Halt New Vista Appeal, 3rd Circ. Told

    The U.S. Supreme Court's Noel Canning decision invalidating two National Labor Relations Board appointments does not warrant a delay in the Third Circuit's reconsideration of an unfair labor practices dispute involving New Vista Nursing and Rehabilitation LLC, the NLRB said Monday.

  • September 30, 2014

    Okla. Judge Rejects ACA Tax Subsidies On Federal Exchanges

    An Oklahoma federal judge on Tuesday shot down an Internal Revenue Service rule providing Affordable Care Act tax credits to consumers on federally run health exchanges, echoing an earlier D.C. Circuit ruling that the agency regulation contradicts the statute.

  • September 30, 2014

    ACA Database Shows Pharma Paid $3.5B To Docs, Hospitals

    A long-awaited Affordable Care Act database revealing money paid to doctors by drug and device makers went live Tuesday, disclosing nearly $3.5 billion spent and potentially reshaping marketing and research efforts by spotlighting questionable financial relationships.

  • September 30, 2014

    Dealmakers Q&A: O’Melveny’s Jennifer DePalma

    As we see more startup activity related to health care information technologies, we will also see a convergence with financial technology companies that will seek to help health care consumers meet their financial needs in a world of higher deductibles and higher out-of-pocket costs, says Jennifer DePalma of O'Melveny & Myers LLP.

Expert Analysis

  • Are Academic Medical Centers Dead?: Part 2

    Norman G. Tabler Jr.

    Can academic medical centers be saved? Yes, but they must adapt their three components — hospital, medical school and set of faculty practice plans — to pursuing a single strategic plan and business strategy, with a priority on clinical care, says Norman Tabler Jr. of Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.

  • Big TCPA Victory For The Collection Industry In 11th Circ.

    Matthew Rosenkoff

    Plaintiffs lawyers across the country had attempted to rely on the lower court's decision to file Telephone Consumer Protection Act lawsuits, but with the Eleventh Circuit's ruling in Gulf Coast Collection Bureau Inc. v. Mais, the collection industry can breathe a sigh of relief, says Matthew Rosenkoff of Taylor English Duma LLP.

  • Are Academic Medical Centers Dead?: Part 1

    Norman G. Tabler Jr.

    Academic medical centers in the U.S. thrived from the postwar period into the 1980s but, due to weaker national economic growth, a steep decline in the percentage of employers providing health insurance and heightened consumer price sensitivity toward health care services, they now face extinction, says Norman Tabler Jr. of Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.

  • And Now A Word From The Panel: ABCs Of JPML Practice

    Alan E. Rothman

    This week, as the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation embarks on a rare October hearing, we cannot resist mentioning an intriguing MDL petition that involves local rules governing attorney admission and several lawsuits naming members of the federal judiciary — including a JPML member who is also a D.C. district court judge, says Alan Rothman of Kaye Scholer LLP.

  • Undoing MICRA

    Mitchell J. Olejko

    It has been over 35 years since California became a leader in health care reform, addressing the malpractice insurance crisis in a measured way. The battle over Initiative 1606 will likely attract significant controversy and funding, and will be the subject of ongoing campaigns that will flood our mailboxes and dominate the media this fall, says Mitchell Olejko of Buchalter Nemer PC.

  • Are NY Practitioners, Pharmacies Ready For E-Prescribing?

    Brooke A. Lane

    New York health practitioners will be required to issue all prescriptions — including prescriptions for controlled substances — in electronic format by 2015, and it is unclear under what circumstances the New York State Department of Health will grant a waiver, say Laurie Cohen and Brooke Lane of Nixon Peabody LLP.

  • Will DC Circ. Sidestep Dispute A Decade In The Making?

    Mike Wagner

    In the wake of the recent oral argument in UPMC Braddock v. Perez, it appears that the wait for definitive guidance on whether Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan network providers are "government subcontractors" may continue, say Jennifer Plitsch and Mike Wagner of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • FOIA Is Not Freedom For Plaintiffs To Drug Trade Secrets

    James M. Beck

    Given the prevalence of corporate integrity agreements in the drug and medical device space, Public Citizen v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is a victory for industry — companies subject to such agreements will rely on this case when faced with plaintiffs seeking sensitive information with the Freedom of Information Act, says James Beck of Reed Smith LLP.

  • Fed. Claims Court Extends Reach Of Nonmanufacturer Rule

    James Boland

    The recent U.S. Court of Federal Claims decision in Rotech Healthcare Inc. v. U.S. will likely impact the number of supply/services solicitations capable of being set aside for small businesses since it will now require offerors to satisfy the constraints of the Small Business Administration's nonmanufacturer rule, say James Boland and Lars Anderson of Venable LLP.

  • FCA Particularity Requirements Are Relaxed Further

    Katharine R. Ciliberti

    Thayer v. Planned Parenthood of the Heartland may ease the pleading standards for False Claims Act cases by eliminating the need to plead specific examples of false claims as long as plaintiffs can provide some detail of the scheme, along with reliable indicia that claims were actually submitted, say attorneys at Jenner & Block LLP.