Health

  • October 17, 2014

    Same-Sex Marriage Bans Fall In Alaska, Arizona, Wyoming

    In a flurry of decisions Friday, same-sex couples can now marry in Alaska and Arizona, while a federal judge in Wyoming struck down that state’s gay marriage ban, but stayed the ruling for a week pending an appeal.

  • October 17, 2014

    Health Care Patients Want Data Breach Suits Consolidated

    Former patients suing Community Health Systems Inc. for failing to secure their personal information, which may have been accessed by hackers, asked the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on Friday to consolidate five related class actions in Alabama federal court.

  • October 17, 2014

    CMS Launches New Open Payments Search Tool

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Friday published a more user-friendly version of the huge Open Payments database showing Big Pharma’s financial ties with doctors and teaching hospitals, while also announcing new timelines for submission and publication of additional data.

  • October 17, 2014

    Texas Needs More Ebola Treatment Options, Task Force Says

    A Texas task force on infectious disease recommended that the state establish two Ebola treatment centers, expand authorization for health officials to order hospital staff exposed to Ebola to stay home and add laboratory capacity to diagnose infectious disease, Gov. Rick Perry said on Friday.

  • October 17, 2014

    7th Circ. Keeps 'Worthless Services' Out Of FCA Suits

    The Seventh Circuit declined Thursday to rehear a dispute brought over a nursing home’s allegedly false Medicare filings, leaving intact an earlier ruling that “worthless services” don’t necessarily qualify as fraudulent under the False Claims Act.

  • October 17, 2014

    Diagnostic Centers To Pay $2.6M To Settle Medicare FCA Suit

    Two groups of health diagnostic centers in Houston have agreed to pay over $2.6 million to settle a whistleblower suit brought in Texas federal court alleging the centers had improper relationships with doctors and submitted claims to Medicare that violated the False Claims Act, the U.S. Department of Justice said Friday.

  • October 17, 2014

    Obama Names Ex-O’Melveny Partner Klain As Ebola Czar

    The White House on Friday appointed former O’Melveny & Myers partner and current Revolution LLC general counsel Ronald A. Klain as the country’s Ebola czar in charge of coordinating the government’s response to the disease.

  • October 17, 2014

    Patient Seeks $2.5B From UnitedHealth Over Hep C Exposure

    Two United HealthCare Services Inc. units could face $2.5 billion in damages at a trial beginning Monday in Nevada over allegations they exposed customers to hepatitis C by knowingly referring them to contaminated endoscopy clinics, after a similar trial last year resulted in a historic $524 million verdict.

  • October 17, 2014

    Insurer Owes $3M In W.Va. Mesh Malpractice Case

    The West Virginia Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that an insurance company must pay $3 million in addition to a global settlement of the same amount over malpractice claims brought against a surgeon employed by United Health Professionals Inc., finding the settlement didn't exhaust the company's policy.

  • October 17, 2014

    Walgreen Sued By Ex-CFO Over Resignation Reports

    Walgreen Co.’s former chief financial officer Wade Miquelon on Thursday slapped the drugstore chain with a defamation suit in an Illinois county court, saying Walgreen's top brass leaked false reports to the press that he was forced to resign after he “bungled” an earnings forecast.

  • October 16, 2014

    Oncologist Gets New Damages Trial After $90M FCA Judgment

    A Florida federal judge on Thursday ordered a new damages trial after previously entering an $89.6 million judgment against a radiation oncologist in a False Claims Act suit alleging the doctor billed Medicare for procedures that were never actually performed or were done improperly.

  • October 16, 2014

    5 Risks Employers Face Dealing With Ebola

    After a second Dallas nurse contracted Ebola and the deadly disease continues to spread in West Africa, employers are facing unprecedented questions about how to keep their workplaces safe and need to carefully navigate around legal land mines, attorneys say. Here are five risks employers should look out for when Ebola questions arise.

  • October 16, 2014

    CVS Pays $2.8M To Cap Pharmacists' OT Claims

    A California judge on Thursday approved CVS Pharmacy Inc.’s $2.8 million settlement of class claims that the chain improperly forced hundreds of Southern California pharmacists to work seven days straight without overtime, the first settlement among six suits the retailer is facing over the practice.

  • October 16, 2014

    Atty Deserves Sanctions For Baseless FCA Claims, Judge Says

    A magistrate judge on Thursday advised a New York federal court to sanction an attorney who had made unsupported False Claims Act allegations by tossing his qui tam suit accusing companies including Allstate Insurance Co. and FedEx Corp. of Medicare fraud. 

  • October 16, 2014

    Fosun Unit Pays $590M For Portuguese Health Services Co.

    A Portugal-based insurance company owned by Chinese conglomerate Fosun International Ltd. has acquired Portuguese health care company Espirito Santo Saude for €459.83 million ($589.50 million), Fosun said on Thursday, in a move to bolster the conglomerate's presence in Portugal.

  • October 16, 2014

    Texas Hospital Admits Ebola Failings Before House Panel

    An executive at hospital chain Texas Health Resources, which has grappled with several Ebola cases, conceded Thursday at a high-profile congressional hearing that staff misdiagnosed a man who later died, didn’t train employees to handle the disease and distributed inaccurate information about its response.

  • October 16, 2014

    NJ Legislature Votes To Curtail Insurers' Dental Pricing

    The New Jersey Legislature on Thursday passed a bill that would prohibit dental insurers from setting the prices for services not covered under their insurance plans, a measure aimed at overturning an appellate decision in favor of Aetna Life Insurance Co. and Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.

  • October 16, 2014

    Australian Insurer's $5B IPO Poised For Strong Showing

    With preregistration shares surpassing expectations, Australian state-owned health insurer Medibank Private's AU$6 billion (US$5.3 billion) initial public offering will now take place in November, a month earlier than originally planned, the government said on Thursday, suggesting another strong IPO for an Australian health care company this year.

  • October 16, 2014

    Cigna Accuses Lab Co. Of $84M Billing Fraud

    Cigna Health and Life Insurance Co. hit Health Diagnostic Laboratory Inc. with an $84 million suit Wednesday in Connecticut federal court, alleging the company failed to charge Cigna insurance plan members for out-of-network services and paid referral fees to the in-network providers that encouraged them to violate their contracts.

  • October 16, 2014

    Miami Hospital Seeks Toss Of FICA Tax Refund Suit

    The operator of Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital asked a Florida federal court on Thursday to dismiss a class action from medical residents seeking damages for Federal Insurance Contributions Act taxes withheld over a 10-year period, saying the hospital was bound by an agreement with the Internal Revenue Service to withhold the taxes.

Expert Analysis

  • Summary Judgment Is No Dress Rehearsal

    Patricia St. Peter

    UnitedHealth Group Inc. v. Columbia Casualty Co. is a blunt reminder that the failure to prove up one’s case with actual evidence at the summary judgment phase can have serious consequences. It's also instructive on the types of proof an insured may rely on to prove allocation between covered and uncovered claims in a multiclaim settlement, say Patricia St. Peter and Kaisa Adams of Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP.

  • What Litigators Can Learn From Novelists

    Michael H. Rubin

    Many legal briefs are written in impenetrable jargon and begin with an introduction telling the court what it already knows, using words that stem from the 18th century, such as “hereinafter.” Instead, we should approach briefs the way novelists approach their writing, says Michael Rubin of McGlinchey Stafford PLLC.

  • Start To Think About Entering China's Health Care Market

    Tim Stratford

    After the news this past July that German hospital operator Artemed had signed a framework agreement to establish the first wholly foreign-owned hospital in the Shanghai Pilot Free Trade Zone, foreign investors anxious for an opening into China’s tightly regulated health care sector may have further reason for optimism, say attorneys with Covington & Burling LLP.

  • 5 Ways Employers Can Fight Ebola

    Sloane Ackerman

    Most employers in the U.S. will be prepared for the current Ebola outbreak after taking a few steps, including educating employees and ensuring emergency preparedness, says Sloane Ackerman of O'Melveny & Myers LLP.

  • High Court Continues To Examine State Action Immunity

    Dionne Lomax

    The U.S. Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission — the second time in two years that the court has considered the state action doctrine. The decision could have broad implications for the structure and operation of state professional review boards and associations, says Dionne Lomax of Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC.

  • A Possible Disagreement Between GAO And Fed. Claims Court

    Tammy Hopkins

    The U.S. Government Accountability Office and the U.S. Court of Federal Claims agree that exchanges that permit an offeror to modify its proposal amount to discussions. But the two forums do not appear to be aligned on how to decide whether exchanges in “the context of informational infirmities in proposals” amount to discussions or clarifications, say Ken Weckstein and Tammy Hopkins of Brown Rudnick LLP.

  • Information Governance: A Missed Opportunity For Lawyers

    Ann Snyder

    Today, information intersects every practice area, making all lawyers effectively information governance practitioners in one way or another. The issue is whether you will consciously embrace this emerging discipline — and capitalize on it to the benefit of your clients and your practice, says Ann Snyder of the Information Governance Initiative.

  • 9th Circ. Closes More Doors On ACA Challenges

    Michael W. Lieberman

    The Ninth Circuit's recent ruling in Coons v. Lew serves as a warning to would-be plaintiffs that challenges to the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate based on contrary state laws or the right to medical autonomy are likely to fail, say Mike Lieberman and Harsh Parikh of Crowell & Moring LLP.

  • CAFA Removal Procedure At Center Stage In Dart Cherokee

    Archis A. Parasharami

    If Public Citizen's amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case Dart Cherokee Basin Operating Co. v. Owens is correct in arguing that an appellate court can insulate questions arising under the Class Action Fairness Act from Supreme Court review by denying leave to appeal then that will create perverse incentives for lower courts and may hamper the development of uniform rules governing CAFA removals, says Archis Parasharami of Mayer Brown LLP.

  • Investor Interest In Health IT Firms Continues

    Geoffrey C. Cockrell

    Traditional venture capital technology investors are finding firms that gather and analyze health care data appealing because of the growth of electronic records and consumer use of health tracking technology. In addition, early-stage investors often view investing in these companies as presenting less risk than investing in biotech firms, say Geoffrey Cockrell and Amber Walsh of McGuireWoods LLP.