Health

  • April 28, 2016

    Jury Awards $8M After Chicago Hospital 'Code Blue' Failure

    A Chicago jury awarded $8 million on Wednesday to the son of a woman who died after being anesthetized without an anesthesiologist present and without procedures in place for response to such “code blue” events, according to documents provided by the plaintiffs.

  • April 28, 2016

    Split 9th Circ. OKs Steeper Sentences For Medical Suppliers

    Medical equipment suppliers who fraudulently overbill Medicare can be given longer sentences based on their positions of trust, a split Ninth Circuit ruled Thursday, saying a California couple convicted of $1.6 million worth of False Claims Act violations took advantage of a government honor system.

  • April 28, 2016

    Judge Won't Reconsider Rejecting Cancer Suit Settlement

    A Florida federal judge said Thursday he would not reconsider his recent decision denying approval of a settlement agreement a cancer victim's family reached with Laboratory Corp. of America, in a case in which they previously won a $4.4 million judgment over a botched test.

  • April 28, 2016

    Pharmacies Say Express Scripts Conspiracy Suit Has Legs

    Express Scripts’ bid to escape an antitrust suit brought by compounding pharmacies who say it conspired with other pharmacy benefit managers to push them out of the market was little more than “self-serving fiction,” the compounders said in Missouri federal court Wednesday.

  • April 28, 2016

    American Hospice Gets OK On $9M Ch. 11 Asset Sales

    Bankrupt end-of-life care provider American Hospice Management Holdings LLC received approval for the sale of its operations in six states on Thursday, after an auction saw competitive bidding for parts of the company.

  • April 28, 2016

    Ex-EMS Instructor Wants Attys' Fees After Sex Bias Verdict

    A registered nurse formerly employed by the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio urged a Texas federal judge Wednesday to enter judgment adding nearly $84,000 in attorneys' fees to a jury's months-old sex discrimination verdict for $115,000.

  • April 28, 2016

    FCA Whistleblower Slams Hospice's Bid To Block Witnesses

    A False Claims Act whistleblower alleging Vista Hospice Care Inc. enticed fake referrals to boost enrollment in its program urged a Texas federal court Thursday to let two whistleblowers from another suit testify, saying their financial stake in the current case's outcome was legitimate.

  • April 28, 2016

    NJ High Court Allows Wider Doctor Testimony In Bias Cases

    The New Jersey Supreme Court held Thursday that a former police dispatcher was denied a fair chance to prove that she suffered from a disability when a trial court restricted her treating physician’s testimony in discrimination litigation because he wasn’t designated an expert witness.

  • April 28, 2016

    25 Charged With Fraud In $26M Medicare Part D Sweep

    Twenty-five people were charged in Florida federal court Thursday with participating in various pharmacy schemes that involved kickbacks and about $26 million total in false claims to Medicare's Part D program, the U.S. government said Thursday.

  • April 28, 2016

    GOP Senator Blocks Vote On $1.8B Zika Funding

    U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid pled with his colleagues Thursday to unanimously consent to vote on the White House’s request for $1.8 billion to fight the Zika virus, a move blocked by Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, who demanded a plan.

  • April 28, 2016

    Proskauer, Gibson Steer $115M NYC Retail Buys

    Proskauer Rose LLP represented Hines Interests LP in connection with its purchase, through a joint venture with Gibson Dunn-counseled health care real estate investment trust Welltower Inc., of two Manhattan retail buildings on Lexington Avenue for a combined $115 million, according to records made public in New York on Thursday.

  • April 27, 2016

    22 Firms Win Top Marks From GCs On AFAs

    Twenty-two law firms are the cream of the crop when it comes to delivering alternative fee arrangements, according to a new report. Here’s what clients say sets them apart and how the firms say they make it work.

  • April 27, 2016

    9th Circ. Says Hostile Judge Tainted Health Care Fraud Trial

    The Ninth Circuit on Wednesday reversed the convictions of three people charged for their roles in a purported Medicare fraud and kickback scheme, saying the apparent hostility of a federal judge toward a defense attorney at trial and other errors may have influenced the jury’s verdict.

  • April 27, 2016

    Docs Say 'Gun Gag' Law Can't Survive Strict Scrutiny

    Doctors challenging Florida's law forbidding physicians from keeping patient records on gun ownership told the Eleventh Circuit Wednesday that they have a First Amendment right to speak to their patients about guns and that the state's interests in blocking this speech are far from compelling.

  • April 27, 2016

    CMS Floats Details On New Physician Payment System

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Wednesday unfurled a major plan for implementing Medicare's new physician reimbursement system, and doctors responded with warm early reaction.

  • April 27, 2016

    7th Circ. Stays 'Church Plan' Ruling For High Court Appeal

    The Seventh Circuit on Tuesday stayed its ruling that a church-affiliated hospital doesn't qualify for a "church plan" exemption to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and must face a suit from a putative class of employees, as the hospital prepares to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • April 27, 2016

    Philly Hospital Hit With $44M Verdict Over Brain Damage

    A Philadelphia jury on Wednesday put the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania on the hook to pay $44.1 million to a woman significantly paralyzed after a visit to have a benign tumor removed from her head resulted in her development of a “massive brain hemorrhage.”

  • April 27, 2016

    Hall Render Makes NC Debut With Trio From K&L Gates

    The rapidly expanding Hall Render Killian Heath & Lyman PC said Tuesday it has opened a Raleigh, North Carolina, office with three former K&L Gates LLP attorneys who will focus on competition, litigation, real estate, employment, transactions, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and other health care matters.

  • April 27, 2016

    Blue Cross Can't Escape Mich. Tribe's ERISA Suit

    A Michigan federal judge on Wednesday largely denied Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s bid to toss a suit from the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, which alleges the insurer mismanaged its employee benefit plan under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, saying the tribe’s suit meets necessary requirements.

  • April 27, 2016

    Tata Hit With Injunction After $940M Trade Secrets Verdict

    Units of Indian superconglomerate Tata Group were hit with an injunction Wednesday when a Wisconsin federal judge ruled that, in light of a $940 million trade secrets verdict against the companies, they should be barred from using stolen information about Epic Systems Corp.’s health care software.

Expert Analysis

  • State Control Of Hospital Merger Review May Be A Good Idea

    Emily Chow

    In West Virginia, the Federal Trade Commission filed an administrative complaint to prevent the merger of two hospitals — just three months after the state attorney general announced his approval. Although West Virginia’s subsequent legislative acrobatics to secure state-action-exemption protection for certain hospital mergers are novel, to hospitals and other states, West Virginia might be on to something, say Emily Chow and Matth... (continued)

  • Aetna V. BASM: A Health Care War Over Costs And Contracts

    Carol K. Lucas

    The jury's verdict in Aetna Life Insurance v. Bay Area Surgical Management should not be read as a death knell for the health care industry’s out-of-network model. However, it represents a significant battle in an ongoing war between insurers trying to control costs and out-of-network providers who argue they cannot contract on reasonable terms, says Carol Lucas at Buchalter Nemer.

  • Dentons: A New Kind Of Network?

    MarkACohen.jpg

    Dentons is two different law firm networks in one. So even if the Swiss verein structure should eventually fail and Dentons is forced to operate as a network of independent law firms, it could still be a significant market force, says Mark A. Cohen, a recovering civil trial lawyer and the founder of Legal Mosaic LLC.

  • How New Fla. Health Care Laws May Create More Confusion

    Walter J. Taché

    While Florida's newly enacted Transparency in Health Care bill imposes important changes that will impact many entities involved in the health care system, it also leaves various issues to be defined by several state agencies, which could create new complications for those within the industry, say Walter Taché and Magda Rodriguez at Carlton Fields Jorden Burt PA.

  • Risk Of Future Misconduct Will Guide HHS Investigations

    John T. Bentivoglio

    While the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' new guidance on the use of its so-called permissive exclusion authority should provide more transparency and predictability, many of its provisions focus on the risk of future misconduct, which run counter to requests for positive incentives for the development and implementation of effective compliance programs, say attorneys at Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP.

  • Gov't Hiring Private Attys Is Proper As A Matter Of Law

    Linda Singer

    Various corporate defendants have vigorously fought, lost and refought challenges to the government’s ability to hire outside counsel on a contingent-fee basis. These failed efforts show why the use of outside counsel by government agencies, rather than being wrong, is entirely right, says Linda Singer, former District of Columbia attorney general now with Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC.

  • Are CGL Data Breach Cases Already Meaningless?

    Jeffrey O. Davis

    Perhaps, in light of the Fourth Circuit ruling in Travelers v. Portal Healthcare Solutions — the first federal circuit court decision in which "publication" was found to include a data breach — policyholders can claim that the tide is turning their way in these cases, says Jeffrey Davis at Quarles & Brady LLP.

  • Focus On High-Risk Info For Ill. Data Breach Enforcement

    Carolyn V. Metnick

    The Illinois attorney general has clarified that the state's data breach enforcement spotlight will focus on cases involving highly sensitive information. In order to position themselves for an appropriate response to a breach, health care providers need to understand the overlap and variances between relevant federal and state law and take action now to be ready, say Carolyn Metnick and Jason Betke at Akerman LLP.

  • Avoiding The Pitfalls Of Researching Attorneys In PACER

    Brian Howard

    While PACER is a powerful tool for gaining information, practitioners should keep in mind that certain flaws often cause lawyers to be omitted from cases they’ve worked on or to show up associated with the wrong firm. These errors build up across aggregate records, tainting any conclusions drawn from such data — often to a surprising extent, according to Brian Howard, a legal data scientist at Lex Machina.

  • A Review Of Gov't Cases Against Execs In Q1

    Kirby Behre

    In this article, attorneys with Miller & Chevalier Chtd. highlight the most significant cases and government investigations that affected corporate executives in the first three months of 2016.