Health

  • August 20, 2014

    Bid To Block Home Care Workers' Union Election Falls Short

    A Minnesota federal judge refused Wednesday to block an election in which thousands of in-home care providers for the elderly and disabled will decide whether to be represented by SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, calling the challenge to the ongoing election “premature.”

  • August 20, 2014

    Anthem Hit With Latest Suit Over Narrow ACA Network

    A group of California consumers on Tuesday sued Anthem Blue Cross in state court for allegedly tricking them into buying health insurance policies with small provider networks, kicking off the latest litigation over cost-cutting moves inspired by the Affordable Care Act.

  • August 20, 2014

    Dental Fraud Report Hints At Emerging Medicaid Crackdown

    An inspector general's report Wednesday about possible overbilling of Medicaid by Louisiana dentists is calling attention to a fast-emerging area of fraud around the country that's incurring the wrath of prosecutors, False Claims Act whistleblowers and personal injury lawyers, according to experts and public records.

  • August 20, 2014

    Pa. Diocese Wins Permanent Injunction On Contraception Rule

    A Pittsburgh-area Roman Catholic diocese won a permanent injunction on Wednesday blocking provisions of the federal Affordable Care Act mandating that it provide contraceptive and sterilization coverage as part of insurance plans offered to employees of its religiously affiliated schools and charities. 

  • August 20, 2014

    Aetna Wins $8.4M For ER Billing Fraud Conspiracy

    A Texas federal judge on Wednesday ruled that Aetna Life Insurance Co. can take $8.4 million from three health care providers, for defrauding the insurer of millions of dollars by wrongfully posing as emergency rooms to bill it at inflated rates.

  • August 20, 2014

    Wells Fargo Worker Shorted On Health Coverage: 9th Circ.

    A Ninth Circuit panel on Wednesday ruled that United Behavioral Health improperly denied benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act to a Wells Fargo & Co. employee who was hospitalized for weeks due to anorexia, reversing a district judge's decision.

  • August 20, 2014

    Herrick Shells Out $100M For 29 Walgreen-Leased Properties

    Affiliates of Boca Raton, Florida-based The Herrick Co. Inc. have paid about $100 million to acquire 29 pharmacy and retail properties across the country currently leased to Walgreen Co., the real estate investment firm's chairman announced Wednesday.

  • August 20, 2014

    11th Circ. To Hear LabMD, FTC Data Security Arguments

    The Eleventh Circuit said Wednesday that it has decided to hold oral arguments on LabMD Inc.'s latest bid to halt the Federal Trade Commission from policing corporate data-security standards, a dispute which the appellate court has already once refused to entertain.

  • August 20, 2014

    Kilpatrick Townsend Adds Life Sciences Partner In Seattle

    Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP has added a former Fenwick & West LLP partner specializing in the biotechnology and biopharmaceutical industries in order to strengthen its intellectual property group in Seattle, the firm announced Wednesday.

  • August 20, 2014

    Whistleblower Law No Guarantee Of Jury Trial, Pa. Court Says

    The Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled Tuesday that the state’s whistleblower law does not guarantee a right to a jury trial, upholding a judgment that a western Pennsylvania substance abuse treatment facility justly fired an employee over forging a document.

  • August 20, 2014

    Pa. Groups Call For Audit Of Fracking Complaint Response

    A group of environmental and health care activists called Tuesday for an independent investigation into reports that officials at the Pennsylvania Department of Health were instructed not to respond to complaints from citizens about the effects of fracking operations near their homes.

  • August 19, 2014

    Community Health Heist Pulls Hospitals Into Cyberthreat Fold

    Monday's disclosure by Community Health Systems Inc. that state-sponsored hackers had stolen personal data belonging to 4.5 million patients sends a startling warning that the health industry must now also pay attention to external cybersecurity risks that have recently ensnared retailers and financial institutions.

  • August 19, 2014

    6th Circ. Revives EMT's Gender Discrimination Suit

    The Sixth Circuit on Tuesday ruled that required psychological counseling at the center of an emergency medical technician’s long-running discrimination suit against her former employer was not a job-related medical exam under the Americans with Disabilities Act, reversing a lower court decision to toss the case.

  • August 19, 2014

    GAO Denies Protest Over $15M Small-Business Contract

    The U.S. Government Accountability Office on Tuesday denied The Bowen Group's protest over a $15 million contract for U.S. Marine Corps medical support, saying the Marines were justified in choosing a slightly more expensive bidder that didn't plan to cut staffing levels as the Afghanistan war winds down.

  • August 19, 2014

    Deals Rumor Mill: Couche-Tard, Apax Partners, TPG Capital

    Canadian convenience store operator Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. and Chinese Internet giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. have made the short list of potential bidders to purchase a $16 billion minority stake in China's Sinopec Sales, while Apax Partners LLP is looking to sell health care information technology unit TriZetto Corp. for up to $3 billion.

  • August 19, 2014

    Holland & Knight Adds Ex-Husch Blackwell Auto Tax Pro

    Holland & Knight LLP has recruited a tax controversy specialist who previously worked for Husch Blackwell LLP and Mayer Brown LLP and has worked on high-profile matters in the automotive, pharmaceutical, health care, manufacturing and insurance industries, the firm announced Tuesday.

  • August 19, 2014

    Home Health Industry Hails Relaxed Medicare Anti-Fraud Tool

    Health care providers are cheering Medicare's proposal to stop requiring physicians to supply a detailed narrative when authorizing home health services, likely heralding an end to the controversial anti-fraud policy that recently sparked litigation.

  • August 19, 2014

    Aetna Hits Indicted Medical Lab With $15M Fraud Suit

    Aetna Health Inc. has filed a $15 million fraud suit in New Jersey court against several parties, many of them doctors, charged in connection with a $100 million scheme in which a medical laboratory paid kickbacks to refer patients for unnecessary tests.

  • August 19, 2014

    Pharmacists Sue Walgreen Over Uniform, Training OT

    Walgreen Co. was hit with a proposed class action in California federal court Monday in which pharmacists alleged it violated California and federal labor law by failing to pay them minimum wage and overtime for training hours and time spent maintaining their uniforms.

  • August 19, 2014

    NY Nursing Home To Pay $2.2M To End Medicaid Fraud Suit

    Nursing home owner Ralex Services Inc. has agreed to pay $2.2 million to settle a whistleblower suit accusing it of bilking New York’s Medicaid program by overstating the level of care its residents needed, according to filings made in federal court Monday.

Expert Analysis

  • 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.

  • Here's How Health IT Companies Should Comply With HIPAA

    Julia R. Hesse

    Health information technology companies are enjoying a lull in Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act regulatory activity, which provides an opportunity to comply now since regulators are aggressively enforcing the law elsewhere, especially against entities with self-identified failures in safeguards, says Julia Hesse of Choate Hall & Stewart LLP.

  • Yet Another Case Counters 6th Circ.'s Omnicare Reasoning

    John S. Durrant

    As the U.S. Supreme Court gears up to hear Omnicare, the Tenth Circuit has presented yet another case supporting the view that Section 11 claims cannot arise simply from opinions contained in securities offering documents that turn out in hindsight to be false or misleading, say attorneys with Paul Hastings LLP.

  • Is Project Labscam II On The Horizon?

    Marilyn May

    While there is no way of knowing whether — or how many — lab investigations and sealed qui tams are proceeding in U.S. attorney’s offices, there is a strong likelihood that law enforcement will be taking a closer look at a recent study from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General in deciding what cases are worth pursuing, say Marilyn May and Jennifer Kang of Arnold & Porter LLP.

  • An In-House Lawyer's Top 10 Tips For Outside Counsel

    Francis M. Drelling

    To this day, I have yet to see a litigation hold letter that was written by someone who understands the realities of how a business is actually run. In-house counsel cannot issue decrees to business units that read like they are issued by the king to his subjects, says Francis Drelling, in-house counsel at Specialty Restaurants Corp.

  • Big Data Can Yield Big Insights On Promotional Practices

    Paul E. Greenberg

    Rich data sets can provide the basis for detailed analysis of allegedly improper conduct by pharmaceutical and health care companies and improve scrutiny over marketing activities and provider relationships often found at the heart of improper promotion and kickback allegations, say Paul Greenberg and Tamar Sisitsky of Analysis Group Inc.

  • Inappropriate Identity Theft Charges In White Collar Cases

    John Martin

    In their effort to take full advantage of the extra juice the aggravated identity theft statute provides them, prosecutors have increasingly used the statute in run-of-the-mill white collar crime prosecutions where no one’s identity has been stolen or misappropriated. Making things worse, most courts have backed them up, says John Martin, a partner with Garfunkel Wild PC and a former federal prosecutor.

  • Law Firms May Be Violating Copyrights

    Roy Kaufman

    On average, a legal professional forwards content to 14 different people per week. Yet many attorneys and staff lack an understanding of copyright and their firm’s specific policies regarding shared third-party materials, says Roy Kaufman of Copyright Clearance Center.

  • 2 Calif. Cases Professional Liability Insurers Must Know

    James P. Koelzer

    MacRae v. HCR Manor Care Services could be seen as helpful to professional liability insurers because it makes the applicable standard for nursing hours per patient day clear, while also making it more difficult for residents to assert class action claims against these type of facilities, say James Koelzer and Charles Cannizzaro of Robins Kaplan Miller & Ciresi LLP.