• July 28, 2015

    11th Circ. Vacates Block On Fla. 'Gun Gag' Law

    The Eleventh Circuit on Tuesday reversed a lower court’s order that granted an injunction of a Florida state law restricting doctors from asking “irrelevant” questions about patients’ gun ownership, saying that the law protects patient privacy by circumscribing irrelevant inquiry.

  • July 28, 2015

    Hospital Slams 7th Circ. Neiman Marcus Data Breach Ruling

    A hospital facing a proposed class action over a patient data breach told an Alabama federal judge on Monday to ignore the Seventh Circuit's recent revival of another data breach case, saying the circuit court had strayed from precedent.

  • July 28, 2015

    Ohio Doc Must Face Claims In Meningitis MDL, Court Rules

    A Massachusetts federal judge refused to let an Ohio doctor escape a suit over his role in a woman's death from steroid injections tainted by a compounding pharmacy, ruling on Tuesday the federal court need not apply a state rule governing medical claims.

  • July 28, 2015

    House OKs Congressional Review For Major Regulations

    The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill to give Congress review power over all federal regulations that would result in an economic impact of $100 million or more, or other significant consumer or business impacts, ignoring a presidential veto threat.

  • July 28, 2015

    Hospice Chain Fights To Keep DOJ Sanctions For FCA Trial

    Evidence introduced by the U.S. Department of Justice on Monday hoping to reverse sanctions restricting witness testimony in a highly anticipated False Claims Act trial in Alabama federal court has already been considered and rejected by the court, the hospice chain being sued said Tuesday.

  • July 28, 2015

    'Wicked Tuna' Star Indicted On Federal Fraud Charges

    A fisherman who starred in a National Geographic Channel reality TV series was indicted on federal fraud charges in Vermont federal court on Friday for collecting over $44,000 in social security and Medicaid benefits based on false statements.

  • July 28, 2015

    Tenn. Hospital Asks High Court To Block FCA Suit

    A Tennessee hospital has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse the Sixth Circuit's February ruling that an administrative audit did not constitute the public disclosure needed to kill a False Claims Act suit accusing the hospital of fraudulent Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements.

  • July 28, 2015

    Health Orgs Criticize Spending Cap For Private Medicaid Plans

    Health insurers, hospitals and independent analysts are pressuring the Obama administration to relax a controversial proposal capping profits and overhead spending in private Medicaid plans, according to newly released comments.

  • July 28, 2015

    Nelson Mullins Adds Ex-Balch & Bingham Health Veteran

    Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP has hired a former Balch & Bingham LLP health care partner with more than 25 years of experience as a partner in its Atlanta office, the firm confirmed Tuesday.

  • July 28, 2015

    State Farm Takes Hospital Contract Row To Fla. High Court

    State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. continued its quest to learn whether a hospital overbilled it for accident patients' care while handing discounts to medical insurers, telling the Florida Supreme Court on Monday that the lower court botched its state statute interpretation.

  • July 28, 2015

    NJ Hospitals Challenge New Paramedic Takeover Law

    Two medical centers have sued New Jersey and Gov. Chris Christie over a new law authorizing hospitals with the state's highest comprehensive trauma care designation to exclusively take over paramedic services in their host towns, effectively stripping the plaintiffs of duties they'd held for decades.

  • July 28, 2015

    Chicago Hospital Execs Can't Toss Kickback Convictions

    An Illinois federal judge on Tuesday refused to throw out the convictions of three former Sacred Heart Hospital executives who were found guilty of defrauding federal health care programs in an elaborate kickback scheme in which doctors were paid for patient referrals.

  • July 28, 2015

    Mead Johnson Pays SEC $12M To Settle FCPA Claims

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday said Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. will pay $12 million to settle claims that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act when distributors in China allegedly bribed staff at state-owned hospitals to promote the company’s line of infant formula.

  • July 28, 2015

    Kirkland Reps Capella In $900M Sale To Medical Properties

    Medical Properties Trust Inc. said Monday it's paying $900 million to acquire private equity-owned acute care hospital operator Capella Healthcare Inc., a deal Kirkland & Ellis LLP worked on as counsel to the seller.

  • July 27, 2015

    House Votes To Exempt Vets From ACA Employer Mandate

    The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday passed several bills related to military veterans, including measures to exempt vets from certain fees on U.S. Small Business Administration loans and to exempt them from calculations for the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate.

  • July 27, 2015

    Embattled NJ Mayor Pleads Not Guilty To Bribery Charges

    A doctor who serves as mayor of a northern New Jersey town pled not guilty in state court Monday to charges that he took cash bribes and other kickbacks for referring patients to a medical imaging company.

  • July 27, 2015

    High Court Asked To Review New Fla. Medicaid Advice Rules

    A financial planner and insurance agent has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review a Florida Supreme Court decision that advising Medicaid applicants on how to meet the program's asset rules and assessing their financial resources is an unauthorized practice of law and cannot be carried out by nonlawyers.

  • July 27, 2015

    Health Care Companies To End Business In FTC Settlement

    Three companies and their two owners have been permanently banned from selling health care-related products and services and must pay $35,000 after settling Federal Trade Commission allegations in Florida federal court that they stole hundreds of dollars from Medicare consumers through a telephone scheme, the agency announced Monday.

  • July 27, 2015

    Aetna's $120M RICO Suit Against Texas Hospital Stays Alive

    A Houston-area hospital and CEO accused of bilking Aetna Life Insurance Co. out of as much as $120 million and offering kickbacks to physicians lost a bid to get rid of Aetna’s lawsuit Friday, though a Texas federal judge stayed the trial while other litigation between the parties proceeds.

  • July 27, 2015

    Judge Made 'Clear Error' On FCA Trial Sanctions, DOJ Says

    The U.S. Department of Justice on Monday urged an Alabama federal judge to undo sanctions restricting witness testimony in a hotly anticipated False Claims Act trial involving hospice chain AseraCare Inc., saying that the punishment for alleged discovery violations represents “clear error.”

Expert Analysis

  • Not-For-Profit Property Tax Exemption In NJ: Not For Long

    Richard F. Ricci

    Two recent decisions from the New Jersey Tax Court may prove problematic for nonprofit organizations currently relying on the state’s property tax exemption statute, say Richard Ricci and Sean Collier at Lowenstein Sandler LLP.

  • Paging Providers, CMS Changes To Stark Law May Help You

    Linda A. Baumann

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' proposed rule to simplify compliance with the Stark Law could benefit providers tremendously since the law is a strict liability statute and is increasingly being used by both whistleblowers and the government to impose multimillion-dollar judgments and settlements on hospitals and other health care providers, say attorneys at Arent Fox LLP.

  • REBUTTAL: The Problem With 3rd-Party Litigation Financing

    Lisa Rickard

    Manipulating gender disparity in the service of hawking a flawed investment product does nothing but trivialize a serious and important issue. The tortured logic in Burford Capital LLC’s recent plug for third-party litigation financing is nothing more than a marketing ploy to boost revenues, says Lisa Rickard, president of the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.

  • Navigating CMS' Tangled Web Of Stark Law Interpretation

    Gadi Weinreich

    As the D.C. Circuit's recent ruling in Council for Urological Interests v. Burwell attests, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' interpretation of the Stark Law has vacillated over the years. However, CMS' flexibility is not unlimited, particularly where, as with respect to the issue of per-click equipment leases, Congress has spoken plainly, say attorneys at Dentons LLP.

  • Ex Ante Vs. Ex Post: Janis Joplin’s Yearbook Revisited

    Paul E. Godek

    Fisher and Romaine’s well-known article, “Janis Joplin’s Yearbook and the Theory of Damages,” argues that commercial damages should be measured as of the time the challenged act occurred, an approach that has generally been favored. However, their argument is somewhat contrived, says Paul Godek, principal at MiCRA and a former economic adviser at the Federal Trade Commission.

  • Cash That Class Action Check, No Matter How Small

    Brian S. Kabateck

    Once a class action is brought and won or settled, consumers have the responsibility of confirming the continued efficacy of applicable laws and the class action tool. When a large portion of eligible consumers fail to join a class or cash their settlement checks, they allow improper corporate behavior to be more profitable than costly, say Brian Kabateck and Sally Son of Kabateck Brown Kellner LLP.

  • Protecting Privacy In Medical Records During Litigation

    Martin Merritt

    At the heart of the appeal in United States v. Zadeh, which involves a Texas district court ruling allowing patient medical records to be turned over to the federal government without a warrant, is the collision of two competing interests — a patient’s expectation of privacy and the government's desire to gain access to evidence for use in court, says Friedman & Feiger LLP's Martin Merritt, executive director of the Texas Health La... (continued)

  • Federal Narcotics Laws Can Still Trump Tribal Sovereignty

    Troy Eid

    A high-profile criminal investigation of two marijuana cultivation facilities on Native American trust lands in California is a reminder that, despite recent U.S. Department of Justice assurances of possible prosecutorial forbearance, tribes considering violating the federal drug laws do so at their peril, says Troy Eid, a shareholder at Greenberg Traurig LLP and former U.S. attorney for the District of Colorado.

  • The Power Of The Petrillo Rule In Ill. State Courts

    Eugene A. Schoon

    Although the finding of a Petrillo rule violation was the most significant aspect in Thompson v. University of Chicago Medical Center, the order was surprising for other reasons. For one, the document on which the sanctions were based was publicly available — it was a copy of the complaint which the doctor’s lawyer could, and probably would, have obtained anyway, say Eugene Schoon and Jamie Gliksberg of Sidley Austin LLP.

  • Spotlight On Medicare Jurisdiction Issues In Bankruptcy

    Rosa J. Evergreen

    The Bayou Shores bankruptcy case and related litigation — which could soon reach the Eleventh Circuit — highlights some of the challenges a health care facility or provider may face in using bankruptcy as a tool to prevent the termination of its Medicare and Medicaid provider agreements, say Rosa Evergreen and Michael Bernstein of Arnold & Porter LLP.