• December 19, 2014

    Fla. Doctors Near FCA Win After Whistleblower Goes MIA

    A Florida federal magistrate judge on Thursday recommended dismissal sanctions in a False Claims Act suit against two doctors and their spouses accused of Medicare fraud, after the relator who originally sued a home health care company and seven doctor-spouse couples failed to attend a deposition.

  • December 19, 2014

    Navy Splits $194M Medical Services Contract Among 6 Firms

    The U.S. Navy has tasked six veteran-owned businesses with providing ancillary technical services to military treatment facilities across the Northeastern United States, in a 30-month contract worth $194 million.

  • December 19, 2014

    Catholic Orgs Take ACA Challenge To High Court

    Religious organizations affiliated with the Catholic Church have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on their challenge to an Affordable Care Act mandate that stipulates they fill out paperwork before being excused from providing birth control to their employees.

  • December 19, 2014

    Medicare Penalizes Hospitals With High Patient Harm Rates

    Hundreds of hospitals will see reductions in their Medicare payments in fiscal 2015 due to poor grades in preventing accidental harm to patients, according to data released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on Thursday.

  • December 19, 2014

    CVS, Walgreen To Expand ACA Promotion Work

    The Obama administration announced Friday that the nation's largest pharmacy chains, including CVS Health Corp. and Walgreen Co., will expand efforts to promote Affordable Care Act enrollment, a move that comes as uninsured patients are increasingly harder to reach.

  • December 19, 2014

    Feds Won't Interfere With States' Medical Marijuana Laws

    The federal government will no longer enforce its drug policy in states where medical marijuana has been legalized, according to a provision in the national budget signed by President Barack Obama.

  • December 19, 2014

    AHA Suit Over Medicare Appeals Backlog Gets Junked

    A D.C. federal judge on Thursday threw out an American Hospital Association lawsuit aimed at forcing Medicare to ease an epic backlog of disputed billing claims, finding that court intervention isn’t appropriate.

  • December 19, 2014

    Neb., Okla. Ask Supreme Court To Stamp Out Colo. Pot Law

    Nebraska and Oklahoma pled with the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday to put an end to neighboring Colorado's recreational marijuana law, saying the first-of-its-kind legislation is overrunning their efforts to enforce federal drug laws.

  • December 19, 2014

    GI Partners Snaps Up Health Care IT Co. From OMERS

    Private equity firm GI Partners will buy Canadian health care technology company Logibec Inc. from the investment arm of the Ontario Municipal Employees' Retirement System, GI Partners said Friday.

  • December 19, 2014

    Law Firm Topples FCA Suit Over LSU Hospital Deal

    A Louisiana federal judge on Thursday dismissed a False Claims Act suit against Roedel Parsons Koch Blache Balhoff & McCollister accusing the firm of overbilling for work on a federally funded hospital project, saying the suit was built on “sweepingly conclusory” allegations “devoid of factual details.”

  • December 18, 2014

    Cuomo Reveals Details Of New York’s Medical Marijuana Regs

    Chronically ill New Yorkers moved one step closer toward being able to purchase medical marijuana legally after state Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday unveiled a draft of the regulations set to govern how the substance can be doled out.

  • December 18, 2014

    Mount Sinai Says Whistleblowers Misused Patient Info

    Mount Sinai Hospital on Wednesday urged a New York federal judge to dismiss a whistleblower suit claiming the hospital fraudulently billed Medicare and the New York Medicaid program, arguing that the relators in the case took advantage of their positions at the hospital to improperly access patient records used in the suit.

  • December 18, 2014

    Former Rite Aid VP Cops To $15M Kickback Scheme Lies

    A former Rite Aid Corp. vice president and a liquidation business owner agreed Thursday in Pennsylvania federal court to plead guilty to a felony charge in connection with an alleged nine-year kickback scheme that defrauded the pharmacy giant of nearly $15 million.

  • December 18, 2014

    Mayo Settles Trade Secrets Suit With Former Exec

    Mayo Clinic LLC has settled for an undisclosed amount with a former top executive accused of defecting to competitor Quest Diagnostics Inc. with trade secrets, according to information obtained by Law360 on Thursday.

  • December 18, 2014

    Vermont Gov. Backs Off Single-Payer Health Care System

    Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin announced on Wednesday that he won’t recommend financing a single-payer state health care system in the coming year, an idea he has long endorsed, saying the potential cost to residents and businesses and a lack of federal government support prevented the plan from being viable.

  • December 18, 2014

    Holland & Knight Adds Fla. Health Care Policy Coordinator

    Holland & Knight has strengthened its Florida government advocacy group in its Tallahassee office with the addition of a former health and human services policy coordinator to Gov. Rick Scott who has experience in life sciences, it said Wednesday.

  • December 18, 2014

    Medical Marijuana Use Kills EEOC's ADA Claim, Co. Says

    An assisted living facility accused by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of violating the American with Disabilities Act when it fired an administrator after learning she had epilepsy told a Michigan federal judge Wednesday that her use of medical marijuana precludes the ADA claim.

  • December 17, 2014

    Fla. Ruling Clarifies Notice Rules For Med Mal Suits

    A Florida appeals court ruled Wednesday that a tolling provision in state law regarding medical malpractice lawsuits applies to all potential defendants once notices of intent to initiate litigation are timely served — and even applies to prospective defendants who haven't yet been served.

  • December 17, 2014

    Trinity Health Adds 3 NE Hospitals To National Network

    Catholic health care system Trinity Health Corp. said Wednesday it has reached an agreement to acquire Saint Francis Care, adding the Connecticut-based, three-hospital organization to its nationwide network.

  • December 17, 2014

    VA Misled Congress On Patient-Wait Review, Watchdog Says

    The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs made misleading or incorrect statements to Congress earlier this year about long-delayed requests by its patients for health care consultations, according to a watchdog report issued Monday.

Expert Analysis

  • Good Luck Guessing With The Gov't On Gainsharing

    Norman Tabler Jr.

    Despite the government continuously sending signals that it approves of gainsharing, such arrangements are illegal for both hospitals and physicians and yet, given the past and current position of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General, the office is highly unlikely to take enforcement action against a gainsharing arrangement with safeguards, says Norman Tabler Jr. of Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.

  • IRS Guidance On Full-Time Status May Help Employers

    Ryan Gorman

    The Internal Revenue Service's recent guidance may be of particular relevance for employers with variable hour, seasonal and part-time employees that want to simplify, reconcile or consolidate differing measurement periods or methods for determining the full-time status of their workforce for purposes of the employer shared responsibility provisions of the Affordable Care Act, say Samuel Choy and Ryan Gorman of King & Spalding LLP.

  • USPTO Is Rejecting Potentially Life-Saving Inventions

    Lane Womack

    The Mayo-Myriad-Alice trilogy of U.S. Supreme Court decisions is impacting many much less controversial patents. Denying patent protection to treatments for cancer, AIDs and tuberculosis because they are based on unpatentable concepts is unwise, if not dangerous, say Bernard Chao, an assistant professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and Lane Womack, an attorney at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP.

  • What Happens When Legal Aid Cuts Stimulate Pro Bono?

    Kevin J. Curnin

    The bad news coming out of the European Pro Bono Summit in November was the rising toll of heavy cuts to public legal aid in England. From this crossroad, there is a lot to be learned about the relationship between public and private assistance, the direction of legal help for the poor in the EU, and whether the American legal aid/pro bono experience offers a road map for what’s next in Europe, says Kevin Curnin of the Association ... (continued)

  • Product Liability In The Age Of Global Pandemics

    Hildy Sastre

    Shahinian v. Kimberly-Clark Corp. illustrates some of the many challenges facing product liability litigation based on the fear of pandemics and shows that even the most insulated business can face claims related to injuries caused by diseases over which it had no control, say Hildy Sastre and Iain Kennedy of Shook Hardy & Bacon LLP.

  • Essential Health Benefits Rules Will Still Burden States

    Caroline Brown

    Requiring state compliance with the Affordable Care Act's commercial essential health benefits rules recently issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has resulted in an unnecessarily complex benefit design process for certain commercial plans and Medicaid alternative benefit plans, say Caroline Brown and Philip Peisch of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • FTC Centennial: How Health Care Antitrust Has Evolved

    Dionne Lomax

    In the 100 years since the Federal Trade Commission was established, the delivery of health care services — a profession some once argued should be exempt from antitrust scrutiny — has become one of the FTC's primary enforcement priorities. As the FTC embarks upon its second century, there are at least four emerging trends in health care antitrust enforcement, says Dionne Lomax of Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC.

  • 3 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Hiring Appellate Counsel

    David Axelrad

    In the classic case, a client and his attorney seek appellate counsel after the trial court proceedings are concluded. But these days, “classic cases” are few and far between — more and more, appellate lawyers assist in the trial court with preservation of the appellate record and compliance with the many technical rules of appellate procedure, says David Axelrad of Horvitz & Levy LLP.

  • Clarity Comes To ACA's 'Minimum Essential Coverage'

    Philip Peisch

    Recently published rules and guidance from the Internal Revenue Service and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services clarify the types of Medicaid coverage that constitute "minimum essential coverage" under the Affordable Care Act and the options for individuals receiving Medicaid not recognized as such, say Caroline Brown and Philip Peisch of Covington & Burling LLP.

  • 6 Questions To Ask Before An Internal Investigation

    Ty E. Howard

    Ample literature exists on how to conduct an effective internal investigation and best practices in doing so. Far less common, but equally important, are the questions a company’s decision-makers — whether a CEO, compliance officer or in-house counsel — should ask before the investigation begins, says Ty Howard, a partner with Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP and former federal and state prosecutor.