• January 27, 2015

    Mass. AG Will Fight Partners Merger If Settlement Nixed

    Massachusetts' new attorney general told a state court Monday that she shared its concerns about a proposed settlement that would allow Partners HealthCare System to acquire two rivals and vowed to fight the merger if the court nixes the deal.

  • January 27, 2015

    Indiana Latest GOP State To Back ACA Medicaid Expansion

    Indiana became the latest state to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act for its low-income residents when state officials announced Tuesday federal approval to expand a state-run insurance program to cover more than 350,000 residents.

  • January 27, 2015

    Obama Officials Say House GOP’s ACA Suit Lacks Standing

    Officials in the Obama administration are accusing House Republicans of attempting to usurp executive power by filing a lawsuit challenging the implementation of certain Affordable Care Act provisions, including its employer mandate, urging a District of Columbia federal judge Monday to toss the suit for lack of standing.

  • January 27, 2015

    House Panel Takes Up DEA Drug Approval, Enforcement Bills

    A pair of House bills that could overhaul the Drug Enforcement Agency’s approval of new drugs and its enforcement actions went before a subcommittee hearing on Tuesday, along with several other public health measures.

  • January 27, 2015

    Inova, NLRB Take Last Jabs In DC Circ. Adverse Action Row

    The National Labor Relations Board has again urged the D.C. Circuit to enforce a June decision that ordered Inova Health System to reinstate a nurse the company faulted for “grossly offensive” behavior, while Inova told the appellate court the board has failed to justify its ruling.

  • January 27, 2015

    IRS Finalizes Regs On Nonprofit Insurer Tax-Exempt Requests

    The U.S. Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service released final regulations Tuesday authorizing the IRS to determine how qualified nonprofit health insurance issuers operating under the Affordable Care Act can apply for tax-exempt status.

  • January 27, 2015

    New Medical Marijuana Plan Sparked In Pa.

    A bipartisan group of Pennsylvania state senators on Tuesday renewed their push for the legalization of medical marijuana after a bill aimed at allowing the controversial treatment failed to win approval from the legislature's lower chamber before the end of the last legislative session in December.

  • January 27, 2015

    EHealth Accused Of Failing To Warn Investors Of Shortfall

    San Francisco Bay Area-based online health insurance marketplace eHealth Inc. was slapped with an investor class action on Monday claiming the company misled investors by pushing optimistic projections despite knowing a shortfall of revenue was imminent.

  • January 26, 2015

    Continental Owes $16.5M In Dental Malpractice Row, Jury Says

    A Washington federal jury on Friday hit Continental Casualty Co. with a $16.5 million verdict for negligently handling hundreds of dental malpractice claims, treating them individually instead of pursing a global settlement that could have avoided a $35.2 million arbitration judgment.

  • January 26, 2015

    Fla. Bill Would Open Medical Marijuana To More Patients

    Proponents of legalizing medical marijuana in Florida got a boost Monday with the introduction of a bill by a prominent Republican state senator that moves beyond current legislation toward a broader proposal that fell just short in a statewide referendum in November.

  • January 26, 2015

    Ohio Sues Feds Over ACA-Mandated Reinsurance Payments

    Ohio’s attorney general claims the Department of Health and Human Services has overstepped its legal and constitutional bounds by collecting millions in what amounts to a tax from states for an Affordable Care Act program.

  • January 26, 2015

    Joan Rivers' Daughter Sues NY Clinic Over Mother's Death

    Melissa Rivers accused the clinic where comedian Joan Rivers was receiving a routine throat surgery of gross negligence, saying the doctors weren’t properly trained and that they paused for photos of her unconscious mother, according to a suit filed in New York state court on Monday.

  • January 26, 2015

    Insurer Can't Escape Health Benefit Co.'s Coverage Suit

    A Louisiana federal judge on Friday rejected a Lloyd's of London underwriter's bid to dismiss claims that it abandoned its duty to cover a health care benefit manager in a proposed class action, ruling that the relevant insurance policy is unambiguous and that a claim was made against the insured during the policy period.

  • January 26, 2015

    Dr. Oz-Touted Supplement Maker Settles With FTC For $9M

    The makers of a green coffee bean extract that appeared on television programs The Dr. Oz Show and The View have agreed to pay $9 million to settle charges brought by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission that the product was deceptively advertised as promoting rapid weight loss, according to a statement released by the FTC on Monday.

  • January 26, 2015

    HHS Sets 1st Timeline For Medicare Pay Reforms

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Monday announced a timeline for moving doctors and hospitals into new payment systems and tying Medicare reimbursement to quality of care, the first time regulators have laid out specific goals for such reforms.

  • January 26, 2015

    IRS Waives Penalties For Not Repaying Insurance Tax Credits

    The Internal Revenue Service said Monday it will waive for one year penalties on taxpayers who received more tax credits to pay for health insurance than they were owed and who do not repay the excess by the tax filing deadline.

  • January 26, 2015

    AHA Backs ProMedica's Bid For High Court Merger Review

    The American Hospital Association has urged the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a Federal Trade Commission win blocking ProMedica Health Systems Inc.'s acquisition of a nearby rival, saying the justices should reconsider the standard for reviewing mergers between weakened companies.

  • January 23, 2015

    LA County, Medical Billing Co. Off Hook For Stolen Records

    A California judge on Friday said she would dismiss a putative class action alleging that Los Angeles County and a medical billing contractor's negligence led to patients’ medical records being stolen, saying the plaintiffs need to support their allegation that medical information was actually exposed.

  • January 23, 2015

    Kaiser Can't Duck Calif. Home Care Nurses' Wage Row

    A California judge on Friday rejected Kaiser Foundation Hospitals’ bid for a quick win in a putative class action alleging the company pressured unionized home care nurses to underreport their hours worked, rejecting Kaiser’s argument that the dispute should be handled by the plaintiff's union.

  • January 23, 2015

    DOL To Appeal Ruling That Cut Caregiver Wage Regs

    The U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday it will appeal a District of Columbia federal judge’s ruling last week that vacated the remainder of a contentious regulation that would eliminate an exemption from minimum wage or overtime for most “companionship” domestic workers.

Expert Analysis

  • Pa. Superior Court Should Change Its Publishing Policy

    Robert N. Feltoon

    Although the Pennsylvania Superior Court’s caseload is staggering, and the majority of its decisions properly may be written for the parties alone, the court should reconsider the standards under which it decides whether to publish its decisions and publish more of them, particularly where the litigants persuasively demonstrate that the decision is likely to impact other cases, say Robert Feltoon and Jeannette Brian of Conrad O’Brien PC.

  • The Future Of UK Pharmaceutical Best Practices

    Lincoln Tsang

    The recent publication of the 2015 edition of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry Code of Practice represents the agreed-upon best industry practices in the U.K. as focus on the transparency of interactions between the pharmaceutical industry and its various stakeholders intensifies, say Lincoln Tsang and Silvia Valverde of Arnold & Porter LLP.

  • China's Draft Foreign Investment Guidance Is Encouraging

    Woon-Wah Siu

    The draft of China's new Foreign Investment Guidance Catalogue lifts restrictions on foreign investment in dozens of service and general manufacture industries and would relax Chinese ownership requirements. Although foreign investors still would have to operate in some of these industries through Sino-foreign joint ventures, control by the Chinese partners would no longer be required, say Woon-Wah Siu and Liang Tao of Pillsbury Wi... (continued)

  • A Data Security Checklist For Companies Hiring Law Firms

    Jenn Topper

    We trust our law firms with huge amounts of data, whether in or out of discovery, investigations or litigation. All too often, we have relied on privilege, confidentiality and attorney ethics as a proxy for data protection and information security. But in fact, law firms ought to be held to a much more stringent standard — and in-house counsel would be wise to begin with a number of specific inquiries, says legal industry consultan... (continued)

  • Medtronic Deal Highlights FTC Focus On Future Competition

    Dionne Lomax

    As evident in a recent divesture settlement over Medtronic Inc.’s $42.9 billion acquisition of Covidien PLC, the Federal Trade Commission continues to reach forward and predict the future of competition in health care and life sciences transactions. Its ability to do so is facilitated, in part, by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulatory process, say Dionne Lomax and Timothy Slattery of Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC.

  • What Legal Departments Can Expect If Buying Into E-Billing

    David Houlihan

    Recent interviews with law departments in eight companies — ranging from $600 million to $70 billion in annual revenue, and spanning the financial services, telecommunications, hospitality, software and discrete manufacturing industries — reveals that e-billing and "spend management solutions" offer some of the clearer business cases for technology investment by an organization’s legal department, says David Houlihan of Blue Hill Research Inc.

  • Confusion Persists Over Medical Marijuana Enforcement

    Daniel J. Hurteau

    While the recently enacted omnibus spending bill allows for state implementation of existing medical marijuana laws, it appears to largely be a symbolic victory for the medical marijuana industry. The ambiguity inherent in the spending bill raises more questions than it answers and may not completely divert the U.S. Department of Justice's attention away from medical marijuana, say attorneys at Nixon Peabody LLP.

  • 3 In-House Management Strategies For 2015

    James A. Merklinger

    Bank of America Corp.'s new litigation model boasts 80 percent fixed fees. At United Technologies Corp., 70 percent of legal fees were “alternative” as of 2013. And Caterpillar created a sophisticated “legal lane” strategy to save time and money. Companies looking to work smarter in 2015 should keep in mind that key to these achievements was appointment of a legal department chief operating officer, says James Merklinger of the Ass... (continued)

  • Health Care Mergers In 2014: The Enforcers Strike Back

    David Balto

    Last year was a tumultuous time for health care provider mergers and acquisitions. And while there is no anticipated decrease in similar scrutiny from state and federal enforcers in 2015, this year will bring the resolution of two controversial cases — St. Luke’s and Partners, says David Balto, former policy director of the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Competition.

  • Payer-Provider Consolidation Comes With New Risks

    Katherine Funk

    As health care providers and payers consolidate and take advantage of new opportunities brought about by the Affordable Care Act and health care reform, both payers and providers face new health care fraud and abuse and antitrust risks that are different from the ones they previously confronted, say Troy Barsky and Katherine Funk of Crowell & Moring LLP.