• August 21, 2014

    Fla. Federal Judge Strikes Down Gay Marriage Ban

    A Florida federal judge on Thursday became the fifth judge in the state to declare Florida's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional in two suits brought by gay couples who want Florida to recognize their out-of-state marriages and want to marry in the state.

  • August 21, 2014

    $1.6M Deal Poised To Wrap Up Maxim Healthcare OT Suit

    Maxim Healthcare Services Inc. has agreed to a class and collective action settlement worth nearly $1.6 million in a lawsuit accusing the company of misclassifying recruiters as exempt from state and federal overtime pay requirements, according to a Thursday filing in Atlanta federal court.

  • August 21, 2014

    FCA Suits Over 'Worthless Services' Take Hit At 7th Circ.

    A Seventh Circuit ruling Wednesday erasing a $9 million False Claims Act verdict tied to alleged nursing home neglect will likely shield many businesses from "worthless services" cases that have threatened to increase exposure to huge penalties for billing fraud, experts say.

  • August 21, 2014

    1st Circ. Allows FCA Defendants To Push For Tax Breaks

    The First Circuit's recent Fresenius decision gave contractors more room to push back against the government's argument that False Claims Act settlements are fines, not tax-deductible business expenses, but contractors should be prepared to give a detailed breakdown of settlement expenses before looking for a tax refund, attorneys say.

  • August 21, 2014

    AGs Of 16 States Back FTC In St. Luke's Merger Appeal

    The attorneys general of California, Pennsylvania and more than a dozen other states urged the Ninth Circuit Wednesday to uphold the Federal Trade Commission's successful challenge to St. Luke's Health System Ltd.'s acquisition of a major nearby physician practice group.

  • August 21, 2014

    DEA Clamps Down On Hydrocodone Combo Medications

    The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration on Thursday announced it has finalized a rule tightening restrictions on combination prescription drugs containing the opioid hydrocodone, citing the risk of addiction and other potential dangers of the painkiller.

  • August 21, 2014

    Community Health Sued Over Hacking Of 4.5M Patients' Data

    Community Health Systems Inc. was hit with a putative class action in Alabama federal court Thursday for allegedly breaching its contract with patients and failing to secure their personal information, which may have been accessed by nation state-sponsored hackers.

  • August 21, 2014

    $9M Deal In Fax-Spamming TCPA Suit Denied Judge's OK

    A Florida federal judge on Wednesday refused to sign off on an $8.7 million deal that would have resolved fax-spamming allegations against a medical supply company because it allows the class to seek recovery only from the company's insurers.

  • August 21, 2014

    Hospital's Breach Liability Hinges On Security Precautions

    Whether Community Health Systems Inc. will face punishment from state and federal regulators following a security breach that exposed the personal data of 4.5 million patients to hackers will ultimately turn on whether the hospital took appropriate steps to fortify its systems against external threats such as the infamous Heartbleed bug.

  • August 21, 2014

    Health REIT Nabs Up To $350M Credit Line To Back Deals

    California-based Griffin-American Healthcare REIT III Inc. locked down a revolving credit facility of up to $350 million to support the medical facility-focused real estate investment trust as it presses forward with its acquisition strategy, according to a Wednesday statement.

  • 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.

Expert Analysis

  • AKS Unlikely To Be Raised Over Pharma Discount Sales

    Stephanie Trunk

    A recently issued opinion from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General assented to a drug manufacturer’s online discount program for branded drugs, making discount and referral arrangements less likely to raise concerns when they avoid federal reimbursement systems, say Stephanie Trunk and Brian Schneider of Arent Fox LLP.

  • 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.