Health RSS

  • April 17, 2014

    Boeing Hit With ERISA Suit Over Coverage For Autistic Kids

    Employees of The Boeing Co. filed a putative class action Thursday in Washington federal court, claiming the company breached fiduciary duties by not including behavioral therapy coverage for autistic dependents in their benefits plan, in violation of the Employment Retirement Income Security Act.

  • April 17, 2014

    Fla. Jury Dings LabCorp $16M For Misdiagnosed Cancer Victim

    The family of a cancer victim won a $15.8 million jury award Wednesday in their suit against Laboratory Corporation of America, which they accused of negligently failing to diagnose cancerous cells taken in a Pap smear test.

  • April 17, 2014

    CMS Balks At Advice To Trim Hospital Outpatient Payments

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has rejected recommendations in a report released Thursday to trim reimbursements for surgeries performed in outpatient hospital settings, prompting a rare rebuke from the Office of Inspector General, which accused the agency of shirking its budget-oversight duties.

  • April 17, 2014

    Fla. Hospital Accused Of Medicare False Billing Cover-Up

    Florida-based hospital system Baptist Health System Inc. helped cover up a prominent doctor’s intentional misdiagnoses of many patients, including the billing of Medicare and Medicaid for unnecessary medical services, according to an employee whistleblower suit unsealed Monday.

  • April 17, 2014

    LeClairRyan Bags Seasoned Med Mal Trial Lawyer In NYC

    LeClairRyan has snagged an experienced McAloon & Friedman PC medical malpractice trial lawyer, who's also a former New York City criminal prosecutor, to join its medical malpractice defense and health care teams, the firm said Monday.

  • April 17, 2014

    ACA Sign-Ups Hit 8M In Win For Health Care Industry

    President Barack Obama announced Thursday that 8 million Americans found private health insurance during the Affordable Care Act’s first open enrollment period, a big win for drugmakers, insurers and hospitals that helped bankroll the law and ended up with more new customers than most expected.

  • April 17, 2014

    Dentons Lands Chief Health Care Fraud Prosecutor

    Dentons has nabbed a top federal prosecutor and health care fraud specialist from the Eastern District of New York to serve as a partner in the firm's health care practice, it announced Wednesday.

  • April 17, 2014

    Calif. Officials Approve Autism Coverage Regulation

    California officials have approved a regulation requiring health plans to cover behavioral health treatments for autism, proposed last year after allegations that some insurers had declined coverage for such treatments in spite of state law, the state’s insurance regulator announced Wednesday.

  • April 17, 2014

    Conn. Looks To Police Hospital-Doc Tie-Ups More Strictly

    Connecticut's attorney general on Wednesday issued a wide-ranging report spotlighting potential antitrust concerns and consumer price-gouging stemming from hospital acquisitions of physician practices, calling on state lawmakers to pass two bills aimed at protecting the pocketbooks of patients with private health coverage.

  • April 17, 2014

    CRC Health Pays $9.25M To Resolve Medicaid Fraud Claims

    CRC Heath Group Inc. has agreed to pay the state of Tennessee and the federal government $9.25 million over allegations that it provided substandard substance abuse treatment and overcharged the state's Medicaid system, the state's attorney general said Wednesday.

  • April 16, 2014

    High Court Urged To Nix Suit Over Worker's Facebook Posts

    Mercy Health System of Kansas Inc. urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday not to take up a petition from a former employee asking the court to rule on whether Facebook posts and other communications to nonemployers are protected by law, arguing that the suit is an inappropriate vehicle for the question.

  • April 16, 2014

    7th Circ. Rehears Ind. Debt Collector Forum-Shopping Case

    The Seventh Circuit on Wednesday heard an Indiana man’s bid to revive his suit seeking damages from a medical debt collector, reconsidering en banc a prior decision that critics say allows debt collectors to forum-shop and win defaults by forcing consumers to appear in distant or unfriendly venues.

  • April 16, 2014

    Allstate Wins Atty Records Bid In Health Care Kickback Suit

    A California judge on Wednesday ruled that an attorney can't block Allstate Insurance Co. from obtaining records of payments made from Allstate through the attorney's office to Prima Care Medical Group Inc., which the insurer alleges engaged in a kickback scheme to defraud insurers.

  • April 16, 2014

    $522M FCA Suit Against Doc Group Survives Challenge

    The federal government's $522 million False Claims Act suit against an Alabama physicians group remained largely intact on Tuesday, with the magistrate judge recommending that one of six claims against the group be trimmed.

  • April 16, 2014

    Univ. Of Pittsburgh Hospital Can Copy Ex-Mayor's Hard Drive

    A Pennsylvania federal judge on Tuesday said the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center could copy the data from the computer of former Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, who is accused of deleting files connected to a lawsuit filed by UPMC over the city’s challenge to its tax-exempt status.

  • April 16, 2014

    Pa. High Court Boots Cigna Appeal Of $140M Coverage Denial

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court declined Tuesday to hear Cigna Corp.'s appeal of a decision absolving its excess insurer of any obligation to indemnify it for $140 million in settlements of doctors' class action claims for violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and breach of contract.

  • April 15, 2014

    Hospitals' 2-Midnight Suits Hinge On Court Deference

    The American Hospital Association’s long-awaited legal challenges this week to Medicare’s new requirement that inpatient admissions span across two midnights to qualify for reimbursement will turn on a murky legislative and regulatory history that raises many questions about judicial deference, attorneys say.

  • April 15, 2014

    Calif. Med Board Can Access Patient Records, Panel Says

    A California appeals panel ruled Tuesday that a trial court didn’t err in ordering a physician to comply with investigative subpoenas sent by the Medical Board of California, rejecting the doctor’s argument that the board violated his patients’ right to privacy by accessing a computerized database.

  • April 15, 2014

    Health Co. Workers Seek Approval Of $1M OT Class Deal

    Plaintiffs in a class action accusing Compass Health Inc. of underpaying workers for overtime have asked a California federal judge to grant final approval of a $1.1 million settlement, saying no putative class members objected to the deal, according to a Monday filing.

  • April 15, 2014

    The Great Persuader: 7th Circ. Chief Judge Diane Wood

    Seventh Circuit Chief Judge Diane Wood talks to Law360 about managing a court in crisis, surviving two U.S. Supreme Court near-misses, and tailoring crafty dissenting opinions that can change the mind of even the staunchest of ideological opponents.

Expert Analysis

  • The Future Of Law Firm PR: The Good, Bad And Ugly

    Paul Webb

    There has been a dramatic change in how public relations professionals interact with the news media to promote or protect a law firm’s brand and reputation. But content is queen and has a bright future in law firm PR — it all begins with a plan that should include goals, performance indicators and a system of assessment, say Paul Webb, director of marketing at Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor LLP, and Kathy O'Brien, senior vice president at Jaffe PR.

  • Roadblocks To D&O Coverage For Subpoena Response Costs

    Benjamin D. Tievsky

    While it must be emphasized that a policyholder’s entitlement to coverage is dependent upon the precise language of the policy at issue and the specific facts of each case, the recognition by many courts that a subpoena is a “claim” under D&O policies opens the door for potential recovery in a variety of circumstances, says Benjamin Tievsky of Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

  • Medicare Data Release May Spur Health Care Investigations

    Eric D. Fader

    Some industry observers have speculated that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' recent release of data on Medicare reimbursement payments to health care providers will result in an increase in whistleblower claims under the False Claims Act. While that remains to be seen, "outlier" providers identified in the data may be wise to prepare for some unwanted attention, say Eric Fader and Elizabeth Kim of Day Pitney LLP.

  • Reading Between The Whistleblower Headlines

    Shanti Atkins

    The meteoric media rise of the “celebrity” whistleblower has shone a spotlight on the practice, with personalities such as Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden dividing public opinion on the ethics of spilling secrets. But organizations should pay close attention to the surge in this trend beyond the headlines. Remember, whistleblowers don’t need to be popular to be effective, and opinions on their motives and morality are entirely secondary to the critical issues they potentially uncover, says Shanti Atkins of Navex Global.

  • Heartbleed Rains On The Legal Cloud Parade

    David Houlihan

    While the actual breaches are unknown, Heartbleed has the potential to expose all of a lawyer's files stored or transmitted online. The bug raises professional responsibility questions and offers confirmation of the greatest anxieties that the legal industry has about online practice. In fact, the timing is poor for many legal tech providers, following a general industry warming to cloud offerings, says David Houlihan of Blue Hill Research Inc.

  • Lawful Firings In NY May Hinge On 'Interactive Process'

    Courtney Stieber

    William Jacobsen v. New York City Health and Hospitals Corp. makes clear that, in order to escape trial and prevail on summary judgment, an employer generally must present evidence that it engaged in the "interactive process" regarding employee-requested accommodations. The decision solidifies a line of recent appellate decisions on an employer’s obligations toward disabled employees, say Robert Whitman and Courtney Stieber of Seyfarth Shaw LLP.

  • FCA Public Disclosure Case May Help Health Industry

    Norman G. Tabler Jr.

    The lesson of Stratienko v. Chattanooga-Hamilton County Hospital Authority may be that public disclosure is like toothpaste — once it’s out of the tube, it’s out. Fraudulent acts that have been disclosed can’t be undisclosed by recharacterizing them with a different label, says Norman Tabler of Faegre Baker Daniels LLP.

  • Keep Your Audience From Checking Email: 5 Legal Talk Tips

    Michael H. Rubin

    Why do the majority of speakers get polite claps at the end of their talks while a few select others receive rousing applause? Having given more than 375 presentations to legal groups, bar associations, Fortune 500 companies and corporate gatherings, I’ve learned a few things about what not to do. Remember, great speakers don’t tell “war stories.” They don’t even give examples from their own practice, says Michael Rubin of McGlinchey Stafford PLLC.

  • Tenants And Marijuana — Time To Revisit The Boilerplate

    Nadya N. Makenko

    What happens if an entity or person, permitted under applicable state law to engage in the cultivation, distribution or possession of marijuana, is leasing space in a building for such purposes? This scenario sheds a completely different light on some “boilerplate” lease provisions, such as compliance with all laws, because clearly, the tenant’s use will not comply with federal law, says Nadya Makenko of K&L Gates LLP.

  • More Joint Enforcement Actions May Come After LabMD

    Miriam Straus

    Since the Federal Trade Commission has asserted overlapping jurisdiction on Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act-regulated issues, there may be an increase in joint enforcement actions by the FTC and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on patient data security after the commission's investigation of LabMD Inc. Indeed, there is already some precedent for joint enforcement, which the FTC cited in its LabMD opinion, says Miriam Straus of Kalogredis Sansweet Dearden and Burke Ltd.