• 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.

  • January 23, 2015

    Needle Phobic Pharmacist Wins $2.6M Verdict Against Rite Aid

    A New York federal jury on Thursday awarded $2.6 million to a former Rite Aid pharmacist who said the company fired him because a needle phobia prevented him from giving flu vaccination shots.

  • January 23, 2015

    Convicted Exec Says DC's Medicaid Scheme Wrecked His Biz

    A Washington businessman convicted in a political scandal involving former District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray has accused the district of setting illegal Medicaid health care reimbursement rates to destroy his managed care organization, DC Chartered Health Plan Inc.

  • January 23, 2015

    Former HHS Deputy GC Departs For Hogan Lovells

    Hogan Lovells has hired a former deputy general counsel for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services who worked with the Obama administration’s health care reform team and helped defend the Affordable Care Act at the U.S. Supreme Court to serve as partner in its Washington, D.C., office.

  • January 23, 2015

    Kaiser Hit With Suit Over Doctor's Alleged Sexual Assaults

    Kaiser Permanente is under fire from three former health plan participants who allege in a putative class action filed in California state court Thursday that they were sexually harassed by a former doctor working out of a Kaiser facility.

  • January 23, 2015

    Whistleblower Says Health Fraud Convictions Seal FCA Claims

    The whistleblower in a Medicare billing False Claims Act suit against two principals of a hyperbaric oxygen therapy provider asked a Texas federal judge Thursday to grant her partial summary judgment, arguing the defendants’ related convictions for health care fraud estop them from denying her allegations.

  • January 23, 2015

    Health First Can’t Dodge Docs’ Monopoly Allegations

    A Florida federal judge on Thursday refused to toss antitrust claims accusing Health First Inc. of monopolizing regional care and exacting revenge on doctors who refused to exclusively refer patients to its hospitals, finding that the plaintiffs alleged a plausible conspiracy and unfair conduct.

  • January 22, 2015

    11th Circ. Opens Up Cruise Lines To Malpractice Onslaught

    The Eleventh Circuit refused Wednesday to rehear a decision allowing the daughter of a deceased cruise ship passenger to bring medical malpractice claims against Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., maintaining the reversal of long-standing precedent in a move experts say could open up cruise ship companies to an onslaught of personal injury claims.

  • January 22, 2015

    Gov't Fires Back In ACA Subsidies Case At High Court

    The Obama administration late Wednesday delivered a highly anticipated rebuttal in a U.S. Supreme Court case over Affordable Care Act tax credits, arguing that challengers are subverting state sovereignty and the rule of law by trying to curtail consumer subsidies.

  • January 22, 2015

    Whistleblower In Humana FCA Suit Fights Sanctions Bid

    A whistleblower accusing Humana Inc. of Medicare Advantage fraud in a False Claims Act suit urged a Florida federal judge on Thursday to toss the "heavy-handed" motion for sanctions brought by co-defendant Plaza Medical Centers Corp., saying the defendants already have the information that Plaza claims is being withheld. 

  • January 22, 2015

    US Asks 2nd Circ. To Reinstate Birth Control Opt-Out Plan

    The Obama administration on Thursday asked the Second Circuit to find that opting-out of the Affordable Care Act’s mandate for contraception coverage is not an overly burdensome process for religious groups, saying the law’s carveout for faith-based organizations is sufficient.

  • January 22, 2015

    Egg Donation Payments Not Exempt Damages, Tax Court Says

    A taxpayer who received $20,000 for donating her eggs to infertile couples cannot claim the money as tax-exempt damages for pain and suffering because she consented to the procedures, the Tax Court said in a Thursday decision.

  • January 22, 2015

    Mount Sinai Whistleblowers Deny Stealing Patient Info

    Mount Sinai Hospital whistleblowers on Wednesday rejected allegations they took confidential patient records to build their case, urging a New York federal judge not to dismiss their claims that the hospital fraudulently billed Medicare and New York’s Medicaid program.

  • January 22, 2015

    AHA Backs ProMedica's Merger At Supreme Court

    The American Hospital Association on Wednesday urged the U.S. Supreme Court to review a Sixth Circuit decision blocking ProMedica Health System Inc.’s merger with another Ohio hospital, saying that financial challenges in the health care industry were not properly evaluated.

  • January 21, 2015

    Life Uniform's Estate Seeks Dismissal To End Ch. 11 Case

    The estate of Life Uniform Holding Corp., which sold off its health care apparel supply business for $22.6 million in 2013, moved Wednesday to pay administrative claims and dismiss its bankruptcy case, saying it lacks the resources to remain in Chapter 11.

  • January 21, 2015

    Florida Can Deny Health License Despite Ch. 11, Judge Says

    A Florida bankruptcy judge on Tuesday gave the state health agency permission to terminate the license of a troubled nursing home currently in Chapter 11, ruling that the action falls within the “police powers” exception to the automatic stay.

  • January 21, 2015

    LabMD Says Tiversa Misled FTC With Data Breach Claims

    LabMD Inc. accused Tiversa Holding Corp. on Wednesday of hacking into its computers and then misleading the Federal Trade Commission into believing sensitive information on nearly 10,000 LabMD patients was found outside the laboratory’s network, part of an alleged conspiracy to “decimate” LabMD after it declined Tiversa’s services.

  • January 21, 2015

    Target's Altered Junk Fax Suit Settlement Gets OK

    A Minnesota federal judge on Wednesday gave preliminary backing to Target Corp.'s second attempt at a class action settlement to end allegations that it sent junk faxes to hundreds of pharmacies, this time removing a provision that could have allowed the retailer to recover unclaimed settlement funds.

Expert Analysis

  • 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.

  • 2014 Health Care Enforcement Year In Review: Part 2

    Bridget M. Rohde

    In addition to bringing significant criminal prosecutions against health care providers and medical professionals in 2014, the U.S. Department of Justice and its partners aggressively utilized their civil enforcement tools, which included a number of parallel criminal and civil matters, say Hope Foster and Bridget Rohde of Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC.

  • Wells Fargo Ruling Does Little To Deter Relator Misconduct

    Douglas W. Baruch

    Despite findings that the relators in United States ex rel. Bibby v. Wells Fargo Bank NA had exhibited “a considerable lack of good faith” and acted in “blatant disregard” of the False Claims Act’s seal requirements by repeatedly “engaging in inappropriate communications with the media,” the resulting sanction amounts to a mere wrist slap, say attorneys with Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP.