• 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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    SUNY Agency Strikes $4M Settlement In Medicaid Audit Case

    The Research Foundation for the State University of New York will pay $3.75 million to settle a whistleblower suit in New York federal court, admitting that it manipulated audits of New York's Medicaid program and Children's Health Insurance Program under a contract with the state, the U.S. Department of Justice said Monday.

  • December 16, 2014

    Fed Circ. Overturns USPTO On Health Program Trademark

    In a precedential decision handed down on Tuesday, the Federal Circuit opened a path for St. Helena Hospital to register a trademark for an inpatient health program following a ruling that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office was wrong to find the mark too similar to another.

  • December 16, 2014

    Fla. Agency Won't Appeal Rejection Of Medical Pot Rules

    The Florida Department of Health announced late Monday that it would not appeal an administrative law judge's decision rejecting several proposed rules for selecting official medical marijuana dispensers that included a lottery to choose among qualified applicants.

  • December 16, 2014

    Providers Score Class Cert. In UnitedHealth ERISA Row

    A New Jersey federal judge on Monday certified a class of health care providers accusing UnitedHealth Group Inc. of improperly recouping payments, boosting litigation that seeks to expand use of procedural protections in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

  • December 15, 2014

    High Court Clears Air On Class Action Removal Disputes

    By handing a win to Dart Energy Corp. on Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court not only crystallized that class action defendants don't have to provide additional evidence to support their bids to transfer cases from state to federal court, but also cemented the high court's authority to weigh in on removal disputes.

  • December 15, 2014

    Insurer Seeks To Duck Medical Product Retailer's TCPA Suit

    West Bend Mutual Insurance Co. on Monday said in a lawsuit filed in Illinois federal court that it shouldn’t have to defend or indemnify American Health Services Sales Corp. in an underlying junk fax proposed class action, saying that its policies exclude violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

  • December 15, 2014

    AMA Urges High Court To Review Barred WellPoint Claims

    The American Medical Association has backed a bid by several doctors’ associations and physicians accusing WellPoint Inc. of conspiring to cap insurance reimbursements for a review of an Eleventh Circuit decision barring them from pursuing antitrust and racketeering claims, saying it hampers their abilities to lodge claims when they are shortchanged by insurers.

  • December 15, 2014

    Jacksonville Litigator Joins Fla.'s Gunster

    Florida law firm Gunster Yoakley & Stewart PA announced Friday that it has added Michael R. Freed as a shareholder in its Jacksonville office, where he will join the firm's litigation practice.

  • December 15, 2014

    Calif. High Court Says MICRA Only Caps Noneconomic Awards

    California’s high court on Monday ruled the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act’s $250,000 cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice suits doesn’t require that jury awards of noneconomic damages be reduced by a pretrial settlement with a jointly liable party, overturning a lower court decision.

  • December 15, 2014

    High Court Nixes Ariz. Appeal Over Medicated Abortion Law

    An Arizona law restricting access to medicated abortions will not be implemented after the U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to take up the state's challenge to a Ninth Circuit ruling finding the law was too prohibitive.

  • December 15, 2014

    High Court Ruling Sets Low Bar For Class Action Removal

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ruled that class action defendants don’t have to provide additional evidence to support their bids to transfer cases from state to federal court, siding with an energy company that had unsuccessfully fought to transfer a multimillion-dollar royalty dispute to federal court.

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.