Health RSS

  • 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

    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

    Cigna Again Dodges Class Cert. In NJ ERISA Suit

    Health insurer Cigna Corp. notched a second victory in a New Jersey federal court on Monday when a judge again denied class certification in a suit alleging the insurance company used manipulated data to reduce employer-sponsored health benefits. 

  • April 15, 2014

    Prime Healthcare Hit With Unpaid Wages Action In Calif.

    Prime Healthcare Centinela LLC was hit with a proposed class action in California court Monday by an employee alleging the hospital operator failed to pay overtime and provide meal and rest breaks to 400 employees at its 12 California hospitals in accordance with state employment law. 

  • April 14, 2014

    Kaiser Refused Closed Hearing On $4M Mental Health Fine

    An administrative law judge on Friday denied Kaiser Permanente’s attempt to block the public and journalists from an upcoming hearing over a $4 million fine that California had levied against the health plan provider for its deficient mental health services.

  • April 14, 2014

    Bon Secours Dodges FCA Kickback Suit Over Referrals

    A Virginia federal judge on Monday threw out a relator’s multimillion-dollar lawsuit alleging Bon Secours Health System Inc. participated in a kickback scheme involving referrals of expensive diagnostic imaging and other lab services, saying the record doesn’t show the defendants necessarily submitted false claims.

  • April 14, 2014

    LabMD Contrasts FTC Data-Security Fight To Wyndham Ruling

    LabMD Inc. on Friday shot back at the Federal Trade Commission's bid to block a district court from reviewing an ongoing administrative proceeding over the laboratory's allegedly lax data security, arguing its challenge to the commission's authority is vastly different from Wyndham Worldwide Corp.'s rejected bid.

  • April 14, 2014

    Law Firms Feud Over Atty Fees From Coventry ERISA Action

    Johnson & Weaver LLP accused law firms Harwood Feffer LLP and Gainey McKenna & Egleston in New York court on Thursday of breaching a fee-splitting agreement in a consolidated class action against Coventry Health Care Inc. over its retirement fund investments.

  • April 14, 2014

    NJ Doctor Charged With Avoiding Taxes On $6M In Income

    A New Jersey doctor was arrested on Friday for an array of tax charges, including the mishandling of nearly $6 million in cash, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

  • April 14, 2014

    DOJ Intervenes In Power Wheelchair False Claims Suit

    The U.S. Department of Justice announced Monday it had intervened in a whistleblower suit accusing medical equipment supplier Orbit Medical Inc. of forging prescriptions for power wheelchairs billed to Medicare, saying it wanted to claw back any unwarranted payments resulting from fraud.

  • April 14, 2014

    Clinic Inks $3M FCA Settlement Over Cancer Drug Dosing

    A Kansas clinic will pay nearly $3 million to settle False Claims Act allegations from whistleblower employees who said bogus bills were routinely submitted to Medicare and Medicaid for cancer drugs that were never provided to patients, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Monday.

  • April 14, 2014

    State Court Strikes NYC Rule For Taxi Driver Health Care

    A New York court last Tuesday struck down a fare reduction rule created under former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration to provide health care assistance for taxi drivers to meet requirements of the Affordable Care Act, ruling the city had exceeded its authority.

  • April 11, 2014

    Va. Same-Sex Marriage Ban Can't Stand, AG Says

    Every federal court to decide whether states' same-sex marriage bans pass constitutional muster since the U.S. Supreme's landmark Windsor decision has struck those prohibitions down, Virginia's attorney general told the Fourth Circuit yesterday, backing a finding that his state's ban was unconstitutional.  

  • April 11, 2014

    UCSD Medical Center Settles HHS Suit Over Medicare Mistake

    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the University of California San Diego Medical Center have settled a case in California federal court after the hospital alleged the agency stiffed it on nearly $1 million in Medicare reimbursements, according to court documents filed on Thursday.

  • April 11, 2014

    DC Circ. Backs HHS In Hospital Merger Reimbursement Row

    The D.C. Circuit on Friday upheld a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services decision denying hospital system Dignity Health a Medicare payment for allegedly inadequate depreciation taken by a hospital that it acquired, ruling the merger didn't qualify for reimbursement.

  • April 10, 2014

    Nursing Agency Urges Revival Of Calif. Insurance Regs Action

    Nursing agency ReadyLink Healthcare Inc. on Thursday urged the Ninth Circuit to force a lower to court to take up its putative class action alleging the California insurance commissioner's new regulations are preempted by federal law, saying the lower court misapplied the abstention doctrine to avoid deciding the case.

  • April 10, 2014

    6th Circ. Backs $2M Award In Malpractice Firm Funding Row

    The Sixth Circuit on Thursday affirmed an Ohio district court's ruling ordering Praesidium Alliance Group LLC to pay investors in its medical malpractice insurance venture a $2 million arbitration award, finding Praesidium hadn't produced enough arbitration documentation to overturn the ruling.

  • April 10, 2014

    Physical Therapy Clinics To Pay $2.8M To Settle FCA Suit

    Two physical therapy clinic operators and three associated individuals have agreed to pay $2.78 million to settle a False Claims Act whistleblower suit in D.C. federal court alleging the companies overbilled Medicare and the U.S. military's Tricare health program, federal authorities said Wednesday.

  • April 10, 2014

    DaVita Ducks Manufacturing Claims Over Dialysis Products

    A Colorado federal judge on Wednesday largely trimmed a consolidated putative class action accusing DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc. of failing to warn customers about the dangers of two dialysis products, ruling that the treatment chain's practice of reconstituting powder compounds doesn't qualify it as a manufacturer of the products.

  • April 9, 2014

    Texas Can't Nix Planned Parenthood's Funding Challenge

    A Texas appeals court ruled Wednesday that a district court has jurisdiction to hear all but one claim in a suit in which Planned Parenthood challenged Texas' update to its women's health program because it cut the nonprofit group's funding.

Expert Analysis

  • 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.

  • CAFA Creep: Federal Removal Grows After 11th Circ. Case

    Tiffany Powers

    In South Florida Wellness Inc. v. Allstate Insurance Co., the Eleventh Circuit ruled a plaintiff’s declaratory judgment can satisfy the Class Action Fairness Act’s amount-in-controversy requirement. The ruling continues the recent trend among federal courts of strengthening the ability of defendants to remove class actions while simultaneously limiting the ability of class action plaintiffs to avoid — or creatively plead around — federal jurisdiction, say attorneys at Alston & Bird LLP.

  • FTC Data Security Authority Remains Murky Despite Wyndham

    Christopher Cole

    ​In the latest and most important federal court decision on data security enforcement, a New Jersey federal judge broadly upheld the Federal Trade Commission’s authority to police data security in FTC v. Wyndham Worldwide Corp., as the debate regarding the FTC’s role in regulating data security continues to evolve in both judicial channels — including the LabMD Inc. case — and legislative avenues, say attorneys with Crowell & Moring LLP.