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  • June 13, 2018

    3rd Circ. Upholds Walgreens Victory In Doc's Defamation Case

    The Third Circuit upheld Wednesday a jury verdict exonerating Walgreen Co. pharmacists of defaming a doctor whose prescriptions were presented to them by customers, rejecting the physician’s arguments that a faulty jury instruction warranted a retrial and that the weight of evidence in the case was in his favor.

  • June 13, 2018

    11th Circ. Again Won’t Toss Medicare Fraud Conviction

    The Eleventh Circuit for the second time refused to let the former owner of a Florida mental health hospital dodge her conviction in a Medicare fraud and kickback scheme, ruling that testimony by a patient recruiter in a related trial is not enough to undermine the verdict against her.

  • June 13, 2018

    Ky. Hospital Wants Ex-Employees' Pension Suit Tossed

    A Kentucky hospital accused of underfunding its pension plan by $166 million said the former employees bringing the suit relied on “half-truths and distortion” in making their allegations and urged a federal judge to toss the claims.

  • June 13, 2018

    DEA, Media Poised For Battle Over Opioid MDL Data Access

    The Ohio federal judge supervising multidistrict litigation over the opioid crisis set the stage Wednesday for an epic showdown over media access to secret data on painkiller sales — access that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says could have perilous repercussions.

  • June 13, 2018

    Ex-NJ Lab Prez, Brother Get Prison In $100M Bribery Scheme

    The former president of a blood testing lab and his brother were slammed with prison sentences Wednesday in New Jersey federal court for their roles in a bribery scheme that garnered more than $100 million in Medicare and private insurance dollars for the now-defunct company.

  • June 13, 2018

    Griffin-American REIT Drops $88M On Health Care Portfolio

    Griffin-American Healthcare REIT IV Inc. has reached a deal to buy a portfolio of skilled nursing properties in Missouri for $88.2 million, according to an announcement on Wednesday from the real estate investment trust's cosponsors.

  • June 13, 2018

    5th Circ. Rejects Pill Mill Doc's Challenge To 5-Year Sentence

    A Fifth Circuit panel has upheld the five-year prison sentence given to a Houston doctor who was convicted on 19 counts related to running a pill mill that handed out more than 11,000 prescriptions for oxycodone over a seven-year period, rejecting his arguments that there were a lack of evidence and other flaws in the prosecution’s case. 

  • June 13, 2018

    Nursing Home Buyer's Quick Win Nixed In Liability Suit

    An Illinois appeals panel on Tuesday reversed a nursing home buyer's quick win over the administrator of a woman's estate who claimed it should be on the hook for a $1.5 million default judgment entered in a medical negligence suit against the property's previous owner while it was going through foreclosure proceedings.

  • June 13, 2018

    4th Circ. Revives Optometrists' Data Breach Suit

    A panel of the Fourth Circuit vacated a district court’s dismissal of proposed class actions by optometrists over the impact of a suspected data breach at the National Board of Examiners in Optometry Inc. that leaked their personal information, finding the optometrists had standing to sue the organization.

  • June 13, 2018

    UnitedHealthcare Beats FCA Suit Over In-Home Exams

    An Illinois federal judge on Tuesday threw out a False Claims Act lawsuit against UnitedHealthcare Insurance Co. over in-home physical exams it offers to beneficiaries who have their insurance covered by Medicare, saying the suit doesn’t describe a fraud.

  • June 13, 2018

    BCBS Can Appeal Ruling That Limits Antitrust MDL Defense

    An Alabama federal judge Tuesday gave his blessing to a bid by Blue Cross Blue Shield plans facing a multidistrict antitrust suit for an immediate appeal of a ruling that bars the health insurer from arguing there were pro-competitive benefits from alleged collaboration between the plans.

  • June 13, 2018

    VA Eyes Blockchain To Simplify Contract Closeouts

    The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is considering using blockchain technology to streamline its contract closing process, according to a recently filed request for industry input on the issue.

  • June 13, 2018

    5th Circ. Revives Texas Hospital's $58M Underpayment Suit

    In a published opinion, the Fifth Circuit has revived a hospital's $58 million suit against several insurance companies over alleged underpayments, saying that the Texas hospital did not need to provide details from specific insurance plans to pursue claims because the companies refused to hand over the plan documents.

  • June 13, 2018

    Immigration Atty Urges Court To Rethink DQ In EB-5 Suit

    A Chicago-based immigration attorney accused by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission of pocketing money from foreign investors seeking EB-5 visas urged an Illinois federal court Tuesday to rethink a decision barring him from representing several supplemental defendants in the case, rebutting contentions that there is a conflict of interest.

  • June 13, 2018

    LLR Partners Taps Latham & Watkins For $1.2B PE Fund

    Lower middle market private equity firm LLR Partners, with help from legal adviser Latham & Watkins LLP, has clinched a $1.2 billion fund that will invest in companies within the realms of education, fintech, health care, security and software, according to a Wednesday statement.

  • June 12, 2018

    SuperValu Fights Quick Win Bid On Medicare, Medicaid Claims

    Retailers led by SuperValu Inc. blasted whistleblowers' attempted quick win on certain Medicare and Medicaid allegations concerning alleged overbilling of the federal government for medication, arguing that Seventh Circuit precedent does not say the government should have gotten the discounted prices the companies offered cash customers.

  • June 12, 2018

    Advocates Back Woman's Harvard Pilgrim ERISA Appeal

    Harvard Pilgrim Health Care had a duty under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act to seek readily available medical evidence from a young woman before denying her bid for mental health coverage, a pair of health advocates told the First Circuit in an amicus brief filed Tuesday.

  • June 12, 2018

    3rd Circ. Upholds Medical Center's Win In Whistleblower Row

    The Third Circuit ruled on Tuesday that a nurse who alleged she was fired after objecting to illegal activity at Southwest Regional Medical Center in Pennsylvania was not protected by the whistleblower provisions in the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act because she had not first made a report of the activity.

  • June 12, 2018

    NIH Unveils Research Plans To Fight Opioid Crisis

    Leaders at the National Institutes of Health on Tuesday announced how the agency plans to spend the extra $500 million it received from the U.S. Congress to fight the opioid crisis, saying it will focus on strengthening addiction and abuse treatment and improving pain management.

  • June 12, 2018

    House Passes Policy Tweaks Targeting Opioid Abuse

    The U.S. House of Representatives passed two dozen bills aimed at combating the opioid epidemic Tuesday, ranging from giving pharmacists more authority to refuse prescriptions to giving the National Institutes of Health more leeway in testing non-opioid pain treatments.

Expert Analysis

  • Opioid Legislation May Expand Telehealth Coverage

    Emily Wein

    Several of the opioid-related proposals under consideration in both houses of Congress would allow more practitioners to remotely prescribe treatment for opioid addiction. This would greatly increase providers' access to those suffering from addiction in rural areas, say Emily Wein and Amit Rao of Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz PC.

  • The Burden Of Medical Records During Bankruptcy

    Kenya Woodruff

    Companies in the health care industry face many unique challenges when undergoing a bankruptcy, including challenges arising due to the federal and state law framework governing the use and disclosure of medical information. Maintenance and storage of medical records is complicated further because of debtors' lack of financial resources, say attorneys with Haynes and Boone LLP.

  • Emerging Enforcement Trends For Patient Support Programs

    Brett Friedman

    A growing number of recent governmental investigations and settlements calls into question the practice of pharmaceutical companies donating to independent charities that provide financial assistance with out-of-pocket drug costs to patients. In light of this emerging trend, donating to independent patient assistance programs should now be considered a high-risk activity, say attorneys with Ropes & Gray LLP.

  • Opinion

    Recovering Lawyers' Lost Position Of Independence

    Samuel Samaro

    In these politically divisive times, many ask whether our institutions and traditions can help us return to a greater consensus. In days long past, the legal profession could have been counted on to serve just such a function. But lawyers are now just as polarized as everyone else, says Samuel Samaro of Pashman Stein Walder Hayden PC.

  • Challenges In Billing Physician Observation Services

    Debbie Sconce

    Emergency department overcrowding is a well-documented problem in today’s hospitals. But as processes for admitting patients to observation care have changed to expedite patient throughput, hospitals could be at risk for billing noncompliance due to a long-standing and possibly overlooked regulation in the Medicare Billing and Claims Manual, says Debbie Sconce of FTI Consulting Inc.

  • TCPA Trends: Impact On Future Litigation And Compliance

    Michael Reif

    The number of Telephone Consumer Protection Act lawsuits has grown exponentially in recent years, and courts have issued several significant decisions in recent months that may have implications for future TCPA litigation and compliance efforts, say Michael Reif and Chelsea Walcker of Robins Kaplan LLP.

  • 8 Reasons To Take A Fresh Look At Your Law Office Lease

    Tiffany Winne

    After moving into a new law office, tenants often file their signed leases away, figuring that the terms are set for a few years at least. However, leases can be very flexible instruments, and should be reviewed annually even if nothing seems amiss, says Tiffany Winne of Savills Studley Inc.

  • A General Counsel's Tips For Succeeding As A New Associate

    Jason Idilbi

    Based on his experience as a BigLaw associate for six years and now as general counsel for a tech startup, Jason Idilbi of Passport Labs offers some best practices for newer associates — whether they are serving external clients or senior attorneys within their firms.

  • 4 Takeaways From Failed Wrongful Termination Claims

    Brian Hall

    In Bailey v. Oakwood Healthcare, the Sixth Circuit recently rejected an appeal from a summary judgment order on claims of pregnancy, race and age discrimination and retaliation. Employers can rely on the decision for several propositions, says Brian Hall of Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP.

  • Series

    Judging A Book: Berzon Reviews 'We The Corporations'

    Judge Marsha Berzon

    My advice to prospective clerks will now include the suggestion that they read Adam Winkler's new book, "We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights," for the same reason I recommend taking a corporations course — appreciating the critical role of business corporations in American life and law, says Ninth Circuit Judge Marsha Berzon.