• November 28, 2017

    FDA Warning Wire: Issues At Pharmacy Linked To Vision Loss

    A compounding pharmacy linked to patients with post-surgical vision problems was found to be using grapeseed oil in some of its products, a South Korean maker of a homeopathic smoking cessation aid wasn't screening its ingredients, and a prominent California hospital had clean room lapses, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Here's this week's roundup of the agency's enforcement actions.

  • November 28, 2017

    Budget Committee Vote Sends Tax Bill To Full Senate Floor

    Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee advanced closer to enacting a $1.4 trillion tax cut bill on Tuesday with a vote in favor of merging the bill with recommendations from Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, to permit drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

  • November 28, 2017

    VA Neglecting Payout Reimbursement Requirement, OIG Says

    Despite being about $226 million in the hole to the U.S. Department of the Treasury for money paid out for disputes over hospital construction contracts, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has failed to request adequate funds from Congress to make up the shortfall, a VA watchdog said Tuesday.

  • November 28, 2017

    Warren Asks Trump's HHS Pick About ACA, Drug Prices

    U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts sent a letter Tuesday to the nominee for secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in advance of a confirmation hearing, raising concerns about his time at Eli Lilly & Co. and his “outspoken criticism” of the Affordable Care Act, among other things.

  • November 28, 2017

    Pa. Judge's Suit Over Book Portrayal Sent To Home Court

    A Pennsylvania federal court agreed Tuesday that a defamation lawsuit brought by a Philadelphia County judge over his portrayal in a book about the infamous murder trial of abortion provider Kermit Gosnell could be heard in his home court.

  • November 28, 2017

    Exercise Council Says Insurer Owes $2M In TM Suit Coverage

    The American Council on Exercise told a California federal court Monday that a Chubb subsidiary is refusing to pay the nearly $2 million the group spent defending against a trademark suit.

  • November 28, 2017

    Clinic, Docs To Pay $1.2M To End Stress-Test FCA Row

    A California cardiology clinic and its five shareholder physicians agreed to pay $1.2 million to resolve False Claims Act allegations that they improperly performed and billed federal and state health care programs for unnecessary and risky heart stress tests, according to a statement by U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert on Tuesday.

  • November 28, 2017

    Deals Rumor Mill: Siemens Healthineers, Uber, Albea

    Siemens is leaning toward Frankfurt, Germany, for the initial public offering of its multibillion-dollar medical equipment business, SoftBank is leading a group of investors that will try to buy a sizable stake in Uber, and Sun Capital has received multiple offers for French packaging company Albea.

  • November 28, 2017

    Pa. Justices Urged To Block UPMC Data Breach Claim

    The Pennsylvania Supreme Court was urged in a brief on Monday to uphold a finding that the purely economic losses allegedly suffered by a putative class of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center workers following a massive data breach prevented them from winning damages through a negligence claim.

  • November 28, 2017

    OIG Revokes Patient Charity's Kickback Liability Protection

    In an unprecedented move, the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday revoked an advisory opinion shielding a patient-assistance charity from kickback liability, calling the charity a potential “conduit” for drug industry dollars.

  • November 27, 2017

    Arrested Insys Founder Kicks Off Jog-Blocking Ankle Monitor

    A Massachusetts federal judge Monday ruled that the founder of Insys Therapeutics Inc. could remove an electronic monitoring device that interfered with his jogging, saying the government hadn’t shown that the billionaire, accused of orchestrating a conspiracy to bribe doctors to prescribe his opioid painkiller, was a flight risk.

  • November 27, 2017

    Shire Trade Secrets Complaint Against Ultragenyx Accelerated

    A Boston federal judge agreed on Monday to fast-track two pharmaceutical companies’ legal battle over their allegedly dueling access to a handful of doctors specializing in the treatment of ultra-rare enzyme deficiencies.

  • November 27, 2017

    Top Privacy Enforcer In Conn. AG's Office Headed To Cigna

    The head of the Connecticut Attorney General's Office's pioneering privacy and data security department is vacating his post to take the reins at health insurer Cigna. In an exclusive interview with Law360, Matthew Fitzsimmons talks about how the regulator's enforcement approach has changed over the past decade, the value of interstate cooperation and the active role he anticipates state officials will continue to play in this space.

  • November 27, 2017

    Del. Justices Reject Third Chance For BioScrip Investors

    Delaware's Supreme Court on Monday shot down a class attempt to resurrect an already-recycled suit against directors of home infusion and pharmacy service company BioScrip Inc., prompted by insider trading and drug kickback scandals.

  • November 27, 2017

    Atty Scolded For Mental Health Queries In Fraud Trial

    A California federal judge overseeing a health care fraud and money laundering trial against two romantically linked doctors scolded the female defendant’s attorney Monday for “crossing the line” with direct examination of a witness that included such words about her mental health as “sane” and “crazy.”

  • November 27, 2017

    Shkreli Mentor And Investor Says He Lied To Feds

    An investor and onetime mentor of Martin Shkreli on Monday told jurors in the trial of the controversial former pharmaceutical executive’s ex-attorney of how he lied to FBI agents when questioned about what prosecutors say was a sham consulting agreement with Shkreli-founded Retrophin Inc.

  • November 27, 2017

    Health Care Providers Seek Win In Geico Payment Dispute

    A class of health care providers suing Geico over under-reimbursement of their services asked a Florida federal judge Wednesday for a judgment on their one narrow claim after she determined that the contract is vague and must be construed against the insurer.

  • November 27, 2017

    Cottage Health Pays Calif. $2M To Settle Data Breach Suit

    A hospital chain whose patients’ medical information leaked online in two separate data breaches has agreed to upgrade its security measures and pay $2 million to settle claims it failed to implement basic safeguards, the California attorney general’s office has announced.

  • November 27, 2017

    Ex-WellCare GC Gets 6 Months For Medicaid Fraud Scheme

    A Florida federal judge sentenced Former WellCare Health Plans Inc. general counsel Thaddeus M.S. Bereday to six months in prison and fined him $50,000 after he previously pled guilty to participating in a Medicaid fraud scheme, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.

  • November 27, 2017

    Assisted Living Co. Settles EEOC National Origin Suit

    A Colorado-based assisted living company has agreed to pay $335,000 to settle allegations by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that it fired care providers because they were of African origin.

Expert Analysis

  • 11th Circ. Just Got More Attractive For Business Bankruptcy

    Paul Steven Singerman

    The initial hurdle in every case involving bar order litigation is whether the bankruptcy court has jurisdiction to enter the proposed bar order. The Eleventh Circuit’s recent opinion in Fundamental Long Term Care offers the clearest statement to date of the law upholding the power of bankruptcy courts to issue bar orders, say attorneys with Berger Singerman LLP.

  • Arbitration Agreements And FCA: Lessons From 9th Circ.

    Scott Oswald

    In a False Claims Act case last month, the Ninth Circuit rejected a company’s attempt to push its former employee into arbitration under a very broadly worded agreement that she had signed at hiring. The My Left Foot ruling offers some pointers for employees wishing to avoid the tilted field of forced arbitration, say Scott Oswald and Andrew Witko of The Employment Law Group PC.

  • The Law Firm CFO’s Role In The Strategic Planning Process

    Tyler Quinn

    Today's law firm chief financial officer should be involved in many areas beyond traditional financial management, including operations, risk management and information technology. He or she can support strategic planning throughout the process, from development of the plan to its implementation, measurement and eventual evolution, say Tyler Quinn and Marc Feigelson of Kaufman Rossin PA.

  • The Rise Of Employee Religious Discrimination Claims

    Barbara Hoey

    Many employers are seeing an increase in requests for religious accommodations. Several recent court decisions and statistics from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provide insight into the rise in claims related to these requests, and the importance of employers understanding their obligations to accommodate, say Barbara Hoey and Alyssa Smilowitz of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP.

  • Evolution Of A Crisis: Opioid Claims Pick Up Speed

    Adam Fleischer

    On Sunday, the results of a six-month joint investigation by "60 Minutes" and The Washington Post concluded that "the drug industry, with the help of Congress, turned the opioid epidemic into a full blown crisis." In the coming months, insurers and pharmacy benefit managers are expected to undertake new and innovative efforts to control and disincentivize the use and prescription of opioids, says Adam Fleischer of BatesCarey LLP.

  • Financial Crisis Anniversary

    New Post-Recession Metrics For BigLaw Partner Success

    Peter Zeughauser

    After nearly a decade of recession-accelerated change in the legal industry, “merit-based” compensation has largely come to mean measuring attorney success using some combination of origination and working attorney hours metrics. However, there are signs that the real impact of the recession is still around the corner, and that building a book isn’t enough, says Peter Zeughauser of Zeughauser Group.

  • How Conduct Abroad Impacts Health Care Business In US

    Alison Fethke

    Given the uptick in global awareness and enforcement of anti-bribery and corruption laws, most U.S.-based health care companies are attuned to the risks associated with legal infractions caused by their operations and conduct abroad. However, such ex-U.S. activities may also impact health care companies’ ability to conduct business within the U.S., say attorneys with Ropes & Gray LLP.

  • Insights On Protecting Referral Sources With Noncompetes

    Leonard Samuels

    The Florida Supreme Court's recent decision in White v. Mederi Caretenders Visiting Services of Southeast Florida and Americare Home Therapy v. Hiles recognizes that referral sources are the lifeblood of the home health care business and worthy of protection. The ruling should be viewed as a strong statement by the court that restrictive covenants will be enforced to prevent unfair competition, says Leonard Samuels of Berger Singerman LLP.

  • Good And Bad News For Massachusetts Life Sci, Health Cos.

    Caroline Bullerjahn

    Life sciences and health care companies nationwide are being sued by shareholders far more frequently this year, but the good news for such companies in Massachusetts is that after several years of issuing no significant decisions in securities class actions, the First Circuit has now issued several favorable dismissals, say Caroline Bullerjahn and Deborah Birnbach of Goodwin Procter LLP.

  • The New HHS Approach To HIPAA?

    David Saunders

    With respect to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act compliance, in the past five months, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced only one compliance agreement, and has been quiet save responses to the WannaCry attack and Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. So now, eight months into the Trump administration, we are left to wonder if this is the new HHS, says David Saunders of Jenner & Block LLP.