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CMS Proposes Potential Changes to Documentation Requirements for E/M Visits

Posted on July 30, 2018, Medicare and Medicaid

On July 27, 2018, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) published a proposed rule containing numerous potential changes to the Medicare physician fee schedule and other Medicare policies. See 83 Fed. Reg. 35704 (July 27, 2018). The proposed rule is intended to update Medicare’s payment systems to better reflect the relative value of […]

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Fourth Circuit Revives Employer’s Claims for Retaliation Over Supervisor’s Alleged Abuse

Posted on July 30, 2018, Employment Law

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion reversing summary judgment for the employer and allowing an employee’s claims for retaliation in connection with reporting her supervisor’s abuse to proceed to trial. The case was Strothers v. City of Laurel, Maryland. The plaintiff in the case is Felicia Strothers, an African-American woman who […]

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South Carolina Company to Pay $53,000 to Settle EEOC Religious Discrimination Allegations

Posted on June 26, 2018, Employment Law

On June 20, 2018, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that it has reached a settlement with J.C. Witherspoon, a South Carolina-based logging company, over religious discrimination allegations. The EEOC charged that J.C. Witherspoon violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act when it fired a truck driver after refusing to accommodate his […]

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HHS-OCR Issues Guidance on HIPAA Requirements for Workstation Security

Posted on June 26, 2018, Health Care

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Civil Rights (HHS-OCR) recently issued a newsletter regarding compliance with the HIPAA Security Rule’s requirements for physical security The newsletter notes that covered entities and business associates too often overlook HIPAA’s requirements to secure protected health information (PHI) contained on “workstations.” HIPAA regulations define a […]

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Skilled Nursing Company Agrees to Pay Over $30 Million to Settle False Claims Act Allegations

Posted on June 26, 2018, White Collar Crime

Signature Healthcare, a Kentucky-based company that operates over 100 skilled nursing facilities in multiple states, recently reached an agreement to pay more than $30 million to settle allegations that it submitted false claims to Medicare for medically unnecessary rehabilitation therapy services. The government’s allegations centered on claims that Signature set unrealistic financial goals and implemented […]

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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Class Action Waivers as Enforceable

Posted on May 30, 2018, Business Litigation Employment Law

On May 21, 2018, the United States Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, held that arbitration agreements containing class action waivers are enforceable and do not violate the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). This decision resolved three separate cases before the Court that all involved plaintiff-employees who had pursued […]

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Federal Jury Convicts Physician for Unlawfully Sharing Patient Information in Violation of HIPAA

Posted on May 30, 2018, Health Care

On April 30, 2018, a federal jury in Boston convicted Dr. Rita Luthra, a gynecologist, of obstructing a criminal healthcare investigation and violating HIPAA’s criminal provisions. The government’s investigation of Dr. Luthra grew out of an earlier investigation into the marketing practices of drug company Warner Chilcott. In 2015, Warner Chilcott agreed to pay $125 […]

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CMS Announces Plans to Form Inter-Agency Group to Review Stark Law

Posted on May 30, 2018, Medicare and Medicaid

Earlier this year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it was forming an inter-agency group to review potential changes to the federal Stark (or physician self-referral) law. The Stark law generally prohibits a physician from referring certain designated health services to an entity with which the physician (or an immediate family […]

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Sixth Circuit Holds That Title VII Protections Extend to Transgender or Transitioning Individuals

Posted on April 19, 2018, Employment Law

In an opinion issued last month, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (which covers Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee) held that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) was permitted to pursue a Title VII claim on the ground that an employer discriminated against an employee on the basis of the employee’s […]

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DOJ and HHS-OIG Announce $2.6 Billion In Healthcare Fraud Recoveries for Fiscal Year 2017

Posted on April 19, 2018, Health Care

On April 6, 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that its combined efforts with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) resulted in $2.6 billion in recoveries for healthcare fraud and abuse enforcement actions in fiscal year 2017. The DOJ and HHS-OIG use multi-disciplinary teams of law […]

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