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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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2018 Bipartisan Budget Act Revises Stark Law

Posted on April 19, 2018, Health Care

In February’s newsletter, CCLB reported that the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (the “Act”), signed into law by President Trump on February 9, 2018, modified the Civil Monetary Penalties Law and the Anti-Kickback Statute by increasing certain fines and penalties for violations of those statutes. The Act also amended the federal Stark Law in several […]

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Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Revives False Claims Act Qui Tam, Adding to Circuit Split on Statute of Limitations Issue

Posted on April 19, 2018, Employment Law

In 2013, Relator Billie Joe Hunt sued his former employer and others under the qui tam provisions of the federal False Claims Act (“FCA”) for alleged “rampant war-time contract fraud.” The case is captioned United States ex rel. Hunt v. Cochise Consultancy, Inc.1 After an investigation, the Department of Justice declined to intervene in the […]

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U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Broaden the Definition of “Whistleblower”

Posted on February 27, 2018, Employment Law

On February 21, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States issued an opinion unanimously holding that an employee did not qualify as a whistleblower under federal rules because he did not report any violations to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) prior to the termination of his employment. The plaintiff in the case, Paul […]

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Physician-Owned Hospital Agrees to Pay $7.5 Million to Settle False Claims Act Allegations

Posted on February 26, 2018, Health Care

A physician-owned hospital in Dallas, Texas recently reached an agreement with the federal government to pay $7.5 million to settle allegations that it paid kickbacks to physicians in violation of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) and False Claims Act (FCA). The government’s allegations centered on claims that Pine Creek Medical Center provided free marketing services […]

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Spending Bill Increases Penalties for Healthcare Fraud, Waste, and Abuse

Posted on February 26, 2018, Health Care

On February 9, 2018, President Trump signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. While this law received a lot of attention for avoiding a lengthy government shutdown and extending the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the law also affects healthcare providers by drastically increasing potential penalties for acts of fraud, waste, and abuse […]

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