Overbroad Social Media Policies – This One’s OK…Maybe

Moving Target of Compliance

Over the past few years, we have written about the NLRB’s focus on private employer social media policies (see the references to our past HR Insights Blog posts below).  The decisions are hard to reconcile, and employers (and their advisors) are left to guess what may be seen by the NLRB to be an unlawfully overbroad interference with employee rights.  So much seems to turn on the use of common terms and phrases.  The outcome of a particular case also seems to turn on the makeup of the NLRB panel deciding the case (see our HR Insights Blog post “NLRB Says Negative Attitude Rule Is OK”).  And now a decision by an NLRB Administrative Law Judge suggests that an employer’s policy that one might think was overbroad is actually OK.  Of course, the NLRB may still have the final say and modify the ALJ’s opinion, but for now, the policy that was considered and found to be lawful is a good place to start in reviewing your policy for compliance. Continue Reading →

A Subtle Reminder About the Importance of FLSA Compliance

A recent case from the Northern District of Texas is a great reminder of a very important lesson – it’s not just the large class/collective action FLSA lawsuits that can be costly.

In Black v SettlePou, Inc. (Case No.3:10-CV-1418-K), Ms. Black sued her Texas employer in federal district court, claiming that she was improperly classified as an employee exempt from the overtime requirements of the FLSA and that she had been retaliated against. Two weeks before trial, the employer admitted that it had improperly classified the Plaintiff as an exempt employee. The case proceeded to a four-day trial, and the jury concluded that while there had been no retaliation, the employer had willfully violated the FLSA by failing to pay the Plaintiff at an overtime rate for hours worked in excess of 40 in a work week. The jury found that the Plaintiff was entitled to overtime pay for 274 hours of work, which resulted in a back pay award of $11,873.78. After the trial, the court was left to determine the total amount actually to be awarded in the case. Continue Reading →

Kentucky Emergency Regulations Create Two New Licenses for Health Facilities

On Wednesday, July 15, Governor Beshear filed emergency regulations establishing new health facility licensure categories called “behavioral health services organizations” and “residential crisis stabilization units.” Beshear states that these new health facility licenses will increase Kentuckians’ access to mental health treatment and will help them avoid higher levels of care. Continue Reading →

Overbroad Social Media Policies – This One’s OK…Maybe

Moving Target of Compliance

Over the past few years, we have written about the NLRB’s focus on private employer social media policies (see the references to our past HR Insights Blog posts below).  The decisions are hard to reconcile, and employers (and their advisors) are left to guess what may be seen by the NLRB to be an unlawfully overbroad interference with employee rights.  So much seems to turn on the use of common terms and phrases.  The outcome of a particular case also seems to turn on the makeup of the NLRB panel deciding the case (see our HR Insights Blog post “NLRB Says Negative Attitude Rule Is OK”).  And now a decision by an NLRB Administrative Law Judge suggests that an employer’s policy that one might think was overbroad is actually OK.  Of course, the NLRB may still have the final say and modify the ALJ’s opinion, but for now, the policy that was considered and found to be lawful is a good place to start in reviewing your policy for compliance. Continue Reading →

This Week in Washington – July 18, 2014

Hall Render Meets with Energy and Commerce Committee Staff on Telemedicine Initiative

On July 15, Hall Render attorneys John Williams, Jeff Short and Michael Batt met with professional staff at the House Energy and Commerce Committee to discuss what steps Congress can take to remove the legislative and regulatory barriers that currently impede the advancement of telemedicine and telehealth technology. The meeting was in follow up to a letter sent by a coalition of health systems organized by Hall Render in response to a request for comment from Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee Chairman Joe Pitts (R-PA) and Ranking Member Frank Palone (D-NJ). Continue Reading →

Kentucky APRNs Granted Expanded Prescribing Authority

On July 15, a new law in Kentucky took effect that expands the prescribing authority for advanced practice registered nurses (“APRNs”). Kentucky Revised Statutes 314.042 allows APRNs that have been prescribing non-scheduled legend drugs under physician supervision for four years to prescribe these drugs without physician oversight. Proponents of the law say that the change will increase access to basic health care throughout the Commonwealth.  Continue Reading →

CMS Issues Proposed Rule Affecting Physician-Owned Hospital Expansion Requests

Background

On July 14, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) published a proposed rule that would allow physician-owned hospitals to use additional data sources to support requests for exceptions to the ban on expansion of physician-owned hospitals.1 Under the Affordable Care Act’s (“ACA’s”) amendments to the Physician Self-Referral Law (“Stark Law”), a physician-owned hospital cannot expand the aggregate number of operating rooms, procedure rooms or licensed beds beyond the number for which the hospital was licensed on March 23, 2010.  The Secretary of Health and Human Services (“Secretary”) may grant an exception to this limitation to physician-owned hospitals qualifying as either an “applicable hospital” or a “high Medicaid facility.” As part of the exception request process, a hospital must submit data to CMS that validates the hospital’s percentage of total Medicaid inpatient admissions. Continue Reading →

Recently Filed Legislative Updates Affect Prescription Drug Reporting

Kentucky pharmacists take note: soon you may have to update your prescription drug tracking and dispensation procedures to reflect proposed changes to the Kentucky Administrative Regulations. Section 045 of Chapter 55 in Title 902 of the Kentucky Administrative Regulations currently contains a list of drugs that are excluded from the licensing, distribution, recordkeeping and reporting requirements of the Kentucky Controlled Substances Act. The drugs listed in this provision are intended to be consistent with drugs excluded by the Drug Enforcement Agency from the reporting requirements of the Federal Controlled Substances Act. Continue Reading →

2-Midnight Rule: CMS Proposes to Eliminate Physician Certification Statement Requirement for Most Inpatient Stays

On July 14, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued the Outpatient Prospective Payment System Proposed Rule for Calendar Year 2015 (“Proposed Rule”), but the Proposed Rule also addresses issues unrelated to OPPS.  Among other changes, the Proposed Rule eliminates the physician certification statement requirement for most inpatient stays paid under Medicare Part A (currently a requirement of the “2-Midnight Rule”).  Under the Proposed Rule, CMS will continue to require, for example, a physician admission order as a condition of payment for inpatient services, but a physician certification statement would only be required for inpatient stays of 20 days or more and outlier cases.    Continue Reading →

Hall Render’s Timely Triage – July 15, 2014

S.2501 Eliminates Readmission Penalties Related to Patient Socioeconomic Status

On June 19, 2014, U.S. Senators Manchin, Wicker, Kirk and Nelson introduced Senate Bill 2501 entitled The Hospital Readmissions Program Accuracy and Accountability Act of 2014 (“S.2501″) to ensure that hospitals experiencing excessive readmissions are not financially penalized for serving low-income patients.  S.2501 was referred to the Senate Committee on Finance.  It can be found here. Continue Reading →

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