This Week in Washington – September 19, 2014

Congress Passes Post-Acute Care Bill

On September 18, the Senate passed, by unanimous consent, a bill that would require post-acute care providers to submit standardized data on its services. The bipartisan legislation (H.R. 4994), which was passed by the House a day earlier,  also requires HHS and the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (“MedPAC”) to provide Congress with new models for post-acute care payments, such as using bundled or site-neutral payments. Continue Reading →

This Week in Washington – September 12, 2014

Ways and Means Releases Draft Program Integrity Legislation

On September 9, the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health released a draft bill that includes the Hall Render Stark Initiative legislation. The Protecting Integrity in Medicare Act (“PIMA”) of 2014 is aimed at combating fraud, waste and abuse in the Medicare program, and central to the draft bill is language from H.R. 3776, the Stark Administrative Simplification Act (“SASA”). Continue Reading →

Indiana Court of Appeals Declines to Create Duty for Teaching Hospitals to Specifically List All Medical Residents on a Consent Form

On September 5, 2014, the Indiana Court of Appeals issued an opinion affirming the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the hospital defendant.  Plaintiff asserted teaching hospitals have a duty to specifically identify on its consent forms (both by name and qualification) all medical personnel, including interns and residents, that may be involved in a medical procedure.  That argument was rejected.  Plaintiff also asserted consent forms are adhesion contracts and thus should be void.  That argument was also rejected. Continue Reading →

Right-to-Work in Indiana – The Courts Weigh IN

Constitutional or Not?

On February 1, 2012, Indiana became the 23rd state to adopt a statute that prohibits private employers and unions from entering into agreements that compel union membership and the payment of dues and fees as a condition of employment.  This so-called Right-to-Work Law was the focus of intense partisan debate, which led to a five-week boycott of the Indiana House before it was eventually passed by the Indiana General Assembly. Since then, Michigan became the 24th state to pass a Right-to-Work Law. Continue Reading →

The Employer “Pay-or-Play” Mandate Approaches

As we approach the end of the 2014 calendar year and turn toward 2015, the “pay-or-play” penalties of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”) will rise to the forefront of challenges for many employers.  Many employers are looking once again at whether they must provide health care coverage to employees in order to avoid the penalties and, if so, to which employees.  The pay-or-play rules, just like the entire PPACA, contain many subtleties and distinctions, but here are the basics. Continue Reading →

CMS Reiterates Need for Discharge Assessment to Non-Certified Beds

On August 25, 2014, CMS issued a survey transmittal regarding the need for nursing homes to complete a discharge assessment when a resident transfers from a SNF and/or NF certified bed to a non-certified bed in the same facility.  CMS issued this transmittal to reinforce to facilities that discharge assessments are critical to ensure the accuracy of CMS mandated quality measures. Continue Reading →

OIG Scrutinizes Specialty Pharmacy Arrangement in Unfavorable Advisory Opinion

OIG recently issued Advisory Opinion 14-06, determining that a proposed arrangement for patient referrals to a specialty pharmacy had the potential to generate prohibited remuneration under the Anti-Kickback Statute.  The proposed arrangement involved a specialty pharmacy paying a support services fee to local retail pharmacies when the local pharmacies referred patients to the specialty pharmacy.  As such, OIG concluded that it could potentially impose administrative sanctions against the parties involved in the Advisory Opinion request.  Continue Reading →

NLRB’s “Solidarity Principle” Opens the Door to More Charges

Protected Rights Expanded in Solidarity

We have all become familiar with the protected rights of employees under the National Labor Relations Act. To be protected under Section 7 of the NLRA, employee conduct must be both “concerted” and engaged in for the purpose of “mutual aid or protection.” The question that the NLRB was presented with in a very recent case was whether an employee was engaged in “concerted activity” for the purpose of “mutual aid or protection” when she sought assistance from her coworkers in raising a sexual harassment complaint to her employer. The NLRB held that her conduct was protected even though it only involved her personal complaint. In so doing, the NLRB invoked what it called the “Solidarity Principle,” reasoning that in enacting Section 7, Congress created a framework for employees to “band together” in solidarity to address their terms and conditions of employment with their employer. Continue Reading →

Employers Should Avoid Common Errors While “Doing Their Homework”

Essentially all of our clients conduct pre-employment background checks on their employees. These background checks generally include a criminal history and license, certification and/or registration records. Sometimes these checks also include driving and/or credit records. All of these reports are considered “consumer reports” under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (“FCRA”) and, accordingly, clients who use a third-party vendor to conduct such searches are subject to the FCRA. Continue Reading →

A Reminder to Kentucky Estheticians: No Doctor, No Laser Treatment

Estheticians wishing to offer laser tattoo removal should remember that the procedure requires more than just a new machine; it also requires the presence of a physician. Kentucky law expressly prohibits estheticians practicing in the state from performing laser treatments unless practicing under the immediate supervision of a licensed physician. The term immediate supervision in this context means that the doctor is in the same room overseeing these activities at all times. Continue Reading →

© 2014. Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman, P.C. All Rights Reserved.