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July 25, 2014
As the prevalence of physician extenders continues to grow to meet patient demand, so does their scope of practice. Effective May 20, 2014, Ohio law now permits physician assistants, certified nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, and certified nurse-midwives to admit patients to hospitals. Previously, only licensed physicians, podiatrists and dentists with medical staff privileges were permitted to admit a patient to a hospital.
March 21, 2014
Recent changes to the durable power of attorney health care (“DPAHC”) law went into effect on March 20, 2014. Previously, an executed DPAHC would not operate to authorize the attorney in fact to obtain the principal’s health information until a health care provider determined the principal had lost the capacity to make informed health care decisions. The law now allows a DPAHC to authorize the attorney in fact to obtain the principal’s health information immediately upon execution of the document, or at a later stated time, without the requirement of a determination of lack of capacity.
February 27, 2014
The July 2013 alert, Federal Government Aggressively Pursuing Health Care Fraud, stressed the importance of self-audits for health care providers. With the Obama administration taking a hard-line approach to repeat offenders and high Medicare billing physicians, self-audits are more important than ever.
February 20, 2014
A loan transaction is generally not thought of as resulting in a taxable event, but it can be if the borrower is a U.S. corporation with a foreign subsidiary. More specifically, a loan transaction can trigger a deemed dividend from the foreign subsidiary to U.S. corporation if the credit agreement provides for any of the following.
February 20, 2014
Ohio physicians now have another reason to be familiar with and utilize the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System (“OARRS”) as a component of their practices. While OARRS checks have been mandatory under certain circumstances since late 2011, the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy has just released information concerning a new OARRS feature, which stands to further enhance medication utilization review, monitoring and compliance. Since late 2006, information on prescriptions classified as Schedule II-V Controlled Substances, Carisoprodol and Tramadol has been collected and made available to practitioners and regulators through the OARRS prescription monitoring program. The Pharmacy Board has added a new feature to OARRS – the Practice Insight Report – to further aid Ohio health care providers.
January 14, 2014
On January 8, 2014, the Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) updated the List of Excluded Individuals and Entities (“LEIE”). According to the LEIE, over 66,000 health care providers are currently excluded from all Federal health care plans. Health care providers receiving funding from Federal health care programs must determine if potential and current employees are excluded. Searching the OIG’s LEIE is a simple but necessary task.
January 2, 2014
Ohio law has undergone a number of developments concerning the appropriate means of notifying patients when a physician leaves a practice, as well as the proper steps for terminating a patient from a medical practice. Effective March 22, 2013, health care entities were required to advise patients when an employed physician left the entity or medical practice, regardless of whether the physician’s departure was a result of the employer’s or the practitioner’s decision.
December 20, 2013
Digital copiers have been capable of storing information, including protected health information (PHI), for over a decade. However, it wasn’t until this year that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced its first Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) breach settlement resulting from a digital photocopier.
December 16, 2013
Now more than ever, healthcare providers are looking to outsource their standard healthcare functions, such as medical record storage, to third party technology companies. Be mindful that any technology that stores or transmits protected health information must comply with HIPAA. Even though a third-party controls the record storage technology, the healthcare provider has the ultimate responsible for the privacy and security of its patients’ information.
November 12, 2013
The Ohio Boards of Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry, and Nursing have adopted new guidelines pertaining to prescribing opioid medication. The guidelines are part of Ohio’s continuing effort to combat and reduce prescription drug abuse and diversion, and intended to further caution health care practitioners when prescribing high levels of painkillers for long-term use. Based on this objective, these agencies will be encouraging Ohio physicians and health practitioners to utilize Morphine Equivalent Dosing (“MED”) to evaluate or reevaluate the efficacy and safety of a patient’s treatment plan when it involves opioids.
November 11, 2013
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, 47 USC 227, et. seq. (“TCPA”) and the accompanying Federal Communications Commission rules (47 CFR 64.100, et. seq.) ban many phone calls and text messages that are sent to a mobile phone using an automatic dialing system (“ATDS”) as defined in the TCPA. The ban is complete unless the recipient previously gave consent to receive the message or the message was sent for emergency purposes. Prior to October 16, 2013, consent could be inferred from an existing business relationship between the sender and the recipient.
October 10, 2013
Health care providers are well aware of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), taking precautions to ensure that protected health information (“PHI”) is protected on computers, phones, and in filing cabinets. It is standard provider practice to wipe the hard drives on computers and phones, but what about the office photocopier?
September 20, 2013
For the first time in 10 years, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or the “Board”) has a full slate of approved members. On August 12, 2013, the Board swore in four Senate-confirmed members. Late last month, the Senate confirmed all five of President Obama’s nominees: Mark Gaston Pearce, the current chairman; Kent Hirozawa, chief counsel to NLRB Chairman Pearce; Harry Johnson III, a labor and employment partner from Arent Fox LLP; Philip Miscimarra, a labor and employment partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius; and Nancy Schiffer, associate general counsel at AFL-CIO. The two Republican confirmations, both coming from private practice with experience representing employers primarily, are Mr. Johnson and Mr. Miscimarra. The last time the Board had a full slate of approved members was August 21, 2003.
September 18, 2013
Fueled by technological change, fantasy sports have enjoyed incredible growth in the twenty-first century. Since 1980, when writer Daniel Okrent explained his invention of ‘‘Rotisserie’’ major league baseball (MLB) to a few friends in an eponymous New York restaurant,1 fantasy sports has grown into a global business with over 35 million participants in North America alone.
September 9, 2013
Employers—regardless of size—need to prepare to notify all current employees, part-time and full-time, of the availability of health insurance coverage from the new health insurance exchanges (the “Marketplace”) created by the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). The Marketplace will offer individuals an opportunity to compare and arrange to purchase health insurance policies. Marketplace health insurance options offer alternatives to employer-sponsored group health plans to employees.
August 26, 2013
The federal government is using every tool available to fight health care fraud and recover overpayments from health care providers. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Justice’s health care fraud and abuse control program annual report for fiscal year 2012, the federal government recovered over $3 billion in health care fraud judgments and settlements.
August 14, 2013
Historically, wagering on horse racing has been preferred by state governments over other forms of gambling, such as lotteries, wagering on sports or casino gaming. In the late 1930s, when most other gambling fell out of favor due to corruption and organized crime, horse racing and wagering were seen as bringing entertainment to the masses during difficult economic times. Beginning with the historic and storied racing career of a small poorly bred horse named Seabiscuit, horse racing enjoyed growth in popularity and handle for several decades.
August 2013
Right to Work laws prohibit agreements between labor unions and employers that mandate an employee’s membership in a union, or the payment of union dues or fees as a condition of employment. These laws allow the government to regulate contractual agreements between employers and labor unions that prevent them from excluding nonunion workers or requiring all employees to pay a fee to the union, even if an employee chooses not to join the union.
July 29, 2013
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund fee is a fee imposed on insurance carriers of fully-insured group health plans and on plan sponsors of self-insured group health plans to fund the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (“PCORI”). The institute will assist, through research, patients, clinicians, purchasers and policy-makers, in making informed health decisions by advancing the quality and relevance of evidence-based medicine.
July 5, 2013
The Federal Government is using every tool available to fight health care fraud and recover overpayments from health care providers. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Justice Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program Annual Report for FY 2012, the Federal Government recovered over $3 Billion in health care fraud judgments and settlements. In its Semi-Annual Report to Congress for the first half of FY 2013, the Office of Inspector General expects to recover over $3.8 Billion in audit receivables and investigation receivables from health care providers. As a result of the Federal Government’s aggressive auditing and overpayment recovery, and in order to ensure compliance with Federal program billing payment requirements, including Medicare and Medicaid, health care providers have begun performing self-audits on a sample of claims to be submitted.
June 5, 2013
In an effort to improve patient care, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) established electronic health record (“EHR”) Incentive Programs, which provide financial incentives for the “meaningful use” of certified EHR technology.
May 23, 2013
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) requires health care providers to inform patients of the providers’ legal duties and the patients’ rights regarding protected health information (“PHI”). Providers do so in their Notice of Privacy Practices. The recent HIPAA omnibus rule promulgated by the United States Department of Health and Human Services alters and emphasizes obligations related to Notice of Privacy Practices. Along with this new rule, Medicare requirements have changed and now make physicians retain ordering documentation for at least seven years from the date of service.
May 21, 2013
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”) protects all "individually identifiable health information," commonly referred to as protected health information (“PHI”), held or transmitted by a covered entity or its business associates. A “Business Associate” is any party that may be required to use, disclose or create PHI from or on behalf of a Covered Entity. Although most landlord and tenant relationships do not require business associate agreements, health care providers must ensure that their leases contain language to address the confidentiality and restricted access of all PHI.
April 30, 2013
On April 23, 2013, the Supreme Court of Ohio reversed the decision of the Eleventh District Court of Appeals and applied Ohio Revised Code 2317.43, commonly referred to as the Apology Statute, to exclude a physician’s post procedure statements from evidence in a medical malpractice lawsuit. The Court’s slip opinion can be accessed here: Johnson v. Smith.
April 26, 2013
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) released an important instruction for physicians, non-physician practitioners (“NPPs”) and providers who bill for services provided in skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) and nursing facilities (NFs). In its instruction, CMS discusses physician delegation of tasks in SNFs and NFs to NPPs, including nurse practitioners, physician assistants and clinical nurse specialists, which can be found in Section 3108 of the Affordable Care Act. Specifically, CMS clarifies the regulatory differences of physician delegation of tasks in SNFs and NFs, and outlines the tasks which can be delegated to NPPs in SNFs and NFs. CMS warns that, effective May 1, 2013, improper delegation of tasks to NPPs and improper billing of those tasks will result in denial of claims. As this new phase of denial review is implemented, it is important for physicians, NPPs and providers who bill for services relating to beneficiaries in SNFs and NFs to understand the requirements surrounding physician delegation.
March 12, 2013
On February 13, CGS Administrators, the Parts A and B Medicare Administrative Contractor for Kentucky and Ohio, relayed instructions to Medicare hospitals paid under the Inpatient Prospective Payment System from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regarding recent denied inpatient claims that can now be processed on an outpatient or observation basis. CGS' notice results from recent federal Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) decisions affecting the final payment for inpatient Medicare claims denied as not reasonable or necessary.
February 26, 2013
The State of Alabama filed suit on February 19, 2012, attempting to shut down four casinos it contends are illegal. Three Indian gambling centers and VictoryLand – one of the state’s largest racetracks and casinos which has been a target numerous times over the past few years – are at the center of the State’s current lawsuit.
February 20, 2013
In the midst of the current trend of physician-hospital alignment, and ever-growing numbers of physicians being employed by hospital and health systems, the Ohio General Assembly has passed a new law which changes existing Ohio law on the mechanics and scope of patient notification of a physician’s departure from a practice.
February 20, 2013
Some of the biggest names in the legal profession wrestled with points of constitutional law on February 14 in NCAA v. Christie, the case that some have called “the fight for the future of American sports gambling.”
February 15, 2013
More than 35 years after becoming law, the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice and the Enforcement Division of the Securities and Exchange Commission released their long-awaited guidance on the application and enforcement of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in late 2012. The 120 page document, entitled A Resource Guide to the U. S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (the “Guide”), is a useful reference for companies and individuals, who are competing in the international workplace or considering doing so. That being said, it is important to note that the guidance is non-binding and “does not in any way limit the enforcement intentions or litigating positions.”
February 12, 2013
On February 7, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie issued a conditional veto of online gaming legislation that informed state lawmakers that he would sign into law a bill permitting broad online gaming as soon as lawmakers bumped the tax rate from 10 percent to 15 percent and inserted a sunset provision that will require New Jersey to revisit the law in 10 years. State lawmakers immediately indicated in the media that they would do so as fast as possible.
February 7, 2013
After the OIG identified a high error rate for Place of Service (“POS”) modifiers over several years, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (“CMS”) issued a billing and coding revision (CR 7631) to instruct any physician, provider or supplier billing Medicare contractors for services paid for under the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (“MPFS”) on the proper use of POS modifiers for the professional component or the technical component of diagnostic tests.
February 1, 2013
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) was enacted in 1977 to prohibit U.S. companies and companies operating in the United States from paying bribes to foreign government officials, politicians, and political parties for the purpose of obtaining business opportunities abroad. In the past 35 years, the anti-bribery provisions of the law remain consistent but its enforcement has expanded considerably.
December 18, 2012
The Ohio Department of Health has proposed new administrative rules scheduled to take effect January 1, 2013 that will significantly impact the obligations of a home health agency (“HHA”) regarding background checks of its current and potential employees.
December 13, 2012
As telemedicine grows in popularity, it is important for physicians to be aware of the state-by-state requirements when practicing in this revolutionary area of healthcare.
November 13, 2012
If you search for the phrase “success in workers compensation hearings” on the internet you will undoubtedly be directed to a plethora of websites dedicated to assisting claimants win their workers compensation hearings. What you will not find are the same number of articles detailing how employers can achieve success in the hearing rooms. In an Industrial Commission hearing room in Ohio, the employee often has the advantage. Below are five tips that will level the playing field.
October 31, 2012
Is a health saving account (“HSA”) right for you? Find out in the article below which summarizes what a HSA is, who is eligible to establish one, types of expenses that can be paid with HSA funds, increases to HSA limits in 2013 and how health care reform changed the way HSAs are used.
October 24, 2012
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act contains multiple sections regarding compliance and ethics programs, including Section 6102. That section applies only to skilled nursing facilities that receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement. Section 6102 requires skilled nursing facilities to “have in operation a compliance and ethics program that is effective in preventing and detecting criminal, civil, and administrative violations . . . and in promoting quality of care consistent with regulations.”
October 19, 2012
The Food and Drug Administration (‘‘FDA’’) recently proposed a new system to track medical device malfunctions, increase patient safety and streamline product recall. On July 3, 2012, the FDA released its plan to label high-risk medical devices with tracking numbers, known as Unique Device Identifiers (‘‘UDI’’).
October 18, 2012
In its early stages, NCAA, et al. v. Christie, has taken on the appearance of Super Bowl XXXVI. As in Super Bowl XXXVI, the NCAA, NFL and other sports leagues, who filed the case to prevent Governor Chris Christie from establishing legal and regulated sports betting in New Jersey, resemble the St. Louis Rams and their coach, Mike Martz.
October 11, 2012
If you are a health care provider who has received an Electronic Health Record (“EHR”) incentive payment for either Medicare or Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, it is important that you prepare your business for a recent change implemented by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”). Previously, health care providers receiving payments for the EHR Incentive Programs were simply required to attest meaningful use to CMS. As of July 2012, CMS may require you to do more than attest meaningful use. CMS quietly began to audit providers who received payments under the EHR incentive program this summer.
September 13, 2012
As expanded gambling brings renewed interest and attention to horse racing, tracks need to be sure to not make a bad bet on environmental compliance. Many tracks now must have or put in place management, containment and disposal plans to comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) extensive rules and regulations – or be exposed to substantial civil fines.
September 6, 2012
To understand why the NFL will be irreparably harmed if Governor Chris Christie’s play to establish legal sports betting in New Jersey is successful, it helps to look at the traditional difference between betting on horse racing and betting on other sports such as NFL football.
September 4, 2012
Chick Gandil—the Chicago first baseman and the man who designed the infamous fix of the 1919 World Series between his White Sox and the Cincinnati Reds—probably viewed himself as nothing more than a rational futures trader. In 1919, the White Sox were the best team in the American League and the worst paid. Thus, after Chicago clinched the A.L. pennant and its spot in the World Series, Gandil and seven of his teammates agreed to sell their effort short during the World Series in exchange for $80,000.
August 31, 2012
“Every fan who loves ‘the bomb’ should be grateful to [Sid] Gillman,” Ron Jaworksi, Greg Cosell, and David Plaut wrote in The Games That Changed The Games: The Evolution of the NFL in Seven Sundays.
August 29, 2012
Your company terminates the employment of a highly skilled computer programmer who then attempts to sell the source code for your proprietary training software to a foreign entity. What would your company do?
July 26, 2012
When a public records request is received, it is often difficult to know what you must supply and, if you feel you should deny the request, what steps you should take to ensure you are in compliance with the law. Defending your institution’s decision to deny a public records request can not only be costly, but a lawsuit over what unfortunately often appears to be an attempt to hide something can detrimentally affect your institution’s reputation. Every state has their own regulations concerning the release of public records. In addition, depending on what type of institution you are operating (such as an educational facility), federal law can come into play. Add to that possible attorney-client or work-product confidentiality exemptions, and the decision as to whether you must disclose or should deny a public records request can quickly become convoluted.
July 3, 2012
On May 10, 2012, CGS Administrators, LLC, the Medicare Administrative Contractor for Medicare Parts A and B in Ohio and Kentucky, announced that providers must perform and document all three elements of an Evaluation and Management (E&M) service in order to bill for any code higher than CPT 99211, the lowest subsequent office visit. The final coding level should still be assigned based on the highest two of the three elements.
June 28, 2012
Today, by a 5-4 vote, on the strength of an opinion authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, the United States Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010. View the decision. The Court rejected the argument that Congress had the authority under the Commerce Clause to require individuals to purchase health insurance. However, the Chief Justice deemed the individual mandate a “tax” for constitutional purposes, and then ruled that Congress had the constitutional authority to tax people who did not buy insurance. Seven members of the Court held that Congress lacked the constitutional authority to punish states that refused to expand Medicaid as provided by the ACA.
June 7, 2012
On May 9, 2012, President Barack Obama became the first sitting U.S. President to affirm his belief that same-sex couples should be able to get married. Weeks later on May 31st, the First Circuit Court of Appeals declared a portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) unconstitutional.[1] In the coming weeks, the United States Supreme Court may decide to review Hollingsworth v. Perry, the Prop 8 case seeking to strike down the ban on freedom to marry in California; should they decline, however, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision declaring Prop 8 unconstitutional will be the law, thereby restoring same-sex marriage in California. These announcements are just three of many events that have shaped the current landscape in this country with respect to the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (“LGBT”) Americans.
May 15, 2012
On May 14, 2012, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia invalidated the controversial regulation of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that would have dramatically reduced the time frame of union organizing campaigns from the filing of a representation petition to the representational election. Chamber of Commerce, et al. v. NLRB (Decision).pdf The “ambush election” regulation, which was implemented on April 30, 2012, was roundly criticized because it limited the ability of employers to exercise their right under §8(c) of the National Labor Relations Act to communicate with employees regarding the impact of selecting a collective bargaining representative.
April 24, 2012
Health care providers are required to obey a properly issued grand jury subpoena seeking medical records or other confidential patient information, right? After all, it’s a subpoena. The answer may not be as straightforward as it seems.
March 7, 2012
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) proposed regulations governing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (“Act”) requirement that overpayments to providers be repaid in sixty days. Specifically, the Act requires that a provider receiving an overpayment must report the overpayment and repay it by the later of 1) 60 days after the overpayment is identified or 2) the date that any corresponding cost report is due, if applicable. The latter applies only to overpayments that are generally reconciled on a cost report.
February 7, 2012
As we start a new year, plan sponsors and plan administrators should be aware of important upcoming changes affecting employee benefits in 2012. This Part I discusses changes impacting qualified plans, including recently released final 408(b)(2) regulations regarding fee disclosure requirements. Part II will discuss changes impacting health and welfare plans.
January 30, 2012
As a business owner you likely never imagined that the Arms Export Control Act (“AECA”) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (“ITAR”) might apply to you and your business. But the broad scope of these laws can have a substantial effect on both and result in serious consequences. Congress enacted these laws during the Cold War to control the import and export of defense articles, including nuclear weapons, listed on the United States Munitions List (“USML”). The AECA gives the President the authority to control the export of defense articles, and ITAR then delegates the statutory authority to the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State then regulates the import and export of the items and services listed on the USML. Due to additional regulation of exports in the past decade, enforcement by the United States government of activities under AECA and ITAR increased noticeably. As a result, individuals and businesses involved with items or services on the USML need to be aware of the implications and requirements under AECA and ITAR. This article addresses: (i) items on the USML; (ii) the application and requirements of AECA and ITAR pursuant to inclusion on the USML; and (iii) suggested steps if violations have already occurred.
December 7, 2011
Did you know that failing to report and return discovered overpayments to Medicare or Medicaid within 60 days can lead to False Claims Act liability and potentially $11,000 in penalties for claims left unreported or unreturned? Did you know that federal law gives financial incentives for disgruntled employees to report any violations of healthcare law to the government? Protect your organization from this liability by understanding the Voluntary Self-Disclosure Protocol.
December 2, 2011
An international corporation and three of its executives recently pled guilty in response to the first charges to emerge from the Department of Justice Antitrust Division’s ongoing investigation into bid rigging, price fixing, and other anticompetitive conduct in the automotive parts industry. Furukawa Electric Co. Ltd. and three of its executives agreed to four separate four-count felony charges alleging a conspiracy to rig bids for and to fix, stabilize, and maintain the prices of automotive wire harnesses and related products sold in the United States and other countries. The felony counts alleged that officers and executives of the company met and agreed to allocate the supply of, to rig bids quoted to automobile manufacturers for, and to coordinate price adjustments requested for automotive wire harnesses and other products. Their actions affected both interstate and foreign trade and commerce. As a result of the plea agreement with the federal government, Furukawa will pay $200 million in criminal fines and the three executives will serve various jail sentences, from a year and a day to eighteen months in jail.
October 7, 2011
Here are some helpful tips for one of the most important, yet disliked, requirements for many attorneys working in firms -- keeping track of one’s billable time.
October 5, 2011
This article was written to help independent filmmakers, television producers, music publishers, and songwriters understand and navigate the convoluted and often perilous world of copyrightable interests in music and the requisite licenses needed to legally use music in various contexts, whether they be audio-visual (e.g., film, television, internet) or audio-only (e.g., CDs, digital downloads). Rights and licenses discussed include synchronization, videogram, mechanical, master use, and public performance. Each refers to a specific copyrightable interest in music and each requires its specific form of license in order to avoid claims of copyright infringement by the rights holder.
October 3, 2011
Since September 11, 2001, the climate surrounding our nation’s safety has drastically changed. In an effort to promote United States foreign policy and national security goals, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) has responded to the changing political environment. Although OFAC is not a recent development, the agency certainly operates with the present security sensitivities in mind.
September 12, 2011
On August 22, 2011, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection (WVDEP) filed an Emergency Rule with the Secretary of State, entitled “Rules Governing Horizontal Well Development” (W.Va. CSR 35-8-1.1, et seq.). In approving it (and thus making it effective) on August 29, 2011, Secretary of State Natalie Tennant agreed that it was properly classified as an emergency rule because it was “necessary to prevent substantial harm to the public interest.”
July 28, 2011
On May 25, 2011, Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) adopted final rules implementing the whistleblower provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”). The final rules, which take effect on August 12, 2011, are amongst some of the most debated and controversial rules to be promulgated in the wake of the financial crisis.
May 20, 2011
Make no mistake: one thing has become increasingly evident from recent press releases and headlines regarding settlements for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act1—we are in a new era of enforcement.
May 13, 2011
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (FCPA) was passed in response to federal investigations of American companies that collectively were making millions of dollars in bribes to various foreign government officials.
May 11, 2011
On May 5, 2011, the Ohio House of Representatives passed H.B. 153, Ohio’s main operating budget for fiscal years 2012 and 2013. The current bill contains some key provisions affecting the public construction industry in the areas of prevailing wage law and alternative delivery methods.
February 28, 2011
On Friday, a Columbus Dispatch editorial endorsed the creation of Ohio’s own False Claims Act by state lawmakers. The issue gained attention after the recent federal settlement by CareSource, a Dayton-based managed health care organization. CareSource paid $26 million to settle a case brought by two whistleblowers under the federal False Claims Act. Of the total settlement amount, Ohio will receive $10 million. But the Columbus Dispatch editorial points out that Ohio would have received an additional ten percent if an Ohio False Claims Act had been in place.
February 11, 2011
In a recent case, a Dayton-based managed health care organization, CareSource, agreed to pay $26 million to settle claims alleging CareSource defrauded the federal government. Two former employees brought whistleblower actions in 2006 accusing CareSource of failing to provide required services under the Medicaid program and submitting false claims requesting reimbursement from the federal government for unrendered services.
February 2, 2011
On January 26th, the Senate Judiciary Committee addressed fraud enforcement in their first hearing of the new Congressional session. In this most recent hearing, the Judiciary Committee placed special emphasis on health care fraud.
January 28, 2011
The rules have been modified that "creditor" no longer includes any business that extends credit or permits payment plans for fees incident to its services. Because healthcare providers are no longer "creditors" under this law, healthcare providers no longer need to comply with the Red Flags Rule.
January 1, 2011
December 16, 2010
On December 15, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Medicare and Medicaid Extenders Act of 2010, which halts the implementation of proposed cuts to physician reimbursement for a period of one year. For some time, federal lawmakers have struggled to deal with the potential impact of the often criticized Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (“SGR”) formula.
October 26, 2010
On August 25, 2010, the Ohio Supreme Court held that a corporation engaged in the unauthorized practice of law by preparing, signing, filing and pursuing affidavits of mechanics’ lien for third parties. In Ohio State Bar Association. v. Lienguard, Inc., 2010-Ohio-3827, the Court found that Lienguard, Inc. provided legal services without a license to do so by furnishing mechanics’ lien related assistance for customers.
October 22, 2010
An emerging case out of South Carolina may have a far-reaching impact on health care providers across the country. Health care providers have long been aware of the penalties for violating the Stark Law, only now violating the Stark Law may also bring False Claims Act charges and additional penalties that include treble damages.
September 27, 2010
When President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act ("Dodd-Frank" or the "Act") into law on July 21, 2010, it was a major step towards the administration's goal of promoting increased accountability and transparency in the United States' financial system.
December 28, 2009
Public construction in Ohio accounts for nearly $3 billion a year in state spending. These projects include everything from renovations to state government buildings to local school buildings through the Ohio School Facilities Commission, to building and renovation projects on Ohio’s public university and college campuses.
December 21, 2009
Major equipment fails … Underground fire halts production … Railroad goes on strike … Waterway is frozen … Flood washes out only bridge from mine to rail yard … Coal transportation halted for months …. When you hear these words from your transportation/logistics manager, it's the wrong time to learn what your coal supply and transportation contracts say about "Acts of God" or other force majeure events.
December 18, 2008
The Ohio General Assembly bailed out the BWC group rating system on the last day of the legislative session, passing Substitute HB 79 which removes the word "retrospective" from the statute. The change was necessitated because Judge Richard McMonagle of Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas issued an injunction requiring the Bureau to administer its group rating program in a retrospective fashion, as technically required by the statute. The one-word change eliminates the need to apply the program in that manner and reinstates group rating as we know it.
December 12, 2008
If you support a secret ballot election when voting in the congressional elections, you need not allow Congress to throw out the secret ballot election when it's your turn to vote in the workplace.

When we go to the polls we vote by "secret ballot." We vote in this way to "ensure the voter records a sincere choice by forestalling attempts to influence the voter by intimidation or bribery."
December 12, 2008
While you still have time, you should be considering what actions you can take now to make you less vulnerable in the coming year.

It's no secret that one of the early agenda items in the new Obama administration will be passage of the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA).
November 26, 2008
Earlier this month the Administration finalized a significant regulation that will require businesses contracting with the federal government to "verify the employment eligibility of: (1) all persons hired during the contract term by the contractor to perform employment duties within the United States; and (2) all persons assigned by the contractor to perform work within the United States on the Federal contract."
November 14, 2008
Today, the Administration finalized a sweeping regulation that will require businesses contracting with the federal government (“Federal contractors”) to "verify the employment eligibility of: (1) all persons hired during the contract term by the contractor to perform employment duties within the United States; and (2) all persons assigned by the contractor to perform work within the United States on the Federal contract."
November 14, 2008
If you plan to travel outside the United States during the holidays in December, you should ensure that you have all documents necessary to re-enter the U.S. after your trip abroad. The key items to check are:

Do you have a passport valid for at least six months beyond the date of intended U.S. re-entry?
November 13, 2008
On October 31, 2008, CMS issued its final version of the revised anti-markup rule. Effective January 1, 2009, the anti-markup rule's payment limitation applies in all cases where: 1) either the technical component (TC) or professional component (PC) of a diagnostic test is performed or supervised by a physician who does not share a practice with the billing physician or other supplier ("Billing Entity") and 2) the Billing Entity ordered the test. There are two alternative analyses to determine if the performing or supervising physician "shares a practice" with the Billing Entity.
November 6, 2008
November 5, 2008
Visas for business travelers, when used properly, are a valuable resource when an employer is interested in sending an employee to the United States or to another country as a business visitor. Employers should be aware of the permissible uses of business visitor visas to ensure their employee's entry and duration of stay as a business visitor.
November 4, 2008
On Thursday, September 25, 2008, President George W. Bush signed into law, the "ADA Amendments Act of 2008" which clarifies and broadens the definition of disability, and expands the population eligible for protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as well as expressly rejecting certain holdings of the U.S. Supreme Court, which had eliminated or reduced protections under the ADA. The law becomes effective January 1, 2009.
October 31, 2008
A recent U.S. federal court case serves as a reminder that travel abroad while an adjustment of status (to permanent resident) application is pending with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can be risky.

Mr. Hassan, a Pakistani citizen, traveled abroad while his adjustment of status application was pending and planned to return to the United States based upon a valid and unexpired "advance parole" travel authorization issued by USCIS.
October 29, 2008
On July 25, 2008, EPA published proposed regulatory amendments that would establish a new class of wells that may be permitted pursuant to its Underground Injection Control (UIC) Program authorized by the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. The regulations establishing the criteria and standards for issuance of Class VI Wells (to be codified at 40 CFR Part 146, Subpart H) will apply to wells that are used for the purpose of injecting carbon dioxide from an emission source into a deep subsurface rock formation for long-term storage (a.k.a. “Geologic Sequestration”).
October 22, 2008
The 110th United States Congress yielded the introduction of over 1000 bills that either focus solely on immigration issues, or contain immigration-related proposals. From this list, a handful have been followed especially closely for the implications and impact they have on the immigration community. The following is a list of bills that were on the "watch list." Some of these measures have passed while others remain buried in Committee proceedings, and, absent a lame-duck session passage, will die with the close of this year.
October 21, 2008
On Friday, October 17, 2008, the federal banking and thrift regulatory agencies issued a press release announcing that they will permit banks and thrifts to recognize the regulatory capital effect of the tax law change affected by Section 301 of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 ("EESA") in the third quarter 2008. The EESA was enacted October 3, 2008 (i.e., in the fourth quarter).
October 17, 2008
Choosing among the options they must consider has never been easy for directors of corporations facing financial difficulty. In recent years, some court decisions have made the choices that corporate directors must make, and the advice their lawyers must give to them about those choices, even more difficult. That is because some court decisions have suggested or held that if a corporation is in a “zone of insolvency,” although never clearly defined, its officers and directors take on direct fiduciary obligations to the company’s creditors. Some of these decisions have suggested further that if the officers or directors failed to discharge these obligations correctly, they might be liable for “deepening” the company’s insolvency, and thereby decreasing its ability to pay its creditors.
October 15, 2008
The Supreme Court of Ohio has adopted new rules creating a commercial docket pilot program in the courts of five Ohio counties. These commercial dockets will provide a specialized forum for the resolution of business disputes between and among business entities and individuals. The goal of the program is to resolve these business claims more efficiently for the parties to the dispute.
October 3, 2008
Given the current crisis in the financial markets and the passage of the Troubled Assets Relief Program by Congress, it is reasonable for prudent customers to be concerned about the status of their insured deposit accounts at various financial institutions. As most depositors probably know, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) provides insurance for deposit accounts at many financial institutions, and will now (through December 31, 2009) cover most deposits dollar for dollar up to the insurance limit of $250,000 in the event that an insured financial institution fails. However, it is possible for a depositor to qualify for more than $250,000 in deposit insurance at the same insured institution if the depositor utilizes deposit accounts in the different ownership categories that the FDIC insures.
October 2, 2008
On August 18, 2008, the Sixth Circuit articulated the legal standards to be applied to claims brought under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 ("USERRA"). In Petty v. Metro. Gov't of Nashville-Davidson County, ­­538 F.3d 431 (6th Cir. 2008), the Court held that once a plaintiff satisfied the four prerequisites to reemployment under USERRA, a defendant was not permitted to delay or otherwise limit his reemployment rights in any way, including requiring him to comply with its more stringent return-to-work process. Additionally, the Court determined the District Court failed to properly weigh and balance all of the evidence related to Petty's discrimination claim.
September 17, 2008
On August 5, 2008, Ohioans for Healthy Families, a coalition supporting the Ohio Healthy Families Act (“OHFA”), submitted enough signatures to the Ohio Secretary of State to have the OHFA placed on the Ohio general election ballot for November 4, 2008. On September 4, 2008, after negotiations with Governor Strickland and other Ohio leaders, Ohioans for Healthy Families agreed to remove the OHFA from the Ohio ballot. In return, Governor Strickland and Senator Sherrod Brown have agreed to work towards similar legislation at the federal level.
September 16, 2008
An OSHA Interpretation Letter issued on September 3, 2008, determined that incidents involving two employees who fell and were injured on their employer’s parking lots are considered work related, and therefore must be recorded in the employer’s log. This Interpretation Letter requires employers to record incidents that previously were considered to not require recording.
September 15, 2008
The consequences of making false claims for government funds could become far more costly if a new amendment to the False Claims Act becomes law. The False Claims Act exacts civil money penalties and damages up to three times the erroneous payment from anyone who knowingly submits or causes submission of false claims for government funds. Through the False Claims Act, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has collected over 15 billion dollars in the past two decades.
August 1, 2008
On June 30, 2008, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released its 2009 Proposed Medicare Physician Fee Schedule containing proposed rules for a new gainsharing exception, independent diagnostic testing facilities and revisions to the anti-markup rule. Public comments on these new rules are due to CMS by August 29, 2008.