Category Archives: Healthcare

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The Shape of Healthcare: Blockbuster Mergers, Retail Healthcare, and Marcus Welby, M.D

It has been widely reported that healthcare mergers and acquisitions are off to a strong start this year after ending a record-breaking year in 2017. In fact, the healthcare press this year has been replete with articles extolling the “good news” about healthcare investment and transaction activity. For example: As reported by Kaufman Hall, the … Continue Reading

California Superior Court Judge Orders Department of Public Health to Make Names and Personal Home Addresses of Approximately 180,000 Health Care Workers Available to SEIU; Union Organizing Activities Likely to Spike

A California Superior Court judge recently issued an order granting the Service Employees International Union’s (“SEIU”) petition for writ of mandate under the California Public Records Act (“CPRA”) and ordered the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) to produce the names and personal home addresses of approximately 180,000 healthcare employees who hold licenses or certificates … Continue Reading

In Case Alleging Nationwide Pharmacy Fraud, Kmart Scores Narrow Settlement

As described in an April 17, 2018 article originally posted on the Sheppard Mullin Richter and Hampton, LLP False Claims Act Defense Blog, Kmart Corporation and the U.S. Department of Justice entered into a False Claims Act settlement agreement dated March 8, 2018, to end an investigation that was conducted jointly by the United States … Continue Reading

Proposed CVS Health-Aetna Acquisition Holds Strong in Congressional Hearing

Last Tuesday, February 27, 2018, representatives of CVS Health and Aetna went before the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial, and Antitrust Law (“Subcommittee”) to argue in favor of CVS Health’s recently proposed acquisition of Aetna.[1] The Hearing, “Competition in the Pharmaceutical Supply Chain: the Proposed Merger of CVS Health and Aetna,” has … Continue Reading

President Trump Signs Tax Reform Bill Into Law

Today, President Trump signed into law a sweeping tax reform bill passed by the House and the Senate on Wednesday that will materially affect virtually every sector in the economy, including, perhaps to a greater degree than others, the healthcare sector. Between the bill’s repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate penalty tax and … Continue Reading

CVS Health to Acquire Aetna

On December 3, 2017, CVS Health, a giant in the retail pharmacy industry, announced plans to acquire Aetna. Aetna is one of the largest medical insurers in the nation, servicing approximately 46.7 million people. Under the proposed framework, CVS will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Aetna through a combination of cash and stock … Continue Reading

Tax-Exempt Healthcare Organizations Brace for Impact as Senate Tax Reform Bill Passes

Update. We described in a previous blog post major changes that tax-exempt hospitals and other tax-exempt organizations in the healthcare industry face in the tax reform proposals working their way through Congress. In the early hours of Saturday, December 2, 2017, the Senate narrowly passed its tax reform bill. Although the Senate’s bill has much in common … Continue Reading

MACRA Quality Payment Program Final Rule: Implications for 2018 and Beyond

On November 2, 2017, CMS published its final rule (the “Final Rule”) on the 2018 Quality Payment Program (“QPP”), authorized by the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (“MACRA”). This final rule adopted many of the proposals put forward by CMS in its June 2017 proposed rule, summarized here. But the final rule … Continue Reading

Tax-Exempt Hospitals & Other Tax-Exempt Healthcare Organizations Not Immune from Federal Tax Reform

As federal tax reform efforts proceed rapidly in both chambers of Congress, tax-exempt hospitals and other tax-exempt healthcare organizations are facing major potential changes. New tax burdens on tax-exempt organizations are among the ways in which the bills would raise revenue to pay for proposed tax cuts for businesses and individuals. Importantly, it is still … Continue Reading

When your Hospital-of-Choice is In-Network but, SURPRISE, your Anesthesiologist is Not: California’s AB-72 and Other State Responses to the Surprise Billing Pandemic

Regardless of a patient’s diligence in selecting an in-network hospital, ambulatory surgery center, or other health facility for treatment, patients are still being saddled with surprisingly high medical bills that include out-of-network rates which often dwarf the discounted in-network rates. These “Surprise Bills” occur when a patient receives treatment from an in-network facility but also … Continue Reading

Medicare Advantage Plans Under Fire: The Department of Justice Files Complaints-in-Intervention

As reported in earlier blogs, the federal Department of Justice (DOJ) has been actively looking into potential abuses by Medicare Advantage (MA) Organizations as to allegedly improper risk adjustment claims submissions and practices. Earlier this month, and as had been anticipated, the DOJ filed complaints-in-intervention against UnitedHealth Group, Inc., and related Medicare Advantage entities, in … Continue Reading

The Opportunities and Challenges of Freestanding Emergency Departments

Following our blog post regarding the retail clinic movement, “Patient Check-Ups Before Checking Out: Partnering to Bring Health Care into the ‘One-Stop Shopping’ Sector” (April 19, 2017), we continue our examination of alternative healthcare providers by examining the regulatory landscape that shapes the opportunities and challenges of freestanding emergency departments (“FSEDs”).… Continue Reading

The Financial Impact of MACRA – Uncertainty Reigns in a Recent RAND Corporation Study

With all the talk of the Affordable Care Act’s uncertain future, it is easy to forget about the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (“MACRA”), a bipartisan law passed by Congress in 2015 to change the way physicians will be reimbursed by Medicare. MACRA is a complex and confusing law. A new study published by … Continue Reading

Has the Acquisition of Cigna Corp. by Anthem, Inc. Been Relegated to the Dustbin of History? Stay Tuned!

On April 28, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld a February 8, 2017 decision by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to block the $54 billion acquisition of Cigna Corp. by Anthem, Inc.. U.S. et al. v. Anthem Inc. et al., case number 17-5024, U.S. Court of … Continue Reading

CEO of Molina Healthcare Discusses Implications of Cuts to Affordable Care Act

Dr. Mario Molina, CEO of Molina Healthcare, discusses the implications of potential cuts to cost sharing reduction payments under the Affordable Care Act by the Trump Administration.  Cost sharing reduction payments are viewed by many as essential in the provision of healthcare to low income individuals as they help to reduce co-pays and deductibles that … Continue Reading

A $31,000 Mistake: Failing To Manage Business Associate Agreements Proves Costly For Providers

The Center for Children’s Digestive Health (CCDH), a small, for-profit pediatric subspecialty practice that operates seven clinics in the Chicago area, has paid the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) $31,000 to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).… Continue Reading

Final Market Stabilization Rules – How Stable is Stable?

The Department of Health and Human Services released the final Affordable Care Act marketplace stabilization rules (“Final Rule”) on April 13, 2017. The Final Rules become effective on June 19, 2017 and will, accordingly, apply to the 2018 state and federal Affordable Care Act health insurance exchanges. The Final Rule is available here.… Continue Reading

Patient Check-Ups Before Checking Out: Partnering to Bring Health Care into the “One-Stop Shopping” Sector

Retail clinics—the popular term for walk-in clinics located in pharmacies, supermarkets, and “big-box” stores—are playing an expanding role in the health care market. According to a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine, over 2,000 retail clinics were operating in the U.S. as of 2015.[1] Major players, such as CVS Health’s MinuteClinic, Walgreens’ … Continue Reading

Health-Related Programs Face Deep Cuts In President Trump’s “Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again”

On March 16, 2017, the President Trump Administration released his first budget outline for the 2018 fiscal year (FY 2018). In an effort to “shrink the role of government,” the $1.1 trillion budget proposal calls for a $54 billion increase in defense spending, with a corresponding $54 billion reduction in funding for many federal government … Continue Reading

California HMO Timely Access Report Available

California became the first state to set limits on how long HMO patients must wait to see a physician when the California Department of Managed Health Care (“DMHC”) adopted certain “timely access” regulations in 2010, based upon a 2002 law.[1]  These regulations require health plans to maintain provider networks sufficient to ensure that consumers can … Continue Reading
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