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Kathleen M. O'Neill is an associate in the Corporate Practice Group in the firm's Chicago office.

On June 30, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation to stabilize and promote the retention of California’s healthcare workforce in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This response included the allocation of $1.3 billion for retention payments to physicians and other clinical and non-clinical healthcare workers. California’s Department of Health Care Services (“DHCS”) will administer the distribution of those funds through its Hospital and Skilled Nursing Facility COVID-19 Worker Retention Payment program (the “WRP”). The program is designed so that WRP payments will first be made to eligible employers, who then will pass through the WRP funds to individual physicians and other healthcare workers. In order to receive WRP funds, California employers must register with and provide certain information to DHCS on an expedited timeline.

Continue Reading Important Deadline Approaches for California Healthcare Employers to Apply for Worker Retention Payments

Increasing Unionization Efforts in the U.S. Labor Market and Healthcare Sector

In recent months, the United States has seen workers’ unionization and collective bargaining efforts gain momentum across industries, including healthcare. Current reporting attributes this growth in organized labor activities to the tight labor market, heightened risks to some workers during the pandemic, a favorable political environment, and increased awareness among workers. At the same time, healthcare workers in particular are reporting higher rates of burnout, depression, and stress, causing some to consider leaving the industry.

Continue Reading How Healthcare Employers Can Prepare for Employee Unionization Efforts

The AHLA’s Annual Meeting held June 27-29 in Chicago reunited healthcare attorneys across the country. The diverse group of attendees were eager not only to reconnect in-person, but also to process the changes that the now-easing pandemic has brought to all corners of the healthcare industry. The conference presenters grappled in real-time with the transitory nature of the healthcare landscape today, including the significant role that technology has played in driving shifts in care delivery. The panel discussions assessed which changes to healthcare delivery and reimbursement would continue after the pandemic, and in what format.

Continue Reading Recap of AHLA’s Annual Meeting

In response to COVID-19, medical groups are doing their best to care for patients and ensure the safety of their contracted and employed healthcare providers in the face of this new virus. Given the scope of the virus and the questions it raises for medical groups, Sheppard Mullin has prepared, “COVID-19: Legal Guide for Medical Groups,”[1] (the “Guide”) to help medical groups navigate issues related to employee protections, infection control, and reporting obligations, workforce management and related mitigation strategies, employee obligations, business and payor relationships, privacy and telehealth, Medicare changes, and strategic transactions.

This post addresses the top 10 questions from the Guide that we have received from our medical group clients concerning issues raised by COVID-19.
Continue Reading Top 10 Questions Asked By Medical Group Clients In Response To COVID-19

This COVID-19 – LEGAL GUIDE FOR MEDICAL GROUPS (“Guide”) provides a general discussion of legal issues confronting medical groups as a result of COVID-19, including employee protections, infection control, and reporting obligations, workforce management and related mitigation strategies, employee obligations, business and payor relationships, privacy and telehealth, Medicare changes, and strategic transactions.
Continue Reading COVID-19 — Legal Guide for Medical Groups

MedCity News, a media property of Breaking Media (publisher of Law360) hosted the third annual ENGAGE conference Nov. 6-7 in San Diego. The conference highlighted technology tools that increase patient engagement and strategies deployed by health plans and health systems to align patient incentives with promoting wellness and reducing healthcare delivery costs. There is increased interest from the healthcare industry, investment community and patient advocacy groups in fostering programs, technologies and services that focus on empowering patients to be a driving force in healthcare.  As many speakers reinforced at the conference, patient engagement has gone from an afterthought to a driving force in healthcare. The following are key themes:
Continue Reading Connection and Innovation Take Center Stage at the Patient ENGAGE Conference