Congress passed the Corporate Transparency Act (the “CTA”) in 2021 with the aim of enhancing transparency in entity structures and ownership as well as combating terrorism, money laundering, and other forms of corporate misconduct. This sweeping new rule is designed to cast a wide net over entities that, except in the case of taxes, do not regularly report to federal agencies (i.e., non-publicly traded entities), regardless of the degree to which they are already regulated at the state level. This post specifically speaks to medical groups and management services organizations (“MSOs”) that now need to navigate the new CTA requirements and account for their complex contractual relationships (e.g., management services agreements, equity restriction or succession agreements). For additional information on a particular topic, links to helpful resources have been provided in the footnotes.Continue Reading The Corporate Transparency Act: A Reporting Guide for Medical Groups and MSOs
Kathleen M. O'Neill is an associate in the Corporate Practice Group in the firm's Chicago office.
On December 28, 2023, the Office of Inspector General (the “OIG”) issued a favorable Advisory Opinion (No. 23-15) (the “Opinion”) to a consulting vendor (the “Requestor”) that wanted to provide up to $75 in gift cards to physician practices in exchange for referring the Requestor’s practice optimization services (e.g., workflow and performance assessment, data analytics, and certain Medicare eligibility and performance assistance). Among other things, the Requestor: (i) did not itself provide any services that were eligible for reimbursement under any Federal healthcare program to any of its clients, (ii) did not have an ownership or investment interest in any entity that provided items or services paid for by any Federal healthcare program, and (iii) received compensation from the physician practices that did not vary based on whether the physician practices received a greater or lesser reimbursement from Medicare based on the Requestor’s services. The Opinion concluded that this proposed arrangement would not generate prohibited remuneration under Section 1128B(b) of the Social Security Act (the “Act”), also known as the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute (“Anti-Kickback Statute”), and thus OIG would not impose administrative sanctions under Section 1128A(a)(7) (exclusion) or Section 1128(b)(7) (civil monetary penalty) of the Act on the Requestor. As always, the Opinion stipulated that it may only be relied on by the Requestor on the specific facts presented to OIG, and that certain state and federal laws may continue to limit similar arrangements. However, the Opinion indicates that the tight scope of potential marketing options for physician practice vendors could expand a bit for those who are similarly situated to the Requestor.Continue Reading New Marketing Possibilities for Vendors Contracted with Medicare Providers and Suppliers Following OIG’s Favorable Advisory Opinion on Limited Referral Bonuses
The intersection of patient satisfaction and quality of care is central to healthcare today, and a provider’s level of cultural competence can significantly impact his/her performance in both areas. Recent focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in healthcare has impacted how policymakers are approaching related issues, such as cultural competence in patient care. Some state governments have determined that a provider’s ability to deliver culturally competent care is an essential component to promoting effective and efficient healthcare delivery. For example, Nevada, Oregon, Connecticut, New Jersey, California, Washington, New Mexico, and the District of Columbia each require some form of cultural competency training in their continuing education requirements for certain healthcare providers. In 2023, Illinois legislators introduced two major bills that mandate cultural competency training: H.B. 2450 and S.B. 2427. While these bills take different approaches, both seek to reduce challenges that patients can face in navigating the healthcare system in the absence of culturally competent care and well-resourced providers, including discrimination, reduced quality of services and insurance inadequacies.Continue Reading Get Prepared – Newly Mandated Cultural Competency Training for Illinois Healthcare Providers
All types of healthcare providers depend on medical directors to oversee clinical operations and consult with administrative leadership on facility, unit, or clinical service line plans and performance. Medical directors function at the intersection of administration and clinical care, weighing in on matters as varied and important as accreditation, capital expenditures for equipment, staffing, standard operating procedures, and peer review. In addition to clinical skills, they ideally need excellent people skills to balance competing priorities and communicate effectively with different stakeholders. They are a valuable resource and partner for compliance professionals. With proper support, medical directors can support an organization’s compliance efforts and help mitigate risk for both employee issues and healthcare regulatory matters. This article outlines five key best practices in contracting for medical director services:Continue Reading Do Your Medical Director Arrangements Meet the Top Five Best Practices?
A. Health Care Providers Benefit from Internet and Social Media Presence.
Electronic medical record software and social media offer wide-ranging ways for health care providers to connect with their patients and the public. Having robust technology offerings support healthcare employers’ efforts to improve clinical integration and value-based care delivery efforts. It also provides greater patient access to healthcare information and engagement with their care team. Internet-based publishing and other social media channels allow healthcare providers opportunities for marketing and for patient education, and may expand access to health information for patients who may not seek regular medical care. There are huge benefits available from these resources for healthcare institutions and providers at every scale and in every specialty, which are likely to continue to expand in the future.Continue Reading Tick-Tock – Time for Healthcare Employers to Review Their Internet and Social Media Use Policies!
Inside and outside healthcare counsel should know that the way they guide clients through legal and business issues may need to change based on a recent Ninth Circuit case governing the protections afforded to attorney-client communications, In re Grand Jury. The following update and insights will help you mitigate against the risk of attorney-client emails being produced in litigation:Continue Reading Navigating Dual Purpose Communications After SCOTUS (Almost) Weighs in on Attorney-Client Privilege: 5 Practical Tips for Healthcare Attorneys
The New Year energizes us to plan for success in the coming months. To increase the odds of meeting your business goals, we suggest taking a quick inventory of legal risks and brainstorming corrective actions for 2023. While important, legal risks may not seem urgent until a related problem impacts your business (i.e., you are subject to litigation, a business dispute erupts over unclear contract terms, an insurer or Medicare Administrative Contractor notifies you of billing/coding problems, or an employee makes a claim). Once present, legal risks can take a significant amount of time, expense, and energy to resolve that could be spent elsewhere in your business. We recommend taking a few minutes today to ask yourself the following questions:Continue Reading Are You Ready for 2023? Here’s a Quick Checklist to Reduce Legal Risks in the New Year
In a recent blog post, we described general registration and application considerations for employers seeking to enroll in California’s new Hospital and Skilled Nursing Facility COVID-19 Retention Payment Program (the “WRP”) on behalf of their employees, including details on eligibility, qualifying periods, and defined legal terms. Readers have asked how to analyze whether physicians and other employees who perform at least some “management” or “supervisory” duties qualify for the WRP, which we address here.Continue Reading Who is a Manager or Supervisor Excluded from California’s Healthcare Worker Retention Payment Program?
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