abaEmerging Issues in Healthcare Law is coming to the Big Easy. The American Bar Association’s 18th annual conference is slated for New Orleans March 8-11.

Husch Blackwell is a platinum sponsor of this event featuring the most emergent topics facing the healthcare bar. As the industry faces changes and continues to grow under healthcare reform and enforcement, this conference allows attendees a perfect opportunity to stay ahead of the developments. Continue Reading Don’t miss Emerging Issues in Healthcare Law

white collarAs most are aware, on May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its much anticipated final rule, drastically increasing the salary requirements to qualify as an exempt executive, administrative or professional employee. The DOL estimates that the final rule will extend overtime protections to 4.2 million workers in the first year of implementation and boost wages by $12 billion over the next 10 years. The rule is set to become effective Dec. 1, 2016. Continue Reading Challenge to the doubling of the white collar salary exemption under FLSA

gavel-scales2013%20052[The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which imposes a penalty of $500-$1,500 per violation for pre-recorded or auto-dialed calls to cell phones, contains two statutory exceptions to liability:

  • where the recipient of the call provided his or her prior express consent to be called, or
  • where the call was placed for an “emergency purpose.”

47 U.S.C. § 227 (b)(1). While much attention has been focused on “consent,” the FCC’s definition of “emergency purpose” has remained relatively untested in TCPA litigation.

That landscape may be beginning to change. The federal district court’s recent decision in the putative class action lawsuit Roberts v. Medco Health Solutions, et al., No. 4:15 CV 1368 CDP (E.D. Mo., July 26, 2016) recognized that consistent with the FCC’s promulgated definition, the emergency purpose exception must be interpreted broadly to cover any calls that may affect the health and safety of a consumer. Continue Reading Calls and text messages from healthcare organizations: New developments under the TCPA’s ’emergency purpose’ exception

Gun controlRecently, Husch Blackwell partners Stephen Cockerham and Kevin Koronka presented a webinar to Texas employers concerning the impact legislation concerning gun rights may have on employers. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, the federal appellate court with jurisdiction over Texas federal district courts, recently released a decision concerning employee gun rights of which employers, particularly those with Mississippi employees, should take note. Continue Reading Fifth Circuit decision finds new exception to at-will employment: employee gun rights

gavel-scales2013%20052[On Wednesday, July 20, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed two lawsuits in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, one, Cause 1:16-cv-01494, seeking to stop the proposed merger between Aetna and Humana (valued at $37 billion) and the other, Cause 1:16-cv-01493, seeking to stop the acquisition of Cigna by Anthem (valued at $54 billion). Continue Reading U.S. DOJ sues to stop health plan mergers

gavel-scales2013%20052[The out-of-network (OON) business model faces challenges as the result of changes to health and benefit plan OON coverage, but a ruling by Judge Hoyt of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas suggests that health plans should be careful in refusing payment based on perceived OON high charges, questions about OON co-insurance collection, or provider financial arrangements. Continue Reading Out-of-network still in business

gavel2-touched upIn some courts in the United States today, a government contractor or a healthcare provider seeking reimbursement from a federal program can violate the False Claims Act even when its work is satisfactory and its invoices are correct. Under the theory of “implied certification,” a minor instance of non-compliance with one of the thousands of applicable statutes, regulations, and contract provisions can be the basis for a federal investigation, years of litigation, as well as fines, penalties, suspension and debarment, even imprisonment of company personnel. Continue Reading How the Supreme Court will limit False Claims Act liability for implied certification

the hand of the elderly woman keeps the device for measurement oAbbott Labs recently obtained a preliminary injunction prohibiting numerous pharmacies, wholesalers, and other distributors from importing or otherwise using in the U.S. Abbott’s FreeStyle® blood glucose test strips that are intended for sale internationally. Chief Judge Amon of the Eastern District of New York found that Abbott is likely to succeed on the merits of its Lanham Act claim that consumers will likely be confused by the sale of “gray market” FreeStyle test strips in the U.S. Continue Reading Court strips importation and sale of ‘gray market’ glucose test strips in U.S.

Contact Us Web Email KeyIn an Aug. 27, 2015, decision, a majority of the Board found that the Purple Communications standard, with respect to an employer’s email system, would apply without exception to healthcare providers and, in particular, for acute care hospitals. Contrary to the cogent arguments put forth by member Johnson in his dissent, the majority found there should be no exception to the presumption set forth under Purple Communications that employees have a statutory right to use an employer’s email system for Section 7 related communications during non-working time. The majority also found that the hospital failed to show “special circumstances” to rebut this presumption, notwithstanding the fact that evidence was submitted of studies finding a correlation between employee distractions and patients’ safety and identifying computers and other electronic communication devices as sources of such distraction. Continue Reading No Purple Communications exception applied to healthcare providers

HB initials LogoNational healthcare publication Modern Healthcare yesterday announced Husch Blackwell LLP is the seventh-largest healthcare law firm in the U.S. according to its 2015 rankings, up from No. 12 last year. Utilizing differing measurement techniques, American Health Lawyers Association also ranked healthcare practices, placing Husch Blackwell as fifth-largest in the country in its 2015 list, released earlier in June.

AHLA is the nation’s largest, nonpartisan, 501(c)3 educational organization devoted to legal issues in the healthcare field. Currently 152 Husch Blackwell professionals are AHLA members, and the firm ranks first in membership in Texas and second in both Missouri and Colorado.

The recognition from Modern Healthcare and AHLA validates Husch Blackwell’s focus and investment in the healthcare industry. “We are committed to continuing to add additional depth and expertise to our national platform in an effort to better serve our clients and fulfill our industry first brand promise,” said Curt Chase, partner and leader of the firm’s healthcare, life sciences and education practice.

Husch Blackwell’s healthcare attorneys have extensive experience representing clients in all types of transactional litigation, regulatory enforcement actions and investigations covering all facets of the industry. The firm represents leading hospitals and health systems, academic medical centers, post-acute centers, physicians and other healthcare providers; life sciences investors and research facilities; and pharmacies, prescription drug benefit managers, drug manufacturers and other stakeholders in the supply chain.