Recent conversations with associates at Husch Blackwell reminded me of my days as an associate. I recall wondering whether I was doing a good job, if more billable hours meant significantly more money, and what it would really take to be made partner. The firm had a mentor program, and associate reviews, but I still was unsure of the answers. Approaching a partner directly was intimidating. The partners who assigned me work were very smart, important and busy, and getting any of their time just to answer questions on work assignments was tough. I also worried about coming across like I wasn’t ambitious, intelligent, or appreciative.  Over the years, I’ve tried to mentor associates inside and outside the firm and create more comfortable opportunities for these kinds of discussions.

As we start 2021, I encourage senior lawyers to reach out to associates and make themselves available to guide them on building a successful and meaningful health law practice. To help facilitate these conversations, and create connections across the ABA Health Law Section membership, I’ve asked a handful of diverse associates to anonymously provide me their questions on the above topics. I’ve shared their questions in my recent ABA article (under a fictitious name), along with my answers. I have no doubt others have different perspectives of equal value.

Questions from Associates:

In today’s conversation Husch Blackwell’s Meg Pekarske sits down with William Finn, the CEO of Hospice of the Western Reserve, where they share stories of change, innovation and opportunity in hospice and palliative care. Bill, Meg likes to say, is a man who is always “up to something.” He sees change on the horizon and leans into the opportunities it provides. During his tenure at Hospice of the Western Reserve, he has expanded the depth and breadth of the organization through new partnerships, the development of new technologies and better ways to deliver patient care. Bill’s insights into where end-of-life care is going and the roadmap we need to get there will leave you ready to “go get up to something” yourself. Thanks for listening and enjoy the conversation. Tune in here:

We previously outlined the requirements of the Hospital Price Transparency Rule (the “Rule”), which goes into effect January 1, 2021. See The Price Transparency Rule Goes Into Effect January 1, 2021 – Is Your Hospital Ready?  Since releasing that blog post, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued its decision, ruling against the American Hospital Association and other hospital groups and upholding the District Court’s grant of summary judgement for the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”).  Among its allegations, the American Hospital Association had contended that the Rule exceeded HHS’ statutory authority, violated the First Amendment, and was arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act. Continue Reading Court of Appeals Upholds Hospital Price Transparency Rule

Colorado’s Equal Pay for Equal Work Act (EPEWA) goes into effect January 1, 2021, and the Division of Labor Standards and Statistics within the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment adopted final regulations on November 10, 2020, regarding equal pay transparency. Since our last update, on December 18, 2020, the Division issued its Interpretive Notice and Formal Opinion #9 (INFO #9) in yet another effort to provide clarity around the job posting and pay transparency provisions of EPEWA. These provisions have generated the most questions from human resource and internal legal teams. Below we have revised and updated our earlier FAQs to provide the most up-to-date guidance in a single resource. Continue Reading UPDATED | FAQs: Colorado’s Equal Pay Rules for Job Posting and Pay Transparency

Widespread COVID-19 vaccination is considered critical for many employers to return employees to work safely and resume normal business operations in the future. As such, many employers have been asking whether they can require, incentivize or encourage employees to get vaccinated, and what liabilities they may face if they choose any of these options. Continue Reading EEOC Issues COVID-19 Vaccine Guidance, Allowing Employer Mandates

Return-to-Campus Considerations is a limited series addressing the legal and practical considerations that institutions of higher education should keep in mind when responding to coronavirus-related concerns.

In this final installment, Husch Blackwell attorneys Mary Deweese and Ragini Acharya discuss the use of clinical students and student volunteers in the care of COVID-positive patients, identifying key considerations for academic medical centers and other institutions of higher education as they navigate decision-making with respect to their clinical programs. This webinar addresses issues related to liability and risk management, clinical affiliation agreements, and compliance with accreditation and licensing requirements, and also identifies what institutions should keep in mind for the next semester with respect to COVID-19 vaccinations.

Tune in here: Continue Reading COVID-19 and Clinical Programs – Part IV of our Return-to-Campus Considerations Recorded Webinar Series

Join Husch Blackwell’s Meg Pekarske as she further explores good governance in hospice. In this conversation, Meg is joined by fellow attorney Stephanie E. Kaiser as they delve into the details about how a “good” board functions, what are the common attributes and how you can measure performance. They discuss the role of sub-committees and term limits, what makes a good board agenda and minutes, and the essential elements of effective board infrastructure. If you like this episode, the next session in this series will discuss common board problems and tips for dealing with them. Stay tuned for the release of that episode in 2021. Tune in here:

On December 10, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released a proposed rule that would revise the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

In its news release, OCR noted that the changes “seeks to promote value-based health care by examining federal regulations that impede efforts among healthcare providers and health plans to better coordinate care for patients.”  The proposed changes come on the heels of the recently delayed Information Blocking Rule, which seeks to prohibit interferences with access, exchange, or use of electronic health information (EHI).   The key proposed changes are discussed below. Continue Reading Department of Health and Human Services Releases Proposed Changes to HIPAA

The FDA could approve two COVID-19 vaccines within a matter of days. However, drug makers have tried to keep expectations in check about how much vaccine they can deliver immediately and over the next few months as they grapple with supply chain and manufacturing challenges. In Safety Law Matters, we write about limited and insufficient supplies to complete Phase 1 of CDC’s recommended vaccination plan. To address the many questions employers have to prepare, Husch Blackwell is hosting a complimentary webinar next week on December 16th: COVID-19 Vaccines for Your Workplace – What You Should Know and How to Prepare

The webinar will help you prepare for your vaccination plan by:

  • Providing an update on vaccination timelines and distribution plans.
  • Addressing the possible role of employers in the process.
  • Explaining issues that employers should consider, including EEOC and OSHA concerns.
  • Identifying action steps to take immediately to prepare.

Register today to join us!

Register today to join our very own Healthcare lawyers, Jenna Brofsky and Timothy A. Hilton, and Husch Blackwell Labor and Employment and Health and Safety lawyers Brittany M. Falkowski and Avi Meyerstein as they present various issues and action steps employers should consider as they develop plans involving the much-anticipated COVID-19 vaccine. While there are still many open questions, our team will provide guidance on steps employers can take now to place themselves in the best position to execute a sound vaccination plan when the vaccines – and expected guidance from the EEOC and OSHA – become available.

Register for the COVID-19 Vaccines for Your Workplace webinar here: