After missing several self-imposed deadlines to release new FLSA wage and hour regulations called for by President Obama, the DOL released proposed rules on Monday that will dramatically increase the number of employees eligible for overtime payments. As expected, the proposed changes focus primarily on the salary threshold for the “white-collar” exemptions to the overtime provisions of the FLSA.

National 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

Husch Blackwell welcomes two attorneys to its Denver office: Senior Counsel Julie A. Sullivan and Associate Lawson S. Parker II. Sullivan and Parker both join the firm’s Healthcare, Life Sciences & Education industry team.

Sullivan has served as both in-house and external counsel to members of the healthcare industry. She counsels clients on a variety of regulatory and compliance issues, and transactional matters, and has also assisted clients with mergers and acquisitions. Parker assists hospitals, physicians, single and multi-specialty group practices, dentists and other healthcare professionals with respect to their operational, transactional and regulatory compliance matters. He also advises on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, the sale of healthcare-related entities and employment matters.

The DOL’s self-imposed February deadline for announcing new FLSA regulations redefining “white collar” exemptions has come and gone with without any action from the DOL. No new deadline has been announced; however, the DOL’s website suggests that it still hopes to release the new regulations soon. Stayed tuned, and we will report back when the

Husch Blackwell attorneys are presenting at the Colorado Health Care Association and Center for Assisted Living Legal Symposium on elder abuse and financial exploitation on March 12 in Denver.

Healthcare providers are responsible for detecting, preventing and reporting elderly abuse, including financial exploitation. With the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, the reporting requirements of the Elder Justice Act are now in effect.

The Department of Labor (“DOL”) published its final rule on Feb. 24, 2015, relating to the definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act  (“FMLA”) Regulations. Beginning March 27, 2015, when the final rule becomes effective, the definition of “spouse” for purpose of FMLA leave will include eligible employees in legal same-sex marriages. Prior to this rule change, same-sex partners were only considered spouses if their marriage was recognized in the state where they lived. Under the new rule, the focus shifts to where the marriage was “celebrated.” Accordingly, if the marriage is legal under the law of the state where the marriage was performed or “celebrated,” the same-sex marriage is legal for purposes of the FMLA regardless of state law where the employee lives.

On Friday, February 20, 2014, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) unveiled its adjustments to Nursing Home Compare, a website many view as the premier tool for evaluating the nation’s nursing homes. CMS hopes the changes will cause nursing homes to make quality improvements, while critics warn that that the information is still unreliable and could confuse consumers who witness a sudden downward change in a facility’s rating. Nearly a third of the nation’s nursing homes experienced lower star ratings as a result of the changes. CMS stated that 1.4 million viewers access the website annually, with 85 percent of users reporting that they found the information they sought regarding nursing homes.

In March 2014, President Obama directed the Secretary of Labor to prepare and propose new FLSA regulations. These new rules were to be announced late last year, but have been repeatedly delayed. Now it appears the new rules will be announced later this month. While the scope of the changes is unknown, it is anticipated the changes will reduce the number of employees who qualify for exempt status.

Brian G. Flood of Husch Blackwell LLP‘s Austin office participated in a recent forum on “Managing Fraud and Bribery Risks in the Healthcare Sector.”

The Q&A Forum forms part of a Special Report on Corporate Fraud & Corruption, which appears in the February 2015 issue of Financier Worldwide magazine.

For the Q&A Forum, Financier

Several Husch Blackwell attorneys contributed to the publication of the newest American Health Lawyers Association publication, “Post-Acute Care Handbook: Regulatory, Risk, and Compliance Issues.” The handbook extensively addresses the issues affecting the industry.

Husch Blackwell attorney Emily Park served as a chapter editor, and Jim Miles and Barb Miltenberger served as editors.