December 2014 Archives

Recent CMS Decision Serves as Notice to Review "Bad Debt" Collection Policies

A recent decision by a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services ("CMS") Administrator serves as a reminder to providers regarding "bad debt" collection efforts.

Medicaid Market Explodes as Primary Care Doctors Face Major Cut in Fees for Services

The market is flooded with millions of people who have new Medicaid coverage at the same time primary care physicians (PCP) who care for this population face a major cut in pay.

Health Care Premium Tax Credits Under Review by U.S. Supreme Court: Decision Could Have Far-Reaching Consequences

On November 7, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States decided to take up the issue of whether premium tax credits provided for under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are available on both state and federal health insurance exchanges. The Court will hear arguments in a case called King v. Burwell in early 2015, with a final decision by June. In King, the 4th Circuit held that the premium tax credits are available on both state and federal exchanges. In another case, Halbig v. Burwell, a three-judge panel of the Appeals Court in DC came to the opposite conclusion and determined that the credits are only available on state exchanges. The full Appeals Court in D.C. was going to review that decision but decided to cancel the arguments for now, until the Supreme Court issues a decision in King.

Companies Should Consider the Potential Importance of a Whistle-Blower Policy

Whistleblowing is the act of exposing some act of misconduct within an organization. A recent survey of multinational companies found that many companies do not do enough to encourage whistle-blowers who could help them uncover bad internal behavior. Almost half of the employees surveyed stated that their companies did not have, or did not publicize, a whistle-blower policy. For numerous reasons, companies of all sizes should consider putting in place a basic policy and process for whistle-blowing.

Health Care Employees' Safety Should be a Top Priority

If you have watched the news at all in the past months, you have heard about the risk that Ebola poses to health care workers worldwide. Health care workers in the United States have complained that they have not been properly trained to deal with an Ebola patient should one present at their medical facility. Perhaps you also saw the security camera footage, released by authorities in Maplewood, Minnesota, of a 68-year-old patient chasing and attacking several nurses at a hospital with a metal bar. Four nurses were injured in that attack, including one who suffered a collapsed lung.

Massachusetts Voters Approve New Sick Leave Law: What It Means To Your Business

Massachusetts employers would be well advised to update their written policies, employee handbooks and internal record keeping procedures to prepare for a new law that provides one of the most generous sick leave mandates in the country.

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