- CMS recently abandoned its appeal in the Fifth Circuit attempting to overturn a District Court’s decision to block CMS’s ban on mandatory nursing home arbitration. For more information on the case, see, American Health Care Association et al. v. Price et al., case number 17-60005 in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and case number 3:16-cv-00233 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi.
- The Florida Supreme Court recently ruled to strike down a state law that capped noneconomic damages in medical malpractice personal injury suits at $1 million, finding that the law violates the equal protection clause of the Florida Constitution. For more information on the case, see, North Broward Hospital District et al. v. Kalitan, case number SC15-1858, in the Supreme Court of the State of Florida.
- The Sixth Circuit recently affirmed a lower court’s decision that eight Kentucky-based hospitals are not entitled to a larger tax reimbursement for the services they had provided to uninsured patients living under the poverty line. The hospitals argued that the Department of Health and Human Services violated Medicare statutes in 2009 when it stopped fully reimbursing the “KP-tax.” The Sixth Circuit, while sympathetic to the fact that hospitals are now bearing 55% of the cost of indigent patients, could not find statutory or legal support for their argument that they should be fully reimbursed. For more information, see, Breckinridge Health Inc. et al. v. HHS, case number 16-6269, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
- A Florida federal judge recently rejected a False Claims Act suit that alleged that AIDS Healthcare Foundation Inc. paid kickbacks to employees for referring patients to HIV/AIDS services at the nonprofit’s facilities. The Court found that the Anti-Kickback Statute did not prevent the bonus payments because the payments are exempt under the employee safe-harbor provision. For more information, see, U.S. ex rel. Carrel et al. v. AIDS Healthcare Foundation Inc., case number 0:14-cv-61301, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
- A Pennsylvania federal judge dismissed with leave to amend a False Claims Act brought against Medtronic, alleging that Medtronic offered surgical support and other free services as kickbacks to physicians and hospitals in order to woo them into buying Medtronic’s medical implants. Specifically, the Court stated that federal law allows parties, such as Medtronic, to provide support services that are specifically tied to support of the purchased product. For more information, see, United States of America et al. v. Medtronic Inc., case number 5:15-cv-06264, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
- A Georgia Appellate Division Court recently affirmed a lower court’s decision rejecting a nursing home operator’s attempts to arbitrate a wrongful death suit brought by the daughter of a late patient, because the decedent had not herself signed the arbitration agreement. This decision was largely premised on the fact that a daughter without power of attorney over her mother had signed the arbitration agreement and there was no evidence whatsoever of the decedent’s consent. For more information on the suit, see, United Health Services of Georgia Inc. et al. v. Alexander et al., case number A17A0335, in the Court of Appeals of Georgia, Fifth Division.
The list above does not include every proposed or adopted legislation, litigation or guidance document that may impact the health care industry. Instead, it includes only a select few chosen by the authors, and any information in this Update is not intended to provide legal advice. If you are concerned that a proposed or adopted legislation, litigation or guidance document may impact your practice, then you should seek legal advice. Nothing in this Update should be relied upon as legal advice in any particular matter. © 2017 Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland & Perretti LLP.
If you have any questions about the issues discussed in this Update, please contact the following Riker Danzig attorneys:
Glenn A. Clark, Partner
Khaled John Klele, Partner
Stephen M. Turner, Associate