Author: Jacob Hunt

Department of Labor Rule Would Allow Small Business Health Plans

Department of Labor Rule Would Allow Small Business Health Plans On June 19, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) published a final rule on association health plans, which relaxes the requirements for small businesses and the self-employed to join together in creating healthcare plans capable of sidestepping certain requirements of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”).  In a move that has been largely lauded by Republicans and criticized by Democrats, the Trump Administration cites the new final rule as working towards fulfilling a campaign pledge of lowering insurance costs. In stressing what was ultimately the main purpose of the ACA,...

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U.S. Fight Against Opioids Rages On

U.S. Fight Against Opioids Rages On During the week of June 15th of this year alone, the U.S. House of Representatives passed 25 bills aimed at combatting the country’s opioid epidemic, a crisis that continues to spread. Within the fairly wide-ranging catalog of bills, most seek to positively impact the epidemic through treatment and recovery, prevention, and the dissemination of information. Among the bills currently making the most headlines are H.R. 3331, H.R. 5002, H.R. 5176 and H.R. 4275. H.R. 3331 is a bill that would promote the testing of incentive payments for behavioral health providers to adopt and...

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Supreme Court Sides With Employer On Arbitration Clause Case

Supreme Court Sides With Employer On Arbitration Clause Case In a decision with potentially huge implications, the Supreme Court ruled on May 21, 2018 that companies can prohibit employees from using class-action litigation to resolve workplace disputes. In a 5-4 decision on three consolidated cases, the Court found that employers can include clauses in employment agreements that require the employees to use individual arbitration to resolve disputes. In one of the three consolidated cases, an employee of Epic, an electronic health record vendor, alleged on behalf of a group of employees that Epic had wrongfully denied them overtime pay....

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Aetna Whistleblower Put On Leave

Aetna Whistleblower Put On Leave A whistleblower employed by Aetna, an American managed health care company, was placed on paid administrative leave recently after a lawsuit filed by the whistleblower in federal court was unsealed.  In that suit, filed in 2014, the whistleblower accused CVS Caremark, one of the nation’s largest prescription benefit management (“PBM”) companies, of overcharging Medicaid and Medicare customers with high prescription drug costs, in violation of the Federal Claims Act.  The move comes at an awkward time for both companies involved, as CVS Health, of which CVS Caremark is a subsidiary, is pursuing the acquisition...

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Indiana Hospital System Hit By Ransomware

Indiana Hospital System Hit By Ransomware Hancock Health (“Hancock”), a health system in Indiana, was hit by a ransomware attack in January of this year that prevented Hancock from accessing its own information systems. On the night of the attack, Hancock IT staff noticed their system performance slowing before the system’s computer screens began showing a message stating that they had been hacked and demanding payment in Bitcoin to receive the needed decryption keys from the hackers. Luckily, Hancock had effective and up-to-date disaster response and recovery policies and procedures in place. Upon notice of the attack, Hancock implemented...

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