If I Were the Secretary of Labor

By: Michael D. Thompson

ESPN broadcaster Keith Olbermann recently held a mock press conference in which he pretended to be the new Commissioner of Baseball, and explained how he would improve the game in that role.  For example, World Series games would start early enough for kids to watch them, the designated hitter would be eliminated, and Vin Scully would call all World Series games.

I’d like to do something similar.  I am pleased to inform you that, for the rest of this blog entry, let’s assume that I am the new Secretary of Labor.

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Washington Earns “F”s on its Telemedicine Report Card

On September 9, 2014, the American Telemedicine Association issued two reports in which it graded all fifty states on telemedicine gaps in coverage and reimbursement and  physician practice standards and licensure.  Not surprisingly, in the area of telemedicine parity Washington received predominantly failing grades.  Washington fared better in the area of Medicaid coverage and conditions […]

The post Washington Earns “F”s on its Telemedicine Report Card appeared first on OMW Health Law.

For more information please visit or click on the headline above.

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Kochański Zięba Rapala & Partners Law Firm provides advice to the Institute for Analysis and Rating at the WSE

The Financial & Capital Markets Department at Kochański Zięba Rapala & Partners Law Firm has been providing advice to the Institute for Analysis and Rating (Instytut Analiz i Ratingu S.A.) as of its establishment in June this year with respects to all aspects of its activity.

The purpose of the IA&R, which was established by theWarsaw Stock Exchange in Warsaw S.A., is to bridge the gap in the rating offer on the local market in the segment of small and medium-sized enterprises. IA&R’s activity is supposed to support the development of the debt market, especially debt instruments issued by mid-sized private companies. More…

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Royal Oak, Michigan, September 23, 2014:  Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC was recognized among the “Top 100 Workplaces” for 2014 by the Detroit Free Press.

The Detroit Free Press recognizes outstanding area businesses based on employee surveys. Companies are measured on several qualities such as company leadership, career opportunities, workplace flexibility, compensation and benefits. This is the 7th consecutive year for “Top Workplaces.” The chosen companies will be featured in a special section in the Sunday, November 16, 2014 issue. They will also be honored at the “Top Workplaces” Breakfast Ceremony on Wednesday, November 12, 2014. More…

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Eleven attorneys at McDonald Hopkins honored as Michigan Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Detroit, Michigan (September 23, 2014) – Nine attorneys at McDonald Hopkins have been named to the Michigan Super Lawyers list as among the top attorneys in Michigan for 2014, and two attorneys were recognized on the Michigan Rising Stars list. No more than five percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers, and no more than 2.5 percent of attorneys in the state under the age of 40 can be named to the Rising Stars list.

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When are Couples Considered “Spouses”?

In estate litigation, the Court is often asked to determine whether or not a plaintiff was the “spouse” of the deceased.  We often refer to this as the “threshold question”, because being recognized as a “spouse” typically allows the plaintiff a greater claim on the estate.  While the status of a legally married spouse is usually easier to determine, WESA and other estate related law includes in the definition of “spouse” someone who has lived with the deceased in a “marriage-like relationship” for at least two years.

“Marriage-like relationships” come in many different forms.  Our Courts are clear that there is no set one set of criteria to be met, but rather, many possible indicators.  The bottom line is that each couple’s spousal status must be reviewed in the context of their own unique facts.

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Are there new Amendments coming to the Adult Guardianship Act?

In a previous post, we discussed amendments to the Patients Property Act that will come into effect on December 1 2014.  There are  also amendments to the Adult Guardianship Act that will come into effect on that date.

The amendments will:

  • affect the manner in which the Public Guardian and Trustee is appointed to manage the financial affairs of people determined to be incapable (called “adults” under the legislation”); and
  • increase the procedural protections of adults.  There are various mechanisms by which an adult can challenge a certification that he or she is incapable.
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Update on Immigration ~ Issues for Health Care

Epstein Becker Green colleagues Robert S. Groban, Jr. and Matthew S. Groban provide an update to the health care industry in the Immigration Alert: September 2014, including an update on the Sixth Circuit Expanding the Liability of Health Care Employers for Sponsorship Costs.

Based on the Kutty decision, health care employers can expect more aggressive enforcement activity in connection with their employment of foreign nationals (“FNs”) generally and foreign medical professionals sponsored for H-1B classification and J-1 waivers of the two-year foreign residence requirement that many J-1 residents face.  For the full client alert, click here.

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Healthcare Alert: It’s official: Feds acknowledge increased criminal review of civil healthcare cases

The Justice Department’s Criminal Division recently announced that it is committing more resources and “stepping up” its review of cases filed under the civil False Claims Act for potential criminal prosecutions. The announcement formalizes the government’s recent trend to open parallel criminal investigations for qui tam whistleblower lawsuits. Last year alone, approximately 750 qui tam lawsuits were filed by whistleblowers—more than two per day. The potential impact on businesses, particularly healthcare providers with ties to the government, cannot be overstated and emphasizes the need to have effective compliance programs in place.

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Illinois Court Holds That Meal Credit Program Is Valid

Our colleague Jeffrey H. Ruzal recently wrote an article entitled “Illinois Court Holds That Meal Credit Program Is Valid,” which appears in the September 2014 issue of Hospitality Law.

Following is an excerpt:

Providing an employee meal program may be a nice gesture, but requires companies that do so to maintain proper records in case their meal plans are challenged.  An Illinois appellate court recently affirmed a circuit court’s dismissal of plaintiff restaurant worker’s class action claim that defendant restaurant employer took improper deductions from plaintiff’s wages to fund a meal credit program.

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