Monthly Archives: April 2011

Paul Starkman article on expansion of employer liability by Supreme Court appears in recent edition of Inside Counsel

Arnstein & Lehr attorney Paul E. Starkman

Paul E. Starkman

Arnstein & Lehr Chicago Partner Paul Starkman‘s article “Labor: U.S. Supreme Court Expands Employer Liability in Recent Decisions,” appeared in the April 18 edition of InsideCounsel. The article addresses two recent decisions by the Supreme Court (Staub v. Proctor Hospital and Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp.) that expanded employer liability for workplace discrimination and retaliation against employees.

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Attestation for EHR Incentive Programs Available

Earlier this month, CMS launched the attestation portion of the EHR Incentive Payment Program.  Beginning on April 18th, eligible professionals and hospitals are now able to attest to meaningful use (or adopt, implement or upgrade for Medicaid).  Along with the attestation itself, CMS launched its Meaningful Use Attestation Calculator, a wizard which walks eligible professionals and hospitals […]

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Andrej Rudanov made presentations at the conferences of the Geriatrics Clinic of the Medical Academy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, held in Vilnius and Kaunas

Associate of TARK GRUNTE SUTKIENE Andrej Rudanov made presentations at the conferences Urgent Dementia Issues organised by the Geriatrics Clinic of the Medical Academy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, on 14 and 20 April 2011 in Kaunas and Vilnius respectively. The presentations focused on legal aspects of dementia, legal protection of patients suffering from dementia, changes in protection of patients in different disease staged. The problem becomes even more urgent: the scientists forecast that in 2050 more than 100 million people around the world will suffer from Alzheimer’s disease as a form of dementia.

For several years, Andrej Rudanov cares for legal issues arising in geriatrics, provides consultations to health care specialists and shares his knowledge in conferences.

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United States Supreme Court enforces class action waiver in arbitration agreement

In a move that could have a significant impact for employers, the United States Supreme Court recently upheld a so-called class action waiver provision in an agreement to arbitrate.  Although the decision occurred in the context of a consumer contract, the implications are likely to be far more wide-ranging.  In particular, employers that require employees to agree to otherwise enforceable arbitration clauses are likely to have those clauses upheld and enforced even if they include a bar to classwide arbitration.

In AT&T Mobility, LLC v. Concepcion, AT&T offered a free phone to anyone who signed up for itsThumbnail image for Cellphone-CourtesyOf_www.adigitaldreamer.com.jpg cell phone service.  The contract between AT&T and cell phone service purchasers included a mandatory arbitration clause that barred classwide arbitrations.  Dissatisfied with the fact that AT&T charged sales tax on the “free” phone, cell phone service purchaser Vincent Concepcion joined a purported class action law suit in a California Federal District Court.  AT&T moved to compel one-on-one arbitration under the sales contract.  Both the District Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals refused to do so.  The lower courts relied on a California state court decision that held that class arbitration waivers in consumer contracts were unconscionable and, therefore, rendered the arbitration clause unenforceable.

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15 Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs

Here is an interesting article and assessment of at least 15 women entrepreneurs: “15 Female Entrepreneurs Who Are Incredibly Inspiring.” Indeed, the article has an eclectic grouping of women. However, we are sure our readers might know at least 15 who have not made this list!

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CMS Announces State Demonstration Project Initiative for Dual Eligibles: Is Your State on the List?

by Lynn Shapiro Snyder and Amy F. Lerman

On April 14, 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced several initiatives that will offer states more flexibility to adopt innovative new practices in order to provide better and more coordinated care for Medicare and Medicaid enrollees who are dually eligible under both of these programs. Under one of these initiatives, 15 states have been awarded $1 million contracts to support the design of state demonstration projects that will aim to improve the coordination of care for dual eligibles. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”), through its newly formed Federal Coordinated Health Care Office, will evaluate the projects proposed by the 15 states. CMS hopes to implement the top strategies as soon as 2012. Providers and payors in selected states who currently treat a significant number of dual eligibles may want to contact their agency representatives to help influence the way in which their state intends to pursue this demonstration project initiative.

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State Rep. Jim Durkin joins Arnstein & Lehr’s Chicago office

Arnstein & Lehr attorney James Durkin

James B. Durkin

Arnstein & Lehr LLP is pleased to announce that State Rep. Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) has joined our Chicago office as a partner in the Governmental & Municipal Affairs practice group. Prior to joining Arnstein & Lehr, Mr. Durkin was senior counsel at Ice Miller LLP.

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Housekeepers Use OSHA as a Weapon Against Hospitality Employers

By: Jay P. Krupin, Kara M. Maciel, Eric J. Conn

As we reported in our blog post in November of 2010, hotel housekeepers across the nation launched a concerted program of filing complaints with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) alleging a range of ergonomic and chemical exposure injuries sustained on the job. Government regulators and legislators are now taking action in response to these complaints. We have attached a series of articles discussing the nature of the complaints and the government’s response to them.

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HEALTH REFORM: CMS Announces State Demonstration Project Initiative for Dual Eligibles: Is Your State on the List?

On April 14, 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced several initiatives that will offer states more flexibility to adopt innovative new practices in order to provide better and more coordinated care for Medicare and Medicaid enrollees who are dually eligible under both of these programs.[1] Under one of these initiatives, 15 states have been awarded contracts to support the design of demonstration projects that will aim to improve the coordination of care for people with Medicare and Medicaid coverage (collectively, the “Selected States”). Although these demonstration projects, if implemented, will be separate from the recently proposed federal rules on accountable care organizations (“ACOs”), providers and payors considering ACO initiatives may want to take these demonstration projects into account because the Medicare Shared Savings Program could include dual eligibles. Also, providers and payors in selected states who currently treat a significant number of dual eligibles may want to contact their agency representatives to help influence the way in which their state intends to pursue this demonstration project initiative.

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Don’t Touch That Phone–It May Cost You! California Applies Different Rules for "On Call" Time

A client recently asked us to provide them with a summary of the California rules for paying non-exempt employees for “on-call” time.  Our client requires non-exempt IT employees to carry cell phone and/or pagers after hours and on weekends so they can respond to requests for assistance and emergencies at the facility which operates on a 24/7 basis.  The employees are required to respond to a call or page within 10-15 minutes and to be available to go to the facility immediately if necessary.  The questions presented were: 1) whether these employees should be paid for the time spent carrying the cell phone or pager and 2) is there a minimum amount of pay the employees must receive if they are required to report to the facility.  We thought that it would be helpful to share our thoughts here. 

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