Monthly Archives: May 2012

Health FSAs-Plan for the $2500 Cap

Cafeteria plans which provide a health flexible spending arrangement (FSA) allow participants to make pre-tax salary contributions to an account in order to receive reimbursements to pay for medical expenses that are not reimbursed through insurance or another arrangement (e.g., co pays, deductibles, eyeglasses).  Prior to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, sponsors of these plans could set an annual limit for contributions to health FSAs per plan terms.  Sponsors typically established such limits by taking into consideration the uniform coverage rule which requires that if a participant elected the maximum amount permitted and incurred a reimbursable claim early in the year, the claim would need to be paid even if the full salary reductions up to that limit had not yet been made.  Effective for cafeteria plan years beginning after 2012, the Affordable Care Act requires that health FSAs limit employee salary reduction contributions to $2500 per plan year (to be indexed for cost of living adjustments).  Cafeteria plans must be amended to reflect this new limit (or a lower limit) before December 31, 2014 but must operate in compliance with these changes in the law for plan years beginning after December 31, 2012.  The limit does not apply to certain employer flex credits, health savings accounts, health reimbursement arrangements or contributions used to pay the employee share of health premiums.

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Addressing Potential FCPA Risks in the Pharma and Life Sciences Industries

Navigant cordially invites you to join our Navigant Exchange roundtable discussion with guest speaker Stuart M. Gerson Esq., former Acting Attorney General of the United States, on the risks and challenges associated with Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in the Pharmaceutical and Life Sciences industries.

Today, the Pharma and Life Sciences industries face unique challenges in meeting FCPA compliance. In industries which are highly regulated and, in many cases, operated by government entities, companies are looking to Congress and regulatory agencies for additional guidance on the FCPA.  More…

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SMORS – They’re Not Just for Campfires Anymore

I’ve been so excited that the LMA has formed a NJ city group of the NY chapter, and it’s been wonderful to connect in person with other legal marketing colleagues outside of the Annual Conference. Last night, we met up again to re-cap the LMA conference for those in the group that hadn’t been able to attend.  I added my experiences, but was able to learn a lot from Wilentz’s Amy Adams and Corcoran Consulting Group’s Tim Corcoran, who shared about sessions that I had missed. 

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Protecting Health Information from Hackers – Comments by Robert Hudock

Robert Hudock, a Member of the Firm in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice at Epstein Becker Green, was quoted in an article titled “10 Steps for Thwarting EHR Hackers.

Following is an excerpt:

It’s bad enough that the number of security breaches of patient protected health information appears to be skyrocketing. But it feels downright creepy when the breach is at the hands of a hacker, as was the recent attack by Eastern European hackers that breached almost 800,000 Medicaid recipients in Utah.

And while a lot of hackers are attacking EHRs to steal the information within them for personal gain, many of them do it just for the fun of it, attorney Robert Hudock, with Epstein Becker Green in Washington, D.C., said in an exclusive interview with FierceEMR. “It’s very easy to scan for vulnerability and execute an exploit. People are curious,” he said.

Read the article on FierceEMR

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Radical proposals to improve road safety in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland Environment Minister, Alex Attwood, has proposed radical changes in driver training and new driver safety. The new measures which reflect best practice around the world, are a fundamental shift towards safer driving among young people.

The Minister’s plans include:

  • lower provisional licence age of 16½;
  • a mandatory minimum learning period of 12 months for provisional licence holders;
  • post test period will be two not one year;
  • removal of the 45 mph speed restriction currently applied to learner and restricted drivers;
  • learner drivers will be allowed to take lessons on motorways when accompanied by a fully qualified Approved Driving Instructor in a dual-controlled car;
  • and in a new initiative, new drivers up to age 24 will not be allowed to carry young passengers (aged 14 to 20, except immediate family members) during their first six months post-test, unless there is a supervising driver over 21, with three years full licence in the passenger seat.
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Preparing for Non-Compete Litigation

We are pleased to announce that “Preparing for Non-Compete Litigation,” a guide published by The Practical Law Company and authored by EpsteinBeckerGreen’s Peter A. Steinmeyer and Zachary C. Jackson, is now available in PDF format. The guide is a valuable discussion of the primary considerations for employers seeking to initiate legal action to enforce a non-compete agreement.

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Employment and Safety Update May 2012

A cautionary tale of quick decision and bad temper – avoiding adverse action claims

Small Business Fair Dismissal Code – summary dismissal for out of hours conduct impacting on work

Social media: What goes on tour … goes on You Tube

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A cautionary tale of quick decision and bad temper – avoiding adverse action claims

John-Anthony Hodgens, Partner and Alanna Fitzpatrick, Senior Associate of Gadens Lawyers Brisbane.

Background

A quick decision to suspend all international postings of licensed aircraft engineers and a short-tempered phone-call has resulted in a costly adverse action claim for Qantas. More…

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Far-Reaching Impact of the First Judicial Interpretation on Antitrust Civil Litigations 2012-5-31 11:14:55

Being the first interpretation on antitrust litigations issued by the Supreme People’s Court, the Judicial Interpretation lays the foundations of the antitrust litigation legal framework in China. The Judicial Interpretation provides guidance to the courts’ precise application of the Anti-Monopoly Law, the undertakings’ compliance and avoidance of the legal risks in their business operation, or consumers’ initiation of antitrust litigations. The Judicial Interpretation has relieved the burden of proof for the plaintiff of antitrust litigations while relatively increased the burden of proof for the defendant. This may change the landscape of the antitrust civil litigation in China. More…

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Eight attorneys at McDonald Hopkins law firm named Michigan Super Lawywers and Rising Stars

Detroit, Michigan (May 31, 2012) – Six attorneys at McDonald Hopkins have been named to the Michigan Super Lawyers list as among the top attorneys in Michigan for 2012 and two of the firm’s attorneys have been named to the Michigan Rising Stars list as among the top up-and-coming attorneys in the state.

Michigan Super Lawyers:

John E. Benko, Member, Litigation Department
Benko has extensive experience in complex commercial litigation and contract litigation specializing in the automotive and construction industries. 

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HEALTH REFORM: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute Begins Process to Fund Clinical Effectiveness Research Grants

On May 22, 2012, the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (“PCORI”),[1] a private nonprofit entity established by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, announced that it will be seeking applications to fund an initial $96 million in grants for innovative research projects in clinical effectiveness research.[2] These grants will be awarded in four areas recently identified in PCORI’s National Priorities Research Agenda:[3]

  • Assessment of Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment Options – This area includes comparisons related to the effectiveness and safety of alternative health care services in order to determine which alternatives work best for people with a particular health problem.[4]
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