Monthly Archives: July 2014

WA Certificate of Need Waiver for Psych Beds

The Washington Certificate of Need (“CN”) Program recently announced a temporary change in the CN requirements for acute care hospitals to change the use of existing licensed beds to psychiatric care beds.  Acute care hospitals choosing to convert some of their acute care beds to psychiatric beds will not have to undergo the CN review process. […]

The post WA Certificate of Need Waiver for Psych Beds appeared first on OMW Health Law.

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

Read full article

Revoking a Will – Destruction of a True Copy Not Sufficient

In Morton v Christian, 2014 BCSC 1303, the British Columbia Supreme Court (the “Court”) grappled with the issue of proper revocation of a Will.  It was determined that the destruction of a true copy of a Will does not satisfy the requirements for revocation when the original is known to be safely kept elsewhere.

In 1989, Mr. Christian and Ms. Morton became romantically involved.  The couple married in Quebec sometime before 1991 and moved to British Columbia, where they lived together until separating in 2009.  Before leaving Quebec, Mr. Christian executed a notarial Will naming Ms. Morton as the sole beneficiary and executrix.

Read full article

Business Restructuring and Bankruptcy: Defending a preference action: the Ordinary Course of Business defense

What is the “ordinary course of business” defense?

The answer is not as simple as it may seem. Creditors usually believe that nothing they have done falls outside of the ordinary course of business, and the necessary question is simply whether your business dealings with the debtor changed during the 90 days prior to the debtor’s bankruptcy filing. Not surprisingly, the U.S. Bankruptcy Code requires a more complicated analysis with respect to the applicability of the ordinary course of business defense.

Read full article

McDonald Hopkins Government Strategies Advisory: This Week in Washington — July 18, 2014

Last week, President Obama asked for $3.7 billion to deal with the current border crisis. This week, House Republicans made it clear that they were not going to give the president what he asked for, and were readying their own plan for how to deal with the current situation.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) established a working group to come up with a series of policy proposals aimed at alleviating the crisis on our southern border. While still not finalized, the GOP plan will include a recommendation to dispatch the National Guard to south Texas as well as changes in U.S. law that would expedite the return of unaccompanied children who illegally cross the border.

Read full article

Healthcare Alert: Questionable laboratory billing practices lead to increased scrutiny

The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently issued findings from its study, Questionable Billing for Medicare Part B Clinical Laboratory Services,” which provides recommendations for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to prevent fraudulent billing practices.

The purpose of the study was to look into questionable billing patterns for laboratory testing because Medicare payments for Part B laboratory services were $8.2 billion in 2010. Part B laboratory services are performed by independent laboratories, laboratories in physician offices, hospital reference laboratories for outpatient services, or other institutional laboratories. In order to be “reasonable or necessary” for purposes of billing Medicare, the laboratory services must be ordered by the treating physician or qualified practitioner.

Read full article

Healthcare Alert: Deadline is fast approaching for business associate agreements to comply with HIPAA’s Omnibus Rule

Many organizations, whether business associates, covered entities, or contractors/vendors of business associates, have updated their business associate agreements to comply with the Omnibus Rule. However, many others have not. All business associate agreements must be brought into compliance with the Omnibus Rule by Sept. 23, 2014.

Whether you are a covered entity who deals with business associates or a business associate who provides services to covered entities, you should review all of your business associate arrangements to confirm that you have written business associate agreements in place that comply with the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules as updated by the Omnibus Rule. Start this process by identifying all of your business associate and contractor/vendor relationships.

Read full article

OIG’s Permissive Exclusion Criteria: Comment Before Sept. 9, 2014

The Office of the Inspector General (“OIG”) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) is soliciting comments, recommendations, and other suggestions on the non-binding criteria used by OIG in assessing whether to impose a permissive exclusion, which were first published in 1997 (  The OIG’s permissive exclusion criteria currently are organized into four general categories, including: (1) the circumstances and seriousness of the underlying misconduct; (2) the defendant’s response to the allegations or determination of wrongdoing; (3) the likelihood of a future violation; and (4) the defendant’s financial ability to provide quality health care services.  Over the last two decades, OIG has used these criteria to evaluate whether to impose a permissive exclusion or release this authority in exchange for the execution of an Integrity Agreement with OIG.

Read full article

Medicare’s Proposed Home Health Rule for 2015: Face-to-Face Encounter Documentation Requirements

Our colleagues at Epstein Becker Green released a client alert: “Medicare’s Proposed Home Health Rule for 2015: CMS Suggests Only Limited Relief to the Face-to-Face Encounter Documentation Requirements but Continued Compliance Burdens on Home Health Agencies,” by Emily E. Bajcsi and Serra J. Schlanger.

Read full article

California Employers Must Revisit Exempt Status of Commissioned Employees In Light of Supreme Court Ruling

By:  Amy Messigian

In a major blow to California employers who utilize a monthly commission scheme but pay biweekly or semimonthly salary to their commission sales employees, the California Supreme Court ruled earlier this week in Peabody v. Time Warner Cable, Inc. that a commission payment may be applied only to the pay period in which it is paid for the purposes of determining whether an employee is exempt from overtime.  Employers may not divide the commission payment across multiple pay periods in order to satisfy the minimum compensation threshold for meeting the exemption in any earlier pay period.  California employers who classify their commission sales employees as exempt should immediately take action to ensure compliance with the law.

Read full article

‘One man, two guvnors’: appointing deputies in the Court of Protection

Since February, when the President of the Family Division and the Court of Protection issued practice guidance on the publication of Court of Protection decisions, there have been many more Court of Protection cases reported in the mainstream press. 

If publication of cases raises awareness among the general public of the benefit of planning for incapacity, that alone will make it worthwhile.  Many people are still unaware of what could happen to their assets if they become incapable of managing them or what the options are in this respect.
Read full article