North America

Augmented Reality Leapfrogs Its Virtual Cousin, but Will Legal Questions Slow Its Momentum?

Flip back through articles, columns, tweets and other prognostications from marketing pundits over the past decade plus, and you’ll see a common theme: it’s going to be a big year for virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).

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An Update on DOJ’s Health Care Fraud Enforcement Efforts Targeting the Opioid Crisis

While the opioid crisis has inspired a wave of new legislation by Congress, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has continued to increase its own response to the prevalent rate of opioid-related drug crimes with a number of new initiatives.

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Howard & Howard’s Alex Leonowicz Named to Michigan Lawyers Weekly ‘Up & Coming Lawyers’ Class of 2018

Royal Oak, Michigan, November 6, 2018: Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC is pleased to announce that Alex Leonowicz has been named to Michigan Lawyers Weekly ‘Up & Coming­­ Lawyers Class of 2018. The 30 Honorees were selected by a committee based on criteria including those who have established a name for themselves in the legal community, go above and beyond, and display the ambition, drive, determination and accomplishments that set them apart among their peers — in their first 10 or fewer years of practice.

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CMS Expands ASC Services

On November 2, 2018 CMS announced the finalization of the 2019 OPPS and ASC payment rules which were initially proposed in July of 2018.[1] [2] While the final document will not be officially published until November 21st, an Inspection Copy is available for the public to review on the Federal Register website. These new payment rules in many ways expand the range of services that CMS will reimburse when performed at Ambulatory Surgical Centers (ASCs), most notably, by including certain cardiac catheterization procedures on the approved list, and by lowering the threshold that determines allowable device intensive procedures.

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Massachusetts Employers Must Complete New Health Insurance Responsibility Disclosure Form by November 30

Massachusetts employers with six or more employees are required to annually submit the new Health Insurance Responsibility Disclosure (“HIRD”) form, regardless of whether they offer health insurance to their employees or not. The Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR) recently issued guidance on the new HIRD reporting requirements. An individual is considered to be an employee if the employer has included such individual in the quarterly wage report to the Department of Unemployment Assistance during the past 12 months. The new HIRD form only consists of a single employer form, which only needs to be completed once annually. The old HIRD form consisted of an employer form and an employee form, which required separate forms completed and signed by each employee who declined to enroll in employer-sponsored insurance (“ESI”) or the Employer’s Section 125 Cafeteria Plan to pay for health insurance.

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U.S. News – Best Lawyers® Names Shutts & Bowen to Best Law Firms List

U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers, for the ninth consecutive year, collaboratively announced the release of the “Best Law Firms” rankings. Shutts & Bowen was named to the 2019 list.

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The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act: Expanding Medicare Coverage of Telehealth Services to Combat the Opioid Crisis

The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act (“the Act” or “the SUPPORT Act”), signed into law by President Trump on October 24, 2018, is intended to combat the growing opioid crisis in the United States. The Act aims at preventing opioid addiction and misuse and enhancing access to care for those who have substance use disorders.

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The SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act: President Trump Signs Sweeping Opioid Law

On October 24, 2018, President Trump signed sweeping bipartisan legislation to combat the opioid epidemic. The Substance Use–Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act, or the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act (“H.R. 6” or “the Law”), aims to “reduce access to the supply of opioids by expanding access to prevention, treatment, and recovery services.”[1] Congress has already appropriated $8.5 billion to implement this “landmark legislation” in 2018 and 2019.

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NYC Issues FAQs on New Sexual Harassment Training Requirements

Pursuant to its mandate to implement the new anti-sexual harassment training requirements under the Stop Sexual Harassment Act (the “Act”), the New York City Commission on Human Rights (“Commission”) just released FAQs clarifying various aspects of the Act’s training mandates. Most notably, the FAQs address how an employer should determine whether it is covered by the training requirement, as well as a covered employer’s obligations with regard to training independent contractors. The training mandate becomes effective on April 1, 2019.

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Howard & Howard Expands Intellectual Property Practice

Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC is pleased to announce that David L. Coppiellie has joined the firm. He will practice out of the firm’s Royal Oak office.

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