North America

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.

Read full article

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.

Read full article

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.

Read full article

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.

Read full article

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. 

Read full article

International Lawyers Network Welcomes New Member in New York, Davis & Gilbert LLP

New York (April 20, 2011) – On Tuesday, the International Lawyers Network announced that Davis & Gilbert LLP has joined the Network as a representative for New York. Founded more than a century ago, Davis & Gilbert LLP is a full service law firm of more than 110 lawyers based in one office in New York City that represents a broad range of clients, including numerous service sector companies whose key assets are people and their ideas. The industries in which their clients operate include such dynamic fields as marketing communications, new media, publishing, fashion, retail, hospitality and financial services. Their attorneys work with their clients on virtually every type of legal issue, including corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions, financings, tax, litigation, labor and employment, executive benefits and compensation, intellectual property, new media, real estate, tax, wealth management and estate planning.

Read full article

Public Service Announcements for Candidates for Elected Office

Read a new blog entry regarding public service announcements made by candidates for elected office.

Read full article

Diving into the Federal Issuances Implementing the Medicare Shared Savings Program: A Summary of Topic Areas On Which Government Agencies Specifically Requested Public Comments

by Ross K. Friedberg, Shawn M. Gilman, and Lesley R. Yeung

On March 31, 2011, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General, the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice, and the Internal Revenue Service released four separate issuances providing the public with the opportunity to comment on the creation of accountable care organizations eligible for participation in the voluntary Medicare Shared Savings Program (“MSSP”). This alert sets forth a listing of each of the places in which the government agencies specifically request comments from the public. Even those organizations that ultimately may decide not to participate in the MSSP should still take advantage of this unique opportunity to provide these agencies with comments and help shape the modifications being proposed to the Medicare program.

Read full article

The California Computer Professional Exemption–Are You Getting It Right?

Recently, a client asked us to outline the criteria for the computer professional exemption under the California wage and hour law. We thought that we would share our analysis with you. Given the steady increase in litigation, especially class actions, over the issue of whether an employee is “exempt” or “non-exempt” from overtime it is critical that employers determine if they are properly applying the computer professional exemption to employees who work in non-management, computer-related jobs.  Under California law, the employer bears the burden of proving that an exemption to the overtime and minimum wage rules apply—establishing exempt status is an “affirmative defense” in wage and hour litigation.  The “computer professional” exemption applies to employees who meet both of the following tests: (1) the “duties” test, and (2) the “compensation” test.

Read full article

Key Takeaways from LMA? ILN Marketers Speak – Morgan Leigh Horvitz

What was your key takeaway from the LMA Annual Conference?

Morgan: The first was to spend some time looking at our website on mobile devices, and trying to make our mobile site user-friendly and re-design it to help people who are looking for specific information while on-the-go.

Read full article