May 6, 2010
On April 30, 2010, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued a memorandum to all Medicare Part D Plan Sponsors outlining its draft guidance to implement the Medicare Coverage Gap Discount Program, beginning in 2011 (“Draft CGDP Guidance”). CMS will be accepting comments on the Draft CGDP Guidance via e-mail through May 14, 2010.
The Draft CGDP Guidance seeks to implement Section 3301 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (H.R. 3590) enacted on March 23, 2010, as amended by Section 1101 of the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (H.R. 4872) enacted on March 30, 2010 (collectively, “PPACA”), otherwise known as the “Health Reform” law. The Part D Coverage Gap Discount Program and the Draft CGDP Guidance affect Part D Plans, drug manufacturers of Part D products, pharmacies, PBMs and all other companies and vendors involved in the chain of arrangements required to support the Part D program. We encourage all companies with Part D business and that contract to provide services to, or for the benefit of, Part D Plans to review the Draft CGDP Guidance and consider submitting comments to CMS by the May 14 deadline.
May 6, 2010
BC Hydro announced today that it will award electricity purchase agreements to two additional projects under its Clean Power Call. Here is the press release. Two hydro projects are still under consideration (Box Canyon and Castle Mountain).
These projects are:
Long Lake Joint Venture (a JV between Regional Power Inc. and Summit Power Group) – a 31 MW storage hydro project in Stewart, BC. Here is the Terrace Standard’s story on the project.
Pacific Greengen Power – a 45 MW run-of-river hydro project in Harrison Hot Springs, BC
May 5, 2010
The U.S. Department of Labor recently released an online guide to help employers determine which federal disability laws apply to their businesses or organizations. Called the elaws Disability Nondiscrimination Advisor, it is a series of online questions to direct the user to the appropriate laws and to provide guidance on how they are implemented. It […]
May 4, 2010
On April 21, 2010, the Council of Medical Specialty Societies (“CMSS“), a not-for-profit association of 32 member Societies[i] created to “provide an independent forum for the discussion by medical specialists of issues of national interest and mutual concern,” announced[ii] the release of the CMSS Code for Interactions with Companies(“Code“).[iii] This voluntary Code was developed by the CMSS Task Force on Professionalism and Conflicts of Interest and adopted by CMSS to “reinforce the core principles that help us maintain actual and perceived independence” and “to ensure that a Society’s transactions with Companies will be for the benefit of patients and members and for the improvement of care in our respective specialty fields.”[iv]
May 3, 2010
On April 27, 2010, a divided U.S. Supreme Court (5-3, with Sotomayor, J., recused) held that the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. §§ 1 et seq. (“FAA”), does not permit forcing unwilling parties to participate in a class arbitration to which they have not consented. This is a case of potentially great significance to entities whose contractual relationships include arbitration provisions and that generally oppose class-action treatment of cases against them—particularly employers of all kinds, but also health care providers and financial services companies, among others. Stolt-Nielsen S.A., et al. v. AnimalFeeds International Corp., No. 08-1198, 559 U.S. ____ (2010).
April 28, 2010
Today, the British Columbia government introduced the much anticipated Clean Energy Act into the BC Legislature.
Here is a copy of the first reading of the Act (Bill 17) and here is the government’s press release on the annoucement.
Finally, it is worth to check out the government’s website for the Clean Energy Act which contains some good background information on the Province’s new clean energy plan.
More analysis to come….still need to digest all of this.
April 27, 2010
By Allen B. Roberts, Douglas Weiner
While most attention in the legislative and political process leading to enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”) focused on the significant impact on the delivery of health care, employers need to be aware, also, of amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). The FLSA amendments impose certain employer responsibilities in providing health care benefits, confer whistleblower protections and authorize the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) to undertake increased enforcement related to health care.
While other features of the FLSA amendments are addressed in our client alert, “Health Care Reform Legislation Amends the Fair Labor Standards Act to Give the U.S. Department of Labor Increased Enforcement Authority over Health Care,” here is a summary of whistleblower protections: