The typical set of protections or awards featured in a familiar array of whistleblower statutes has a new entrant with the imposition of mandated reporting in the Elder Justice Act section of the recently enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”). In a notable departure from other laws, the Elder Justice Act provides that every individual employed by or associated with a long-term care facility as an owner, operator, agent or contractor has an independent obligation to report a “reasonable suspicion” of a crime affecting residents or recipients of care. Reports must be made directly to both the Secretary of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) and one or more law enforcement entities in as little as two hours following the formation of the reasonable suspicion.
Although limited to reports of crimes against residents and recipients of services of long-term care facilities, the mandate of the Elder Justice Act sets a new standard of conduct – and backs it up with stiff penalties affecting long-term care facilities and those associated with them.
CMS Issues Proposed Regulations Concerning Disclosure Requirements for Certain Imaging Services Under the Stark Law’s In-Office Ancillary Services Exception
On June 25, 2010, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued theProposed Policies Under the Physician Fee Schedule and Other Revisions to Part B for CY 2011 (the “Proposed Rule”). Significantly, among its revisions are the proposed regulations implementing Section 6003 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”) concerning the physician self-referral provisions of Section 1877 of the Social Security Act, commonly known as the “Stark Law.” Specifically, the Proposed Rule outlines a proposed disclosure requirement for certain imaging services (the “Disclosure Requirement”) provided under the umbrella of the In-Office Ancillary Services Exception to the Stark Law. Suppliers and providers of imaging services should consider submitting comments on the Proposed Rule to CMS in either the specified areas requested by CMS or the other areas of concern related to this topic. The deadline to submit such comments is August 24, 2010. Also, as indicated in the Proposed Rule, the Disclosure Requirement will take effect on January 1, 2011—one year later than the potentially retroactive effective date of January 1, 2010, specified in PPACA.
DAVIS MALM ATTORNEY SAMUEL B. MOSKOWITZ APPOINTED CHAIR OF THE EQUAL JUSTICE COALITION OF MASSACHUSETTS
For more information contact: Jeanie Griggs
(617) 589-3895; email@example.com
Davis Malm attorney Samuel B. (Sandy) Moskowitz has been appointed Chair of the Equal Justice Coalition of Massachusetts. The EJC is a collaboration created by the Massachusetts Bar Association, Boston Bar Association, and the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation committed to ensuring that low-income people in Massachusetts have access to the courts when they have a civil (non-criminal) legal problem. Every year, the EJC organizes the very successful “Walk to the Hill” to lobby the Massachusetts legislature for legal aid. For more information about the EJC, please visit www.equaljusticecoalition.org.
A new wave of whistleblower monetary awards and protections will come to the financial services industry once the Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010 (RAFSA) is enacted. With final resolution of differences between House and Senate versions accomplished, both houses of Congress now will consider the conference committee bill.
Bloomberg legal analyst Spencer Mazyck has been following whistleblowing changes we are likely to see with the anticipated enactment of RAFSA. Spencer explored with me some contours and ramifications of the pending legislation during 20-minute Bloomberg podcast.
Employees can use FMLA protected leave for the placement of a child or to care for a child for whom they have no legal and/or biological relationship and for whom they provide no financial support. Think stepparents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, or any adult who has assumed the responsibilities of a parent for a child.
The Court’s opinion, written by Justice Kennedy, decided not to decide “the whole concept of privacy expectations in communications made on electronic equipment owwned by a government employer.” Instead the Court decided the case applying basic Fourth Amendment principles, and decided that regardless of the employee’s privacy expectations, the search here was reasonable on settled Fourth Amendment grounds.
The U.S. Department of Labor recently issued a new interpretation of donning and doffing requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act, bringing the Department’s interpretation in line with recent court decisions. The issue is whether employees should be paid for putting on and taking off clothing before and after work.
The new Commercial Societies and Individual Enterprises of Limited Responsibilities General Law (Law No. 479-08), substitutes and derogates the Third Title in the Commercial Code that is in effect, that includes the articles 18 to the 64 regarding the Commercial Societies.