Tag Archives: EBG

Special Immigration Alert: December 3, 2010, H-1B Cap Count

As of December 3, 2010, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (“USCIS”) has confirmed the filing of approximately 51,200 H-1B cap-subject petitions for fiscal year 2011. USCIS also reported the filing of approximately 18,700 of the additional 20,000 H-1B cases reserved for holders of advanced U.S. degrees. This leaves room for approximately 13,800 new H-1B approvals under the 2011 “Regular” cap quota, and 1,300 H-1B approvals under the 2011 “Masters” cap quota.

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Immigration Alert: November 2010

ICE Assesses $1 Million Fine Against Abercrombie & Fitch After Form I-9 Audit

DOJ Settles Allegations of Immigration-Related Employment Discrimination Against Hoover Inc.

DOJ Issues Instructions for “No Match” Letters

DOL Discontinues Form I-9 Inspections During OFCCP Reviews

EEOC Commissioner Calls for Close Scrutiny of English-Only Employment Requirements

Missouri Man Convicted in Scheme to Place Undocumented Workers in Hotels

Fourth Circuit Court Approves Probation Term Barring Participant in H-2B Visa Scheme from HR Work

President of Furniture Company Is Indicted for Employing Illegal Workers

E-Verify to Include U.S. Passport Photo-Matching Capability

November 12, 2010, H-1B Cap Count

Record Numbers Apply for 2011 Diversity Lottery

DOS Issues December 2010 Visa Bulletin

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2011 Home Health Prospective Payment System Final Rule: CMS Clarifies Change of Ownership Provisions and Implements New Legislative Requirements

On November 17, 2010, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS“) published the 2011 Home Health Prospective Payment System (“2011 HH PPS“) final rule.[1] A number of significant issues are addressed in this rule and are effective January 1, 2011. Specifically, the 2011 HH PPS final rule addresses: (1) the rules regarding a change in ownership within 36 months after the effective date of a home health agency’s (“HHA‘s”) initial enrollment or within 36 months following the HHA’s most recent change in majority ownership; (2) new legislative requirements regarding face-to-face encounters with providers related to home health and hospice care; (3) a 3.79 percent reduction to rates for calendar year (“CY“) 2011; and (4) the national standardized 60-day episode rates, the national per-visit rates, the non-routine medical supply (“NRS“) conversion factors, and the low utilization payment amount add-on payments. This Client Alert will provide an overview of these changes.

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Recent Developments in the Federal Prescription Drug Pricing Programs

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) recently issued several program guidances and announcements related to two federal prescription drug pricing programs: (1) the Section 340B Discount Drug Program (“340B Program”), administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (“HRSA”); and (2) the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program (“MDRP”), administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”). We have set forth below an overview of these recent developments.

I. 340B Program: Two Advance Notices of Proposed Rulemaking: Public Comments Sought

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Immigration Alert: October 2010

October 2010

I.  Large Health Care Organization Pays $257,000 in Civil Penalties to Settle Citizenship Discrimination Claims

II.  U.S. Department of Labor Issues Proposed Rule on H-2B Wage Rates

III.  Fifth Circuit Rules that Hotel Workers on H-2B Visas Are Not Entitled to Recoup Visa Expenses Under FLSA

IV.  Court Strikes New York State Bar to Nonimmigrants Seeking Pharmacist License

V.  October 15, 2010, H-1B Cap Count

VI.  Reminder: 2012 Diversity Visa Lottery Ends on November 3, 2010

VII.  DOS Issues November 2010 Visa Bulletin

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Massachusetts Division of Insurance Rate Disapprovals Show Mixed Results; Implications for National Health Reform

As we await federal medical loss ratio (“MLR”) standards and federal rulemaking by the Secretary of the US Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) related to new federal reporting obligations by health insurance issuers of “unreasonable premium increases,” it is helpful to consider recent health insurance premium rating activities and challenges in Massachusetts. In summary, on April 1, 2010, the Massachusetts Division of Insurance (“Division”) disapproved all premium rate increases filed by health insurance carriers for small business and individual customers that exceeded 7.7 percent – which was 150 percent of the New England Medical CPI for 2009. The affected health insurance carriers filed administrative appeals of the Division’s disapprovals of their premium rates. All of these administrative appeals have now been resolved, with mixed results. This client alert summarizes the Massachusetts rate disapproval proceedings and resolutions, the new Massachusetts rate filing legislation, and the implications of the Massachusetts experience for national health reform.[1]

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Special Immigration Alert: 2012 Diversity Visa Lottery Begins on October 5, 2010, and Ends on November 3, 2010!

The Department of State (DOS) announced on September 23, 2010, the opening of the registration period for the DV-2012 Diversity Visa lottery. Entries for the DV-2012 lottery must be submitted electronically between 12:00 p.m. EDT (GMT-4) on Tuesday, October 5, 2010, and 12:00 p.m. EST (GMT-5) on Wednesday, November 3, 2010. It is strongly recommended that applicants not wait until the last week of this registration period to enter because heavy demands could result in website delays. No entries will be accepted after 12:00 p.m. EST on November 3, 2010. During the registration period, information, instructions and the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form for the DV-2012 lottery will appear at www.dvlottery.state.gov.

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FDA Accepting Comments on Proposed Program to Integrate FDA Premarket Approval and CMS Coverage Decision-Making Process

On September 17, 2010, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) issued a notice in the Federal Register requesting public comment on a proposed new program referred to as “parallel review” (“Comment Request”).[1] This program would give drug and device sponsors the option of receiving an FDA premarket evaluation and a Medicare National Coverage Determination at the same time. By reducing the waiting times associated with CMS and FDA product evaluations and decreasing the likelihood that product sponsors will have to conduct separate clinical studies for each agency, CMS and FDA believe that parallel review will hasten consumer access to new innovative products and minimize the burden that FDA reviews and Medicare National Coverage Determinations impose on drug and device sponsors. These changes will not only affect parties who are interested in drug and device innovation, but providers, payers, and health care consumers as well.

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Immigration Alert: September 2010

Chichoni Convinces Federal Court to Dismiss Florida University Professor’s Immigration Claims of Forced Labor

ICE Reports Record Worksite Enforcement Activity

Kentucky Consular Center Conducts Unannounced Telephonic Contacts of Employers that Have Secured Approved Nonimmigrant Visa Petitions

Old Version of Puerto Rican Birth Certificate Not Valid for Form I-9 Verification

Third Circuit Rejects Hazelton, Pennsylvania’s Local Immigration Ordinance

Senator Menendez Announces Plan to Introduce Immigration Overhaul Legislation in Senate

DOS Expands Visa Reciprocity Schedule for China

New York’s Domestic Bill of Rights

DOS Issues October 2010 Visa Bulletin

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HEALTH REFORM: CMS Proposes to Withdraw Regulations on Average Manufacturer Price Determination, Multiple Source Drug Definition, and Medicaid Federal Upper Limits

On September 3, 2010, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”) issued a proposed rule withdrawing regulations governing the determination of “Average Manufacturer Price” (“AMP”), the definition of “Multiple Source Drug,” and the application of federal upper reimbursement limits (“FULs”) for Multiple Source Drugs (the “Proposed Rule”).[1] This withdrawal would impact the applicable regulations finalized by CMS in 2007 and 2008[2] but would leave intact other sections of the 2007 regulations, including, for example, the “Best Price” provisions and certain “definitions” (including the definition of “bona fide service fee”). Comments may be submitted to CMS until 5:00 p.m. EDT on October 4, 2010. We recommend that organizations consider commenting on the impact of the withdrawn regulations, as well as on the open items that have not been addressed under the recent “health reform” legislation.

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