Tag Archives: health law

Emergency Rulemaking Amends Single-Bed Certification Rules

On September 18, 2014, the Washington Department of Social and Health Services (“DSHS”) amended its rules regarding single bed certifications for psychiatric patients, publicized in this  Rule Making Order.  The new rules were issued in response to the recent Washington State Supreme Court decision regarding psychiatric boarding which declared the use of single bed certifications […]

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Washington Earns “F”s on its Telemedicine Report Card

On September 9, 2014, the American Telemedicine Association issued two reports in which it graded all fifty states on telemedicine gaps in coverage and reimbursement and  physician practice standards and licensure.  Not surprisingly, in the area of telemedicine parity Washington received predominantly failing grades.  Washington fared better in the area of Medicaid coverage and conditions […]

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Employees & Social Media Use

In the Three D, LLC d/b/a Triple Play Sports Bar and Grille decision issued on August 22, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled against a non-union restaurant based on management terminating employees as the result of the employees’ Facebook postings.  The decision illustrates why both unionized and non-union employers need to be aware of […]

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BAAs and Beyond: Meeting the 9-22 HIPAA Deadline

Reprinted blog post from DocuSign. Interview between Jennifer Royer of DocuSign and Dave Schoolcraft. In under two weeks, Covered Entities and Business Associates are required to complete renewed Business Associate Agreements (BAA) to comply with more stringent HIPAA regulations for BAAs that were in place prior to January 2013. We sat down with Dave Schoolcraft, who leads […]

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Large Data Breach Highlights Risks from Foreign Hackers

Community Hospital Systems (CHS) has announced that the personal information of approximately 4.5 million patients has been breached.  According to CHS, the information includes patient names, addresses, social security numbers, telephone numbers, and birthdates. Although the breached records do not contain the details of the patients’ treatment at CHS’ hospitals, the identifying information in the […]

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1st Circuit Court of Appeals Upholds Tax Refund In False Claims Act Case

The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit upheld the district court’s decision allowing Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc. (f/k/a National Medical Care, Inc.) to deduct $95 Million from a $385 Million dollar civil settlement under the False Claims Act (“FCA”).  Accordingly, the First Circuit affirmed the district court’s tax refund judgment in […]

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Washington Supreme Court Bans “Psychiatric Boarding”

On August 7, 2014, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled that “psychiatric boarding” under Washington’s Involuntary Treatment Act (“ITA”) is unlawful. “Psychiatric boarding” is a term used to describe the practice of leaving mentally ill patients in hospital emergency rooms because there is no space at certified evaluation and treatment facilities.  Certified evaluation and treatment […]

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Surviving A Motion to Dismiss False Claims Act Suit

A federal district court recently denied defendant’s motion to dismiss a false claims act lawsuit, concluding that the realtor had alleged a sufficiently detailed factual basis for the claims and provided representative examples of the alleged false claims.  The complaint, filed by a nurse anesthesiologist, alleged that the defendant had violated (and was continuing to […]

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Delay in Return of Overpayments Leads to False Claims Act Suit

The generally accepted wisdom is to move expeditiously to investigate and return federal health care program overpayments once you become aware of them.  Now we know the potential downside of failing to do so even when all overpayments are eventually returned. Late last month the United States Attorney’s Office filed a false claims act complaint […]

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WA Certificate of Need Waiver for Psych Beds

The Washington Certificate of Need (“CN”) Program recently announced a temporary change in the CN requirements for acute care hospitals to change the use of existing licensed beds to psychiatric care beds.  Acute care hospitals choosing to convert some of their acute care beds to psychiatric beds will not have to undergo the CN review process. […]

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