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DOJ Demonstrates Continued Focus on FCA Claims against Healthcare Entities

In 2009, Attorney General Eric Holder and Former U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius created an interagency task force, the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT), to increase coordination and optimize criminal and civil enforcement.  According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the task force yielded historic results resulting in the recovery of $12.1 billion from January 2009 through September 2013.  Of that amount, the DOJ claims it recovered more than $2 billion each year for healthcare fraud, reaching $2.6 billion in...

USCIS Policy Memo Provides Guidance on use of H-1B Petitions for Nursing Positions

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, the United States is projected to experience a nurse shortage as a generation of Americans age and the need for healthcare increases. This shortage in nurses could potentially be a problem for healthcare employers, but thanks to a new policy memorandum recently issued by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on July 11, 2014, healthcare employers may have a solution: the H1-B Petition. The H1-B visa process allows a U.S. employer to petition to hire a foreign employee to work in a specialty occupation.  “...

Supreme Court Invalidates Union Fee Requirements Imposed on Homecare Employees

On June 30, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Illinois law that required homecare providers for Medicaid recipients to pay fees to a union. In Harris v. Quinn, the Court held that compulsory union agency fees imposed on Illinois homecare workers violated the First Amendment. The Court, however, did not issue a more expansive ruling that would have overruled Abood v. Detroit Bd. of Ed., 431 U.S. 209 (1977) and affected public-sector unionization and agency fees as a whole. While the Court's decision was narrow, it has widespread implications for the home healthcare industry as many...

Massachusetts Governor Signs Compromise Health Care Staffing Bill

The Governor of Massachusetts on Monday, June 30, 2014, signed into law a bill (H 4228) that dictates nurse staffing levels in intensive care units in all the state’s hospitals. An Act for Patient Limits in All Hospital Intensive Care Units will require a one- or two-patient-per-nurse ratio in intensive care units depending on the stability of the patient “as assessed by the acuity tool and by the staff nurses in the unit, including the nurse manager or the nurse manager’s designee when needed to resolve a disagreement.”  According to the text of the bill,...

Another Federal Court Decertifies FLSA Collective Action in Automatic Meal Break Deduction Case

A federal judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York recently became the latest judge to decertify an FLSA collective action based upon an automatic meal deduction policy. The case, Desilva v. North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, Inc., was brought by a group of employees who worked at several different facilities operated by the health system. The plaintiffs claimed the employer’s alleged practice of automatically deducting 30 minutes per shift from each employee’s pay for meal periods violated the FLSA and parallel provisions of the New...


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Format: 2014-09-16
Format: 2014-09-16