Health care was among the occupations that saw the largest declines in fatal work injuries in the most recent year federal data is available, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It recently released statistics on workplace fatalities in the U.S. for fiscal year 2016. They show that “health care practitioners and technical occupations” experienced the biggest decline: 19 percent. Read More
Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, employees are entitled to take intermittent leave to deal with a serious health condition. The intermittent leave can be in increments as small as one hour. The employer must maintain records as to the amount of intermittent leave taken and whether the employee has reached the 12-week FMLA entitlement. What happens, however, when the employer does not keep records of time worked by the employee? How many hours constitute an FMLA workweek for employees exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime and timekeeping requirements?Read More
The Trump administration is putting the brakes on a payment model that gained steam across the health care industry under the Obama administration.Read More
The federal government recently awarded new contracts for Medicare recovery audits, and recovery audit contractors (“RACs”) will start showing up at hospitals, home health providers, and other facilities any time. But this latest round of audits for Medicare overpayments almost didn’t happen.Read More
With low unemployment rates in the Carolinas, many companies – including health care providers – are looking to their competitors to find qualified employees. This hiring strategy has led to a surge in litigation over employee noncompetition and related restrictive covenants. Over the past decade, North Carolina and South Carolina courts have dramatically changed their views on enforceable employment restrictions, meaning that many older agreements may no longer be enforceable.Read More
Over the past several years, we have received multiple inquiries from employers confronted with claims that they have misclassified service technicians as exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), including from health care organizations. In a typical situation, the technicians in question are highly skilled and experienced workers who travel to customer locations for purposes of installing and servicing sophisticated machinery and equipment. The service technicians may be paid salaries close to six figures, and the equivalent time and one-half hourly overtime rate would be extremely high, especially given the amount of working time spent traveling.Read More
We both recently returned from presenting to groups of health care providers on creating and implementing effective compliance programs. Although compliance plans and compliance programs are not new to the health care realm, their importance cannot be understated. Accrediting bodies, payers, auditors and investigating entities expect for providers to have compliance plans in place – and expect them to be followed. Here are a few key points about turning a policy into an effective compliance plan:Read More
Florida Governor Rick Scott recently signed into law a medical marijuana use bill that was prompted by a voter referendum that amended the Florida Constitution to provide certain patients the right to use marijuana for medical purposes. The law limits such rights to patients with debilitating medical conditions but does not specifically define this term. For employers in Florida and beyond, these medical marijuana legalization laws raise questions regarding their ability to enforce policies that prohibit the use of marijuana by employees on or off duty.Read More
Last week, President Trump named his final appointee to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), giving Republicans a majority of the board’s members. Over time, this majority is likely to reverse a number of controversial pro-labor positions adopted by the NLRB during the Obama administration, including some policies that would affect health care providers.
Medicaid expansion has already had a huge impact on whether mental health needs are treated in certain populations. That may not be at the top of all the stories lately about the U.S. House of Representatives passing its replacement of the Affordable Care Act and the Senate considering its own version. But it is a significant piece of our country’s behavioral health puzzle. The expansion brought coverage to many low-income adults without children, a group that had largely been left out of Medicaid programs.