New Florida Law Demonstrates Tension Between Medical Marijuana and Employer Drug Policies

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


Trump NLRB Appointments May Result in Reversals of Multiple Labor Decisions

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.

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How Medicaid Affects Behavioral Health: Coverage, Expansion and Reform

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.

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Federal Health Care Leaders Write Governors About New Direction for Medicaid

While much of the attention related to health care this week is focused on our nation’s capital, all 50 state governors have received a letter from recently confirmed U.S. Health & Human Services Secretary Tom Price and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Seema Verma.  The letter begins by noting the challenges facing Medicaid.  The authors describe Medicaid expansion as “a clear departure from the core, historical mission of the program” and as creating “an incentive to deprioritize the most vulnerable populations.”  The letter then commits to working with expansion states (31 plus the District of Columbia) and non-expansion states (19) on a “solution that best uses taxpayer dollars to serve the truly vulnerable.”

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Providing Insight on March 30: ACA-Related Litigation and Impact of New Administration at AHLA Institute on Medicare and Medicaid Payment Issues

Join the American Health Lawyers Association in Baltimore for the Institute on Medicare and Medicaid Payment Issues. Parker Poe’s Matt Wolfe will be providing an overview of ACA-Related Litigation and Impact of New Administration at a joint luncheon sponsored by AHLA’s Behavioral Health Task Force and AHLA’s Health Care Reform Task Force on March 30.

Read more here.

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March 22 Webcast: Employer’s Risk & Responsibility in Preventing Violence in the Workplace

Employer’s Risk & Responsibility in Preventing Violence in the Workplace

March 22, 2017 | 3:00-4:00pm EST

Register here.

Violence is a more common source of injury in healthcare than other industries and Home Care employers have many workplace challenges. The Home Health Care Industry carries unique risks and hazards and the environment is uncontrolled and more highly varied than traditional health care facilities. Home health workers may also be at risk from the community surrounding the home (robbery, car theft, vandalism). In a recent OSHA enforcement action against a home care agency, the agency was found not to take the steps needed to address employee exposure to workplace violence in a patient’s home.

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March 2 Webcast: What the New Federal Discrimination Laws Mean to You

March 2, 2017 | 3:00-4:00pm EST

Section 1557 prohibits health care providers that receive Medicare, Medicaid or other federal funding sources from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.  The requirements of the Section 1557 Rules, which were recently adopted by DHHS, requires providers to take many affirmative steps to comply with the law including, adopting nondiscrimination policies, providing free language assistance to individuals with limited English proficiency, and accommodating individuals with disabilities.

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