Health

  • January 15, 2021

    Novo Joins Challenge To HHS Pharma Discount Opinion

    Danish drugmaker Novo Nordisk Inc. on Friday joined a slew of other pharmaceutical companies challenging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' view that drugmakers must give discounts to pharmacies contracting with hospitals that serve low-income areas.

  • January 15, 2021

    Miss. Businessman Gets 18 Years For $288M Tricare Fraud

    A Mississippi man was sentenced Friday to 18 years in prison by a federal judge for his role in a $287.6 million scheme to defraud the Tricare health benefit program by paying doctors and drug distributors kickbacks.

  • January 15, 2021

    Texas Doc Keeps Win In Suit Over Child's Fatal Asthma Attack

    A Texas appeals court has affirmed the dismissal of a suit accusing an emergency room doctor of negligently discharging a 7-year-old asthmatic patient who later died following a severe asthma attack, saying the plaintiff's medical expert submitted a "conclusory" opinion as to how the alleged negligence caused the patient's death.

  • January 15, 2021

    Excellus To Pay $5.1M In HHS Deal Over Data Hack

    Excellus will fork over $5.1 million to the federal government and do a rigorous risk analysis as part of a deal to resolve a probe into a massive breach of health data, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Friday.

  • January 15, 2021

    Ex-Insys Manager Frets Over 'Prison Parenting' In Delay Bid

    A former Insys executive asked a federal judge Friday to delay her prison sentence to avoid "prison parenting" her teenage son in the middle of the pandemic, when she says he needs her most.

  • January 15, 2021

    Insurer Asks 8th Circ. To Affirm Win In Virus Coverage Bout

    Cincinnati Insurance Co. on Friday urged the Eighth Circuit to affirm that it is not responsible for covering an Iowa dental practice's lost income due to COVID-19 closure orders, arguing that a large body of case law supports the trial court's conclusion that the practice's losses did not result from a covered loss of property.

  • January 15, 2021

    New York City Dodges Sanctions In FDNY Promotion Bias Suit

    A New York magistrate judge has refused to sanction the Big Apple in a union's proposed class action accusing the city's fire department of passing over women and minority firefighters for promotions, ruling that the city didn't violate any court orders nor did it keep evidence under wraps.

  • January 15, 2021

    Encompass Health Squashes Doctor's Retaliation Claims

    The former director of an Encompass Health Corp. hospital lost his retaliation claims in Florida federal court Friday, despite his False Claims Act suit leading to a $48 million deal between Encompass and the federal government over allegations its hospitals bilked Medicare to cover a disease that couldn't be diagnosed.

  • January 15, 2021

    Ex-NFLer's Family Says Nursing Home On Hook For Fatal Fall

    The family of a former Pittsburgh Steelers player has filed suit against his nursing home in Pennsylvania state court, saying the facility is responsible for his death after he fell down a staircase attached to his room and was found by staff 14 hours later.

  • January 15, 2021

    Pa. Medical Pot Biz Says Ex-Employee Hacked Network

    A Pennsylvania medical marijuana company has accused a fired employee and several unnamed defendants of hacking its networks for ransom, stealing trade secrets and making defamatory statements online as part of a civil racketeering conspiracy.

  • January 15, 2021

    FTC Studying Medical Mergers With Data From Cigna, Aetna

    The Federal Trade Commission is demanding data from some of the country's largest health insurers to help it examine the effects of "physician group and health care facility consolidation," the agency announced Thursday.

  • January 15, 2021

    Rite Aid Must Face Trial For Inflated Drug Price Claims

    A Delaware Superior Court judge on Friday sent toward trial some litigation claims filed by a group of health insurance and pharmacy benefit companies asserting Rite Aid charged the companies too much for prescriptions included in the drugstore chain's discount drug card program.

  • January 15, 2021

    Biden COVID-19 Team Taps Veteran Public Health Law Prof

    The incoming Biden administration has picked a veteran public health lawyer who teaches at Yale's law and medical schools as special counsel for its COVID-19 response team, the transition team announced Friday.

  • January 15, 2021

    Taxation With Representation: Baker, Wachtell, Shearman

    In this week's Taxation With Representation, New Fortress Energy snaps up two liquefied natural gas firms for $5 billion, health care products company Steris buys Cantel Medical Corp. for $3.6 billion, and cryptocurrency platform Bakkt goes public.

  • January 15, 2021

    7th Circ. Backs VA In Denying Ex-Nurse's Disability Bias Suit

    The Seventh Circuit backed the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in a fired nurse's disability bias suit, finding she couldn't do the essential duties of her job at a VA hospital and refused to cooperate when the agency offered to reassign her.

  • January 15, 2021

    3 Benefits Takeaways From New Surprise Medical Billing Law

    A new federal law clamping down on surprise medical billing will likely trigger a short-term increase in employers' compliance spending, a long-term decrease in patients' out-of-pocket medical costs and an as-yet-unknown impact on employee health plans' overall price tag, experts say.

  • January 14, 2021

    NY Court Revives Suit Over Botched Gallbladder Surgery

    A New York appeals court has revived claims in a suit seeking to hold several health care providers liable for a patient's botched gallbladder removal surgery that caused injuries, saying the plaintiff's medical expert plausibly opined that a hospital and two doctors breached the standard of care.

  • January 14, 2021

    5th Circ. Erases $4M HHS Privacy Fine Against Texas Hospital

    The Fifth Circuit on Thursday axed a $4.3 million penalty imposed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for a trio of data breaches at Texas-based MD Anderson Cancer Center, finding the agency hadn't shown that the medical provider had failed to do enough to protect patients' health data from being unlawfully disclosed. 

  • January 14, 2021

    Feds Tell 7th Circ. $30M Kidney Failure Award Still Unjustified

    A federal lawyer told the Seventh Circuit on Thursday that a $29.7 million award for a kidney failure patient shouldn't stand, saying that a judge shirked the proper analysis needed when finding that the patient bore no blame for the progression of his hypertension.

  • January 14, 2021

    Mallinckrodt Ch. 11 Talks Stalled Amid Fee Row, Judge Told

    A consultant for global drug giant Mallinckrodt PLC told a Delaware judge Thursday that movement toward a Chapter 11 plan has "virtually come to a standstill" as a dispute rages on over whether the drugmaker should reimburse fees for certain restructuring professionals.

  • January 14, 2021

    9th Circ. Revives Wrongful Death Suit Against San Diego Jail

    A split Ninth Circuit panel has reversed a lower court's grant of an early win to San Diego County and a trio of nurses who allegedly failed to provide treatment to a man dying of a drug overdose in jail, with the majority saying a jury could find that the nurses' response caused his death.

  • January 14, 2021

    AARP, UnitedHealth Judge Says Seniors Face 'Uphill Battle'

    A California federal magistrate judge said Thursday that senior citizens who have accused United Healthcare and AARP of unlawfully collecting millions of dollars in commissions on insurance sales face an "uphill battle" proving they were financially injured by the alleged misconduct.  

  • January 14, 2021

    DOJ's False Claims Haul Hits Decade Low At $2.2B

    The U.S. Department of Justice raked in $2.2 billion from False Claims Act cases in fiscal year 2020, the department said Thursday, its lowest haul since 2008 and down nearly $1 billion from the $3.1 billion in fiscal 2019.

  • January 14, 2021

    6th Circ. Won't Stop Ex-FDA Chief's Opioid MDL Testimony

    The Sixth Circuit said on Thursday that it won't stop a lower court from forcing a former U.S. Food and Drug Administration director to be deposed in multidistrict opioid litigation before he clocks in to work in an unspecified role in the Biden administration.

  • January 14, 2021

    Ga. Gov. Vows To Expand Virus Tax Credits For Manufacturers

    Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp promised to extend tax credits to manufacturers of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment Thursday, aiming to cement the Peach State as a national leader in health care that doesn't have to jockey with other states for necessary coronavirus-related supplies amid a pandemic.

Expert Analysis

  • What's On The Horizon For Unclaimed Property In 2021

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    Unclaimed property professionals who run holder compliance programs should buckle themselves in for what portends to be a perfect storm of legislative, enforcement and litigation contests this year between state administrators and holders, say attorneys at Alston & Bird.

  • 4 Legal Industry Trends Litigation Financiers Are Watching

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    Some recent litigation developments demonstrate efforts by law firms and their clients to search for opportunities in the COVID-19 economic fallout, while others — such as the rise of contingency fee arrangements — reflect acceleration of tendencies that were already underway, says William Weisman at Therium Capital.

  • A Lawyer's Guide To Setting Well-Being Goals In 2021

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    In the face of rising client demands due to the pandemic and the changing regulatory environment, and with remote work continuing for the foreseeable future, lawyers should invest in their well-being by establishing inspiring yet realistic goals for 2021 — one month at a time, says Krista Larson at Morgan Lewis.

  • Lessons From 2020 Life Sciences Securities Class Actions

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    Life sciences companies can draw important insights from the many dismissal opinions that federal courts issued during 2020 in securities actions arising from adverse U.S. Food and Drug Administration actions and clinical development setbacks, say Yvonne Puig and Peter Stokes at Norton Rose.

  • Keyword Searches To Improve Your Privilege Doc Review

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    "Confidential" and other search terms commonly used to locate privileged documents during e-discovery are pretty ineffective, so practitioners should consider including specific types of keywords that are demonstrably better at targeting privilege, say Robert Keeling at Sidley and Rishi Chhatwal at AT&T.

  • State AGs' 2020 Actions Offer Hints At 2021 Priorities

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    A review of state attorney general actions in 2020 addressing consumer concerns including data privacy, product safety and marketplace competition can help companies prepare for the expected regulatory enforcement wave in 2021, say attorneys at Troutman Pepper.

  • Opinion

    A Law Of The Digital Sea Could Expand Data Rights, Oversight

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    Democracies should implement a law of the digital sea that can balance innovation with individual rights and national security by mandating personal ownership of data, rigorously enforcing antitrust law, and empowering agencies like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to grade cyberhygiene, says Luke Schleusener at QOMPLX.

  • The Benefits Of More Alternative Dispute Resolution At GAO

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    While disruption amid the pandemic undoubtedly contributed to a 210% uptick in the use of alternative dispute resolution at the U.S. Government Accountability Office in fiscal year 2020, bid protest practitioners should hope the upward trend continues given the various efficiencies it brings to the procurement process, says Noah Bleicher at Jenner & Block.

  • ABA Approves Remote Practice, But Questions Remain

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    Lawyers working remotely during the pandemic while physically outside the jurisdictions in which they are licensed will find some comfort in a recent American Bar Association opinion sanctioning such practice, but there is ambiguity regarding the contours of what's allowed, say attorneys at Harris Wiltshire.

  • 9th Circ. Gets Tougher On Experts At Class Certification

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    In Grodzitsky v. American Honda, the Ninth Circuit recently affirmed that rigorous analysis of expert testimony, including its admissibility, is essential when ruling on class certification — an encouraging sign for practitioners defending class actions, says Robert Sparkes at K&L Gates.

  • Keys To Creating Standout Law Firm Thought Leadership

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    Whether geared toward a global audience or a particular client, a law firm's articles, blog posts and client alerts should strive to be original by harnessing a few editorial tools and following the right distribution sequence, say Steven Andersen and Tal Donahue at Infinite Global.

  • PPP Enforcement Issues To Watch In 2021

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    Derek Adams at Potomac Law, and Ellen London and Steven Deolus at Alto Litigation, examine the evolution of the Paycheck Protection Program, the impact of constant changes to eligibility and reporting rules, and enforcement developments to expect this year.

  • Perspectives

    Judges On Race: The Power Of Discretion In Criminal Justice

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    Judges should take into consideration the several points of law enforcement and prosecutorial discretion — from traffic stops to charging decisions and sentencing recommendations — that often lead to race-based disparate treatment before a criminal defendant even reaches the courthouse, say Judge Juan Villaseñor and Laurel Quinto at Colorado's Eighth Judicial District Court.

  • 5 Attorney Business Development Tips For The New Year

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    Lawyers should remember that the basics of interpersonal relationships have not changed despite the completely virtual environment caused by the pandemic, and should leverage the new year as an excuse to connect with clients in several ways, say Megan Senese and Courtney Hudson at Pillsbury.

  • How 2020 Changed Product Liability — And What's Next

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    Like many other legal sectors, product liability regulation and litigation felt the sharp impact of COVID-19 in 2020, especially in health care and life sciences — and 2021 may hold more pandemic-related changes, as well as a new regulatory approach from the Biden administration, say attorneys at MoFo.

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