What Does a Potential Ban on Non-Compete Agreements Mean to West Virginia Health Care Providers?

On July 9, 2021, President Joe Biden signed a very broad Executive Order intended to promote greater competition in the U.S. economy. As part of his larger competition plan, the President called on the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) to ban the use of non-competition agreements. According to White House estimates, non-compete agreements are used, in some form, to restrict the work options of between 36 and 60 million American workers. As my legal practice deals solely with health care providers – both from an employer and employee perspective – I know that non-competition ...

California v. Texas and the Future of the Affordable Care Act

On November 10, 2020, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case of California v. Texas, and in early 2021 the Court is expected to render a decision that will determine the fate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). The case itself, California v. Texas, was originally filed in 2018 on behalf of 20 states and two individual plaintiffs, and it sought to challenge the “minimum essential coverage provision” (also known as the “individual mandate”) contained in the ACA. Arguing the illegality of the individual mandate, these ...

Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Threaten Federal 340B Drug Pricing Program

Back in June, many of the health care providers in West Virginia (and across the country) began receiving letters from major global drug manufacturers. Some letters demanded that these organizations, who are considered “covered entities” for purposes of participating in the federal 340B drug pricing program, turn over voluminous amounts of information about patients who received discounted medications through 340B, seeming in clear violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”). Other letters just flatly announced that the ...

Interim Final Rule Issued for 21st Century Cures Act

Last week, on October 29, 2020, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (“ONC”) released an interim final rule that delays compliance dates for information blocking and other health information technology (“HIT”) requirements set forth in the 21st Century Cures Act (“Cures Act”). The ONC’s stated reason for this delay is the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, as the ONC previously had implemented the requirements in a final rule issued on May 1, 2020 (“Final Rule”).

Developers of certified HIT, health care providers, health ...

DOL Issues Revised Guidance on FFCRA Leave Rules

On September 11, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (“DOL”) announced it would be releasing its revisions to previously released regulations governing paid sick leave and the expanded family and medical leave act (“eFMLA”) under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). These revised rules come in response to the recent decision of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (“Court”), which invalidated four aspects of the original FFCRA regulations. The revised regulations, which become effective ...

The Government's Response to COVID-19 and its Impact on the Health Care Industry

The past few weeks have been a busy time for those interested in the legal side of the federal government's response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).  It has been just as busy at the state level, with press conferences, Executive Orders and other recommended procedures and guidelines issued to address the pandemic in West Virginia.  Here are just a few of the recent highlights related specifically to the health care industry.

Additional COVID-19 Relief for Hospitals

On April 24, President Donald Trump signed into law the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act

COVID-19 Workforce Reductions and the WARN Act

Over the last couple of weeks, the Bowles Rice CARES Act/COVID-19 Team has fielded a lot of questions from companies trying to understand their legal duties under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and whether permanent layoffs, reductions of hours or temporary furloughs are appropriate for their business under these unique circumstances.  While no one wants to let valued employees go during this time of so much uncertainty, companies must do what is necessary to ensure that their employees have work to return to once this pandemic is over.

Recognizing this necessity for so ...

New Measures Released to Address the Impacts of COVID-19 on Health Care Entities

Last week was a very busy one for those following the legal side of the novel coronavirus (“COVID-19”), as lots of new measures are being released to address the impacts of the virus on health care entities and other businesses across the country.  Here are just a few of the healthcare-related highlights.

Guidance on the Definition of Health Care Provider

Late on Friday afternoon (March 27), the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued additions to its guidance related to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act ("FFCRA"), explaining its paid sick leave and expanded Family ...

Coronavirus Q & A – Part 2: Health Care Law Issues

Since the first case of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) was reported on January 21, 2020, people across the country have been faced with more questions than answers. With no known vaccine or treatment for the virus, and with other countries seeing COVID-19 spread at an alarming rate, it is not surprising that some degree of panic has begun to develop. While there are no known cases in West Virginia at the time of this posting, government agencies and health care providers across the state are working to prepare for the inevitable spread of COVID-19 into the Mountain State.

Meanwhile, the ...

Coronavirus Q & A – Part 1: Employment Law Issues

Since the first case of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) was reported on January 21, 2020, people across the country have been faced with more questions than answers. With no known vaccine or treatment for the virus, and with other countries seeing COVID-19 spread at an alarming rate, it is not surprising that some degree of panic has begun to develop. While there are no known cases in West Virginia at the time of this posting, government agencies and health care providers across the state are working to prepare for the inevitable spread of COVID-19 into the Mountain State.

Meanwhile, the ...