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Homeostasis: Health Care Law Blog

Homeostasis: Health Care Law Blog

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The National Nursing Home Initiative: New DOJ Taskforce Bolsters Nursing Home Enforcement

On March 3, 2020, Attorney General William Barr announced the National Nursing Home Initiative–a new U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) taskforce organized to push criminal and civil enforcement action against nursing homes across the country. The initiative will help coordinate DOJ enforcement actions against nursing homes that provide “grossly substandard care.” Read More ›

A Critical Resource: Get to Know Your Local Health Department

Administrative and clinical staff in nursing facilities around the country are under tremendous stress trying to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Facilities are getting barraged from all sides with information from experts and questions from residents and their families. In this period of uncertainty, do not overlook an important ally and resource right in your backyard—your local health department. The medical director at your health department is the epidemiology expert in your community, and is an invaluable resource for how pubic health issues are best addressed in your specific community, with your specific population. Read More ›

Practical Tips to Minimize Labor & Employment Risks Arising From Coronavirus Concerns in the Workplace and Workforce [Part II]

This second alert of a multipart series provides practical tips to minimize legal risk arising from the following legal perils that await any unprepared or ill-informed employer. 

As the world’s information about the Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) continues to quickly update, employers must remain aware of the many potential legal risks that can rapidly arise when grappling with COVID-19 in U.S.-based workplaces and workforces. This second alert of a multipart series discusses the following legal perils that await any employer who is unprepared or ill-informed. Read More ›

Practical Tips to Minimize Labor and Employment Risks Arising From the Coronavirus in the Workplace and Workforce

This first alert of a multipart series provides practical tips to minimize legal risk arising from the following legal perils that await any unprepared or ill-informed employer.  

As the world’s information about the Coronavirus (“COVID-19”) continues to quickly update, employers must remain aware of the many potential legal risks that can rapidly arise when grappling with COVID-19 in U.S.-based workplaces and workforces. In the first alert of a multipart series, the following legal perils await any employer who is unprepared or ill-informed. Read More ›

The False Claims Act Goes Abroad: Michigan Research Institute Falls Under DOJ False Claims Act Scrutiny

The U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) has resolved false claims against a sector not typically prone to FCA attacks—research institutions. In December 2019, the DOJ reached a $5.5 million settlement agreement with a Michigan non-profit research institute, the Van Andel Research Institute (“VARI”). The DOJ alleged that VARI failed to disclose foreign funding upon the application for, and over the term of, a federal grant. Read More ›

Michigan to License Remote Pharmacies

Remote Pharmacy Legislation

In an attempt to improve access to pharmacy services in rural areas, the Michigan legislature recently enacted Public Act  4  of 2020 (“PA 4”), permitting licensure of  “remote pharmacies” in Michigan. Effective April 26, 2020, a “parent pharmacy” licensed and located in Michigan may  obtain a license for a “remote pharmacy,”  provided there is no licensed pharmacy within a 10 mile radius of the remote pharmacy location. The 10-mile rule does not apply if the remote pharmacy is located at a licensed hospital or mental health facility. The Board of Pharmacy may waive the mileage requirement upon application if the parent pharmacy demonstrates that the proposed remote pharmacy location is in an area where access to pharmacy services is limited, and there are compelling circumstances that justify the waiver. The parent pharmacy and the remote pharmacy must both be located in Michigan, and be under common ownership.  Read More ›

Cybersecurity Attacks: The Importance of Compliance With the Standards

Recent ransomware attacks illustrate the importance of compliance with the HIPAA required and addressable security standards. In its December 2, 2019 Fall 2019 Cybersecurity Newsletter, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) discussed ransomware attacks and ways to recognize, prevent, mitigate and recover from an attack. Read More ›

Health Care Industry Employers Time to Redouble Efforts to Avoid Claims of Disability Discrimination (Part 1)

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Title I of the ADA covers employment by private employers with 15 or more employees as well as state and local government employers of the same size. Read More ›

Resident Discharge From a Michigan HFA: A Reminder

In Michigan, licensed homes for the aged are a sort of regulatory hybrid, wedged in between heavily regulated skilled nursing facilities and unlicensed assisted living facilities. That middle ground is apparent in the degree to which the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (“LARA”) is involved in the facility’s relationship with its residents during discharge situations. Although a licensed home for the aged (“HFA”) is not subject to the detailed procedures for involuntary discharge that apply to skilled nursing facilities, HFAs are not free to approach the eviction process like the typical commercial senior housing landlord. Rather, a licensed HFA must ensure it has met LARA’s discharge requirements before even beginning the eviction process. If not, all its efforts may be for naught. Read More ›

Office of Civil Rights Fines Dental Practice for Disclosure of PHI on YELP

The Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Health and Human Services (“OCR”) settled a HIPAA violation with a Texas-based dental practice based on the practice’s inappropriate disclosures of PHI on YELP. Read More ›