Author Archive

If Republicans Agree on 80% of Tax Reform, What’s the Other 20%?

August 31, 2017  |   Legal Updates   |     |   Comments Off on If Republicans Agree on 80% of Tax Reform, What’s the Other 20%?

By: Carolyn Smith at Alston and Bird Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) have both stated that Republicans agree on about 80% of tax reform. The needle might have moved closer to 90% with the recent announcement from the Big Six—Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Chairmen Hatch ...

Employee FMLA Retaliation Case Survives Dismissal – How Can You Avoid Similar Problems

August 21, 2017  |   Legal Updates   |     |   Comments Off on Employee FMLA Retaliation Case Survives Dismissal – How Can You Avoid Similar Problems

Overview The court in this case, the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, was reviewing a Magistrate Judge’s (MJ) recommendation that the Court partially grant and partially deny Defendant Equilon Enterprises, LLC's (“SOPUS” or Employer) motion for summary judgment. SOPUS objected to portions of the MJ’s Report and Recommendation (R&R). The District court overruled the employer's objections, and adopted the MJ’s R & R in this case, see below.1 Court’s Decision In this case, ...

California doctors get more money but will they treat more poor people?

August 11, 2017  |   News and Events   |     |   Comments Off on California doctors get more money but will they treat more poor people?

Matt Levin, CALmatters | Published 10:33 a.m. PT Aug. 10, 2017 It seems like a simple solution. Raise what you pay doctors for treating low-income patients, and they’ll treat more of them. All those waits for appointments and physician shortages that have long plagued the state’s low-income health insurance program — a program that one out of every three Californians now relies on—could be remedied with a simple dose of ...

Covered California Expects 12.5% Average Rate Rise In 2018

August 02, 2017  |   News and Events   |     |   Comments Off on Covered California Expects 12.5% Average Rate Rise In 2018

By Emily Bazar and Anna Gorman | August 2, 2017 This updated story was originally published Aug. 1. Covered California health insurance premiums will jump by a statewide average of 12.5 percent next year, amid continuing uncertainty over the future of the Affordable Care Act, the state’s Obamacare exchange said Tuesday. Some plans may also see an additional increase, averaging 12.4 percent, if President Donald Trump stops funding critical subsidies that help reduce some consumers’ out-of-pocket expenses ...

Washington Employer Hit with $1.8 Million Judgment for Failing to Accommodate Prescription Drug User

August 02, 2017  |   Legal Updates   |     |   Comments Off on Washington Employer Hit with $1.8 Million Judgment for Failing to Accommodate Prescription Drug User

By Jennifer Mora and Vanessa Lee July 20, 2017 Last month, a Washington federal district court judge ordered an employer to pay a terminated employee a little over $1.8 million in damages for failing to accommodate the employee’s use of opioids that had been prescribed to treat her migraines, and for terminating her for a positive drug test result.1  Although employers typically have a right to implement ...

Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

August 01, 2017  |   Legal Updates   |     |   Comments Off on Capitol Hill Healthcare Update

By Mike Ferguson, Chris Jones, Adam Higgins and Tyler Thompson on July 31, 2017 Editor’s Note – The next Capitol Hill Healthcare Update will be published after Labor Day when Congress reconvenes following its August recess. Republicans Contemplate Next Steps Amid ACA Flameout Congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump face a series of key questions about how ...

California to Release 2018 Insurance Rates Amid Uncertainty

August 01, 2017  |   News and Events   |     |   Comments Off on California to Release 2018 Insurance Rates Amid Uncertainty

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | AUG. 1, 2017, 3:57 A.M. E.D.T SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California officials plan to release next year's monthly premiums Tuesday for people who buy individual insurance plans under former President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. The announcement comes at a time of extreme uncertainty about the future of ...

When High Deductibles Hurt: Even Insured Patients Postpone Care

July 27, 2017  |   News and Events   |     |   Comments Off on When High Deductibles Hurt: Even Insured Patients Postpone Care

In November 2015, Tina Heck was in her garage lifting 40-pound bags of wood pellets to fuel her heating stove, when something went very wrong with her back. “The next day, I could barely walk,” said the 55-year-old who lives on an acre of land in Nevada City, Calif., 60 miles northeast of Sacramento. The cause: a bulging disc in her lower spine, which shoots pain down her leg and makes her back stiff. The injury wasn’t ...

California Sued For Allegedly Substandard Medi-Cal Care

July 13, 2017  |   News and Events   |     |   Comments Off on California Sued For Allegedly Substandard Medi-Cal Care

By Ana B. Ibarra Civil rights advocates sued California on Wednesday, alleging that care provided by Medi-Cal, the state’s health program for low-income people, is substandard and disproportionately hurts Latinos — by far the largest group of enrollees. The lawsuit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) and the Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center, says Medi-Cal participants have “substantially worse access to health care than their ...

Medi-Cal Patients Flocking to ERs More Than Before ACA

June 15, 2017  |   News and Events   |     |   Comments Off on Medi-Cal Patients Flocking to ERs More Than Before ACA

By Kellen Browning JUNE 14, 2017 Medi-Cal patients are swamping California emergency rooms in greater numbers than they did before the Affordable Care Act took effect, despite predictions that the health law would ease the burden on ERs. Emergency room visits by people on Medi-Cal rose 75 percent over five years, from 800,000 in the first quarter of 2012 to 1.4 million in the last quarter of 2016, according to data recently released by the ...