The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) revisited the treatment of prescription drug manufacturer coupons in a proposed rule, published on February 6, 2020, that could be welcome news for employers that have been struggling to interpret conflicting guidance concerning these coupons.
As the world responds to the accelerating 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak originating in Wuhan, China—a situation now declared by the World Health Organization to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern—multinational employers, particularly those with employees based in or traveling to China, are assessing their role in managing workforce impact. In addition to taking precautions to prevent the spread of illness, employers are contending with government-imposed travel shutdowns and advisories, quarantines, border screenings, and extended holidays that may affect local operations and global mobility.
Coronavirus strain 2019-nCoV has reached the United States.
Employers with employees traveling to and from China may want to take note that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced on January 21, 2020, that the United States had confirmed its first case of a new strain of the coronavirus that appeared in Wuhan, China, last month. The virus has already sickened hundreds of people and is reported to have killed six, according to Chinese authorities.
On December 3, 2019, a New York court upheld a recently-amended New York law that eliminated the availability of a religious exemption from compulsory vaccination of schoolchildren.
As Arizona employers prepare for 2020, key minimum wages and exempt salary levels under city, state, and federal law will go into effect. Additionally, employers will want to remain aware of potential legislation and/or voter propositions on recreational marijuana and raises in the healthcare industry in Arizona.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2019-63 on December 2, 2019 providing some relief from Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting requirements.
Employer-sponsored health plans and health insurers may be required to post online—and to provide participants upon request—a range of pricing and cost-sharing information beginning in 2021.
On November 21, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed House Resolution (HR) 1309, the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act, in a 251-158 vote.
In part due to the prevalence of female employees in the healthcare setting, the healthcare industry has moved to address lactation accommodation laws and implement lactation policies at a faster pace than other industries.
Workplace vaccination programs are not new. While many focus on influenza, healthcare employers often impose more robust requirements to protect employees and vulnerable patient populations.
On July 17, 2019, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of the Treasury in Notice 2019-45 announced the expansion of preventive care benefits under qualifying high-deductible health plans (HDHPs). This expansion allows individuals to retain their eligibility to make contributions to health savings accounts (HSA) when covered under HDHPs that provide for first-dollar coverage for certain chronic conditions.
Starting in 2020, employers will be able to offer health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) that work in conjunction with individual coverage or Medicare without running afoul of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) market reform rules.
On May 21, 2019, the Federal Register published the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) final rule titled Protecting Statutory Conscience Rights in Health Care (Conscience Rule), which addresses the rights of individual healthcare employees who object to participating in medical procedures that violate their consciences, as well as the rights of faith-based healthcare institutions to provide services consistent with their religious mission and identity.
In two recent companion cases, Andryeyeva v. New York Health Care, Inc. and Moreno v. Future Care Health Services, Inc., the New York Court of Appeals upheld the New York State Department of Labor’s (NYSDOL) 13-hour rule for the payment of home health aides working 24-hour shifts. Under this rule, an employer may pay home health aides for only 13 hours of a 24-hour shift if the aides receive at least 3 hours of meal break time and at least 8 hours of sleep (at least 5 of which must be uninterrupted).
On May 17, 2019, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 880 individual cases of measles had been confirmed in 23 states across the country in 2019. According to the CDC, the current outbreak of measles represents the greatest number of cases reported in the United States since 1994 and since the disease was declared eliminated in 2000.
In recent months, the New Mexico legislature enacted legislation expanding employment protections for nurses. The Safe Harbor for Nurses Act allows registered and licensed practical nurses to refuse assignments under certain conditions without fear of retaliation or other adverse action by their employers.
On February 27, 2019, the U.S. House Subcommittee on Workforce Protections held a hearing on House Resolution 1309, the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act, introduced by Representative Joe Courtney (D-CT).
In February 2019, President Trump signed an executive order titled “Maintaining American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence,” also known as the American AI Initiative, that aims to increase the use of artificial intelligence (AI) nationwide.
In Duffey v. Tender Heart Home Care Agency, LLC, the California Court of Appeal for the First District addressed whether an in-home caregiver was an independent contractor or employee.
The year 2018 was a busy one for healthcare employers. Below are some of the key developments from 2018 and issues that employers should be on the lookout for in 2019.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics has forecast a nursing shortage through 2024, with the United States projected to need more than half a million new nurses to replace those who leave the profession.
With flu season here and reported incidents of deaths caused by diseases thought to have been eradicated by vaccines on the rise, many healthcare providers are considering mandatory vaccination of employees.
Having settled many of its attacks on pension plans sponsored by several large church-affiliated healthcare organizations, the plaintiff’s bar appears to be shifting focus to pension and welfare benefit plans maintained by a healthcare entity that is at least nominally an instrumentality of a state.
In the year since the #MeToo movement took off in the wake of the exposé in The New York Times on Harvey Weinstein that shook the entertainment world, emboldened women (and men) have come forward to shine a light on sexual harassment in other sectors of the workforce.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) introduced mandatory coverage for a wide array of preventive care services. Section 2713 of the ACA requires most health plans to provide coverage for various preventive care services without cost-sharing requirements (e.g., copayments, deductibles, or coinsurance).
A recent decision by a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) administrative law judge (ALJ) serves as a good reminder that even nonunion employees in healthcare settings are protected by Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
On November 16, 2018, Representative Joe Courtney (D-CT) introduced House Resolution 7141, the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act.
With the number of U.S. residents aged 65 and older projected to more than double from 46 million today to over 98 million by 2060, home care agencies face a litany of difficulties. Among these are that home care agency owners themselves are reaching retirement age. In addition, properly classifying home care workers—and even determining which test to use to classify them—is no easy feat.