President Trump Sends Labor Department Memorandum Regarding Fiduciary Rule

  • February 10, 2017

President Donald Trump sent a memorandum to the Secretary of Labor on February 3, 2017, directing the Labor Department to review the fiduciary rule which was years in the making and set to go into effect on April 10, 2017.  The fiduciary rule ensured that financial advisors who provided advice with respect to retirement were held to a fiduciary standard and were required to act in the participant’s best interests.  The expanded definition of fiduciary also required mandatory disclosures with…

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President Trump Signs Executive Order Regarding Repeal of Affordable Care Act

  • February 10, 2017

On January 20, 2017, President Donald Trump signed Executive Order 13765 Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal.  The Executive Order outlines the Trump administration’s policy of seeking the prompt repeal of the Affordable Care Act and directs agencies to act in accordance with the administration’s policies.  For example, Section 2 of the Executive Order states: “To the maximum extent permitted by law, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (Secretary) and the…

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Courts Block Insurance Carrier Mergers

  • February 10, 2017

As several large insurers including Aetna, United Health Care and Humana began pulling out exchanges because of cost challenges, mergers between large carriers were also explored. However, merger attempts between Anthem and Cigna and Humana and Aetna have been blocked by federal courts citing concerns regarding competition.  The Justice Department argued that such mergers would eliminate competition that forced carriers to lower premiums and provide higher quality care and better benefits.  You can read more about the Anthem and Cigna…

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HHS OCR Releases New FAQ on Protected Health Information

  • October 14, 2016

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently released an FAQ that addresses whether or not a business associate of a HIPAA covered entity can block or terminate access by the covered entity to the PHI maintained by the business associate for or on behalf of the covered entity. The FAQ concludes that this is not permissible and doing so would be a violation of the HIPAA Privacy and Security rule. It cites as example a business associate who…

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HHS Publishes Electronic Health Record Contract Guide and Health IT Playbook

  • October 14, 2016

The Department of Health and Human Services released a contract guide and IT Playbook to help medical providers navigate the confusing realm of electronic health records. A press release issued by HHS indicates that the contract guide aims to help providers who are planning to acquire an electronic health care records system by providing sample contract language and negotiating tips when dealing with electronic health records vendors.  “The guide helps to identify key rights and vendor obligations that providers may…

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IRS Issues Revenue Procedure 2016-51 Regarding Plan Corrections- Employee Plans Compliance Resolution Systems

  • October 14, 2016

The IRS published Revenue Procedure 2016-51 on September 29, 2016. This revenue procedure replaces Revenue Procedure 2013-12 with respect to IRS correction programs and is effective January 1, 2017.  The updated Revenue Procedure clarifies certain procedural requirements with respect to determination letters since the IRS is eliminating the remedial amendment cycle program which allowed plans to apply for determination letters every five years.  Fees to use EPCRS will now be published annually by the IRS.  The Revenue Procedure also changes…

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California AB 72 Puts Limits on “Surprise” Out-of-Network Bills

  • October 14, 2016

UPDATE: Last month, WKC Legal reported on AB 72. Since then, Governor Brown has signed AB 72 into law. It is set to take effect in July.  More guidance is expected. AB 72 passed both the California Senate and Assembly. It is has been sent to Governor Brown where he has until the end of the month to sign the bill into law or veto it.  If patients are admitted to an in-network facility, there is a chance that one…

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California AB 72 Puts Limits on “Surprise” Out-of-Network Bills

  • September 13, 2016

AB 72 passed both the California Senate and Assembly. It is has been sent to Governor Brown where he has until the end of the month to sign the bill into law or veto it. If patients are admitted to an in-network facility, there is a chance that one or more providers who provide patient care may not be in-network. If this happens, a patient may be billed directly from the out-of-network provider for the full amount of services. Under…

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City of San Diego Implements Minimum Wage and Sick Time Ordinance

  • September 13, 2016

The City of San Diego recently passed a minimum wage and sick time ordinance with an effective date of July 11, 2016. Under the new ordinance, employees who perform at least two hours of work in one work week within the geographic boundaries of the City of San Diego must be paid at least $10.50 per hour for all hours worked within the City’s geographic boundaries. The ordinance also requires that employers provide paid earned sick leave to employees who…

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