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U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Addresses Wartime Tolling of Statute of Limitations Under False Claims Act

On May 26, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in Kellogg Brown & Root Services, Inc. v. United States ex rel Carter, No. 12-1497, __ S. Ct. __ (2015), in which a relator brought civil False Claims Act (FCA) claims against government contractors. The relator alleged that the contractors had made fraudulent payment claims … Continue Reading

The Continuing Evolution of the French Sunshine Act

Since the general disclosure rule for provider-manufacturer relationships in France was enacted into law on January 1, 2012, its compliance and enforcement have been a common point of discussion for health care professionals, pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, and government officials, among others. As Reed Smith partner Daniel Kadar points out in “The French Sunshine … Continue Reading

21st Century Cures Markup Underway; Offsets Released

Today the House Energy and Commerce Committee is marking up H.R. 6, the 21st Century Cures Act, a high-profile, bipartisan bill that seeks to accelerate the pace of medical cures in the United States through a variety of reforms addressing drug and device development and approval, clinical trial design, research funding, interoperability of health technology, … Continue Reading

OCR Announces Settlement and Corrective Action Plan with Pharmacy Stemming from Alleged Violations

The HHS Office for Civil Rights recently announced a settlement and corrective action plan with Cornell Prescription Pharmacy (CPP), a small for-profit, single location, compounding pharmacy located in Denver, CO. CPP has agreed to pay $125,000 and enter into a corrective action plan to settle potential violations of the HIPAA Privacy Rule. This outcome is indicative of OCR's unwillingness to demonstrate wide variance in its enforcement response based on the size of an affected covered entity or the number of patients involved in a potential HIPAA violation.… Continue Reading

Bipartisan Energy & Commerce Committee Leaders Release Updated 21st Century Cures Draft

The bipartisan leadership of the House Energy and Commerce Committee has released their 2015 version of the 21st Century Cures Act, which is intended to bolster medical discovery, treatment development and delivery of treatment to patients. The nearly 200-page legislation is the product of a year-long collaboration between lawmakers and stakeholders.… Continue Reading

Amidst Increasing Security Concerns, Medicare to Drop Social Security Numbers from Cards

Last week, President Obama signed into law a bill that will eradicate Social Security Numbers (SSNs) from all Medicare beneficiary cards over the next eight years. Medicare has four years to begin issuing cards with new identifiers, and four years after that to reissue cards to current beneficiaries. The removal of SSNs from the cards is not only expected to decrease the risks associated with identity theft for Medicare beneficiaries, but also Medicare's risk of exposure associated with breaches of protected health and personal information under HIPAA and state privacy laws.… Continue Reading

MACRA Signed into Law by President; Reforms Medicare Payment Policy for Physician Services

On April 16, 2015, President Barack Obama signed into law the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA). The bill permanently transforms the structure of Medicare physician reimbursement and enacts several changes to Medicare payment, program integrity and policy provisions that will affect both health care providers and pharmaceutical/medical device manufacturers. The most … Continue Reading

CMS Discusses Medicare Implications of FDA Approval of First Biosimilar Product

CMS has issued an educational article on the FDA's approval of the first biosimilar product, and what implications this approval will have for Medicare coverage. CMS plans to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries will have access to this new product, as it does for other drugs that receive FDA approval. The CMS article addresses several questions that have arisen regarding biosimilars.… Continue Reading

Toward Class Actions for Health-Related Claims in France

The French government issued a bill on March 17 for the extension of class actions to health-related claims in France. Starting today, March 31, the text will be discussed at the French National Assembly, particularly to address the issue of compensation for personal injury within the framework of the proposed class action.… Continue Reading

French Sunshine Act’s Scope Expands with Recent French Supreme Administrative Court Decision

Reed Smith’s Global Regulatory Enforcement Law Blog features a post on a recent decision by the French Supreme Administrative Court (Conseil d’Etat) that expands the scope of the French Sunshine Act. “French Supreme Administrative Court Decision Significantly Broadens the Scope of the French Sunshine Act,” written by Reed Smith attorneys Daniel Kadar and Caroline Gouraud, … Continue Reading

Court of Federal Claims Decision on Contracts Regulations Reversed on Appeal

Earlier this week, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed and remanded the Court of Federal Claims’ August 2014 decision in CGI Federal Inc. v. The United States, in which the Court of Federal Claims ruled that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) could include contract clauses that deviated from federal … Continue Reading

3D Printing Raises Novel Questions About Potential Product Liability

Over on the Drug & Device Law blog, Reed Smith partner Jim Beck (aka "Bexis") offers his thoughts on the possible product liability implications of printing 3D medical devices. Specifically, Jim examines the question of what party (or parties) would be held liable as the manufacturer in a product liability case involving 3D printing. There are uncertainties surrounding each of the three primary parties who may be considered for liability: the hospital that owns the 3D printer used to produce medical devices; the manufacturer of the 3D printer; or the designer of the software used by the 3D printer to create the products. Jim's post discusses the current issues around naming each of those parties as the manufacturer, and concludes that - at least for the time being - 3D printing presents an unusual situation in which it is feasible that no entity qualifies as a "manufacturer" under the Restatements for strict liability. Additional legal issues like this will likely emerge as 3D printing's popularity continues to increase.… Continue Reading

U.S. Congressional Committees Address Drug And Device Approval

As mentioned on our Health Industry Washington Watch blog, committees in both the House of Representatives and Senate last week addressed the speed at which medical innovations are approved and available for patient use. The House Energy and Commerce Committee’s “21st Century Cures Act” discussion draft, released on January 27, 2015, is a wide-reaching bill … Continue Reading

FTC Offers Privacy and Security Guidance for Medical Devices in ‘Internet of Things’ Report

On January 27, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a 71-page Staff Report on privacy and security issues with the Internet of Things (IoT) - the growing ability of everyday devices to monitor and communicate information through the Internet. The Staff Report - which follows up on the FTC's public workshop over concerns with the IoT, as well as the FTC's first enforcement action brought in September 2013 - is especially relevant in the life sciences industry, which may see potentially revolutionary advances as a result of the IoT.… Continue Reading

Life Sciences and Health Care Industries Reap the Benefits of 3D Printing

This post was written by Colleen Davies and Lisa Baird. The past few years have seen 3D printing – a process that involves the creation of a three-dimensional object from a pre-conceived design – evolve from a futuristic idea into a multi-billion dollar business, and few industries have benefitted more from this technology than life … Continue Reading

New Jersey Enacts Data Privacy Law for Health Insurance Carriers

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has signed a law requiring health insurance carriers in that state to encrypt individuals' personal information. This new law will be enforced in conjunction with the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act (NJCFA), and failure to obey the law will be classified as a violation of the NJCFA, which could result in financial penalties for the carriers. The new legislation may also affect business associates through the contractual terms of business associate agreements.… Continue Reading

Omnibus Spending Bill Promises Increased Funding for Ebola Response in FY 2015

On December 16, 2014, President Obama signed into law an omnibus spending bill that will provide funding across the federal government in the remainder of FY 2015. The bill includes $5.4 billion designated for several regulatory agencies - including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Defense, Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health and Department of State - to use in response to the Ebola epidemic, on both a national and international scale.… Continue Reading

OCR Settlement Reflects Continued Emphasis on HIPAA Security Rule Safeguards

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) recently announced a $150,000 settlement of potential violations of the HIPAA Security Rule by Anchorage Community Mental Health Services (ACMHS). These potential violations were caused by a malware breach of ACMHS's information technology resources. OCR's subsequent investigation of the breach found that ACMHS's preventative security measures prior to the breach were insufficient, and the settlement includes a Resolution Agreement with a corrective action plan for ACMHS to improve its security measures.… Continue Reading

OCR Releases Ebola Bulletin

The recent Ebola outbreak has prompted the US Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights ("OCR"), the agency responsible for enforcing the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ("HIPAA"), to release a new bulletin for covered entities and business associates regarding their privacy obligations in emergency situations. The bulletin, entitled "HIPAA Privacy In Emergency Situations," provides an overview of the limited ways in which covered entities and business associates may use and disclose protected health information in emergencies, such as the Ebola outbreak. The bulletin is available at http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/special/emergency/hipaa-privacy-emergency-situations.pdf.… Continue Reading

Insurance Coverage for False Claims Act Lawsuits?

The number of qui tam actions brought under the False Claims Act (FCA) has increased over the past several years. There are now more opportunities for potential allegations of FCA violations on the part of health care providers, and more eligible whistleblowers to bring those alleged violations to the government's attention. Given these circumstances, providers should take time to assess their current insurance coverage for defending and resolving FCA claims.… Continue Reading

Innocent Co-Insureds Coverage Not Void Under Fake Doctor’s Application

Reed Smith’s Policyholder Perspective blog recently posted about an October 21, 2014 ruling in the U.S. District Court in South Carolina that sounds as if it came from a Hollywood film. In Evanston Insurance Company v. Agape Senior Primary Care, et al., 2014 WL 5365679, the court held that despite a false application for professional … Continue Reading

Insights About Future Use of Protected Health Information Under HIPAA

In "HIPAA Enforcement: The Next Step," an interview and accompanying article that appeared on HealthcareInfoSecurity on October 14th, Reed Smith partner Brad Rostolsky details the HIPAA-related trends that he expects to see within the next several years. Among these predicted trends is an increase in the number of investigations by the Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights regarding the illegal use and distribution of Protected Health Information without the permission of patients, a result of tightened regulations introduced in last year's HIPAA Omnibus Rule. Brad also discusses how companies should prepare for HIPAA compliance audits, the use of health information on social media, and potential privacy issues surrounding wearable consumer health devices.… Continue Reading

Reed Smith Team Analyzes OIG’s Proposed Rule Amending Anti-Kickback Safe Harbors, CMP Rules & Gainsharing Regulations

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the Department of Health and Human Services published a major proposed rule on October 3, 2014 amending the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) safe harbors and the Civil Monetary Penalty (CMP) rules to protect a number of payment practices not previously allowed under those regulations. The proposed rule and the … Continue Reading
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