Effective November 16, 2022,  non-governmental health care entities must offer eligible employees continued employment for at least four months following a change in control without any reduction in their wages and benefits – including paid time off, health care, retirement, and education benefits in accordance with Senate Bill No. 315 (the Law).  Change in control includes sales, transfers, assignments, mergers, and reorganizations and is deemed to “occur on the date of execution of the document effectuating the change.”

An “eligible employee” means any individual employed at the health care entity during the 90 days preceding a change in control or any former employee with recall rights under a collective bargaining agreement. The Law exempts managers, executive employees, or any employee discharged for cause during the 90-day period. “Cause” is not defined in the Law, however.
Continue Reading New Job Protections for New Jersey Health Care Workers Following Changes in Control of Their Health Care Entity Employer

In September of this year, New York City Councilwoman Julie Menin announced her plan to introduce a series of bills that would create further price transparency requirements for hospitals, with noncompliance resulting in high financial penalties.

The bill package would create an office of hospital accountability that would inform the public as to how much hospitals are charging for various services via a price transparency information portal, where hospitals would be required to provide certain key pricing information to the public. Currently, such pricing data is not typically available for public access, and patients typically have little knowledge regarding how much they will be charged for services.
Continue Reading Pending New York City Legislation Would Create Further Price Transparency Requirements for Hospitals, and Impose Severe Penalties for Noncompliance

Building on attempts in recent years to strengthen the Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) white collar criminal enforcement, on September 15, 2022, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced revisions to DOJ’s corporate criminal enforcement policies. The new policies, and those that are in development, further attempt to put pressure on companies to implement effective compliance policies and to self-report if there are problems. Notably, the new DOJ policies set forth changes to existing DOJ policies through a “combination of carrots and sticks – with a mix of incentives and deterrence,” with the goal of “giving general counsels and chief compliance officers the tools they need to make a business case for responsible corporate behavior” through seven key areas:
Continue Reading DOJ Further Revises Corporate Criminal Enforcement Policies: Focusing on Individual Accountability, Corporate Responsibility, and Additional Demands on Chief Compliance Officers

On August 30, 2021, the DOJ announced a $90 million dollar settlement with Sutter Health and affiliates[1] (“Sutter Health”) to settle False Claims Act (“FCA”) allegations brought by qui tam relator, Kathy Ormsby, related to the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (“CMS”) MA Program.[2] Sutter Health elected to settle with DOJ and the relator without an admission of liability. As part of the Settlement Agreement, the Office of Inspector General (“OIG”) required Sutter Health to enter into a Corporate Integrity Agreement.
Continue Reading The Department of Justice (“DOJ”) Continues its Medicare Advantage (“MA”) Enforcement Efforts with a $90 Million Dollar Settlement Against Downstream Provider Sutter Health

In a move that reminds us that successful defendants can—and should—seek attorneys’ fees in the right case, a magistrate judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit awarded pharmaceutical company Aventis Pharma SA (“Aventis”) attorneys’ fees in a False Claims Act (“FCA”) case brought by a competitor, Amphastar Pharmaceuticals Inc. (“Amphastar”). The FCA contains a fee-shifting component, permitting prevailing parties to recover attorneys’ fees from the opposing party—but the playing field is not equal. This fee-shifting provision entitles a prevailing plaintiff to an award of reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs, regardless of whether the government elects to intervene in the case. 31 U.S.C. § 3730(d)(1)-(2). A defendant, on the other hand, can only be awarded attorneys’ fees in cases in which the government has declined to intervene and where the defendant can show that the opposing party’s action was “clearly frivolous, clearly vexatious, or brought primarily for purposes of harassment.” 31 U.S.C. § 3730(d)(4).
Continue Reading Defendant Aventis Pharma Awarded Over $17.2 Million in Attorneys’ Fees in False Claims Act Case

On April 30, 2019, Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski announced that the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) had published an updated version of the Criminal Division’s 2017 guidance publication “Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs.”  In making the announcement, Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski said the update was designed to “better harmonize the prior Fraud Section publication with