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UPMC and WPAHS Battle Over Physician Restrictive Covenants

A recent Allegheny County Court Case clearly establishes that the enforceability of restrictive covenants is not an urban myth; they are enforceable and vigorously litigated.  In Allegheny Specialty Practice Network and the West Penn Allegheny Health System v. Joseph J. Colella, M.D., ASPN and WPAHS obtained a preliminary injunction prohibiting Dr. Colella from practicing within … Continue Reading

HIPAA Changes Affecting Group Health Plans And Business Associates Made By The American Recovery And Reinvestment Act Of 2009

In addition to the COBRA subsidy, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (“ARRA”), enacted on February 17, 2009, made significant changes to HIPAA privacy and security obligations. Those changes affect covered entities, including group health plans, and also affect business associates.  Although most of the HIPAA changes are effective February 17, 2010, one change … Continue Reading

COBRA SUBSIDY – DOL ISSUES MODEL NOTICES

Today, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued model notices reflecting the recently enacted COBRA subsidy requirements and also issued updated FAQs on how the COBRA subsidy provisions are to work. View the model notices and FAQs. A summary of the different model notices (taken from the DOL’s descriptions) is below. General Notice (Full version).  Plans … Continue Reading

April 1, 2009 Starts New Compliance Obligations For Group Health Plans Under The Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act Of 2009

Although group health plan sponsors are busy focusing on the COBRA subsidy enacted this past February, there are a flurry of laws impacting group health plans that have compliance dates ranging from April 2009 to February 2010. One of the laws, “The Children’s Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009”, also enacted in February 2009, … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Bar Institute Seminar – COBRA

Today, David Sawyer of Tucker Arensberg, P.C. will be leading a call-in seminar for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute (PBI) regarding the recent COBRA changes. Register for the live seminar (which is from 12:30-1:30). You also may register to listen to the seminar through the internet after its live broadcast by following the same link. Written materials … Continue Reading

COBRA Changes Under The American Recovery And Reinvestment Act

We are sending this Employee Benefits Law Alert to update an alert we distributed on February 18, 2009. Government representatives have explained that although the Act states that insurance companies providing insurance for group health plans will be entitled to reimbursement of the COBRA subsidy, the employer (and not the insurance company) generally will be entitled … Continue Reading

COBRA Changes Under The American Recovery Reinvestment Act

This article has been revised to reflect recent guidance. It is important that you read the revised article at the following link:  www.medlawblog.com/uploads/file/Revised Cobra Alert 2_26_09 _2_.pdf Yesterday, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act of 2009 (the “Act”). Although a substantial portion of the Act is dedicated to stimulating the … Continue Reading

THE 2009 LIMITS FOR QUALIFIED RETIREMENT PLANS

As they do every year, the Internal Revenue Service increased the dollar limits (adjusted for cost-of-living increases) that apply to qualified retirement plans. There are three separate charts below that list the limits that have changed for 2009. The three charts are separated to identify the revised limits for: (1) defined contribution plans, (2) defined benefit plans, … Continue Reading

Texas Reports Drop in Malpractice Premiums Due to Tort Reform With Damage Caps

  Damage cap credited for drop in Texas malpractice premiums BY CHRIS RIZO AUSTIN, Texas (Legal Newsline)-Thanks to a tort reform law in Texas, physicians in the Lone Star State will have reduced liability premiums, officials said this week. The board of the Texas Medical Liability Trust recently approved an average rate reduction of 4.7 … Continue Reading

Notice 2008-59 – Health Savings Accounts (HSA)

In Notice 2008-59, the Treasury and IRS have recently provided guidance related to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) in the form of 42 frequently asked questions and corresponding answers related to HSAs. HSAs are medical savings accounts which are available to US taxpayers who are enrolled in a High Deductible Health Plan. The funds from HSAs, … Continue Reading

Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008 (HEART Act)

EMPLOYEE BENEFITS LAW ALERT June 25, 2008 EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY – NEW LAW PROVIDES NEW EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PLAN RIGHTS TO MEMBERS OF THE MILITARY AND THEIR SURVIVORS Effective immediately, a new federal law, called the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008 (HEART Act), requires action to be taken by sponsors of qualified retirement plans and permits … Continue Reading

Plan Rights to Members of the Military and Their Survivors

EMPLOYEE BENEFITS LAW ALERT June 25, 2008 EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY – NEW LAW PROVIDES NEW EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PLAN RIGHTS TO MEMBERS OF THE MILITARY AND THEIR SURVIVORS Effective immediately, a new federal law, called the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008 (HEART Act), requires action to be taken by sponsors of qualified retirement plans and permits … Continue Reading

Improving Contributions to Physician Retirement Plans

Introduction A properly designed retirement program can increase a physician’s retirement plan benefit by more than $80,000 while decreasing the practice’s contribution to the non-physician and even non-owner physician employees by $20,000. If this $100,000 plus difference catches your attention, read the rest of the article! Our examples illustrate how similarly situated physicians can have dramatically different … Continue Reading

Health Plan Subrogation Services

TUCKER ARENSBERG HEALTH PLAN SUBROGATION SERVICES Aggressive Subrogation Saves on Health Plan Costs.  An aggressive subrogation program can save your business money on health plan costs.     Tucker Arensberg has handled subrogation for employer health  plans for many years.  We like to tell the story about how one year, one subrogation recovery alone paid for all … Continue Reading

Health Savings Account (HSA) Limits for 2008

HSA limits for 2008 are as follows: Annual Contribution Limits:   The maximum HSA contribution is  $2,900 for individual coverage and $5,800 for family coverage. High Deductible Health Plan Limits:   ·        Deductible:  The minimum deductible for HSA-qualified high deductible health plans is $1,100 for individual coverage and $2,200 for family coverage policies. ·         Out- … Continue Reading

Pennsylvania Medical Records Fees for 2008

Pennsylvania law states that medical providers and hospitals must provide copies of patients’ medical records upon request, but may charge a fee for copying and producing the medical records. That fee is addressed annually.  The link below is the announcement by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, entitled “Amendments to Charges for Medical Records,” which was published … Continue Reading

Health Plan Subrogation – In the News

Health Plan Subrogation –   In the News             By Joni L. Landy, Esq.   In a nutshell, subrogation is the right of a health plan to recover money it paid out for medical care to treat injuries or conditions caused by another party. For example, subrogation may apply when a participant sustains injuries as a result … Continue Reading

Health Savings Account Sticky Issue

Can Medicare Premiums for the Account Holder’s 65 Year Old Spouse be Reimbursed from an HSA? By: Joni Landy, Esq.   In general, the law prohibits distributions from an HSA for health insurance premiums. There are several exceptions. The only exception that can apply to Medicare premiums is the exception that allows for payment of health insurance (other … Continue Reading

IRS Releases New Proposed Cafeteria Plan Regulations

By: Joni L. Landy, Esq. New proposed cafeteria plan regulations were released on August 6, 2007 that replace prior proposed and temporary regulations, which are withdrawn, and consolidate law changes and guidance issued by the IRS over the past twenty years. The regulations preserve much of the existing guidance but clarify some outstanding issues and include a few … Continue Reading

IRS Private Letter Ruling Concludes Captive PC Model Produces UBTI

The Internal Revenue Service issued a private letter ruling on April 20, 2007 concluding that captive professional corporations were beneficially owned by the hospital, but that the activities of the professional corporations were conducted on a larger scale then was reasonably necessary for the performance of the hospital’s exempt functions and that the professional corporations’ … Continue Reading

What is the Impact of Professional Society Expert Witness Standards?

There have been two recent developments regarding the enforcement of expert witness standards, one enforcing standards by a society and one declining to enforce the standards in a private defamation action. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons suspended one member and censored another for violating the Standards of Professionalism (SOPs) on orthopaedic expert witness testimony. The … Continue Reading
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