ABA Health eSource - Your link to the ABA's Health Law Section
SpacerOctober, 2006 Volume 3 Number 2
Health Law Section News  October 4, 2006
The 4th Annual Washington Healthcare Summit

October 5, 2006
Employee Benefits in Bankruptcy & Workouts: An Update

(Teleconference & Live Audio Webcast)

October 18, 2006
Fighting Health Care Fraud

(Teleconference & Live Audio Webcast)

October 23-24, 2006
4th Annual Washington Healthcare Summit
[ Register]

(Washington, DC)

November 2-3, 2006
Health and Welfare Benefit Plans

( Arlington, VA )

November 4-8, 2006
Legal Program at the AAHSA Annual Meeting

(San Francisco, CA)

Interest Group Communication Highlights

Government Links


HIPAA: A Practical Guide to the Privacy and Security of Health Data

HIPAA: A Practical Guide to the Privacy and Security of Health Data
CDC Public Health Law News

CDC Newsletter is a free electronic newsletter published weekly by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Public Health Law Program


Chair's Column
by Paul R. DeMuro, Latham & Watkins LLP, San Francisco, CA

Last Bar year, your Health Law Section (HLS) leadership implemented several strategic international initiatives in recognition of the increasingly international nature of healthcare legal practices, and the desire to increase our membership from those outside the U.S.. Interestingly, this year's president of the ABA, Karen Mathis, is also reaching out to lawyers outside the U.S. as one of her initiatives. As a result, the HLS specific goals for the year were in confluence with those of the new President.

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Illinois Department Of Revenue Upholds Revocation Of Hospital's State Property Tax Exemption
by Stephen E. Weyl, Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP, Boston, MA

In a long-awaited ruling in a highly contested case, the Illinois Department of Revenue (Department) upheld the decision of the Champaign County Board of Review (Board) that Provena Covenant Medical Center (Provena) was not entitled to a real estate tax exemption on certain of its properties for the 2002 tax year. The taxes in question amount to $1.1 million before interest. In reaching his decision, the Director of the Department overruled the recommendation of an administrative law judge that the Board's decision be reversed. Although Provena has indicated that it will appeal the ruling, the Department's decision has far-ranging implications for hospitals and healthcare systems not only in Illinois, but throughout the United States.

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The OxyContin® Settlement: A Signpost on the Road to a Consumer-Friendly Policy for Generic Competition
by Robert T. Rhoad, Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, LLP, Washington, DC

On August 28, 2006, the manufacturers of OxyContin® and its bioequivalent generic competitor, Purdue Pharma L.P. and Endo Pharmaceuticals, respectively, entered into a unique settlement agreement, which provides a sound model for pro-consumer resolution of similar disputes and should be expected to meet with acceptance by regulatory authorities as well as the brand and generic pharmaceutical industries. In addition, this outcome presages a pragmatic resolution of the existing split among the U.S. Courts of Appeals over the legality of other settlements in similar cases and should spur Congress to amend the Hatch-Waxman Act's provisions regarding the 180-day period of exclusivity for generic competitors.

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Health Care Abuse and Strategies to Avoid Violations
by Adrienne Black, Sullivan, Stolier & Resor, APLC, Lafayette, LA

Frequently there are discussions regarding healthcare fraud and abuse laws. Many providers and their compliance officers educate staff on procedures in order to avoid practices that are fraudulent, (i.e., prohibited remuneration to referral sources and other obviously fraudulent practices). Less frequently are their discussions about healthcare abuse.

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Mandatory False Claims Act Education Under the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005
by Lezlie B. Willis Fish & Richardson PC, Dallas, TX

Time is running out for certain healthcare entities to comply with the new employee education requirements aimed at minimizing losses from fraud and abuse outlined in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (the "DRA") that President Bush signed into law on February 8, 2006. Section 6032 of the DRA requires entities that receive more than $5 million of Medicaid funds annually to establish an employee education plan about state and federal false claims laws and whistleblower protections no later than January 1, 2007.

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More Than One Way To Skin A Cat: Prosecuting Internet Prescribing
by Benjamin N. Gluck, Bird, Marella, Boxer, Wolper, Nessim, Drooks & Lincenberg, Los Angeles, CA

Anyone with an email account should be familiar with the proliferation of Internet sales of prescription medicines. Email offers for prescriptions have been estimated to make up 16% of all email traffic on the Internet. With total email traffic in the billions per day, that's a lot of offers. And this does not even include offers made by banner ads or search engine placement methods. In short, buying prescription medications through the Internet is easy. But is it legal? Answering this question is more difficult than one might assume. This is because the most important laws governing prescriptions were drafted and enacted long before the Internet was part of our lives. Since there is no law explicitly barring Internet prescribing, the Government has tried several different tacks by which to prosecute it. Which approach, if any, will be the most successful has yet to be determined. While a complete discussion of this subject would be too much for this publication, this article briefly summarizes some of the more prominent theories.

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The HLS Membership Committee is offering a New Member Incentive Program. The rules of the program are as follows:

  • The time period covered is August 1 through October 31, 2006.
  • To be eligible, the entry/applicant must have either personally joined the HLS as a new member (i.e. entry/applicant was not a HLS member during 2005-06) or recruited a new member to join the HLS during the incentive time period. In the first instance, the new member gets his or her name entered; in the latter, both the recruiting (i.e. current) HLS member and the new member are entitled to enter.
  • There is no limit on the number of entries per HLS member or individual; the only constraint is that the HLS membership dues must be paid by program deadline.
  • A current HLS member that recruits a new member to attend the Washington Healthcare Summit October 23-24, 2006 gets two entries (SO bring someone new to HLS to the WHS and double your chances to win!).
  • Email all entries to Adam Bielawski, Communications and Interest Group Manager at Adam.Bielawski@americanbar.org. Adam will verify all entries. It is YOUR responsibility to ensure your entry(ies) are received by Adam by program deadline. The Drawing will be held on November 1, 2006.

Incentive Prize: A two day, two person, guided pheasant hunt with dogs in South Dakota during the 2006 season (Oct. 21 to Jan. 7, 2007). All the winner needs to do is to purchase hunting licenses and get to South Dakota. If the winner is not a hunter, a two day guided tour through the beautiful Black Hills of South Dakota may be substituted. Thank you and Good Luck.

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Healthcare Fraud & Compliance Interest Group

The Healthcare Fraud & Compliance Interest Group addresses topical, cutting edge issues which are the focus of fraud and abuse prevention, investigations and prosecutions.

The IG is led by Chair C. Joyce Hall, Watkins & Eager, Jackson, MS and Vice Chairs Gilbert F. Ganucheau, Jr., Glenn M Jones, Office of the Attorney General, State of New York, New York, NY; Carol A. Poindexter, Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP, Kansas City, MO and James G. Sheehan, US Attorney's Office, Philadelphia, PA.

If you would like to join the Interest Group, continue by clicking the following link: Health Law Section IG Sign-up Form.

Do you want to communicate your ideas to thousands of other members through the wonders of cyberspace? To contribute a newsletter article on a health law topic, send us your ideas to Adam.Bielawski@americanbar.org

The opinions expressed are those of the authors and shall not be construed to represent the policies or positions of the ABA or the ABA Health Law Section.
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