ABA Health eSource - Your link to the ABA's Health Law Section
May 2008 Volume 4 Number 9
Health Law Section News  May 8, 2008

May 13, 2008
Coping with Benefit Cutbacks: 204(h) Notice Requirements

(Teleconference & Live Audio Webcast)

May 15-16, 2008
Health Care Fraud

(Fort Lauderdale, FL)

New BNA Products

May 22, 2008
Primer on Issues Faced by Tax-Exempt Healthcare Organizations

(Teleconference & Live Audio Webcast)

May 28, 2008
Payment (Or Not) for Never Events

(Teleconference & Live Audio Webcast)

June 11, 2008
The 22nd Annual National Institute on ERISA Basics

(Chicago, IL)

June 11, 2008
Effective Arbitration of Healthcare Disputes

(Teleconference & Live Audio Webcast)

June 11, 2008
Civil False Claims Act and Qui Tam Enforcement

(Washington, DC)

June 13, 2008
Physician-Legal Issues Conference

(Chicago, IL)

Interest Group Communication Highlights

Resources & News


A Practical Guide to Medicare Appeals

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 Andrew J. Demetriou, Fulbright & Jaworski LLP, Los Angeles, CA

When most of us hear the acronym "ERISA" our attention starts to drift to other topics. We may briefly pause to contemplate the Gordian knot of Supreme Court decisions on preemption of state provider liability laws or the tangle of regulations on health savings accounts, but soon we realize that we are glad that there are other people who do that work. The practice in employee benefits requires a mastery of both tax and labor laws with fiduciary trust issues thrown in for a little spice. Rather than living in a mythic place affording limited contact with regular people, lawyers who specialize in employee benefits stand at the forefront of the debate over healthcare reform in America and regularly address issues that directly impact average citizens, who have to deal with EOB forms, co-payments and pre-authorization issues on a regular basis.

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Now is the Best Time to Reconsider Executive Compensation Arrangements
by Irene F. Gallagher, Holme Roberts & Owen LLP, Denver, CO

In the area of compensation and benefits, tax-exempt hospitals and healthcare providers will have special challenges to meet this year. The remaining months of 2008 provide, in many cases, the last chance to redesign programs to comply with complicated tax regulations, and even to retroactively make some executive compensation arrangements comply in form if nothing contradictory has occurred in operation.

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Health Savings Accounts: Financial and Other Hurdles
by James B. Bristol, Waller Lansden LLP, Nashville, TN

Health Savings Accounts, or HSAs, have been a growing part of the health benefit plan landscape since 2004. An individual who is in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) is permitted to contribute the amount of the annual deductible to an HSA every year that he or she participates in the HDHP (2008 limits are $2,900 for single coverage, $5,800 for family). There are many financial advantages for employees who choose an HDHP-HSA arrangement, including portability of the HSA. The employee owns the HSA, not the employer. Withdrawals used to pay medical expenses from the HSA are always tax-free. After age 65, any amounts remaining in the HSA can be withdrawn for retirement income, much like an IRA. This plan design seeks to put the consumer in control of the majority of medical claims, as the vast majority of claims are under the annual deductible of an HDHP. This design is part of a trend known as "consumer-driven healthcare."

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Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Interest Group

The Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Interest Group focuses on significant compliance issues relating to health and other welfare benefit plans with particular emphasis on HIPAA, COBRA, Medicare Secondary Payor rules, and ERISA Title I rules, as well as executive compensation issues.

The IG is led by Chair Phyllis C. Borzi, O'Donoghue & O'Donoghue, Washington, DC and Vice Chairs Eugene M. Holmes, McDermott Will & Emery LLP, Washington, DC; Gregory L. Needles, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP, Washington, DC and Christopher S. Sears, Ice Miller LLP, Indianapolis, IN.

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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