Health Care

On Friday, June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. Overturning two prior precedents, Roe v. Wade and Casey v. Planned Parenthood, the Dobbs decision permits states to regulate and/or prohibit access to abortion at any stage of pregnancy. Following the decision, it is expected that at least 26 states will ban or severely curtail access to abortion.

Considering the shifting legal landscape, many employee benefit plans sponsors are seeking guidance
Continue Reading Dobbs: Considerations for Plan Sponsors Post-Roe

COVID-19, the job market, and now inflation consume us. Older Americans and those with disabilities are more drastically affected by all three, especially due to the consistent need for quality caregiving services in an unstable economy.

In January 2019, a Harvard Business School Report compelled the country to acknowledge the “caregiving shortage crisis,” which has only worsened post the pandemic. Millions of seniors and people with disabilities require long-term services and support, and most want these services at
Continue Reading Drafting Caregiver Agreements that Combat the Caregiving Crisis

The worldwide equity market tumult is creating some unique and unprecedented challenges. However, plunging asset values are presenting some rare opportunities in wealth planning that are often only seen once in a generation. Below are some strategies you may wish to incorporate into your estate and tax planning during this time.
Basic Estate Planning: Now, more so than ever, it is important to make sure your family is provided for in your estate plan. This means reviewing your current
Continue Reading Tax & Wealth Advisor Alert: Estate and Tax Planning During Market Tumult

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has released updated health advisory levels for four per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The new levels for PFOA and PFOS, the two most studied compounds, are 0.004 and 0.02 parts per trillion (ppt), respectively. Previously, the EPA’s health advisory level was 70 ppt for PFOA and PFOS, combined. The EPA released these new levels as “interim updated lifetime health advisories” based on evolving science. However, these new health advisory levels are below the
Continue Reading EPA Releases New, Lower Health Advisory Levels for PFAS

Many of us became attorneys because our reaction to math was “Ugh, not if I can avoid it!”

Not to say any of us are bad at math, but after years of watching lawyer dramas, we didn’t exactly envision our legal careers involving intricate spreadsheets of income and asset classes, monthly care costs, divestment divisors, and so forth.

However, providing the best guidance to our clients often requires exactly that: a deep dive into what puts the client and
Continue Reading Basic Math in Elder Law

As predicted by our law firm, more employees are starting to oppose workplace wellness programs as a result of the AARP v. EEOC lawsuit from 2016. The latest lawsuit involves employees of the City of Chicago in Williams, et. al v. City of Chicago, 20-cv-420 (N.D. Ill. 2020). City of Chicago employees, who are unionized, sued the City as their employer, as well as their union, for forcing them to participate in a workplace wellness program that includes
Continue Reading Workplace Wellness Programs be Warned: Another Employee Wellness Program Lawsuit Emerges

The short answer is “yes.” But the real question that coaches should ask is “How big is the risk?” According to some research[1] by our law firm of 31 state laws on the unlicensed practice of medicine, conducted from January through May 2022, the vast majority of the surveyed states had not taken any action on such unlicensed practice. Our research included determining whether any cases against unlicensed persons were documented and asking a medical board representative whether
Continue Reading Can Health and Wellness Coaches Get Sued?

With all the mass shootings as of late, wellness professionals like health coaches, wellness coaches, functional medicine providers, integrative health specialists and holistic healthcare providers may be itching to help wellness program participants feel more safe and secure. After all, what is wellness without a sense of safety? Studies have shown that households with firearms are at an increased risk of experiencing a homicide, suicide, or accidental firearm death of a household member.

With increased concerns about stress in
Continue Reading Can Wellness Professionals Ask Clients about Gun Use and Ownership?

A recent article criticized the effectiveness of workplace wellness programs. It noted that although 88% of large employers (defined as employers with 200 or more workers) that offered health benefits also offered some type of workplace wellness program. That is a high percentage of employers that offer worksite wellness programs to their employees.

The article cited a 2021 randomized control study by Katherine Baicker and Zirui Song in which the researchers randomly assigned some worksites of a national company
Continue Reading Are Workplace Wellness Programs Required for Employers?

I recently heard this phrase and wondered what is meant by “HIPAA permissions?” HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Affordability Act, creates both obligations and rights for “covered entities.” I think what people are talking about when they say, “HIPAA permissions” are the several rights that HIPAA conveys on covered entities to use and disclose “Protected Health Information” (PHI) without having to obtain a signed authorization from the patient or insurance enrollee.
HIPAA Privacy and Security Rule Fundamentals
Continue Reading What Are HIPAA Permissions and How Many HIPAA Defined Permissions Exist?

In mid-April, juries in Texas and Colorado found health care company executives not guilty of criminal antitrust charges brought by the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division (DOJ).

Despite the two losses, DOJ continues to move forward with similar charges brought against other health care companies. Employers in the health care industry (and beyond) should be aware that human resources (HR) practices that restrain competition in the labor market may be investigated or prosecuted by antitrust enforcers.
DOJ Prosecutes
Continue Reading Two Strikes for DOJ: Health Care Executives Not Guilty of Antitrust Conspiracies

On April 29, 2022, the IRS announced the Health Savings Account limits for 2023.  With respect to contribution limits, the limits are higher than the ones for 2022 and the required deductible and out-of-pocket maximums have increased as well.  As a reminder, these inflation adjusted amounts are effective for calendar year 2023

HSA/HDHP Requirement
Cost-of-Living Adjustments

Limit on HSA Contributions – Self-only HDHP

2022 – $3,650

2023 – $3,850

Limit on HSA Contributions – Family HDHP

2022 – $7,300
Continue Reading 2023 HSA Limits Are Announced

Licensed health care professionals are required to comply with both state and federal rules regulations within their practice. In Wisconsin, health care providers are aware they need to renew their license through the Department of Safety and Professional Services. Many providers realize employment termination or a criminal conviction can impact their professional licenses. What a large majority of these licensed health care professionals don’t know is the consequence an adverse legal action may have on their ability to
Continue Reading Medicare Exclusion: A Guide for Health Care Providers

To attract and help the right clients, health and wellness coaches need to have a robust website that fully describes their services and products, and what sets them apart from other health coaches who provide wellness-related services and products. A typical website may list the different services, such as one-on-one coaching, group coaching, and educational or speaking services. The website may also describe the wellness coach’s philosophy to their practice, and whether it is based in nutrition, physical exercise,
Continue Reading What can a Health Coach Say on a Website Without Getting Into Legal Trouble?

Now that Spring is here, many of us who operate businesses may be turning our attention to hiring summer interns. Organizations may hire interns or student trainees year round as well. Regardless of when you take on interns or student trainees, you should be aware of a common legal pitfall in hiring such individuals. That common legal pitfall is whether the intern or trainee must be paid for their services. There are several legal sources to help answer that
Continue Reading Must Employers Pay Student Interns?

April 7, 2022 – A federal district court properly denied a plaintiff’s motion to remand her class-action lawsuit over medical records to state court after it had been removed to federal court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has ruled.

In Schutte v. Ciox Health, LLC, No 22-1087 (March 1, 2022), a three-judge panel held that the defendant had met the requirements for removal established by Congress in the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA). The
Continue Reading Class Action Lawsuit Over Medical Records Properly Removed to Federal Court