Health Care

Attorney Joseph Gumina was recently quoted in the Milwaukee Business Journal published on January 14, 2022, in an article titled “Employers relieved that SCOTUS ruling nixes potential for costly employee COVID-19 tests: Attorneys.” The article outlines the Supreme Court’s recent ruling against OSHA’s vaccination-or-test rule that would have required large employers, starting February 9, to mandate employee vaccinations or require weekly COVID-19 testing of unvaccinated workers.
In the article, Gumina discusses what employers should expect and what he has
Continue Reading Attorney Joseph Gumina Recently Quoted in the Milwaukee Business Journal

The U.S. Supreme Court just issued a decision blocking the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Emergency Temporary Standard that would require employers with 100 or more employees to impose either a mandatory vaccination policy or, alternatively, mandate that unvaccinated workers be required to wear a face covering while at work and be subject to a COVID-19 test every seven days.  The Court’s three liberal Justices, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor all dissented. This is a breaking story
Continue Reading Employment LawScene Alert: U.S. Supreme Court Halts OSHA’s Vaccination-or-Test Emergency Temporary Standard

On December 27, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced it is withdrawing the non-recordkeeping portion of the Emergency Temporary Standard for healthcare employers (Healthcare ETS). However, the requirements outlined under the Healthcare ETS will now serve as guidelines for compliance with the general duty clause of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act).

Issued on June 21, 2021, the Healthcare ETS outlined rigorous safety standards (previously discussed here) intended to protect workers from the
Continue Reading OSHA Retracts Portion of COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard for Healthcare Employers

On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an order (found here) that it would hold a special session to hear arguments on OSHA’s vaccine-or-test rule that mandates employers with 100 or more employees require its employees to be fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus or be subject to weekly tests. The Court issued its order in response to emergency applications for an administrative stay in response to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit’s 2-1 decision
Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court to Hold Special Session on January 7, 2022 to Review Federal Vaccine Mandates

For health lawyers, COVID issues remain relentless. Recently, speculation about the impact about the Omicron variant has spiked. And on the eve of a key December deadline, a flurry of judicial activity has delayed and created uncertainty about the fate of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) vaccine mandate for health care workers.Although COVID issues can feel all-consuming, we know that other legal issues – including new lawmaking – hasn’t gone away. Here are a few other
Continue Reading Three Recent Non-COVID Legal Health Law Updates

On Friday, December 17, 2021, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit lifted the stay of OSHA’s emergency temporary standard (ETS) mandating COVID-19 vaccinations in the workplace or, alternatively, requiring unvaccinated employees to submit to weekly COVID-19 tests. The stay was originally issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on November 5, 2021, when the Fifth Circuit held that OSHA had exceeded its statutory and constitutional authorities when it
Continue Reading Sixth Circuit Lifts Stay of OSHA’s Vaccination Mandate–OSHA Follows by Announcing Enforcement Policy

Over the last year, the federal 340B Drug Pricing Program has seen an immense amount of change and upheaval.Many manufacturers have begun to limit 340B pricing available through contract pharmacy relationships, significantly limiting available 340B savings to participating entities and, in some cases, exacerbating financial difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.To add to the uncertainty, the Health Resources and Services Administration Office of Pharmacy Affairs’ (HRSA OPA) enforcement authority to levy penalties or otherwise obligate manufacturers to change their
Continue Reading District Courts Add to Drug Pricing Upheaval: 340B Pricing and Enforcement Litigation

Despite previously saying it had no plans to renew the mask mandate after a previous iteration expired on November 27, Public Health of Madison and Dane County (“PHMDC”) has issued a new mask mandate to run until January 3.
Is This Order the Same as the Previous Iterations?
Largely, yes. The current order substantially mirrors the language in the PHMDC mask mandates since September. For a refresher, you can read our KEW Tip on the previous order here. The
Continue Reading PHMDC Renews County-Wide Mask Mandate

By Sally A. Piefer

November 23, 2021

As we previously reported, on November 4th, OSHA released its emergency temporary standard (“ETS”) which requires employers with 100 or more employees to develop, implement, and enforce a written mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy. Alternatively, covered employers may adopt a written policy requiring employees to either choose to be vaccinated or undergo regular testing and wear a face covering at work.

The ETS gave employers until December 5, 2021 to do the following:
Continue Reading Update on OSHA’s Mandatory Vaccine Rule: What Should Employers Do?

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) recently released key Medicare figures for 2022 that will affect all elderly and disabled individuals who receive program benefits.  This notice summarizes the changes and their impact on various benefits.

As is normally the case, Medicare deductibles and premiums have both increased and decreased for 2022.  Many deductibles and co-pays are covered by supplemental Medicare insurance policies, also known as “Medigap” policies (i.e., to cover the “gaps” in Medicare coverage).

Deductibles
Continue Reading CMS Releases Key Medicare Figures for 2022

On Nov. 5, 2021, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an
interim final rule with comment period (IFC), requiring Medicare and Medicaid-certified providers and suppliers to establish COVID-19 vaccination requirements for all covered staff.

Part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s path out of the pandemic, the IFC applies to more than 17 million workers at approximately 76,000 health care facilities, including hospitals and long-term care facilities.

This article provides an overview of the IFC’s provisions, including
Continue Reading Vaccine Mandate for Health Care Providers: The Deadline is Right around the Corner

On Tuesday, November 16, 2021, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation held a lottery-style drawing to select which of the 12 federal circuit court of appeals where petitions for review are currently pending as to which circuit will hear the challenges to OSHA’s emergency temporary standard mandating COVID-19 vaccinations in the workplace. Through that lottery process, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit was selected. As a result, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation issued
Continue Reading Sixth Circuit Selected to Hear Challenges to OSHA’s COVID-19 Vaccination Mandate

On November 16, 2021, a panel on multidistrict litigation announced that a panel of three judges from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit will hear the OSHA ETS litigation. All petitions that have been filed will be consolidated to the Sixth Circuit in accordance with the Consolidation Order signed today.

What does this mean for your business if you fall within the OSHA ETS mandate? We anticipate the Sixth Circuit will render a decision in the
Continue Reading Breaking News! Sixth Circuit to Hear OSHA ETS Challenge

On November 12, 2021, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued two nursing home memos. The first, QSO-20-39-NH, addresses nursing home visitation. The memo requires nursing homes to urge staff and residents to become vaccinated by providing education on the risks and benefits of the vaccine, and to offer to administer the vaccine and report vaccination data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CMS notes that the number of new COVID-19 cases has dramatically
Continue Reading CMS Issues Two Memos on Nursing Home Visitation and Increased Nursing Home Oversight

On Friday, November 12, 2021, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued a 22-page decision (linked here) continuing its November 6th order that stayed the implementation and enforcement of OSHA’s emergency temporary standard mandating COVID-19 vaccinations in the workplace. In a strong rebuke of the Biden’s Administration’s desire to vaccinate as many Americans as possible through use of OSHA’s emergency temporary standard provision (29 U.S.C. § 655(c)) found in the Occupational Safety and Health
Continue Reading Employment LawScene Alert: Fifth Circuit Issues Strong Rebuke of OSHA’s Authority to Mandate Vaccinations in the Workplace–OSHA Suspends Efforts

RETIREMENT PLAN UPDATES
IRS Publishes Guidance Regarding Rehiring Pension Participants Following Retirement
On October 22, 2021, the IRS amended its existing FAQs regarding the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to address whether an employer may rehire a former employee who commenced retirement distributions under a qualified pension plan that does not provide for in‑service distributions due to unforeseen hiring needs related to the COVID‑19 pandemic. In particular, the guidance considers whether such circumstances would result
Continue Reading Benefits Counselor – November 2021