The Center for Health and Wellness Law, LLC

The Center for Health and Wellness Law, LLC is the “go-to” law firm for the health and wellness industries.  The Center provides legal advice, resources, trainings and advocacy to help the health and wellness industries operate in a compliant and optimal manner, which ultimately benefits patients and improves population health.  The Center is a boutique law firm that understands, appreciates and shares in the goals of the health and wellness industries and the professionals who work within them.

The Center for Health and Wellness Law, LLC Blogs

Latest from The Center for Health and Wellness Law, LLC

Are you like so many businesses I see that offers wellness services across the United States, perhaps through a virtual platform? If so, pay attention. Depending on the type of services you offer, you may be subject to state laws regarding refunds and cancellation policies. Let me give you an example:

A fitness company offers a membership program to anyone, anywhere. Customers can pay in advance and receive a discount or pay monthly. The fitness company’s Terms and Conditions
Continue Reading Is Your Wellness Service Refund Policy Compliant?

Many organizations, including hospitals and other health care organizations, are embracing peer support networks to tackle the extreme levels of burnout being felt by many employees in the workplace. Employees can get trained or certified as Mental Health Fist Aid responders to serve as a peer support person. When done right, peer support can be very helpful to the mental well-being of employees. See e.g., https://www.mhanational.org/peer-workforce and https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/2165079919873934.

However, inserting a peer support program into a workplace wellness
Continue Reading Is Your Mental Health Peer Support Program ADA-Compliant?

Private equity firms are eating up physician practices, and they are not slowing down. According to a recent report from the American Antitrust Institute (hereinafter the AAI Report), private equity acquisitions of physician practices increased from 75 deals in 2012 to 484 deals in 2021. In some urban areas, a private equity firm might own 30% or more of the physician practices, which reduces competition and as studies are showing, increases prices for consumers.

Private equity ownership of physician
Continue Reading Should Physicians Sell their Practices to Private Equity Investors?

As the traditional health system continues to fail patients and providers alike, more people are turning to wellness to fill in the gaping hole left by traditional health care. For those wellness practitioners wanting to serve clients as a health, wellness or lifestyle coach, aruveyda or reiki practitioner, yoga instructor, personal trainer, massage therapist, holistic health practitioner, functional medicine practitioner, nutrition counselor or many of the other titles that identify as wellness, a critical question you may ask is
Continue Reading If Wellness Practitioners Don’t Bill Health Insurance, Are they Subject to HIPAA Privacy Rules?

It may come as a surprise that many services we classify as “wellness services” do not require a state-issued license, either for the practitioner delivering the service or the business offering the service. Some practitioners believe that a certification from a wellness education provider, such as for health coaches, reiki practitioners, mindfulness practitioners, personal trainers, yoga instructors, nutrition consultants, energy healers, just to name a few, is the same as a state-issued license.

It is not.

Having a certification
Continue Reading What are the Legal Risks of Delivering Wellness Services without a License, and What Qualifies as Wellness Services Anyway?

As a wellness lawyer, I hear all kinds of complaints from all kinds of different stakeholders in the wellness industry. Lately, I have been hearing from people wronged by health and business coaches. These individuals have been hurt emotionally and financially by unethical coaches. This emotional or financial injury may occur because the coach oversteps their scope of practice, or because their business policies, such as refunds or payment policies, are inequitable and unethical.

As I write my next
Continue Reading Who Will Lead the Ethical Wellness Movement?

Many people may not realize that some states have workplace wellness program laws; it’s not just the province of the federal government. Massachusetts happens to have one of the most comprehensive workplace wellness program laws, and it may just set the bar for other states to follow.
Specifically, Massachusetts has a law that applies to Certified Group Purchasing Cooperative Wellness Programs (or entities that contract with such cooperatives). See 211 CMR 115.15.
Read more here.
The post Massachusetts’
Continue Reading Massachusetts’ Workplace Wellness Program Law May Set the Standard

Most of the conversation around workplace wellness compliance has focused on federal law compliance, such as with HIPAA, ACA, ADA, and GINA. But some states have also enacted laws that are important to workplace wellness program compliance. This blog post will highlight two state laws and examine whether more such laws are needed.

New York

New York Insurance Law § 3239 allows insurers, companies and municipal cooperative health benefits plans in New York to establish “wellness programs” in conjunction
Continue Reading Don’t Forget About State Workplace Wellness Laws

On May 9, 2023, the IRS Office of Chief Counsel issued Memorandum #202323006 which clarified whether certain wellness incentive payments are subject to the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA), Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) and federal income tax withholding (FITW), or collectively known as “employment taxes.

The scenario described by the IRS is this:

An employer provides comprehensive health benefits through a group health plan (GHP). The GHP provides preventive care benefits such as reimbursements for the cost of
Continue Reading New IRS Memorandum Confirms Certain Wellness Benefits are Taxable

On April 17, 2020, Todd Maness (“Maness”), a police officer employed by the Village of Pinehurst in North Carolina, sued his employer for terminating his employment. Why was he terminated? According to Maness, the Village fired him because he refused to fill out a health risk assessment which was created by a wellness vendor, SiteMed. Maness claimed that his termination for refusing to answer questions about his and his family members’ health violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Continue Reading Who’s Responsible for Complying with Federal Workplace Wellness Laws? A Recent Lawsuit Provides Insight

Telemedicine has become increasingly popular, especially with advancements in technology and the need for convenient and accessible healthcare. Many licensed healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, therapists, and specialists, are utilizing telemedicine to provide consultations, advice, prescriptions, and ongoing care to patients across the country.

Through telemedicine, healthcare professionals can conduct virtual appointments, review medical records, discuss symptoms, provide guidance on managing chronic conditions, and even monitor certain vital signs remotely. Patients can communicate with healthcare providers using video calls,
Continue Reading Can Licensed Health Care Professionals Use Telehealth to Help Patients Nationally?

Lately our firm has had a lot of clients with nursing background come to us to escape their employment as a nurse in a hospital or other traditional health care organization, or to start a side business as a nurse coach, IV hydration business owner, med spa owner, or combination of all three. Why they are fleeing traditional medical care facilities, or at least branching out to the wellness world is simple: burnout. According to a 2022 Surgeon General
Continue Reading What’s the Difference between a Nurse Coach and a Health Coach?

On February 24, 2023,  Leanne Diment, on behalf of a proposed class of employees of Quad Graphics and Rise Interactive Media & Analytics, sued her employer for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Specifically, she alleges that her employer forced her to undergo a biometric screen with her physician to avoid having to pay over $1800 more each year in health insurance premium. See Complaint, dkt. #1, Diment v. Quad Graphics, Inc. Case No. 23-cv-1173 (N.D. Ill. 2023).
Continue Reading More Employees Sue Workplace Wellness Programs

Lately our firm has received a lot of inquiries from registered nurses who want to start an IV hydration business. Burned out from working in hospitals and long term care facilities, particularly in the aftermath of COVID19, many nurses are looking to use their skills in more satisfying and profitable ways. IV hydration businesses are becoming a popular way to put nursing skills to good use. Such businesses often focus on helping people recover from hangovers or just improve
Continue Reading Should Nurses or other Wellness Providers Sign a Contract with an IV Hydration Company?

As you embark on your new career path as a health coach, making sure that your business remains in compliance with Florida health coach laws will be essential. Failure to do so could be devastating for your new business and put you at risk of penalties.
However, these laws can often be complex. Our health coach attorneys at Wellness Law, LLC, are here to help you understand how these laws could affect your business and clients and ensure your
Continue Reading Introduction to Health Coach Laws in Florida

Your massage therapy business needs to have massage liability waivers in place before you do any work on clients. This can help protect you or any massage therapists you employ if your client subsequently suffers an injury due to their massage therapy session.

However, it is important to ensure that your massage liability waivers are written in a way that does not invalidate the waiver, as this could leave your massage therapists and business open for potential litigation.

Here
Continue Reading Massage Liability Waivers: What You Need to Know