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

Although most recent attention has been on the September 9, 2021 Executive Order by President Biden mandating COVID19 vaccines by employers, a lesser-known Executive Order from two months earlier is also important for those working in health and wellness fields. The July 9, 2021 Executive Order deals with market competition. Two areas of specific interest to health and wellness professionals relate to noncompete agreements and occupational licensing restrictions. Noncompete Agreements The Executive Order requires the Chair of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to look at making rules that would make it more difficult for employers to prevent employees with competing…
Are you looking to open an intravenous (IV) hydration therapy or vitamin/nutrient therapy business? Or, perhaps you already own one and are wondering what legal issues surround such a business. You are not alone. IV therapy businesses are on the rise. According to one market research firm, the IV hydration industry is a $2 billion industry and there are about 626 businesses in the United States alone. Sometimes these businesses are known as “drip bars.” Consumers who visit these facilities can get infusions of saline, vitamins, and other prescription drugs. People suffering from low energy or hangovers may…
When health and wellness coaches start their own business, one of the first things they should tackle is getting their legal documents created and embedded into their intake system. These legal documents may include: A consent form or services agreement An authorization form Group coaching agreements Internal policies and procedures Malpractice insurance policies Legal entity formation and operation documents Employment and/or independent contractor agreements Website terms of use and privacy policies Others as needed to meet unique business needs Many times, usually to save money, coaches may be tempted to use templates that are available for free or a small…
As the Delta and other Greek-lettered variants plague our world, many employers are mandating, or considering mandatory COVID19 vaccinations for their employees. Indeed, some groups are advocating for COVID19 vaccine mandates, such as the Center for American Progress, which recently wrote that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) should make COVID19 vaccines for health organization employees a condition of participation or condition for coverage under the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs.  And fifty medical groups have called for mandatory vaccinations in hospitals. Further, as noted in previous blog posts, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has…
The health coaching market is growing. According to Precedence Research, the global health coach market is projected to grow by 6.7% annually to be worth around $27.8 billion by 2030. Because of the worldwide pandemic in 2020, telehealth and remote visits have exploded, making health coaching even more attractive and viable as a business across the world. As a result, we at the Center for Health and Wellness Law, LLC receive a lot of questions from aspiring health and wellness coaches about whether and how they can practice beyond their home borders. For many coaches based in the…
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) just recently confirmed what had been surmised all along:  that employers can incentivize employees to get the COVID19 vaccine. However, as expected, there are some caveats and conditions that accompany this decision. If You Merely Ask Employees for Proof of Vaccination by a Third-Party, Incentives to Vaccinate are OK. According to the new EEOC guidance, an employer may incentivize employees to encourage the employee and their family members to get the COVID19 vaccine. The EEOC reasons that such incentives would not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or the Genetic Information…
The Center for Health and Wellness Law often works with wellness companies and providers who want to conduct biometric screening tests as part of health fairs or health promotion events. Sometimes these events are held at the worksite as a benefit to employees, other times they may be open to the public. In either case, wellness companies and providers, such as nurses, doctors, dietitians, or health coaches, must be aware of legal restrictions and requirements involved when collecting “blood specimens,” either through finger stick or venipuncture. There are two sources of law wellness companies and providers should address when planning…
On June 11, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sent an email alerting the public about emergency temporary standards (ETS) for those working in “healthcare” to protect them from COVID-19 exposure now that vaccinations are available. These standards stem from one of President Biden’s first Executive Orders issued on January 21, 2021. As with most health-related guidance, it is not obvious whether these standards apply to wellness providers, or “Complementary and Alternative Medicine (“CAM”) Providers.” Wellness providers might include health coaches, naturopathic doctors, ayurvedic medical providers, functional medicine providers, lifestyle medicine providers, acupuncturists, chiropractors, nutritional counselors, fitness professionals,…
A lot of health and wellness coaches would like to order labs and interpret those lab results so that they can provide more tailored, specific advice to their clients about their nutrition and dietary needs. Unfortunately, unless the coach is a licensed health care professional in the state in which their client resides, such as a physician or dietitian, ordering labs and interpreting those labs to provide specific advice is likely outside of the coach’s scope of practice. The least risky way to practice health and wellness coaching is to offer services that support, encourage and educate clients. Diving into…
If you are a health or wellness coach, you may wonder if you are subject to HIPAA privacy and security standards. Many coaches assume they are, but many of them would be wrong. That doesn’t mean HIPAA privacy and security standards should not play a role in your practice, but whether coaches are technically required to comply does play a role in how address privacy and security concerns of you and your clients. If you are like most health and wellness coaches, you will likely collect private information from your clients. This may be health information, and will certainly be…
Determining your wellness program’s “group health plan” status is an important first step for achieving compliance.  Whether your workplace wellness program qualifies as a group health plan or a non-group health plan dictates which laws apply.  For example, group health plan wellness programs are subject to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Employee Retirement and Income Security Act (ERISA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), whereas non-group health plan wellness programs are not. ERISA defines “group health plan” as “an employer-sponsored welfare benefit plan to the extent that the plan…
There is growing interest in spiritual wellbeing. According to one article: “The growing interest in spirituality within the practice of medicine may be attributed to the fact that medical studies and research reveal that the religious faith of a patient impacts positively on their recovery from surgery, and is beneficial in reducing ailments related to stress such as high blood pressure and depression.” Given the increased stress felt by employees, particularly in the aftermath of COVID-19, many employers and wellness professionals may seek assistance from spiritual coaches. An important and relevant legal question is whether spiritual coaching can…
One question that frequently arises in my wellness law practice is whether and how employers can tie incentives to Health Savings Account (HSA) contributions. Given that tax season is upon us, and HSA’s are tax-favored accounts, I thought it would be appropriate to offer some background and legal considerations on this topic. The Role of High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) Many employers tackle the rising costs of health benefits by offering high deductible health plans (HDHPs). By offering HDHPs, employees can then enroll in an HSA. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics: HDHPs allow workers to establish Health Savings…
The physician self-referral law, or “Stark Law,” prohibits physicians from referring patients to receive “designated health services” — payable by Medicare or Medicaid — from entities in which the physician holds a direct or indirect financial interest. For instance, a physician cannot refer a patient to an entity that provides magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans if the physician has a direct or indirect financial interest in the MRI entity. Why? Because physicians should make referrals based on the patient’s best interest, and the allure of compensation may detract from that goal. Enacted in 1989 and expanded in 1993 with many…
Many new health and wellness coaches and other start-ups wrestle with the decision of whether to create a legal entity.  With the advent of virtual platforms or telehealth technology, starting a wellness coaching or virtual health business is gaining traction. I have had many clients seeking health coaching lawyers ask me should I even bother?  The basis for this question is that when you venture out on your own, you become a “sole proprietor” unless you actively register your business with a State, such as your own state or another state like Delaware.  So, the default legal status of any…