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

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?

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?

A lot of wellness providers, functional medicine providers, chiropractors, health coaches and medical spa entrepreneurs wonder if they can or should hire a physician or nurse practitioner to help expand their services. Physicians and nurse practitioners, and sometimes depending on the state, physician assistants, have a broader scope of practice than most other types of licensed and unlicensed practitioners in the health and wellness space. So, a common question we receive at the Center for Health and Wellness Law,
Continue Reading Can you Hire Physicians for your Medical Spa or Wellness Practice?

It’s no secret that the Covid-19 pandemic has adversely impacted the mental wellbeing of many workers. Coupled with the tight job market, recruitment and retention of employees is a huge challenge for employers. Many employers may want to focus more heavily on the mental wellness of their employees, and for good reason. According to one survey of employees since the pandemic, over 40% feel hopeless, burned out or exhausted. That’s about the same percentage of U.S. adults
Continue Reading Using Mental Health Parity Law as a Tool to Design More Holistic Workplace Wellness Programs

As a lawyer, of course you would think my answer to the question “Do health coaches need a lawyer” to be “Yes, of course they do!” But even my pro-lawyer bias gives way to interpreting the words on the page (a skill lawyers tend to master). No, coaches do not “need” a lawyer. Need implies a requirement, and there is no legal or ethical requirement that dictates that practicing health coaches need a lawyer. Lawyers, after all, are expensive
Continue Reading Do Health Coaches Need a Lawyer?

On December 27, 2020, in the midst of the COVID19 pandemic, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA). The “No Surprises Act” was contained in that new law and took effect on January 1, 2022.  The No Surprises Act attempts to accomplish a number of things, most notably requiring health plans to cover surprise emergency medical service bills and out-of-network medical services rendered at in-network hospitals and facilities at “in-network” rates. The impetus of this law was
Continue Reading Does the No Surprises Act Apply to Workplace Wellness Providers? Once Again, Group Health Plan Status Matters

In a very quick turnaround decision, the U.S. Supreme Court stopped the enforcement of the OSHA vaccine mandate rules in an opinion issued on Thursday, January 13th. The Supreme Court heard oral arguments about the OSHA rules last Friday, January 7th, so to issue a decision in less than a week is quite spectacular.
Six of the nine justices joined in the decision to stop the OSHA rules. The three most liberal leaning justices, Justices Sotomayor, Breyer and Kagan,
Continue Reading U.S. Supreme Court Stops the OSHA Vaccine Mandate

If you are a fan of our blogs, then you know we have previously written about the legal aspects of spiritual coaching. In that blog, we discuss how practicing spiritual coaching can be legally protected under state law as well as under the U.S. Constitution. Our blog states:
“Thus, to avoid scope of practice and licensure issues, spiritual coaches should offer services that are spiritual or religious in nature, and not therapeutic in nature. Certification from religious organizations
Continue Reading Should Health and Wellness Coaches Join a Religious/Ecclesiastical Organization?

In a surprise ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit issued an opinion lifting the stay imposed by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals relating to the OSHA employer vaccine mandate. Contrary to the Fifth Circuit’s opinion issued in November, the Sixth Circuit states that OSHA does have authority under the OSH Act and the U.S. Constitution to impose a federal vaccine mandate on employers with at least 100 employees. In a lengthy opinion, the Sixth
Continue Reading Sixth Circuit Lifts Stay on OSHA Covid19 Employer Vaccine Mandate

There. I said it. The federal government’s attempt at instituting a COVID19 vaccine mandate is a debacle. President Biden’s announcement on September 9, 2021 of a vaccine mandate has turned into legal and political chaos.
Ever since the release of the COVID19 vaccine mandate rules from OSHA (covering employers with 100 or more employees), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) (covering certain health care workers), and the White House (covering federal contractors), courts have been blocking implementation
Continue Reading Why Workplace Wellness Professionals are Best Equipped to Handle the COVID19 Vaccine Mandate Debacle

On November 5, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) in the Federal Register. These were the long awaited emergency rules that President Biden referenced in his September 9, 2021 press conference. These rules take effect immediately (although there are two different deadlines, discussed below) and apply to employers with 100 or more employees.
Even though the rules are now published, their status remains in limbo. A lot of wellness professionals
Continue Reading How Should the Wellness Industry Respond to the OSHA COVID19 Vaccine Mandate Rules?