California is the only state in the country that has mandated nurse-to-patient ratio requirements for hospitals. If the Michigan Nurses Association and Democratic lawmakers are successful in their current legislative efforts, Michigan will be the second.
House Bill 4311 and Senate Bill 228 are identical bills recently introduced in each chamber by Representative Jon Switalski and Senator Rebekah Warren, respectively. The proposed legislation would require hospitals, including state-owned hospitals and state-owned facilities, to develop staffing plans that provide “sufficient, appropriately qualified nursing staff…in order to meet the individualized needs” of patients.
Significant provisions of the legislation include the following: Read More ›
On Monday, March 25, 2013 the Department of Justice along with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan ("BCBSM") jointly filed a motion to dismiss the case against BCBSM regarding their "most-favored nation" contracts. This lawsuit had been going on for 2.5 years and was scheduled for trial in October. Part of the reasoning for this lawsuit being dismissed is that the Insurance Commissioner on February 1, 2013 banned hospitals or insurers from enforcing most-favored nation agreements in insurance contracts unless they are approved by the Insurance Commissioner. Also, as of January 1, 2014 most-favored nation agreements are banned completely.
While many thought the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan ("BCBSM") conversion bills would be signed into law at the end of 2012, it was not until March 18, 2013 that Governor Snyder signed the proposed legislation into law. The BCBSM conversion bills convert BCBSM from "a tax exempt charitable and benevolent institution" into a nonprofit mutual health insurance company. BCBSM has been operating as a tax-exempt nonprofit since Public Act 350 was signed into law in 1980. (This Public Act is referred to as the previous BCBSM statute.) The previous BCBSM statute made BCBSM Michigan’s “insurer of last resort,” requiring it to accept all customers regardless of their health. Read more about the new laws ›
On March 7 and 8, 2013, the members of Foster Swift’s Health Care Law Group attended the 19th Annual Health Law Institute. This two-day institute, which is co-sponsored by the Institute for Continuing Legal Education and the Health Care Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan, focused on recent legal developments in health care law. Specific topics addressed at this year’s Health Law Institute included: Read More ›
Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, companies that provide drugs, medical devices, biologicals or other medical supplies covered by certain government programs (Medicare, Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program) are required to annually report certain payments they make to physicians. According to a recently issued final rule, payment categories will include: Read More ›
Michigan’s Right to Work legislation (“Legislation”) was signed into law by Governor Synder on December 12, 2012. The Legislation will become effective on the 91st day following the final adjournment of the 2012 regular session of the Michigan legislature (December 27, 2012). Unions are attempting to either renew or extend current collective bargaining agreements (“CBAs”) prior to the Legislation becoming effective, in an effort to avoid impact that the Legislation would have on union dues and participation. Read More ›
On January 30, 2013, the Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (collectively, the “Departments”) jointly released proposed rules related to the coverage of preventive services under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”). When initially enacted, PPACA required certain health plans to provide benefits for particular preventive health services, including coverage of contraceptives, without the imposition of cost sharing measures (i.e., individuals covered by the plan would not be required to pay anything for the services). This coverage requirement became effective on the first day of the plan year that followed August 1, 2012. For calendar year plans, the effective date was January 1, 2013. Read More ›
On February 11, 2013, the Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services jointly released a report stating that the government recovered $4.2 billion in fiscal year 2012 and for every dollar spent on health care-related fraud and abuse investigations in the last three years, the government recovered $7.90. The report indicates that this is the highest 3-year average return on investment in the 16 year history of the Health Care Fraud and Abuse program. The Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (“HEAT”), which has operations in Detroit, was instrumental in this recovery effort. Click here for a copy of the full report. Read More ›
Governor Rick Snyder announced that his 2014 budget includes support for the expansion of Medicaid eligibility to Michigan residents without insurance. Speaking at a press conference in Lansing on Wednesday, February 6th, Governor Snyder said expansion would save costs, increase care, and help businesses. Read more about the expansion ›
As previously discussed, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires employers to provide notice to their employees related to Health Insurance Exchanges (the “Notice”). The specifics concerning the Notice may be found here. The Notice was required to be given to each current employee not later than March 1, 2013. Read more about the delay ›