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NLRB Decision to Have Wide Ranging Effect on Franchises & Companies using Staffing Agencies

August 28, 2015 | No Comments
Posted by Ari Burd

The National Labor Relations Board ruled yesterday that franchisors and companies using staffing agencies can be considered joint employers and, therefore, are jointly liable for labor violations.  The decision will potentially have major ramifications for franchises and could sabotage efforts by employers using staffing agencies to avoid the health care requirements of the Affordable Care Act. Read more

August 17, 2015 Regulatory Developments

August 18, 2015 | No Comments
Posted by Beth Christian

Here are the most recent health care related regulatory developments as published in the New Jersey Register on August 17, 2015:

  • On August 17, 2015 at 47 NJR 2037 and 2046, the Department of Human Services published notice of its proposed readoption with amendments to its rules governing Programs of Assertive Community Treatment.
  • On August 17, 2015 at 47 NJR 2039, the Department of Human Services published notice of its proposed readoption of its rules governing administration of the Medicaid program.
  • On August 17, 2015 at 47 NJR 2041, the Department of Human Services published notice of its proposed amendments to its rules implementing the ICD-10 standards for hospital, physician, advanced practice nurse and independent clinic services under Medicaid effective October 1, 2015.
  • On August 17, 2015 at 47 NJR 2044, the Department of Human Services published notice of its proposed readoption of its rules governing reimbursement for hospital services under Medicaid.
  • On August 17, 2015 at 47 NJR 2063, the Department of Health published notice of its readoption with amendments to its rules governing the Certificate of Need process.  The amended rules will continue the provision of elective PCI services at hospitals who have served as participants in the C-Port demonstration project.
  • On August 17, 2015 at 47 NJR 2165, the State Board of Social Work Examiners published notice of its readoption of its rules governing the licensing and regulation of social workers.

July 20, 2015 Regulatory Developments

August 5, 2015 | No Comments
Posted by Beth Christian

Here are the most recent health care related regulatory developments as published in the New Jersey Register on July 20, 2015:

  • On July 20, 2015 at 47 NJR 1827, the Department of Human Services published notice of its proposal of new rules and the proposal of amendments to its existing rules governing community mental health services.  Among other things, the proposal would add a new licensure category as a result of a recent amendment to the Medicaid State Plan.  The new licensure category will be known as Community Support Services (CSS), a mental health rehabilitation service that assists individuals diagnosed with a mental illness to attain the skills necessary to achieve and maintain their life roles in employment, education, housing, and social environments.
  • On July 20, 2015 at 47 NJR 1875, the Board of Marriage and Family Therapy Examiners published notice of adoption of amendments to its rules which would grant credit towards licensure and certification for education, training, and experience received while serving as a member of the Armed Forces.
  • On July 20, 2015 at 47 NJR 1882, the Board of Dentistry published notice of its grant in part and denial in part of a petition for rulemaking which sought to expand the scope of services that certain dental auxiliary personnel can perform.  The Board agreed with the petitioner that the functions that an LRDA-O may perform should be expanded to include: 1) using a curing light; 2) applying topical anesthetic; 3) applying topical fluoride; 4) placing and ligating arch wires; and 5) etching teeth in preparation for bonding, sealants, and desensitizing agents.  The Board determined to allow dental auxiliary personnel under the direct supervision of a licensed dentist, to: 1) take impressions for orthodontic appliances; 2) place orthodontic separators; 3) remove bands and brackets without the use of rotary instruments; and 4) perform emergency treatment to provide immediate relief from an offending appliance, for example, clipping a protruding arch wire or removing a loose bracket.  The Board denied the petitioner’s request to include intra-oral scanning for the purpose of obtaining digital study models or orthodontic appliances.  In addition, the Board granted the petitioner’s request to expand the functions of licensed dental hygienists to include removing primary adhesive after debanding or debonding without the use of rotary instruments, but denied the petitioner’s request to expand the functions of registered dental assistants and LRDA-O to include this function.

July 6, 2015 Regulatory Developments

July 9, 2015 | No Comments
Posted by Beth Christian

Here are the most recent health care related regulatory developments as published in the New Jersey Register on July 6, 2015:

  • On July 6, 2015 at 47 NJR 1380, the Department of Human Services published notice of its proposed readoption with amendments to its rules governing rehabilitative services for children under Medicaid and NJ FamilyCare.
  • On July 6, 2015 at 47 NJR 1637, the Professional Counselors Examiners Committee published notice of its adoption of new rules which will provide for credit towards licensure and certification for education, training, and experience received while serving as a member of the Armed Forces.
  • On July 6, 2015 at 47 NJR 1639, the Physician Assistant Advisory Committee published notice of its adoption of new rules which will provide for credit towards licensure and certification for education, training, and experience received while serving as a member of the Armed Forces.

June 15, 2015 Regulatory Developments

July 8, 2015 | No Comments
Posted by Beth Christian

Here are the most recent health care related regulatory developments as published in the New Jersey Register on June 15, 2015:

  • On June 15, 2015 at 47 NJR 1309, the Office of Administrative Law published notice of its notice of its adoption of amendments to its rules governing OAL hearings and settlement procedures.
  • On June 15, 2015 at 47 NJR 1323, the Department of Human Services published notice of its readoption with amendments to its rules governing short term care facility standards.
  • On June 15, 2015 at 47 NJR 1323, the Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Committee Law published notice of its notice of its adoption of amendments to its rules governing continuing professional education.

Appellate Division Upholds Trial Court’s Finding That A Volunteer Ambulance Squad is Not Subject To OPRA

July 1, 2015 | No Comments
Posted by Beth Christian

Tabernacle Rescue Squad (“TRS”) , a volunteer ambulance squad located In Tabernacle Township, has scored an important victory in the Appellate Division in an OPRA case that could have far-reaching implications for non-profit volunteer rescue squads throughout the State of New Jersey.  GH & C attorneys Ari Burd and Beth Christian have represented TRS  in an on-going dispute with a resident of Tabernacle Township who filed an OPRA request with TRS .  The Township resident asserted that TRS was an instrumentality of the Township and was therefore subject to OPRA.  We reported in an earlier blog post that after the Township resident  filed an Order to Show Cause seeking to compel release of the records,  the trial court issued a decision finding that TRS, as a nonprofit, all volunteer organization formed and operated by private citizens, should not be subject to OPRA: http://www.njhealthcareblog.com/2014/03/court-rules-that-volunteer-rescue-squad-is-not-subject-to-opra/. Thereafter, the Township resident appealed the trial court’s decision to the Appellate Division.

Ari Burd appeared at oral argument in the Appellate Division on behalf of TRS.  In a per curium decision, the Appellate Division upheld the decision of the trial court.  The Appellate Division indicated that “we agree with Judge Bookbinder that the Rescue Squad, having been founded by private individuals and conducting its operations wholly free of government control, albeit with financial support permitted by statute, cannot be considered a public agency under OPRA.”  The Appellate Division also held that because TRS is not a public agency and its volunteer members do not conduct government business, the appellant was not entitled to the TRS records under common law.

NJ Tax Court Upholds Morristown Tax Assessor’s Denial of Property Tax Exemption for Non-Profit Hospital

June 30, 2015 | No Comments
Posted by Beth Christian

The New Jersey Tax Court has issued a decision that could have broad implications for a majority of New Jersey’s hospitals.  In AHS Hospital Corp vs. Township of Morristown, Dockets Nos. 010900-2007 et als., the Tax Court held that a majority of Morristown Memorial Medical Center’s property was subject to property tax, even though the Medical Center is a federally tax exempt organization and was formed as a non-profit corporation under New Jersey law.  N.J.S.A 54:4-3.6 provides for exemption from property taxes for “all buildings actually used in the work of associations and corporations organized for hospital purposes, provided that if any portion of a building used for hospital purposes is leased to profit-making organizations or otherwise used for purposes which are not themselves exempt from taxation, that portion shall be subject to taxation and the remaining portion only shall be exempt . . “The Tax Court found that because the Medical Center was used by non-employed Medical Staff members and Hospital-based physicians who were not employed by the Medical Center, the Tax Court was unable to discern the difference between the Medical Center’s non-profit activities and the for-profit activities of physicians.  The Tax Court also scrutinized the Medical Center’s relationship with its captive professional corporation, for-profit affiliates and captive insurer, as well as its loans to several non-affiliated for-profit entities.  In addition, the Tax Court found that the Medical Center failed to meet its burden of proof concerning the reasonableness of the compensation paid to some of its senior executives, and that the productivity incentive payments contained in the Medical Center’s contracts with its employed physicians “demonstrated a profit-making purpose.” Finally, the Tax Court found that the Medical Center’s management contract with Aramark Corporation to manage the Hospital Cafeteria evidenced a profit-making purpose.

The activities which the Tax Court found to be evidence of a “profit-making purpose” are activities in which federally tax-exempt hospitals have routinely engaged throughout the United States..  At the present time, the decision is only applicable to Morristown Memorial Medical Center, which has the right to appeal the decision.  If Morristown Medical Center elects not to appeal the decision, or if it is ultimately upheld on appeal, the decision could have broad implications for many New Jersey hospitals if other municipalities elect to challenge the property tax exemption of hospitals within their borders.

GH&C Alert: Supreme Court Decision Upholds Key Portion Of The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)

June 25, 2015 | No Comments
Posted by Frank Ciesla

In a 6-3 decision, the United States Supreme Court has overruled the lower court decision in King vs. Burwell which reviewed key portions of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). The Court’s ruling in the matter upheld the validity of the federally-funded insurance exchanges and insures that the penalty provisions of the ACA will remain in force and applicable to employers. Specifically, the US Supreme Court has ruled that US government can continue subsidizing insurance in states that have not set up their own insurance exchanges. Had the Court ruled against such a practice, individuals in most states would have been unable to obtain subsidized insurance, a pre-requisite in order for the penalty provisions of the ACA to apply to employers. Given the Court’s ruling, employers must meet their ACA obligations or risk significant penalties in 2015 and beyond.

June 1, 2015 Regulatory Developments

June 12, 2015 | No Comments
Posted by Beth Christian

Here are the most recent health care related regulatory developments as published in the New Jersey Register on June 1, 2015:

  • On June 1, 2015 at 47 NJR 1039, the Department of Banking and insurance published notice of its proposal of its readoption with amendments to its rules governing licensure fees, license terms and annual reports for licensees.
  • On June 1, 2015 at 47 NJR 1234, the Department of Banking and insurance published notice of its proposal amendment to its rules governing exclusions and non-covered services under the Individual Health Benefits program in order to incorporate certain revisions required by the Federal Affordable Care Act.
  • On June 1, 2015 at 47 NJR 1240, the State Board of Polysomnography published notice of its proposed amendments to its scope of practice rules to clarify that polysomnographic technicians may read or analyze the data obtained from home-based unattended self-administered diagnostic sleep tests.

May 18, 2015 Regulatory Developments

June 11, 2015 | No Comments
Posted by Beth Christian

Here are the most recent health care related regulatory developments as published in the New Jersey Register on May 18, 2015:

  • On May 18, 2015 at 47 NJR 1008, the Department of Banking and Insurance published notice of its adoption of amendments to its rules governing the Small Employer Health Benefits program to bring them into conformity with federal requirements.
  • On May 18, 2015 at 47 NJR 1014, the orthotics and Prosthetics Board of Examiners published notice of its adoption of a new rule allowing prospective licensees credit towards licensure for education, training, and experience received While serving as a member of the armed forces.
  • On May 18, 2015 at 47 NJR 1023, the Office of the Ombudsman for the Institutionalized Elderly published notice of its readoption with amendments to its rules, and the adoption of new rules, governing complaint procedures, reporting requirements, health care decision-making and the withholding of life-sustaining treatment.
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