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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.

May 4, 2015 Regulatory Developments

May 4, 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 4, 2015:

  • On May 4, 2015 at 47 N.J.R 881, the Department of Banking and Insurance published notice of its proposal of amendments to its rules governing small employer health benefit plans.  The proposed amendments would allow accumulation of cost sharing and benefit limits over a plan year, in addition to  a calendar year basis, as well as incorporating other revisions allowed by the Federal Affordable Care Act.
  • On May 4, 2015 at 47 N.J.R. 896, the Department of Human Services published notice of its readoption of the rules governing guardianship standards for individuals receiving services from the Division of Developmental Disabilities.
  • On May 4, 2015 at 47 N.J.R. 900, the Department of Children and Families published notice of its adoption of new rules governing New Jersey Safe Haven Infant Protection Act Procedures.  Among other things, the new rules will require hospital staff to gather and record identifying and non-identifying information about an infant left at the hospital emergency department.
  • On May 4, 2015 at 47 N.J.R. 903, the State Board of Polysomnography published its notice of adoption of new rules which will allow licensees to receive credit Towards licensure for education, training and experience received while serving as a member of the armed forces

April 20, 2015 Regulatory Developments

April 29, 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 April 20, 2015:

  • On April 20, 2015 at 46 NJR 768, the State Board of Physical Therapy Examiners published notice of its proposal to amend its regulations to revise the scope of practice for physical therapist assistants, standards for delegation to unlicensed individuals, patient records requirements, endorsement procedures, requirements for retention of advertising records, and continuing education standards.
  • On April 20, 2015 at 47 NJR 797, the Department of Health published notice of its readoption of its rules governing certificates of need for transplantation services.
  • On April 20, 2015 at 47 NJR 800, the State Board of Physical Therapy Examiners published notice of its adoption of amendments to its rules governing credit for education, training and experience received while serving as a member of the Armed Forces.
  • On April 20, 2015 at 47 NJR 806, the State Board of Respiratory care published notice of its adoption of amendments to its rules governing credit for education, training and experience received while serving as a member of the Armed Forces.

March 16, 2015 Regulatory Developments

March 16, 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 March 16, 2015:

  • On March 16, 2015 at 47 NJR 569, the State Department of Education published notice of its proposal of amendments to its rules governing health screenings for student athletes.  The new rules implement the Scholastic Student-Athlete Safety Act, which requires student athletes in grades 6-12 to have a physical exam using a pre-participation physical examination before participating in school sports and to undergo a student-athlete cardiac screening pursuant to the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act.  Under the proposed rules, a pamphlet will be developed to provide student-athletes and their parents or guardians with information about sudden cardiac arrest.  The proposed rules and the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Prevention Act require public and non-public schools to have automatic external defibrillators and to establish emergency action plans for responding to sudden cardiac events.  The proposed rules will also require pamphlets to be distributed to parents or guardians concerning media violence.
  • On March 16, 2015 at 47 NJR 604, the Division of Consumer Affairs published notice of its proposed readoption of its rules and the proposal of new rules governing controlled dangerous substances.
  • On March 16, 2015 at 47 NJR 658, the Board of Respiratory Care published notice of its adoption of new rules governing the delegation of tasks by a respiratory care practitioner to unlicensed persons.  The new rules will enable individuals delivering basic respiratory, non-assisted ventilation and oxygen equipment to demonstrate how to use of the equipment to patients when the equipment is being delivered to their home.

Sustainable Growth Rate

March 16, 2015 | No Comments
Posted by Frank Ciesla

Over the years, we have written blogs in regard to the “resolution” of the Sustainable Growth Rate issue.  Again, the Sustainable Growth Rate temporary resolution, previously enacted in 2014, will be expiring.

While there is discussion that there will be a permanent fix, until Congress can identify where it will find $174 billion, there will not be a permanent fix and Congress will continue to kick the can down the road for another year.

Now what appears to also be intruding on a resolution of the SGR problem is whether or not there should be an alteration of the Medicare pay schedules to the physicians.  While that would be a grand resolution of the issues, it will just complicate what already is a very difficult issue, that is the resolution of the Sustainable Growth Rate issue.  I would expect that you will not see a permanent fix before the current deferral of the Sustainable Growth Rate issue expires and just another temporary fix.

Are You Prepared for the Affordable Care Act?

March 10, 2015 | No Comments
Posted by Ari Burd

If a business employs 50 or more employees, it has until January 1, 2016 to get ready to meet the requirements of the Affordable Care Act/Obama Care.  If a business has a 100 or more employee, it is already subject to the Affordable Care Act.  If you want to know what this means for your business or for your business clients, come out and join us for the free “The Implications of the ACA on Small Business” seminar being held at our office on March 12, 2015 at 6pm.  More information available here.

March 2, 2015 Regulatory Developments

March 2, 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 March 2, 2015:

  • On March 2, 2015 at 47 NJR 527, the Department of health published notice of its readoption of its regulations governing the New Jersey Commission on Spinal Cord Research.
  • On March 2, 2015 at 47 NJR 557, the State Board of Dentistry published notice that the New Jersey Dental Association had withdrawn a petition for rulemaking that it had filed in 2013.  The petition had sought to establish regulatory guidance with respect to the corporate and/or unlicensed practice of dentistry.
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