Mealey's Health Care / ACA

  • January 28, 2020

    ACA Can’t Support Emotion Distress Damages, 5th Circuit Says

    NEW ORLEANS — The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) does not permit damages for emotional distress for a deaf and blind woman’s alleged discrimination, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel said Jan. 24 (Jane Cummings v. Premier Rehab Keller PLLC, et al., No. 19-10169, 5th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 2250).

  • January 24, 2020

    Magistrate Judge Finds Insurer Violated ERISA, Improperly Denied Coverage

    CLEVELAND — An insurer’s procedural errors violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, and it improperly denied coverage for spinal surgery, a federal magistrate judge in Ohio said Jan. 22 (Keith W. Canter v. Alkermes Blue Care Elect Preferred Provider Plan, et al., No. 17-399, S.D. Ohio).

  • January 23, 2020

    Judge: Forum Clause Needs Briefing In Toxicology Provider’s ERISA Suit

    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Anti-assignment provisions largely doom a toxicology service provider’s suit seeking payment, but the parties must brief the court on how to handle one surviving defendant’s forum-selection clause requiring litigation in California, a federal judge in Florida said Jan. 17 (Apex Toxicology LLC v. United Healthcare Services Inc., et al., No. 17-61840, S.D. Fla., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9992).

  • January 22, 2020

    Lactation Services Plaintiffs Lose Expert Testimony, Class Certification Motion

    CHICAGO — An Illinois federal judge on Jan. 21 stripped plaintiffs suing their insurer over lactation services coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) of their expert witness testimony for lack of reliability and then denied their bid for class certification for lack of common issues (Laura Briscoe, et al. v. Health Care Service Corporation, et al., No. 1:16-cv-10294, N.D. Ill., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9447).

  • January 21, 2020

    U.S. Supreme Court Won’t Expedite ACA Individual Mandate Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 21 declined to expedite consideration of a ruling finding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) unconstitutional after being told that the underlying ruling presented no immediate impact (California, et al. v. Texas, et al, No. 19-840, United States House of Representatives v. Texas, et al., No. 19-841, U.S. Sup.).

  • January 21, 2020

    Medicare ‘Not Less Than’ Provision Doesn’t Cover Prescription Drugs, Court Says

    WASHINGTON, D.C. —Medicare does not mandate that private insurers pay providers at the same rates they pay private providers for pharmaceuticals, a federal appeals court in the District of Columbia said Dec. 20 (Cares Community Health v. HHS, No. 18-5319, D.C. Cir.).

  • January 21, 2020

    Class Wins Partial Certification In ACA Lactation Support Case

    SAN FRANCISCO — “Incomprehensible” denial letters sent in reference to out-of-network lactation care form the basis for class certification, but allegations claiming that an insurer’s “woefully inadequate” efforts constituted a uniform effort at evading Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) standards fail, a federal judge in California held Dec. 23 (Rachel Condry, et al. v. UnitedHealth Group Inc., et al., No. 17-183, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 220287).

  • January 21, 2020

    U.S. Supreme Court Accepts ACA Birth Control Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Six years after partially punting on the issue and in the face of new regulations, the U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 17 agreed to once again wade into the debate involving abortion and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive mandate (Little Sisters of the Poor Saints Peter and Paul Home v. Pennsylvania, et al., Donald J. Trump, et al. v. Pennsylvania, Nos. 19-431, 19-454, U.S. Sup.).

  • January 16, 2020

    Judge Remands Insolvent Insurer’s Liquidator’s Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Case

    SALT LAKE CITY — A federal judge in Utah on Jan. 13 remanded to the liquidation court an insolvent health insurer’s liquidator’s breach of fiduciary and negligence lawsuit against the insurer’s executives because the executives failed to establish that the case necessarily raises or involves a substantial issue of federal law for purposes of jurisdiction (Stillman Consulting Services, LLC v. Shaun Greene, et al., No. 19-668, D. Utah, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6274).

  • January 14, 2020

    U.S. Supreme Court Told Not To Rush To Judgment In ACA Individual Mandate Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rulings that found the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual mandate unconstitutional present no immediate impact and do not need to be addressed in an expedited fashion, a trio of Supreme Court respondents told the court Jan. 10 (California, et al. v. Texas, et al, No. 19-840, United States House of Representatives v. Texas, et al., No. 19-841, U.S. Sup.).

  • January 13, 2020

    Court: California Law Sets Reimbursement Rate In Medicaid Payment Spat

    LOS ANGELES — California law setting diagnosis-based payment rates applies to out-of-network care provided in an inpatient post-stabilization setting, a state appeals court held Jan. 9 (Dignity Health, et al. v. Local Initiative Health Care Authority of Los Angeles County, No. B288886, Calif. App., 2nd Dist.).

  • January 06, 2020

    U.S. Supreme Court Asked To Take Up ACA Individual Mandate Case

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A pair of Jan. 3 petitions for writ of certiorari seek U.S. Supreme Court review of a decision finding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual mandate unconstitutional (The States of California, et al. v. The State of Texas, et al, No. 19-840, United States House of Representatives v. State of Texas, et al., No. 19-841, U.S. Sup.).

  • January 03, 2020

    Plaintiff States Urge Supreme Court To Stay Away From ACA Mandate Question

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A handful of amicus curiae parties on Nov. 1 urged the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive mandate case (Little Sisters of the Poor Saints Peter and Paul Home v. Pennsylvania, et al., Donald J. Trump, et al. v. Pennsylvania, Nos. 19-431, 19-454, U.S. Sup.).

  • January 02, 2020

    Appeals Panel Reverses Judgment For Insurer In ACA Risk-Adjustment Case

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The government could not have acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner because it properly evaluated and investigated methods of imposing Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) risk-adjustment charges, a 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Dec. 31 (N.M. Health Connections v. United States HHS, No. 18-2186, 10th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 38739).

  • January 02, 2020

    Judge Dismisses Conclusory, ‘Stunning’ Health Coverage Allegations

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — A claim by a man with cancer that his health insurer misrepresented coverage lacks support and his claim that he didn’t know his health maintenance organization limited his coverage “is stunning,” a federal judge in Pennsylvania said in dismissing claims on Dec. 27 (Adam Brown v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States Inc., No. 19-1190, M.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 221471).

  • January 02, 2020

    Liquidators Appeal Dismissal Of Claims Over Offset Under ACA Reinsurance Program

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The liquidators for an insolvent insurer gave notice on Dec. 23 that they are appealing a U.S. Court of Federal Claims judge’s dismissal of their state law claims against the U.S. government over violation of South Carolina insurance law following the government’s offset of $36 million under the reinsurance program of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (Raymond G. Farmer, et al. v. The United States, No. 18-1484, Fed. Clms.).

  • December 20, 2019

    U.S. Government Appeals Ruling On Offsetting Insolvent Insurer’s Debt Under ACA

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. government said on Dec. 19 that it is appealing to the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals a federal judge’s finding that Colorado insurance liquidation law bars its health agency from using money owed to an insolvent Colorado insurer to pay debts owed under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) reinsurance and risk-adjustment programs (Michael Conway v. The United States, No. 18-1623, Fed. Clms., 2019 U.S. Claims LEXIS 1306).

  • December 19, 2019

    Class Survives UnitedHealth’s Facility-Fee Certification Challenge

    NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on Dec. 18 denied a motion for reconsideration, saying that a certified class did not include patients who assigned their Employee Retirement Income Security Act rights to health care providers and that the issue involved predominance more than commonality (The Medical Society of the State of New York, et al. v. UnitedHealth Group Inc., et al., No. 16-5265, S.D. N.Y.).

  • December 19, 2019

    5th Circuit Finds ACA Individual Mandate Unconstitutional

    NEW ORLEANS — The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual mandate is unconstitutional with its payment set at zero, a majority of a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Dec. 18, but it remanded the case for a closer inspection of whether the provision could be severed from the entire law (Texas, et al. v. United States, et al., No. 19-10011, 5th Cir.).

  • December 16, 2019

    Government Will Appeal $1.58B ACA Cost-Sharing Class Judgment

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a Dec. 16 filing, the federal government indicated that it will appeal a nearly $1.6 billion judgment for its failure to make Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) cost-sharing payments for 2017 and 2018 (Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative v. The United States, No. 17-877, Fed. Clms.).

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