What We Can Learn From HIPAA Settlements

by Melanie Bork Graham A data breach at a business is serious enough, but when it involves a healthcare organization, there are greater ramifications. And when the sensitive nature of patient medical records are jeopardized, it can be costly. The Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces HIPAA privacy and security rules, which safeguard patient medical information. A recent article in healthitsecurity.com took a look at settlements over the past two years, to share five lessons on what was overlooked and how Continue reading →by Melanie Bork Graham A data breach at a business is serious enough, but when it involves a healthcare organization, there are greater ramifications. And when the sensitive nature of patient medical records are jeopardized, it can be costly. The Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces HIPAA privacy and security rules, which safeguard patient medical information. A recent article in healthitsecurity.com took a look at settlements over the past two years, to share five lessons on what was overlooked and how Continue reading →

First Court Ruling that ADA Title III Accessibility Applies to Website

–Melanie Bork Graham Last week, Florida Federal District Judge Robert Scola ruled that Title III of the ADA required the Winn-Dixie website to be accessible to people with disabilities. In a bench trial, the plaintiff, a blind man using screen reading technology to access the internet, obtained injunctive relief.   Title III prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in places of public accommodation.  This is the first court to hold that Title III accessibility requirements apply to a virtual space.  Judge Scola issued a verdict Continue reading →-Melanie Bork Graham Last week, Florida Federal District Judge Robert Scola ruled that Title III of the ADA required the Winn-Dixie website to be accessible to people with disabilities. In a bench trial, the plaintiff, a blind man using screen reading technology to access the internet, obtained injunctive relief.   Title III prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in places of public accommodation.  This is the first court to hold that Title III accessibility requirements apply to a virtual space.  Judge Scola issued a verdict Continue reading →

Fewer Than Half Nation’s Physicians Are Now Independent

–Melanie Bork Graham For the first time, Modern Healthcare reports than less than 50% of the nation’s physicians own their own practices.[1]  According to a study released last week by the American Medical Association, the trend toward an employment model is continuing in healthcare.[2]  However, physicians are not necessarily becoming hospital employees.  While hospital systems were busy acquiring practices between 2012 and 2014, practice acquisition seems to have leveled in 2015.  Rather, the practice structure trend toward larger physician owned practices of 50 or more Continue reading →-Melanie Bork Graham For the first time, Modern Healthcare reports than less than 50% of the nation’s physicians own their own practices.[1]  According to a study released last week by the American Medical Association, the trend toward an employment model is continuing in healthcare.[2]  However, physicians are not necessarily becoming hospital employees.  While hospital systems were busy acquiring practices between 2012 and 2014, practice acquisition seems to have leveled in 2015.  Rather, the practice structure trend toward larger physician owned practices of 50 or more Continue reading →

CMS to Delay New Home Health Agency Rule

–Melanie Bork Graham CMS is proposing a six-month delay for implementation of the new final home health agency rule.  CMS is seeking to change the effective date of the rule from July 13, 2017 to January 13, 2018. The new rule updates the conditions of participation for federal Medicare and joint federal-state Medicaid programs.  The conditions add operational requirements to enhance integration and coordination of patient care.  The regulation aims to improve the continuity of care through the agencies and the patient’s physicians.  Additional requirements Continue reading →-Melanie Bork Graham CMS is proposing a six-month delay for implementation of the new final home health agency rule.  CMS is seeking to change the effective date of the rule from July 13, 2017 to January 13, 2018. The new rule updates the conditions of participation for federal Medicare and joint federal-state Medicaid programs.  The conditions add operational requirements to enhance integration and coordination of patient care.  The regulation aims to improve the continuity of care through the agencies and the patient’s physicians.  Additional requirements Continue reading →

PA Federal Judge Allows EEOC to Proceed with Sexual Orientation Discrimination Claim

By: Michelle Patrick, Esq. In March of 2015 the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), the federal agency tasked with the enforcement of our country’s anti-discrimination laws, filed what could become a historic lawsuit. The EEOC asserted that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act’s (“Title VII”) provision against sexual discrimination. U.S. EEOC v. Scott Medical Health Center involves a gay male employee who was subjected to negative comments about his sexual orientation by his Continue reading →By: Michelle Patrick, Esq. In March of 2015 the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”), the federal agency tasked with the enforcement of our country’s anti-discrimination laws, filed what could become a historic lawsuit. The EEOC asserted that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is prohibited under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act’s (“Title VII”) provision against sexual discrimination. U.S. EEOC v. Scott Medical Health Center involves a gay male employee who was subjected to negative comments about his sexual orientation by his Continue reading →

Philadelphia City Council Passes Bill Intended To Aid In Promoting Equal Pay

By: Michelle Patrick, Esq. On December 8, 2016, Philadelphia City Council attempted to level the playing field for women in Philadelphia with respect to equal pay when it voted to amend the Philadelphia Code to include a provision on wage equity. Bill 16840, which is currently in Mayor Kenney’s office and expected to be signed, would prevent an employer from asking a prospective employee about his or her prior wages. The provision would also prevent an employer from retaliating against a prospective employee for refusing Continue reading →By: Michelle Patrick, Esq. On December 8, 2016, Philadelphia City Council attempted to level the playing field for women in Philadelphia with respect to equal pay when it voted to amend the Philadelphia Code to include a provision on wage equity. Bill 16840, which is currently in Mayor Kenney’s office and expected to be signed, would prevent an employer from asking a prospective employee about his or her prior wages. The provision would also prevent an employer from retaliating against a prospective employee for refusing Continue reading →

New Jersey Supreme Court Allows Award

By: Michelle Patrick, Esq. On December 8, 2016, Philadelphia City Council attempted to level the playing field for women  in Philadelphia with respect to equal pay when it voted to amend the Philadelphia Code to  include a provision on wage equity. Bill 16840, which is currently in Mayor Kenney’s office and  expected to be signed, would prevent an employer from asking a prospective employee about his  or her prior wages. The provision would also prevent an employer from retaliating against a  prospective employee for refusing Continue reading →By: Michelle Patrick, Esq. On December 8, 2016, Philadelphia City Council attempted to level the playing field for women  in Philadelphia with respect to equal pay when it voted to amend the Philadelphia Code to  include a provision on wage equity. Bill 16840, which is currently in Mayor Kenney’s office and  expected to be signed, would prevent an employer from asking a prospective employee about his  or her prior wages. The provision would also prevent an employer from retaliating against a  prospective employee for refusing Continue reading →

When Should You Call an Employment Attorney?

By: Michelle Patrick, Esq. Are you having a problem at work? Should you call an attorney now or should you just wait and hope that things will get better? Many times employees choose the latter and call an attorney after it is too late. We often get calls after someone has been terminated and already signed a severance or separation agreement, in which case it’s too late and there is nothing we can do for you. The exception to that situation is for employees over Continue reading →By: Michelle Patrick, Esq. Are you having a problem at work? Should you call an attorney now or should you just wait and hope that things will get better? Many times employees choose the latter and call an attorney after it is too late. We often get calls after someone has been terminated and already signed a severance or separation agreement, in which case it’s too late and there is nothing we can do for you. The exception to that situation is for employees over Continue reading →

Can a Pennsylvania Employer Refuse to Hire an Employee Based on the Results of a Background Check?

By: Michelle Patrick, Esq. Employers are increasingly using criminal background checks as another tool in deciding whether to hire employment applicants. This can be a problem for an employee with a criminal background regardless of the nature of the crime or how much time has elapsed since it was committed. In Pennsylvania, employers must abide by the Criminal History Record Information Act (CHRIA) in deciding whether to hire an applicant based on their criminal background. Employers are permitted to require a criminal background check but Continue reading →By: Michelle Patrick, Esq. Employers are increasingly using criminal background checks as another tool in deciding whether to hire employment applicants. This can be a problem for an employee with a criminal background regardless of the nature of the crime or how much time has elapsed since it was committed. In Pennsylvania, employers must abide by the Criminal History Record Information Act (CHRIA) in deciding whether to hire an applicant based on their criminal background. Employers are permitted to require a criminal background check but Continue reading →

2016 Revisions to the Fair Labor Standards Act

What Nonprofits Need to Know Ezold Law Firm answers the 11 key questions you’ve been asking about how new federal regulations expanding overtime benefits will impact nonprofits.* To view our fact sheet, click here. For more information, call Philadelphia employment lawyers at Ezold Law at 610-660-5585 or contact us online. *As referenced by The Nonprofit Center at LaSalle University’s School of Business  What Nonprofits Need to Know Ezold Law Firm answers the 11 key questions you’ve been asking about how new federal regulations expanding overtime benefits will impact nonprofits.* To view our fact sheet, click here. For more information, call Philadelphia employment lawyers at Ezold Law at 610-660-5585 or contact us online. *As referenced by The Nonprofit Center at LaSalle University’s School of Business