Health Care Counsel

Arent Fox's health care law blog offers news, analysis, and insights for the health care industry.

Health Care Counsel
Affordable Care Act
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Podcast: What's Next For Obamacare (Part 1)

With President-Elect Donald Trump and a new Congress ready to take office in January, the US health care system has reached a pivotal moment. In particular, the overarching question facing the industry and employers across the country is what will become of President Barack Obama's signature legislation, the Affordable Care Act?

In Part One of this Health Care Counsel podcast series, Arent Fox counsel Lanhee J. Chen, a senior appointee at the US Department of Health and Human Services during the George W. Bush administration, and Senior Government Relations Director Sonja L. Nesbit, a former Obama Administration appointee who served at HHS, discussed how they expect a Trump Administration to handle Obamacare.

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Key Issues for the California Cannabis Industry

In the wake of the legalization of cannabis in the state of California following last week’s election, it is important for businesses to take stock of several legal issues as opportunities within this burgeoning market continue to grow. Outlined below are just a few of the areas cannabis businesses in California need to be aware of to avoid legal problems down the road.

Real Estate & Land Use

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Weeding Through California's Prop 64: Employer Takeaways

This alert was originally published on Law360

On Nov. 8, 2016, California voters passed Proposition 64, the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act. The initiative legalizes recreational marijuana for individuals over the age of 21. It allows adults to possess, carry, share, transport and purchase up to one ounce of marijuana. The basic thrust of Proposition 64 is to decriminalize the adult use of marijuana for recreational purposes, as well as to regulate marijuana cultivation, distribution, sale and use.

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Prescription Drug Pricing & Government Price Reporting
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CMS Published the Covered Outpatient Drug Final Rule

On Monday, CMS issued a notice that, in effect, gives drug manufacturers a three-year reprieve to updating their systems to include sales in US territories in the AMP and Best Price. The government’s release about the changes that were published to Medicaid.gov can be found here.

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Affordable Care Act
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The GOP's ObamaCare Strategy Pays Off

Arent Fox’s health care counsel Lanhee Chen co-authored an article titled, “The GOP's ObamaCare Strategy Pays Off,” published in The Wall Street Journal. To read this WSJ article, click here

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Affordable Care Act, Prescription Drug Pricing & Government Price Reporting
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What the 2016 Election Means for Health Care
We expect substantial activity on issues related to health care, both in terms of individual medical insurance, entitlement programs such as Medicaid, drug pricing, stimulation of medical innovation, and possibly marijuana reforms.
 
It is not easy to predict with much certainty what Donald Trump's health care policy would look like now that he has been elected, but his statements and issue papers released by his campaign offer some insight as to his main priorities.
 
Read the full analysis here.
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False Claims Act, Federal Exchanges, Payer Disputes & Reimbursement
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Supreme Court Unlikely to Adopt Automatic-Dismissal Rule for Violations of False Claims Act’s Seal Requirement

On November 1, 2016, the Supreme Court heard argument in State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. v. United States ex rel. Rigsby, a False Claims Act case in which the defendant sought dismissal of a qui tam action after the whistleblower violated the FCA’s seal requirement, 31 U.S.C. § 3730(b)(2), and publicly disclosed the complaint. See the oral-argument transcript here.
 
Based on the Justices’ questions at oral argument, the Supreme Court seems likely to adopt a flexible discretionary test that allows district courts to fashion appropriate sanctions for the whistleblower’s, also known as the relator, violation of the FCA’s seal requirement—rather than the bright-line “automatic dismissal” rule proposed by State Farm.
 
Procedural History
 

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Prescription Drug Pricing & Government Price Reporting
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CMS Issues Proposed Notice Announcing Changes to NDRA

Today, CMS issued a notice announcing changes that would be made to the Medicaid National Drug Rebate Agreement (NDRA). The government’s release about the changes that were published to Medicaid.gov can be found here:

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Home Health Care, Hospices and Palliative Care, Hospitals and Acute Care, Long Term Care
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The Broadening Definition of Elder Abuse

* The following article was originally published by California Healthcare News. To read it on the California Healthcare News website, click here

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ABOUT ARENT FOX LLP

Arent Fox LLP, founded in 1942, is internationally recognized in core practice areas where business and government intersect. With more than 350 lawyers, the firm provides strategic legal counsel and multidisciplinary solutions to clients that range from Fortune 500 corporations to trade associations. The firm has offices in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.