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Paul Zimmerman
pzimmerman@mrllp.com
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Showing 13 posts from April 2015.

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Rate Parity Agreements in Flux

In response to pressure from legislators in the European Union, Booking.com announced this week that it would accept amendments to its rate parity agreements with hotels located in France, Italy and Sweden. Booking.com explained in its press release that it is dropping its “price, availability and booking conditions parity provisions” with respect to other Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), but that it will continue to “require a minimum allocation, or some availability, from hotels” and will also retain its rate parity conditions with respect to hotels. The impact of this change in Booking.com’s policies has yet to be seen, but it represents a step closer to the demise of rate parity clauses.  However, it is at most a half-step, given that parity with a hotel’s own website is still required. (Read more)

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State Bar Insurance Law Regulatory Update

The information below is current as of the date of the report.  Additional information about any of these proposals may be obtained from the California Department of Insurance (CDI) web site at http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0250-insurers/0500-legal-info/0200-regulations/proposed-regulations.cfm (Read More)

Best Practices for Avoiding and Responding to a Cyber-Attack

David Lee presented on “Best Practices for Avoiding and Responding to a Cyber-Attack” at the 2015 AAHOA Annual Convention & Trade Show on April 23. He discussed why hotels, resorts and restaurants are particularly vulnerable targets for data breach incidents, and he reviewed cases that have recently dominated headlines. In this video segment, David discusses why state laws regulating data breach notifications add greater complexity for business owners in the aftermath of a cyber-attack.

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California Department of Managed Care Denies CAPG’s Petition for Rulemaking Amendments Regarding Reimbursements

On August 12, 2014, the California Association of Physician Groups (CAPG) petitioned the Department of Managed Care (Department). On the action requested by CAPG, it was concerned with the considerations relevant to the reasonable and customary value of services performed by non-contracted providers. CAPG requested (for the third time – its previous two times had been rejected) amendment or repeal of subdivision (a) (3) (B) of Title 28, section 1300.71, known as the “Gould factors,” contending: (Read more)

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Medical Marijuana Regulations for New York are Here!

The Department of Health (DOH) issued a notice of adoption of regulations for the implementation of medical marijuana (or “marihuana”) cultivation and dispensing in New York State. The regulations include provision of the following: (Read more)

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OSHA Issues Updated Guidelines for Preventing Healthcare Workplace Violence

In 2013, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported more than 23,000 significant injuries due to assaults in the workplace. More than 70 percent of these assaults were in health care and social service settings. Health care and social service workers are almost four times more likely to be injured as a result of violence than the average private sector worker. To reduce the risk, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration released an update to its Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Healthcare and Social Service Workers. The publication includes industry best practices, and highlights the most effective ways to reduce the risk of violence in various health care and social service settings. (Read more)

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Alert: Court of Appeals Invalidates California Regulation on Homeowner Insurance Replacement Cost Estimates

In 2010, the California Department of Insurance adopted regulations dictating specific procedures that must be employed by all homeowners’ insurance companies when estimating replacement cost. Last week, the California Court of Appeals ruled in ACIC v. Jones that the Department exceeded its legal authority in promulgating these rules, which are found in California Code of Regulations, title 10, section 2695.183 (the “Regulation”). The Department argued that the Regulation was valid under the authority of the Unfair Insurance Practices Act (“UIPA”) (Cal. Ins. Code 790.03 et seq). The Court of Appeals rejected this argument. (Read more)

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Providers Cannot Sue State Officials Over Low Medicaid Reimbursements

On March 31, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court in Armstrong v. Exceptional Child Ctr., Inc., 575 U.S. ___ (March 31, 2015) (No. 14-15), reversed the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision that medical providers have a right to sue states to enjoin them from reimbursing providers at lower rates than provided in 42 U.S.C. §1396a(a)(30)(A) of the Medicaid Act (“Section 30(A)”), which provision requires state Medicaid plans to “assure that payments [to providers] are consistent with efficiency, economy, and quality of care.”  (Read more)

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AT&T Forced to pay FCC $25 Million for Failing to Safeguard Customer Information

As a result of employees at call centers wiping the personal information of 280,000 customers, AT&T is paying the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) $25 million to settle the matter. The commission alleged that AT&T failed to safeguard the personal information of their customers. (Read more)

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State Bar Insurance Law Regulatory Update

Bill Gausewitz provides regular regulatory updates to the State Bar Insurance Law Committee. Check out the March 2015 report. (Read more)