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Paul Zimmerman
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Showing 14 posts from June 2015.

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Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare’s Federal Subsidies for Health Insurance

Supporters of the Obamacare are celebrating today as the Supreme Court in King v. Burwell rejected a lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court held that the federal government may continue to subsidize health insurance in those states that have not set up their own exchanges.  (Read more)

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The FCC Speaks Up and Cracks Down on TCPA Rules

UPDATE

On July 10, 2015, the FCC issued its written Declaratory Ruing. On the same day, the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals International (ACA) filed a lawsuit seeking judicial review of the ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. On July 14, 2015, the Professional Association for Customer Engagement, Inc., a non-profit trade organization dedicated to a multi-channel approach to engaging customers, Sirius XM Radio, Inc. also filed Petitions for review with the Court of Appeals. Numerous additional appellate challenges are expected. To read the Declaratory Ruling in its entirety, click here 


For the first time since October 2013, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has issued new rules clarifying the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”).  On June 18, 2015, the FCC held a public hearing to debate and clarify nearly two years’ worth of outstanding petitions that sought explanation of the rules with respect to the TCPA, and to ultimately vote on FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s proposed new rules.  In a hotly contested 3-2 vote, the FCC approved Chairman Wheeler’s proposed rules.  While the final version of the rule changes has not yet been reduced to a written order by the FCC, the following summarizes the rule changes that businesses which make use of an automatic telephone dialing system should immediately be aware of.  The new rules include the following changes: (Read more)

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Credit Score No More: NYC Job Seekers are No Longer Subject to Credit Score Checks

Credit scores have long been an unrelenting source of frustration for many people. Whether it has prohibited you from obtaining that much-needed loan or driven up the cost of insurance premiums, having poor credit can follow you nearly anywhere. In fact, for some time, those looking to procure employment in New York City have been subject to these same frustrations - that is, until very recently. (Read More)

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City of Los Angeles vs. Patel Update: U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Warrantless Searches of Guest Registries

The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down a law enacted by the City of Los Angeles requiring hotel owners to comply with warrantless inspections of their guest registries upon demand by law enforcement officers. The High Court, in a 5 to 4 decision, determined that the ordinance was unconstitutional because it did not allow hotels the opportunities to challenge (via judicial review) an inspection demand. As noted by the Court, "Absent an opportunity for precompliance review, the ordinance creates an intolerable risk that searches authorized by it will exceed statutory limits, or be used as a pretext to harass hotel operators and their guests…Even if a hotel has been searched 10 times a day, every day, for three months, without any violation being found, the operator can only refuse to comply with an officer’s demand to turn over the registry at his or her own peril." (Read more)

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New York Attorney General Pursues Dental Management Company for Corporate Practice Violation

Attorney General (AG) Eric Schneiderman announced a settlement With Aspen Dental Management (ADM). The Settlement Agreement requires ADM to pay $450,000 in Civil Penalties, after the AG found that the company was engaged in the unauthorized practice of dentistry and dental hygiene.  In New York, seven dental practices, operating a total of 40 “Aspen Dental” offices, had entered into contractual agreements with ADM to provide them with business support services and rights to use the “Aspen Dental” trade name. (Read more)

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Miami Nursing Home To Pay Record $17M in Whistleblower Suit

A Miami-based nursing home network agreed Tuesday to pay a record $17 million to settle a False Claims Act suit brought by its former CFO, accusing it of running a kickback scheme. The case is United States of America et al v. Plaza Health Network et al., aka Hebrew Homes. (Read more)

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Unlimited Means Unlimited: FCC “Throttles” AT&T Mobility for $100M

The FCC plans to fine AT&T Mobility $100M for misleading its customers about unlimited mobile data plans, alleging that AT&T severely slowed down the data speeds for customers with unlimited data plans. Further, the agency is claiming the company failed to adequately notify its customers that they could receive speeds slower than the normal network speeds AT&T was advertising.  (Read more)

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Fired Nurse Loses Whistleblower Suit over Suspected Drug Use

A federal appeals court recently affirmed the dismissal of a whistleblower-retaliation suit against a Maine nursing home, holding that the plaintiff employee failed to prove that she was fired for telling her supervisor she believed a fellow nurse was using or stealing drugs.  (Murray v. Kindred Nursing Centers West LLC, d/b/a Kindred Transitional Care And Rehabilitation-Kennebunk, 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals). (Read more)

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Questionable Physician Compensation Agreements May Lead to Liability

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) has recently been targeting physicians who enter into compensation arrangements such as medical directorships. Physicians need to be aware that while their compensation arrangement may be legitimate, the agreement may violate the anti-kickback statute if any purpose of the arrangement is to compensate the physicians for any past or future referrals of Federal health care program business. (Read more)

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NY Composting Initiative May Dump New Requirements on Local Restaurants

The New York City Sanitation Department (DSNY) implements a city-wide composting program that collects residential food waste at drop-off sites in all five boroughs. The DSNY is now considering whether to require restaurants, hotels, and other food-related businesses to participate in the program. Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia plans to have a decision by July 1, 2015. (Read more)