White House ‘Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices’: Large Aspirations, Little Detail

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By Stephanie Trunk and Erin Atkins

This article first appeared on the Arent Fox LLP Health Care Counsel blog. 

Following delays and much build up, the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) have released their plan to address rising pharmaceutical prices and out-of-pocket costs directly impacting patients.  The plan is known as the “American Patients First” program, as outlined in “The Trump Administration Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs” (the Blueprint).   As part of this, HHS has published a formal request for information (RFI) seeking public comment on the questions and issues raised in Section V of the Blueprint (summarized below).  Comments are due to HHS on or before July 16, 2018.  We encourage all interested stakeholders to utilize this opportunity to submit feedback to the agency.

One initial impression of the Blueprint is that many of the proposed solutions are not defined in great detail and will take time and agency (and in some cases Congressional) action in order to implement.  In addition, many of the solutions were previously articulated in President Trump’s 2019 budget, and do not reflect novel policy.  Additionally, many of the issues raised in the Blueprint are familiar to those actively engaged in or following the drug industry, but will require active engagement between HHS and the industry to refine and address.

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Overtime, Non-Competes & Employee Medical Records: Three Topics for Employers in the Healthcare Field

By  L. Diane Tindall, Daniel Palmieri and Jenna Borders

PAY AND OVERTIME ISSUES FOR HEALTHCARE WORKERS

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the federal law that mandates the payment of a federal minimum wage and overtime pay to workers who do not fall within a specific FLSA exemption.  The most common of these exemptions under the FLSA are the so-called “white collar” exemptions for employees whose pay and duties reflect their exercise of real managerial or executive authority in the workplace and their ability to better influence their compensation.  In general, in order to be exempt from the minimum wage and overtime provisions under the white collar exemptions of the FLSA, an employee: (1) must be paid at least $455 per week (or $24,300 per year); must be paid on a “salary basis” (with some exceptions); and (3) must perform duties that are consistent with an executive, administrative or professional position (the “duties test”).  To be paid on a salary basis, an employee must receive the same pay each work week in which he or she performs any work (with a very few limited exceptions) without any deduction for the quantity or quality of work performed.

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2018 Health Law Section Annual Meeting and Joint CLE with the Litigation Section

Have you kept up with the General Assembly and proposed legislation that affects the health care industry? If not, no need to worry, we’ve done it for you!

Please join us this Friday, April 27, 2018, to hear Cody Hand provide his annual legislative update at the Health Law and Litigation Sections’ joint CLE program at the Greensboro Marriott Downtown, with presentations by N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen, Attorney General Josh Stein and many other great speakers!

You’ll receive 6 total CLE credits, including 1.0 hour ethics/professional responsibility, and 1.0 hour substance abuse/mental health.  Click here to learn more and to register.

2018 Health Law Section Annual Meeting and Joint CLE With the Litigation Section

Have you heard of the opioid epidemic, but don’t know much about it? Or, perhaps you’ve heard of it and have been wondering what North Carolina is doing to address it – either way, we’ve got you covered at the Health Law Section Annual Meeting & Joint CLE with the Litigation Section! Come hear N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein speak about the opioid epidemic in North Carolina and beyond, including the scope of the problem, prevention strategies for physicians and other health care providers, the STOP Act and the Synthetic Opioid Control Act, supporting treatment and recovery services, and support for law enforcement.

Did we also mention that Pamela Morrison with Coastal Horizons Center in Wilmington will be on hand to make this a substance abuse CLE credit presentation, with a discussion about the treatment of substance use disorders and how legal professionals can help and get help.  Please plan to join the Health Law and Litigation Sections for a joint CLE program Friday April 27, 2018 at the Greensboro Marriott Downtown, with presentations by Attorney General Stein, DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, and many other great speakers!  You’ll receive 6 total CLE credits, including 1.0 hour ethics/professional responsibility, and 1.0 hour substance abuse/mental health.  Visit http://gateway.ncbar.org/store/seminar/seminar.php?seminar=109189 to learn more and to register.

2018 Health Law Section Annual Meeting and Joint CLE With the Litigation Section

Want to learn more about the state of health care in North Carolina directly from guest speaker Mandy Cohen, Secretary of NC Department of Health & Human Services? Sec. Cohen will speak about North Carolina’s transition to Medicaid managed care, combating the opioid crisis and improving early childhood health and education. Please plan to join the Health Law and Litigation Sections for a joint CLE program Friday, April 27, 2018 at the Greensboro Marriott Downtown, with presentations by Sec. Cohen, Attorney General Josh Stein, and many other great speakers!

You’ll receive 6.0 hours total CLE credits, including 1.0 hour ethics/professional responsibility, and 1.0 hour substance abuse/mental health.

Learn more and register here.