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August 2011 Archives

August 4, 2011

Governor Creates Task Force to Grill Not-for-Profits

The New York Times online reported yesterday afternoon:

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Wednesday the creation of a task force to investigate executive compensation at nonprofit organizations that receive taxpayer subsidies from the state.

The governor said the organizations had "a special obligation to the taxpayers that support them."

"Executives at these not-for-profits should be using the taxpayer dollars they receive to help New Yorkers, not to line their own pockets," Mr. Cuomo said.

An article in The New York Times on Tuesday highlighted salaries at nonprofit organizations that provide Medicaid-financed services to developmentally disabled New Yorkers.

Read the full article on the New York Times website. For additional information, see the Tuesday article referenced in this snippet.

August 11, 2011

Health Sector Growing Despite Poor Economy

Today's TimesUnion reports that health jobs are weather the recession fairly well:

Home health aides like [Letricia] Smith and other health care workers are among one of the fastest-growing employment sectors in New York and the nation, but uncertainty over health reform and the economy may change the picture.

From 2008 and 2009, when all other sectors lost 290,000 jobs, health employment increased by 17,000 -- including 11,000 upstate -- according to a report released by the Center for Health Workforce Studies at the University at Albany.

Read the full article on the TimesUnion website.

Grant to assist Visiting Nurse Service's telemedicine program | Rochester Business Journal

The Greater Rochester Health foundation has awarded a more-than-$500,000 grant to Visiting Nurse Service of Rochester and Monroe County Inc. to help VNS expand its telemedicine program, GRHS officials said Wednesday.

Read more at the Rochester Business Journal.

Medicaid Parts Ways With Espada's Soundview

Medicaid has terminated the participation of Soundview, with whom New York Senator Pedro Espada, Jr. was affiliated, on the heels of an OMIG notice of proposed agency action.

The New York State Department of Health today terminated the Comprehensive Community Development Corporation, also known as Soundview, from the Medicaid program effective September 12, 2011. After that date, the Corporation will not be eligible for reimbursement for services rendered to Medicaid recipients.

In a letter to the Constance Bruno, Chairman of the Board, the Department cited that the Corporation failed to have a Compliance Plan as required by state statute and regulation. . . .

The letter also noted that the Corporation's Medicaid service delivery is managed by two individuals who were excluded from participation in the New York State Medicaid program earlier this year by the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General. These individuals are Pedro Espada, Director of Environmental Care; and Pedro Espada, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer.

The Department's actions were taken following release today by the Office of the Medicaid Inspector General of a notice of proposed agency action recommending that New York State exclude Soundview from the Medicaid program. The OMIG's notice is based on significant failures in the Corporation's business operations and lack of controls to ensure compliance with state and federal billing and operational requirements.

Read the entire press release on the Department of Health's website, including the letter to Constance Bruno.

August 12, 2011

New NYLJ Article, "Law Permits 'Waivers' From Corporate Practice Prohibition

Section Chair Frank Serbaroli, with the New York office of Greenberg Traurig, writes a regular "Expert Analysis" column for the New York Law Journal. The latest article, "Law Permits 'Waivers' From Corporate Practice Prohibition," appears in the July 26, 2011 edition of the Journal:

A little-noticed law enacted last year has opened up a small fissure in New York's otherwise formidable corporate practice prohibition to accommodate certain nont-for-profit, religious and education corporations and the mental health and psychological needs of their clients. This law, Education Law 6503-a, authorizes the Commissioner of the Department of Education to approve a "waiver" from the prohibition on the corporate practice of certain licensed professions, and exempts certain organizations altogether.

For the full article, link to the reprint posted on Greenberg Traurig's website.

August 15, 2011

DOH Commissioner Profiled in Albany Times Union

The Albany Times Union is carrying a nice profile today of Dr. Nirav Shah, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health.

Read the profile here.

August 16, 2011

DOH Announces "METRIX" - Improving Access to Unique Datasets

On the DOH website today:

The New York State Department of Health is pleased to launch the Maximizing Essential Tools for Research Innovation and eXcellence (METRIX) project. I want to take this opportunity to share with you the Department's vision for increasing transparency of government and improving access to data assets through this exciting new data initiative.

The Department collects and maintains a multitude of unique datasets that touch on all aspects of health care. While some of these datasets are limited in scope and permissible use, others have many new potential applications, and collectively represent an immense untapped resource for the improvement of public health.

METRIX will be delivered in stages. During this initial phase, the Department will share a number of datasets previously not available to the public through the Department's web site.

Visit Metrix here, including a click-through to a METRIX Overview in PDF format.

August 19, 2011

Buffalo Law Journal: Tricky times ahead for organized labor

Yesterday the Buffalo Law Journal published an article that looks at the relationship between employers and organized labor at prominent insurer BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, and also at Verizon.

It's a delicate relationship to begin with, but throw in the uncertainty caused by global economic hardship and relations between corporate management and organized labor can take a real beating.

High-profile disputes involving BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York and Verizon Communications are prime examples of what can happen when companies are forced to slash budgets and make other changes in the workplace.

Read the rest of the article at the Buffalo Law Journal's website.

August 22, 2011

NYC loses EmblemHealth antitrust case | Crain's New York Business

Reported August 19 in Crain's New York:

The City of New York lost its appeal to block the merger between two New York City insurers, clearing the path for the two companies to legally merge. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit on Thursday ruled against the City of New York in its antitrust case against Group Health Inc. and the Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York, a lawsuit that sought to unravel the merger between the two insurers.

Read the rest of the article here on the Crain's website. Link to the Second Circuit opinion here.

August 26, 2011

State Seeks Data on Pay Of Leaders at Nonprofits - NYTimes.com

The New York Times reports today that the task force appointed by Governor Cuomo to investigate salaries of not-for-profit organizations in the state has begun its activity in earnest.

A New York State task force on Thursday began sending letters to hundreds of nonprofit organizations that receive state money demanding details about how much they pay their executives and board members.

The information will be compiled electronically and could shine a light on executives who take home an outsize share of their organization's revenue.

Read the full article on the New York Times website, which includes a link to the letter (takes a while to load).

For more on the task force, see our initial post and the governor's office press release from August 3.

August 31, 2011

Rx Drug Abuse Hearing

Senators Klein, Hannon and Marcellino are holding a roundtable today to discuss prescription drug abuse from 10am - 1pm. Webcast is available here

About August 2011

This page contains all entries posted to HEALTH LAW SECTION BLOG in August 2011. They are listed from oldest to newest.

July 2011 is the previous archive.

September 2011 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.