As the federal health care reform effort gained steam, attorneys in our Health Care and Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Groups formed an initiative to monitor and analyze legislative developments. With federal health care reform now a reality, our attorneys are assisting health care entities and employers in understanding the relevant changes and planning for the future.
Our attorneys understand how legal developments in the health care system can affect business. Guided by years of experience in the health industry, we prepare clients for legislative and regulatory changes and help them meet new requirements quickly and efficaciously. We are already advising clients on the expanded Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), amendments to HIPAA, expansion of health information technology, and COBRA premium subsidies in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and now, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Ballard Spahr's health care reform team is focusing on five primary areas:
- Employer-based health care coverage
- Health information technology funding requirements
- Fraud and abuse developments
- Changes to industry regulations and reimbursement
- Issues for tax-exempt organizations
Because all employers are affected by the federal health care reform bill signed into law by President Obama in 2010, our team's efforts are focused on the following aspects of the law:
Immediate and long-term impact on employer-sponsored group health plans
Employer plan-required benefits, dependent coverage, and reporting requirements
Employer and individual mandates; employee and small-employer subsidies
Part D and employer plan subsidies; retiree group health
Wellness and prevention programs and incentives
Health savings accounts, flexible spending accounts, and transition provisions
Provider regulation and reimbursement changes
Health information technology and electronic medical records
Multiple-employer welfare arrangements; government and church plans
New requirements for charitable hospitals
Aspen Publishers commissioned our attorneys to author the 2010-2012 editions of the Employer's Guide to Health Care Reform. Authors Brian M. Pinheiro, Jean C. Hemphill, and Kurt R. Anderson strive to ease employer confusion over health care reform. Their practical resource details the immediate changes for employment-based health benefit plans, identifies cost-saving opportunities for employers, and addresses employer and employee mandates and health care exchanges, among other issues.
Our attorneys have also assisted employers with the changes through a series of webinars and live programs, offered to audiences nationwide, and prepared presentations for clients tailored to their individual questions and needs. In addition, throughout the year they have updated clients via e-mail with legal alerts analyzing legislative developments.