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States with a heavier dose of firearm laws tend to have the lowest rates of gun deaths, according to a new study by researchers who argue their findings show “there is a role” in America for more rigid gun-control legislation.

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Washington, DC (PRWEB) November 30, 2012

The National Hispanic Council on Aging (NHCOA) the leading national organization working to improve the lives of Hispanic older adults, their families, and caregivers has been working across states to raise awareness and empower Latino workers and older adults to advocate for leaves that pay laws at the local and state level. Leaves that pay policies are the best way to ensure that workers dont have to choose between their family and their job. Job security and steady wages are crucial for the Hispanic community as many workers are also caregivers and heads of households.

With the flu season underway, it is likely that workers without paid sick days are going to work ill. This creates a toll on the individuals health, but also makes possible the spread of the illness to those in the work or family environment. Similarly, there are also workers who do have leaves that pay, but dont use it when they are sick because they are unaware of the benefit.

The Leaves That Pay initiative is more than good public health policy, its common sense, said Dr. Yanira Cruz, NHCOA President and CEO. When workers can stay home to take care of themselves or a loved one while earning wages, both individuals and the health care system are better off in the long run. Leaves that pay enable workers to avoid spreading illnesses, and to manage minor health problems before they become serious or chronic.

That is why NHCOA has been working to raise awareness among Latino workers in California, which has leaves that pay laws in place. While these workers are the ones who need leaves that pay the most, they are the least likely to use it in the event of an illness. In fact, according to a 2011 study by Eileen Appelbaum and Ruth Milkman only 34% of Hispanic Californians were aware these laws existed. Likewise, NHCOA has been working with advocates in New York City to bring a leaves that pay bill, which was introduced more than a year ago, to vote in the City Council. As the initiative expands, NHCOA hopes to empower Latino communities in Southern Florida to advocate for a similar law, and to expand an existing worker disability law in New Jersey.

NHCOAs Leaves That Pays initiative is sponsored by the Ford Foundation. For more information, visit http://www.nhcoa.org.







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SYDNEY (Reuters) – James Yu, who runs the King of the Pack tobacconist in central Sydney, is indignant about Australia’s stringent anti-tobacco laws making manufactures package cigarettes in drab olive green packs with pictures of ill babies and diseased body parts.

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Augusta, Georgia (PRWEB) August 08, 2012

Hull Barrett, PCs attorney, David E. Hudson, has compiled a handbook covering the new Georgia Sunshine Laws. After two legislative sessions, an overhaul of Georgia’s open government laws (House Bill 397) was passed by the General Assembly and signed by Governor Nathan Deal on April 17, 2012. The changes in the law are currently in effect, and make significant changes. In the handbook, Mr. Hudson provides a guide to O.C.G.A.

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TUPELO, Mississippi (Reuters) – American women face increasing legal obstacles to obtaining abortions as more states pass laws restricting access, some so stringent they approach a ban on the procedure, according to a report issued on Wednesday by the Center for Reproductive Rights.

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Health Care Fraud and Abuse Laws Affecting Medicare and Medicaid: An Overview

Health Care Fraud and Abuse Laws Affecting Medicare and Medicaid: An Overview

A number of federal statutes aim to combat fraud and abuse in federally funded health care programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. Using these statutes, the federal government has been able to recover billions of dollars lost due to fraudulent activities. In March 2010, Congress enacted comprehensive health care reform legislation. One focus of this legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) as amended, is improved health care fraud and abuse enforcement. PPACA, among other things, creates new health care fraud enforcement tools and expands upon the types of prohibited conduct. This report provides an overview of some of the more commonly used statutes used to fight health care fraud and abuse and discusses some of the changes made to these statutes by PPACA.

Title XI of the Social Security Act contains Medicare and Medicaid program-related anti-fraud provisions, which impose civil penalties, criminal penalties, as well as exclusions from federal health care programs on persons who engage in certain types of misconduct. PPACA amends these administrative sanctions and authorizes the imposition of several new civil monetary penalties and exclusions.

Under the federal anti-kickback statute, it is a felony for a person to knowingly and willfully offer, pay, solicit, or receive anything of value (i.e., “remuneration”) in return for a referral or to induce generation of business reimbursable under a federal health care program.The statute prohibits both the offer or payment of remuneration for patient referrals, as well as the offer or payment of anything of value in return for purchasing, leasing, ordering, or arranging for, or recommending the purchase, lease, or ordering of any item or service that is reimbursable by a federal health care program. PPACA revises the evidentiary standard under the anti-kickback statute and eliminates the requirement of actual knowledge of, or specific intent to commit a violation of the statute. This amendment may make it easier for the government to prove its case.

The Stark law and its implementing regulations prohibit physician self-referrals for certain health services that may be paid for by Medicare or Medicaid. Under the Stark law, if (1) a physician (or an immediate family member of a physician) has a “financial relationship” with an entity, the physician may not make a referral to the entity for the furnishing of these health services for which payment may be made under Medicare or Medicaid, and (2) the entity may not bill the federal health care program or any individual or entity for services furnished pursuant to a prohibited referral. PPACA limits certain exceptions to the Stark law.

The federal False Claims Act (FCA) imposes civil liability on persons who knowingly submit a false or fraudulent claim or engage in various types of misconduct involving federal government money or property. Health care program false claims often arise in billing, including billing for services not rendered, billing for unnecessary medical services, double billing for the same service or equipment, or billing for services at a higher rate than provided (“upcoding”). Civil actions may be brought in federal district court under the FCA by the Attorney General or by a person known as a relator (i.e., a “whistleblower”), for the person and for the U.S. Government, in what is termed a qui tam action. PPACA appears to make it easier for certain relators to bring qui tam actions, thus potentially allowing some FCA actions to proceed that would have been dismissed under prior law.

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Congressman Joe Heck (NV-03) speaks on the House floor about the health care law’s broken promises and his solutions for moving forward.

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2012 US Healthcare Prompt Pay Laws: Supreme Court For PPACA & ERISA Prompt Pay
In response to the new demands, ERISAclaim.com offers 2012 Advanced PPACA & ERISA Claim Specialist Programs on "2012 Healthcare Prompt Pay Laws". The new healthcare reform law, PPACA, will be fully enforced in 2012 to remedy the epidemic health claim …
Read more on San Francisco Chronicle (press release)

Obama lawyers defend healthcare law in Supreme Court
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration defended its healthcare overhaul law before the US Supreme Court on Friday, rejecting arguments by critics who warned that if the government can require people to have health insurance, it might next make …
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The Employment Law Group® Casts Spotlight on Whistleblowers and Patients
The Employment Law Group® continues to pursue justice for the whistleblowers involved in the VA Medical Centers scandal. The Employment Law Group® law firm is one of the premier employment law firms representing individuals from all over the United …
Read more on MarketWatch (press release)

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Hanover Park, IL (PRWEB) January 12, 2012

In response to the new demands, ERISAclaim.com offers 2012 Advanced PPACA & ERISA Claim Specialist Programs on 2012 Healthcare Prompt Pay Laws. The new healthcare reform law, PPACA, will be fully enforced in 2012 to remedy the epidemic health claim prompt pay violations in the wake of the failures from the state legislative patches due to ERISA preemption. The Advanced PPACA & ERISA Claim Specialist Programs will cover: (1) The 2012 PPACA & ERISA Prompt Pay Laws under full enforcement of PPACA Claims Regulation for all 50 states; (2) the potential impact of the imminent U.S. Supreme Court decision on the PPACA prompt pay laws; (3) PPACA and ERISA prompt pay appeals and federal enforcement; (4) federal laws, PPACA & ERISA, pre-empt and supersede any and all conflicting or inconsistent state prompt pay laws.

The first program of 2012 Healthcare Prompt Pay Laws will be held on January 17 & 18, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.

Federal PPACA & ERISA prompt pay laws are more powerful than any state laws, and take a different approach. The state prompt pay laws provide for timely pay for clean claims with an interest penalty as remedies, while the federal prompt pay laws mandate for timely benefit determination, with appeal rights for an adverse benefits determination without timely actual pay, says Dr. Jin Zhou, president of ERISAclaim.com, a national expert on PPACA and ERISA appeals and compliance.

According to an AMA report in March 2011, more than 51% of doctors in Texas are going broke, mainly due to the insurance claim payment delays and denials. Prompt pay crisis is epidemic and similar for all 50 states, explained Dr. Zhou, as to the high demand from the providers. (http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2011/03/14/bisc0314.htm)

Most provider attempts through the state legislations to cure prompt pay crisis have failed in the past 2 decades mainly due to the federal law ERISA preemption of state laws, added Dr. Zhou.

PPACA full enforcement in 2012 mandates full compliance with PPACA and ERISA, especially if a healthcare provider wanted to get paid timely, regardless from any state, said Vincent Flores, a certified PPACA and ERISA Claim Specialist, VP of YF Corporation in Los Angeles, California.

This Advanced PPACA & ERISA Claim Specialist Programs will discuss specific potential impact from the imminent U.S. Supreme Court decision on the enforceability of PPACA and federal prompt pay laws: (http://www.supremecourt.gov/orders/courtorders/111411zor.pdf) & (http://www.supremecourt.gov/docket/PDFs/120811zr.pdf)

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