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ML Strategies Posts Weekly Health Care Update on August 25, 2014

ML Strategies has posted its weekly Health Care Update. This publication provides timely information on implementation of the Affordable Care Act, Congressional initiatives affecting the health care industry, and federal and state health regulatory developments.  Highlights this week include the Obama Administration's release of updated contraception coverage rules.

On August 22nd, the Obama Administration proposed to extend a religious exemption to providing contraception coverage to closely held for-profit corporations. As we noted in an earlier update, the interim final rule, a result of the Supreme Court’s recent decision involving Wheaton College and Hobby Lobby, allows eligible organizations to notify the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) of an objection to contraception coverage. In turn, HHS and the Department of Labor will work with insurers and third-party administrators. Under the rule, female employees may still receive contraception, but without cost sharing.

Closely held for-profit entities will be defined in two ways: 1) the entity could not be publicly traded, and ownership of the entity would be limited to a certain number of owners; or 2) the entity could not be publicly traded, and a minimum percentage of ownership would be concentrated among a certain number of owners. A Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) fact sheet on the changes can be found here.

CMS is taking comments on the proposal, including solicitation feedback on how to define "closely held," alternative approaches to the rule, and on documentation, and disclosure of for-profits. Comments will be open for 60 days.

Click here to read this week's full Health Care Update.

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Author

Theresa C. Carnegie is a Mintz attorney who advises health care clients on a wide array of transactional, regulatory, compliance, fraud and abuse matters, and health law issues. She counsels health plans, pharmacy benefit managers, pharmacies, device manufacturers, and distributors.