Congress Votes To Nullify Obama Administration’s FTC Privacy Rule

March 30, 2017

Congress yesterday passed S.J.Res.34, disapproving the Obama Administration-issued Federal Communications Commission regulations relating to “Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Service” published on December 2, 2016.  

The nullified FTC Rule: (1) applies the customer privacy requirements of the Communications Act of 1934 to broadband Internet access service and other telecommunications services, (2) requires telecommunications carriers to inform customers about rights to opt in or opt out of the use or the sharing of their confidential information, (3) adopts data security and breach notification requirements, (4) prohibits broadband service offerings that are contingent on surrendering privacy rights, and (5) requires disclosures and affirmative consent when a broadband provider offers customers financial incentives in exchange for the provider’s right to use a customer’s confidential information.

Read Manager’s Markup of Republican Health Reform Bill

March 21, 2017

Republicans continue to push health reform on the fast track.  Read the Manager’s Amendment to H.R. 1628 at, which is scheduled to go before the Rules Committee tomorrow in anticipation of a planned House vote Thursday. 

Want to know more? See here for details about the author of this update, attorney Cynthia Marcotte Stamer, or e-mail her here.

©2017 Cynthia Marcotte Stamer. Nonexclusive license to republish granted to Solutions Law Press, Inc.

Help Employees Avoid Healthcare Associated Infections

March 18, 2017

Staff infections are only one category of serious infection risks that employees and their families face when getting health care treatment.  

Help employees avoid these infection risks by sharing the following tips from the Center for Disease Control:

  • Speak up. Talk to your doctor about any questions or worries. Ask what they’re doing to protect you.
  • Keep hands clean. Make sure everyone, including friends and family, clean their hands before touching you.  If you don’t see your healthcare providers clean their hands, ask them to do so.
  • Ask each day if your central line catheter or urinary catheter is necessary. Leaving a catheter in place too long increases the chances you’ll get an infection. Let your doctor or nurse know immediately if the area around the central line becomes sore or red, or if the bandage falls off or looks wet or dirty.
  • Prepare for surgery. Let your doctor know about any medical problems you have. Ask your doctor how he/she prevents surgical site infections.
  • Ask your healthcare provider, “Will there be a new needle, new syringe, and a new vial for this procedure or injection?” Insist that your healthcare providers never reuse a needle or syringe on more than one patient.
  • Get Smart about antibiotics. Antibiotics only treat bacterial infections – they don’t work for viruses like the ones that cause colds and flu. Ask your healthcare provider if there are steps you can take to feel better without using antibiotics. If you’re prescribed an antibiotic, make sure to take the prescribed antibiotic exactly as your healthcare provider tells you and do not skip doses.
  • Watch out for deadly diarrhea (aka Clostridium difficile). Tell your doctor if you have 3 or more diarrhea episodes in 24 hours, especially if you’ve been taking an antibiotic.
  • Know the signs and symptoms of infection. Some skin infections, such as MRSA, appear as redness, pain, or drainage at an IV catheter site or surgery site and come with a fever. Infections can also lead to sepsis, a complication caused by the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to an infection.
  • Get Vaccinated. Getting yourself, family, friends, and caregivers vaccinated against the flu and other infections prevents spread of disease.
  • Cover your mouth and nose. When you sneeze or cough, germs can travel 3 feet or more. Use a tissue to avoid spreading germs with your hands.

Healthcare-associated Infections are not only a problem for healthcare facilities – they represent a public health issue. Learn more about how to be a safe patient.  Read: Patient Safety: What You Can Do to Be a Safe Patient.

©2017 Cynthia Marcotte Stamer.  Nonexclusive license to republish granted to Solutions Law Press, Inc.

Leaders: Beware & Manage Benefit Risks

March 16, 2017

Read “American Health Care Act” – Paul Ryan’s Proposed ACA Repeal & Replace Legislation

March 6, 2017

Paul Ryan released the American Health Care Act (Act)-the Republican leaderships’ proposed bill to repeal or reform the Obamacare law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).  

When introducing the Act, Speaker Ryan touted the Act as rescuing the US health care system from the ACA driving down costs, encouraging competition, and giving every American access to quality, affordable health insurance. 

Read the Act and your specific ideas and thoughts about the Act and your other input on what our health care system should look like going forward, how these proposals relate and the other reforms you believe Congress should make to build a better healthcare system for today that can survive into the future by joining the discussion in the Solutions Law Press, Inc. Coalition for Responsible Health Care Policy LinkedIn Group. 

When Trust Matters, Preparations Critical

March 5, 2017

Actual or perceived disloyalty or other reaches of Trece is one of the quickest ways to destroy a working relationship between an a business and its management or other employees or other service providers.

Heading off problems begins with both the management of a business and those providing services to it understanding the  call mama and other conflict of interest, loyalty and other responsibilities of the service provider to the businesses

Historically, the common law has recognized that common law management and other employees – but not necessarily independent contractors or other non common law employee service providers – owe a duty of loyalty to their employer that among other things.  Inventions, knowledge and other value created by an employee and value derived from the employee generally are presumed the property of the employee under the doctrine of “works for hire.”  An employee’s common law duty of loyalty generally also prihibits the employee  from engaging in competition with the employer,  self dealing, or conflicts of interest unless the the employee proves the  employee consented after full disclosure of relevant facts by the employee.

In the age of federal sentencing guidelines and other federal and state internal controls mandates, carefully crafted loyalty, conflict of interest, confidentiality and trade secret, nonsolicitation, noncompete and other provisions in employee contracts, handbooks and policies can promote important regulatory risk management  and compliance goals as well as deter employee breaches of loyalty  by educating the employee of their duty, limit or overrun statutorial restrictions on some of these common law duties, and otherwise strengthen the ability of an employer to enforce these duties in the event of a violation.

As the common law does not necessarily apply these same duties of loyalty automatically businesses of contractor and other no traditional worker or other service provider relationships, however,  ensuring that independent contractors and other nontraditional service providers are engaged pursuant to written agreements that include carefully crafted provisions that clearly reserve the business’ exclusive or other ownership of created products, internal controls mandates,  and loyalty, conflict of interest, confidentiality and trade secret, nonsolicitation, noncompete and other safeguards can be critical to protect the interests of the business.

Whether dealing with employees or other service providers, today’s privacy and other limits on business investigatory powers also create a strong demand for businesses to back up their ability to investigate and redress these and other breaches by adopting and requiring all service providers to consent or otherwise be subject to appropriate disclaimers of privacy, computer and other use and monitoring, pre, concurrent and post terminationinvestigation, disclosure, cooperation, and other policies.

Congress Set To Overrule OSHA Recordkeeping Rule

March 2, 2017

Congress may give employers relief from burdensome Obama-Administration-imposed Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) rule that clarified an employer’s duty to record and maintain records of workplace injuries and illnesses is a continuing duty.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday, March 1, passed and sent to the Senate proposed House Joint Resolution 83 (Resolution) would disapprove and invalidate the Clarification of Employer’s Continuing Obligation to Make and Maintain an Accurate Record of Each Recordable Injury and Illness published
by OSHA on December 19, 2016 (Rule). 

Adopted in response to a decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit that held that The Occupational Health and Safety Act does not permit OSHA to impose a continuing recordkeeping obligation on employers, the Rule states employer obligations to make and maintain accurate records of employee injury and illness the duty to make and maintain accurate records of work-related injuries and illnesses is an ongoing obligation that continues for as long as the employer must keep records of the recordable injury or illness. The Rule clarified this duty does not expire just because the employer fails to create the necessary records when first required to do so.
Representative Bradley Byrne (R-AL) introduced the Resolution, which seeks to use the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to overturn the Rule.  
 If the Senate also adopts the Resolution would overturn the Rule.