Business Law - insights

Governor Hassan Signs Law Allowing Hospital Patients to Designate Aftercare Giver

Posted by Jason D. Gregoire

Hospital patients are frequently readmitted after discharge due to complications caused by the lack of appropriate aftercare in the home. Many seniors rely exclusively on unpaid family caregivers once they are discharged from the hospital, and often, due to state or federal privacy restrictions such as HIPAA, these caregivers are not given full explanation or instruction on routine aftercare tasks such as medication management, wound care, bed transfers, injections, and operating medical equipment. HIPAA precludes release of Protected Health Information to anyone but the patient except under a narrow set of circumstances. The federal government has taken measures to lower hospital readmissions such as reduced Medicare reimbursement to hospitals with high readmission rates under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Read More 

Environmental Liabilities and Bankruptcy: Why Companies Must Be Wary of Environmental Obligations

Posted by Brian J. Bouchard and Christopher M. Candon

Many companies file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to press pause, reorganize, and start afresh.  As part of the restructuring process, the company will seek to shed burdensome pre-bankruptcy liabilities, while obligations incurred post-petition are often classified as administrative claims with priority payment status.  For companies with environmental troubles, however, a recent First Circuit opinion, Munce’s Superior Petroleum Prods., Inc. v. N.H Dep’t of Eviron’t Servs (In re Munce’s Superior Petroleum Prods., Inc.), No. 13-1380. (1st Cir. Nov. 20, 2013), has confirmed that when pre-bankruptcy environmental liabilities exist, the pre-bankruptcy/post-petition distinction is not always straightforward and the  bankruptcy treatment of any related environmental obligations or associated claims can have a profound impact on the Chapter 11 case.

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Tax Issues When Giving Employees a Holiday Gift

Posted by Peter T. Beach

Are there any tax issues we need to be aware of when we give employees a holiday gift, including a cash-equivalent gift card?

Most employers think that traditional holiday gifts of property with a low fair market value are excludable from income. And they are right.  But that is about as far as it goes. Higher value gifts of property and gifts of cash, gift certificates, coupons or gift cards are generally taxable.  Read More 

Red Flags Rule and Identity Theft Prevention Programs

Posted by Douglas G. Verge

The Red Flags law requires creditors to have in place Identity Theft Prevention Programs. In light of recent changes in the Red Flags law, there seems to be some confusion as to whether healthcare providers are categorically excluded from the requirements of the law. While some commentators have espoused the belief that the Red Flags Clarification Act categorically exempts healthcare providers from the Red Flags Rule, that is not what the Act says, nor is that the position of the Federal Trade Commision (“FTC”).  Rather, a case by case analysis is required to determine whether the law applies to a given healthcare provider.

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