Justia U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Health Law
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Plaintiff filed two actions arising from defendants' provision of mental health services to him, alleging violations of his First and Ninth Amendment rights and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). The district court dismissed the suits. The Second Circuit dismissed plaintiff's appeals because they lack an arguable basis either in law or in fact and denied his motions to proceed in forma pauperis for the appointment of counsel and for a writ of certiorari. In this case, plaintiff failed to plausibly allege that defendants engaged in state action by violating his constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. 1983. Furthermore, there is no private cause of action, express or implied, under HIPAA. View "Meadows v. United Services, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit certified the following question to the New York Court of Appeals: Does Section 18(2)(e) of the New York Public Health Law provide a private right of action for damages when a medical provider violates the provision limiting the reasonable charge for paper copies of medical records to $0.75 per page? View "Ortiz v. Ciox Health LLC" on Justia Law

Posted in: Health Law
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The State and City of New York filed suit charging UPS with violating the Contraband Cigarette Trafficking Act (CCTA), the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act (PACT Act), and New York Public Health Law 1399-ll (PHL 1399-ll), as well as breaching its settlement agreement, the Assurance of Discontinuance (AOD), with the New York State Attorney General. The court held that UPS did not honor the AOD and was therefore subject to liability under the PACT Act and PHL 139-ll; UPS was liable for violations of the AOD's audit requirement; and UPS violated the CCTA by knowingly transporting more than 10,000 unstamped cigarettes. In regard to damages and penalties awards, the court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in allowing plaintiffs to present their damages case nor did it clearly err in making factual findings based on record evidence; the district court erred in awarding plaintiffs only half of the unpaid taxes on cigarettes UPS unlawfully shipped; and the district court abused its discretion in awarding per-violation penalties under both the PACT Act and PHL 1399-ll. Therefore, the court affirmed the judgment of liability and attendant penalties under PHL 1399-ll; affirmed the judgment of liability, but vacated the imposition of the penalties under the PACT Act; affirmed the judgment of liability, but modified the award of damages under the CCTA; affirmed the judgment of liability, but modified the award of penalties under the AOD; and affirmed the judgment as modified. View "New York v. United Parcel Service, Inc." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff appealed the district court's grant of Healthport's motion for summary judgment in an action involving claims of excessive charges for medical records under the New York Public Health Law. The Second Circuit vacated the district court's judgment, because the court anticipates certifying certain questions to the New York Court of Appeals after a final judgment is entered, and wishes to avoid multiple, unnecessary proceedings. Therefore, the court remanded to the district court with instructions to reinstate Beth Israel as a party and to adjudicate the case to a final judgment. The court also remanded along the lines of the procedures set out in United States v. Jacobson, 15 F.3d 19, 22 (2d Cir. 1994), so that any new appeal will be referred to this panel. View "Ruzhinskaya v. HealthPort Technologies, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit certified the following question to the New York Court of Appeals: Does New York Public Health Law Section 230(11)(b) create a private right of action for bad faith and malicious reporting to the Office of Professional Medical Conduct? View "Haar v. Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Co." on Justia Law

Posted in: Health Law
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The Second Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of a permanent injunction enjoining the government from continuing to apply the requirement that government funds assisting plaintiffs' efforts to fight HIV/AIDS abroad could not be used to provide assistance to any group or organization that does not have a policy explicitly opposing prostitution and sex trafficking. In Agency for Int'l Dev. v. Alliance for Open Soc. Int'l, Inc., 570 U.S. 205 (2013), the Supreme Court concluded that the requirement compelled speech in violation of the First Amendment. Applying the Supreme Court's reasoning in AOSI to this case, the court held that the speech of a recipient who rejects the government's message was unconstitutionally restricted when it has an affiliate who is forced to speak the government's contrasting message. The court rejected the remaining claims and held that the district court did not abuse its discretion. View "Alliance for Open Society International v. United States Agency for International Development" on Justia Law

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The Second Circuit denied a petition for review of OSHA's final order affirming a citation issued to a construction company for a repeat violation of an excavation standard and assessing a penalty of $25,000. The court held that the Commission did not abuse its discretion by relying on previous violations more than three years old, because neither the Manual nor the Commissionʹs precedent limits OSHA to a three‐year look back period. Furthermore, the Commissionʹs precedents established that ʺthe time between violations does not bear on whether a violation is repeated.ʺ Finally, this was the company's third violation in six years. View "Triumph Construction Corp. v. Secretary of Labor" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs, two individual psychiatrists and three professional associations of psychiatrists, filed suit against defendants, four health‐insurance companies, alleging that the health insurers’ reimbursement practices discriminate against patients with mental health and substance use disorders in violation of the Mental Health Parity and Addition Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA), 29 U.S.C. 1185(a), and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), 29 U.S.C. 1001-1461. The court concluded that, because the psychiatrists are not among those expressly authorized to sue, they lack a cause of action under ERISA. The court also concluded that the association plaintiffs lack constitutional standing to pursue their respective ERISA and MHPAEA claims because their members lack standing. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Am. Psychiatric Ass’n v. Anthem Health Plans, Inc." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed a class action against the Commissioner, challenging New York’s coverage restrictions on certain medical services provided under its Medicaid plan. Plaintiffs argued that New York’s 2011 plan amendments, which restrict coverage of orthopedic footwear and compression stockings to patients with certain enumerated medical conditions, violate the Medicaid Act’s, 42 U.S.C. 1396 et seq., reasonable standards, home health services, due process, and comparability provisions, as well as the anti‐discrimination provision and integration mandate of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. 12131 et seq., and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. 794. Because neither the Medicaid Act nor the Supremacy Clause confers a private cause of action to enforce the reasonable standards provision, the court vacated the district court’s grant of summary judgment to plaintiffs on that claim; the court declined to reach plaintiffs’ unequal treatment claim under the ADA and Rehabilitation Act as largely duplicative of their integration mandate claim; and the court affirmed the summary judgment rulings with respect to the remaining claims. Defendant is entitled to summary judgment on plaintiffs' home health services plan because orthopedic footwear and compression stockings constitute optional “prosthetics” rather than mandatory “home health services” under the Medicaid Act; defendant is entitled to summary judgment on the hearing element and plaintiffs are entitled to summary judgment on the notice element of plaintiffs’ due process claim, because the due process provision required New York to provide plaintiffs with written notice – though not evidentiary hearings – prior to terminating their benefits; plaintiffs are entitled to summary judgment on their comparability provision claim because New York’s coverage restrictions deny some categorically needy individuals access to the same scope of medically necessary services made available to others; and plaintiffs are entitled to summary judgment on their anti‐discrimination claims because New York’s restrictions violate the integration mandate of the ADA and Rehabilitation Act. Finally, the court vacated the injunction and remanded for further consideration on the appropriate relief because the injunction is broader than is warranted by the court's liability conclusions. View "Davis v. Shah" on Justia Law

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In 2000, the Secretary of Health and Human Services issued a regulation, known as the “reclassification rule,” 42 C.F.R. 412.230(a)(5)(iii), which provided that a hospital that has been reclassified from urban to rural under the Medicare Act, 42 U.S.C. 1395ww(d)(8)(E), may not thereafter receive an additional reclassification by the Medicare Geographic Classification Review Board (MGCRB) for reclassification as urban under subsection (d)(10). Lawrence filed suit seeking a preliminary injunction to enjoin defendants from applying the Secretary's reclassification rule to Lawrence's MGCRB application. The district court denied the motion. However, the court found the statutory language to be plain and unambiguous, and at odds with the Secretary’s reclassification rule, 42 C.F.R. 412.230(a)(5)(iii). Therefore, the court declared the regulation invalid and reversed the judgment of the district court, remanding for a determination of the appropriate remedy. View "Lawrence + Memorial Hosp. v. Burwell" on Justia Law