Justia U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Health Law
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Kawa filed suit challenging the Treasury's decision to postpone the enforcement of the employer mandate provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), 26 U.S.C. 4980H, and sought a declaratory judgment and injunction setting aside the Treasury's transition relief. Kawa had expended time and money to determine how to comply with the employer mandate between early 2013 and the end of June 2013. After Kawa incurred these expenses, the Treasury announced it would not enforce the mandate for a transition period of one year - until the end of 2014. The Treasury then extended the transition relief for certain employers, including Kawa, for a second year. The court affirmed the district court's dismissal of the complaint because Kawa lacked Article III standing where Kawa failed to allege an injury in fact, a causal connection, and a likelihood of success. View "Kawa Orthodontics, LLP v. Secretary, U.S. Dept. of the Treasury, et al." on Justia Law

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Plaintiff, a Florida resident, wanted to file suit against his doctor for medical negligence. Before filing suit, plaintiff had to comply with Florida's presuit requirements. At issue was whether the presuit authorizations in Fla. Stat. 766.1065, requiring that plaintiff execute a written authorization form for release from protected health information, is preempted by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), 45 C.F.R. 164.508, 164.5. The court concluded that the written authorization form required in section 766.1065 fully complied with HIPAA and, therefore, there was no federal preemption of section 766.1065. The court reversed the judgment of the district court holding otherwise. View "Murphy v. Dulay, et al." on Justia Law

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Astellas holds patents on a cardiac test and sells its unpatented pharmaceutical product, Adenoscan, for using during that test. The Medical Center, which conducts cardiac tests, filed suit under Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. 1, alleging that Astellas is able to overcharge the Medical Center for the Adenoscan product by unlawfully tying the patented right to perform the patented cardiac test to the purchase of the unpatented Adenoscan. The court concluded that the district court did not abuse its discretion in refusing the Medical Center's request to certify a class seeking damages against Astellas for unlawful tying because the direct purchaser rule precludes the Medical Center's own treble damages claim. The district court also did not abuse its discretion in refusing to certify the class for purposes of seeking injunctive and declaratory relief. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the district court.View "Lakeland Regional Medical Center v. Astellas US, LLC, et al." on Justia Law

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The Hospital filed suit against various federal agencies and officials, seeking a declaratory judgment that 18 U.S.C. 4006(b)(1), where Congress has elected to impose the Medicare rate as full compensation for medical services rendered to federal detainees, is unconstitutional as applied. The court concluded that the Hospital voluntarily opted into the Medicare program and is, as a result, required to provide emergency services to federal detainees. Consequently, the Hospital was foreclosed from challenging this compensation scheme as an unconstitutional taking under the Fifth Amendment. The court noted that the Hospital's most effective remedy may lie with Congress rather than the courts. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's dismissal of the action.View "Baker County Medical Services v. U.S. Attorney General, et al." on Justia Law

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The State appealed the district court's grant of summary judgment and an injunction in favor of plaintiffs, enjoining enforcement of Florida's Firearm Owners Privacy Act, Fla. Stat. 381.026, 456.072, 790.338, on First and Fourteenth Amendment grounds. The Act seeks to protect patients' privacy by restricting irrelevant inquiry and record-keeping by physicians regarding firearms. The court concluded that plaintiffs have standing to challenge the Act and plaintiffs' claims are ripe for adjudication; the Act is a legitimate regulation of professional conduct where the Act simply codifies that good medical care does not require inquiry or record-keeping regarding firearms when unnecessary to a patient's care, and any burden the Act places on physician speech is incidental; and the Act is not unconstitutionally vague when the Act is properly understood as a regulation of physician conduct intended to protect patient privacy and curtail abuses of the physician-patient relationship, and it is readily apparent from the language of the Act the type of conduct the Act prohibits. Accordyingly, the court reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment and vacated the injunction.View "Wollschlaeger, et al. v. Governor State of FL, et al." on Justia Law

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Petitioner sought review of a decision awarding benefits to a miner's widow under the Black Lung Benefits Act, 30 U.S.C. 901 et seq. The court found, after reviewing petitioner's arguments and the relevant law, that nothing precludes a new benefits claim by a survivor whose previous application was denied under the pre-Affordable Care Act (ACA), Pub. L. No. 111-148, section 1556, 124 Stat. 119, 260, version of the Black Lung Benefits Act. Thus, the court held that a survivor who filed a claim before January 1, 2005 may submit a new claim that must be adjudicated under the post-ACA statutory provisions. The court denied the petition for review and affirmed the award of benefits. View "Jim Walter Resources, Inc. v. Director, OWCP, et al." on Justia Law

Posted in: Health Law
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Plaintiffs filed suit against defendant, in her official capacity as Interim Secretary for the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), alleging that defendant violated the Medicaid Act, 42 U.S.C. 1396 et seq., by denying Medicaid coverage of applied behavioral analysis (ABA) to treat plaintiffs' autism spectrum disorders. The court concluded that the district court did not abuse its discretion in issuing a permanent injunction that overruled AHCA's determination that ABA was experimental and required Medicaid coverage of this treatment. However, because the language in the injunction's final sections was out of step with the district court's analysis and what was actually decided, the court vacated the injunction in part and remanded to the district court to modify Paragraphs 2 and 6. View "Garrido, et al. v. Interim Secretary, FL Agency for Health Care Admin." on Justia Law

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U.S. Steel appealed the award of benefits to plaintiff, the widow of a deceased miner, under the black lung benefits program. The Benefits Review Board affirmed the award, concluding that plaintiff did not need to show the cause of her husband's death. The court concluded that 30 U.S.C. 932(l), as amended by section 1556(b) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Pub. L. No. 111-148, 1556(b), 124 Stat. 119, 260, eliminated the need for survivors who could meet its requirements to prove that their associated miners died due to black lung disease; it applied retroactively to survivors' claims filed in the specified period; and this retroactive application did not violate the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment. Accordingly, the court denied U.S. Steel's petition to review the Board's ruling. View "U.S. Steel Mining Co., LLC v. Director, OWCP, et al." on Justia Law

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This case stemmed from requests to the Nursing Facilities from spouses and attorneys-in-fact for medical records of deceased nursing home residents. At issue was whether section 400.145 of the Florida Statutes was preempted by the Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), 42 U.S.C. 1320d to d-9, and its implementing regulations. The court held that section 400.145 and HIPAA could not be reconciled and the court agreed with the district court that the Florida statute stood as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the full purposes and objectives of HIPAA in keeping an individual's protected health information strictly confidential. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court's judgment that the Florida statute was preempted and its grant of summary judgment in favor of the Nursing Facilities, explaining that the Florida statue afforded nursing home residents less protection than was required by the federal law. View "OPIS Mgmt. Res. LLC, et al v. Sec., FL Agency for Health Care Admin." on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs challenged Florida's "Patient Self-Referral Act of 1992" (the Florida Act), Fla. Stat. 456.053, which prohibited Florida physicians from referring their patients for services to business entities in which the referring physicians have a financial interest. The court concluded that the conflict preemption doctrine did not apply, and the exemptions in federal law allowing physicians serving end-stage renal disease patients to engage in self-referral did not preempt Florida's more restrict law prohibiting such conduct. The court also concluded that the Florida Act did not discriminate against interstate commerce, nor did it impose a burden on interstate commerce that was clearly excessive when compared with the law's putative local benefits. Therefore, the Florida Act did not violate the dormant Commerce Clause. Further, plaintiffs' substantive due process claim failed to survive rational basis scrutiny, and an equal protection claim would fail as well. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment. View "Fresenius Medical Care Holding, et al v.Tucker, et al" on Justia Law