Articles Posted in Health Care Law

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After Plaintiff, an at-will employee, reported a forgery on the part of supervisors at an assisted living facility, the facility terminated Plaintiff's employment. The Department of Inspections and Appeals later concluded that certain state-mandated documents relating to the facility's dementia training program had been forged. Plaintiff subsequently filed an action against the facility for wrongful discharge. The jury returned a verdict for Plaintiff, finding the facility terminated her in retaliation for whistleblowing and a willful and wanton disregard for the rights or safety of others. The jury also awarded punitive damages. The court of appeals (1) affirmed the court's finding that the public-policy exception to the at-will employment doctrine protected Plaintiff's employment from retaliatory termination, but (2) reversed the court's decision to submit the issue of punitive damages to the jury. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) an employer's retaliatory discharge of Plaintiff violated public policy; and (2) the district court should not have submitted the punitive damages claim to the jury because at the time of Plaintiff's discharge, the Court did not recognize a public-policy exception to the at-will employment doctrine based upon a violation of administrative rules.View "Dorshkind v. Oak Park Place of Dubuque II, LLC" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs, several nursing homes approved by the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) as Medicaid providers, submitted annual reports disclosing their income and expenses to DHS. DHS used the reports to calculate the Medicaid per diem reimbursement rates for the nursing homes. Some of the facilities' expenses were disallowed by DHS, and DHS reduced reimbursement rates accordingly. The facilities appealed the adjustments. The director of human services upheld the action. The district court affirmed. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that the DHS rules did not support its decision that the disputed costs were not allowable. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that DHS's exclusion of the facilities' lab, x-ray, and prescription drug costs from the nursing homes' reports was based on an incorrect interpretation of its rules.View "Sunrise Ret. Cmty. v. Iowa Dep't of Human Servs." on Justia Law