2014 News

  • Brainerd William LaTourette, Jr. (June 3, 1930 – December 26, 2014)

    In Memory of our Friend and Colleague.

  • FMCSA Seeks Public Comment Regarding Revising Minimum Levels of Financial Responsibility of Commercial Carriers

    The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently announced through an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) that the Agency is seeking comment from the public, liability insurance providers, motor carriers, brokers and freight forwarders on the safety and financial impacts of revising minimum levels of financial responsibility.

    The Federal Government has long required motor carriers to maintain certain levels of financial responsibility, either through insurance, a bond, or other financial security, as a means to protect the public in the event of a crash.  An April 2014 Report to Congress found that while catastrophic motor carrier crashes are rare, the costs for resulting severe and critical injuries can exceed $1 million; current insurance limits do not adequately cover these costs, which are primarily due to increases in medical expenses and other crash-related costs.

    To provide a basis for proposing changes to insurance rules and estimating those impacts in the future, the Agency is seeking additional information on 26 questions.  Whenever possible, commenters should provide data in support of their responses.  FMCSA recognizes that an individual commenter may choose to respond to all of the issues or only a subset, based on his or her interest or area of expertise.

    A copy of the ANPRM and instructions for submitting comments is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/11/28/2014-28076/financial-responsibility-for-motor-carriers-freight-forwarders-and-brokers.

    Comments will accepted through February 26, 2015.

    For more information, please contact Patrick Foppe at pfoppe@lashlybaer.com, or at 314-621-2939, or contact your Lashly & Baer attorney.

  • Lashly & Baer, P.C. Gets Top Ranking from U.S. News & World Report

    U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers have released the 2015 Best Law Firms rankings, and St. Louis’ Lashly & Baer, P.C., has been given top marks in the St. Louis region.

    In the St. Louis rankings, Lashly & Baer earned “Metropolitan First-Tier” in Corporate Law, Health Care Law, and Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants.

  • FMCSA Curtails Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports

    FMCSA recently rescinded the requirement that commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers operating in interstate commerce, except drivers of passenger-carrying CMVs, submit, and motor carriers, retain Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIRs) when the driver has neither found nor been made aware of any vehicle defects or deficiencies. The No-Defect DVIR rule also harmonizes the pre- and post-trip inspection lists. The rule does not change the requirement to perform the end of day DVIR inspection; rather it simply removes the requirement to document the inspection even when no safety-related vehicle defects exist. It responds in part to the President Obama’s January 2011 Regulatory Review and Reform initiative, removing a significant information collection burden without adversely impacting safety.

    FMCSA estimated that professional truck drivers spend approximately 46.7 million hours each year completing DVIRs. Eliminating DVIRs when no safety defects or mechanical deficiencies are identified will result in time savings valued at $1.7 billion dollars annually according to FMCSA. Violations related to DVIRs were the most common vehicle inspection violation discovered by FMCSA that was considered “critical” and which impacted motor carrier safety ratings. Rescinding the DVIR rule for no defect inspections may possibly reduce the chance of a motor carrier being cited for a safety rating-impacting vehicle maintenance violation here forward.

    FMCSA’s No-Defect DVIR rule will be effective on the date it is published in the Federal Register, which is scheduled for December 18, 2014.

    For more information, please contact Patrick E. Foppe at pfoppe@lashlybaer.com, or at 314-621-2939, or contact your Lashly & Baer attorney.

     

  • ROi and Mercy Receive Top Analyst Provider Rating in 2014 Gartner Healthcare Supply Chain Top 25

    Lashly & Baer congratulates our client, Mercy Health, and its integrated supply chain division, ROi, on being ranked in the Top 10 for the sixth consecutive year in the 2014 Gartner Healthcare Supply Chain Top 25.  Mercy and ROi also received the highest ranking that Gartner analysts gave to a health care provider.  Click here  http://www.roiscs.com/News/Gartner2014 to learn more about this recognition.  Lashly & Baer attorneys Stuart J. Vogelsmeier, James C. Hetlage, Tricia J. Mueller, and Hannah M. Nelson represent ROi.

  • Payment for Referrals: It’s Still Not a Good Idea

    Lashly & Baer attorney, Stuart J. Vogelsmeier, published the article “Payment for Referrals:  It’s Still Not a Good Idea,” in the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) Greater St. Louis Chapter Fall 2014 Newsletter. CLICK HERE to download a copy of the article, or visit the HFMA Greater St. Louis Chapter website to view the article.

  • Lashly & Baer, P.C. Earns Top Remarks from 2014 Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers

    Kenneth C. Brostron has been selected by his peers as one of the Top 50: 2014 St. Louis Super Lawyers. Brostron ranked top of the list having been among those who received the highest point totals in the Missouri nominations, research and blue ribbon review process.

    A total of nine lawyers from Lashly & Baer, P.C. were selected for inclusion into the 2014 Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers edition. They are Kenneth C. Brostron, Matthew J. Eddy, Kevin L. Fritz, Stefan J. Glynias, Terrance J. Good, James C. Hetlage, Stephen G. Reuter, Richard D. Watters, and Wendy J. Wolf. In addition, Missouri & Kansas Rising Stars has selected Mark R. Feldhaus, and Patrick E. Foppe as top young lawyers in Missouri and Kansas for 2014.

    CLICK HERE to view the press release.

  • Trending Issues in Education Law 2014

    Lashly & Baer, P.C. attorneys, Lisa O. Stump and Lawrence J. Wadsack, presented, “Trending Issues in Education Law 2014” to approximately 300 Missouri principals and administrators on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at the Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP)/MCCTA Fall Conference in Columbia, Missouri.  Their presentation covered matters including OCR Reviews and Investigations, Cell Phone Searches, Transgender Students and the Missouri Student Religious Liberties Act.

    Click here to download the presentation.

    For more information, please contact Ms. Stump at lostump@lashlybaer.com, Mr. Wadsack at lwadsack@lashlybaer.com, or contact your Lashly & Baer attorney.

  • Lashly & Baer Adds New Associate

    The law firm of Lashly & Baer, P.C. announces that Scott A. Pummell has joined the firm as an associate. Pummell practices in the area of litigation matters, including business litigation, insurance disputes, and premises liability. He holds a J.D. from the University of Missouri – Kansas City.

    Click here to download the press release.

  • Revised Laws Regarding Prompt Payment and Payment Bonds in Public Works Projects

    Lashly & Baer attorneys, Robert E. McWilliams and Emily M. Slaten, wrote “Revised Laws Regarding Prompt Payment and Payment Bonds in Public Works Projects.” This article is intended to summarize the change in the Missouri law regarding prompt payments and payments bonds for public works contracts.

    CLICK HERE to download a copy of the article.

    For more information, please contact Mr. McWilliams at remcwill@lashlybaer.com, or contact your Lashly & Baer attorney.

     

  • Pension Law Basics for Board Members

    Lashly & Baer attorney, Rhonda A. O’Brien, presented at the 2014 Annual Missouri School Boards’ Association (MSBA) Convention on Saturday, September 27th on the topic of “Pension Law Basics for Board Members.” The MSBA Annual Convention is the largest annual gathering of public school policymakers in Missouri.

    CLICK HERE to download a copy of the presentation.

    For more information, please contact Ms. O’Brien at raobrien@lashlybaer.com, or contact your Lashly & Baer attorney.

  • Lashly & Baer, P.C. Named As One of the Top Five Law Firms in St. Louis by Small Business Monthly

    Lashly & Baer, P.C. has been named by Small Business Monthly as one of the Top Five in the “Best Law Firms” category. The Best in Business: Business Owners’ Guide which features the results can be found in the September 2014 issue of Small Business Monthly. Click here to view the complete list.

  • Defense Verdict for Lashly & Baer Attorney, Mark R. Feldhaus

    Mark Feldhaus of Lashly & Baer, P.C. successfully defended a family physician against claims of negligence causing the death of a firefighter. The claim included the failure to properly assess and refer the patient for his coronary artery disease risk factors because of the patient’s history of a prior elevated score on a calcium scan, high cholesterol, and non-specific T wave abnormalities on a resting EKG. The Saint Louis County jury deliberated 40 minutes before concluding unanimously that the defendant physician was not at fault.

     

  • Lashly & Baer Attorney Achieves Advanced Certification from The Missouri School Boards’ Association

    Lashly & Baer Attorney, Christopher D. Castellanos, also a member of the Affton 101 Board of Education, has achieved Advanced Certification in the Missouri School Boards’ Association (MSBA) certified board member program. The program established by MSBA helps local school board members master the knowledge and skills they need to function as effective educational leaders in their communities.

     

  • Four Lashly & Baer, P.C. Attorneys Included in The Best Lawyers in America© 2015

    We are proud to announce James C. Hetlage has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2015 for his work in Employment Law – Management. He joins John Fox Arnold (Corporate Law); Kenneth C. Brostron (Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants and Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants); and Richard D. Watters (Health Care Law).

  • OIG Examines Lab Payments to Referring Physicians

    Lashly & Baer attorneys, Stuart J. Vogelsmeier and Hannah M. Nelson, published the article “OIG Examines Lab Payments to Referring Physicians” in the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) Greater St. Louis Chapter Summer 2014 Newsletter.

    CLICK HERE to download a copy of the article, or visit the HFMA Greater St. Louis Chapter website to view the Summer Newsletter.

  • Missouri Court of Appeals Holds that Missouri’s Statutory Caps on Punitive Damages Do Not Apply in Wrongful Death Cases

    Recently, in Mansfield v. Horner, WD76310, 2014 WL 2724854 (Mo. App. W.D.  June 17, 2014), the Missouri Western District Court of Appeals held that Missouri’s statutory caps on punitive damages do not apply to cases brought pursuant to the Missouri Wrongful Death Act. Under Section 510.265 RSMo, “punitive damages” are capped at (1) five hundred thousand dollars; or (2) five times the net amount of the judgment awarded to the plaintiff against the defendant. The Western District concluded that the legislature’s reference to “punitive damages” in section 510.265 was not intended to include within its scope “aggravating circumstances” damages allowed under the Missouri Wrongful Death Act. The Western District rejected the view that “aggravating circumstance awards” and “punitive damages” are statutory synonyms for purposes of Section 510.265. The Western District noted that the term “punitive damages” is not defined in Section 510.265 RSMo. Further, Section 510.263RSMo, which addresses trial procedures when “punitive damage” awards are claimed, specifies that those procedures are equally available where “aggravating circumstances” damages are claimed. The Western District stated that the Missouri legislature: (i) understands that “aggravating circumstances” damages are not synonymous with “punitive damages” as a matter of course; and (ii) plainly knows how to write legislation to express its intent to include “aggravating circumstances” within the scope of “punitive damages” if that is intended. The Western District limited prior holdings of the Missouri Supreme Court, which had previously stated that “aggravating circumstance damages in wrongful death cases are the equivalent of punitive damages,” to merely the context of determining whether damages for aggravating circumstances are subject to due process considerations. Presently, it is unclear whether this decision will be appealed to the Missouri Supreme Court.

    For more information, please contact your Lashly & Baer attorney, or Patrick Foppe at 314-621-2939, or at pfoppe@lashlybaer.com.

  • Defense Verdict for Lashly & Baer Attorney, Kenneth C. Brostron

    Kenneth Brostron of Lashly & Baer, P.C. successfully defended three labor and delivery nurses against claims of negligence causing severe brain damage of a newborn. The claims included failure to properly care for the mother in the presence of tachysystole and failure to stop the mother from pushing with a non-reassuring heart tracing. The lawsuit lasted fourteen trial days with the Phelps County jury concluding in favor of each nurse as well as the obstetrician.

  • FMCSA Initiates Rulemaking Process to Update the Financial Responsibility of Commercial Carriers

    On July 6, 2012, President Obama signed into law the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21; P.L. 112-141). Section 32104 of MAP-21 directed the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to issue a report to Congress the appropriateness of the current minimum financial responsibility requirements for motor carriers of property and passengers, and the current bond and insurance requirements for freight forwarders and brokers. Section 32104 also directed the Secretary to issue a report on the appropriateness of these requirements every 4 years starting April 1, 2013. The Secretary of Transportation delegated the responsibility for this report to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

    On April 18, 2014, the FMCSA reported to Congress that current financial responsibility minimums for the commercial motor vehicle industry are inadequate to meet the costs of some crashes. The agency’s report to Congress includes findings from a recent study that weighed the benefits of increasing insurance minimums, including improved compensation for crash victims and reductions in commercial vehicle crashes, against costs imposed on commercial motor vehicle operators and the insurance industry. The FMCSA analysis shows that the costs for catastrophic accidents often exceed $1 million. The FMCSA concluded that the current insurance limits do not adequately cover these costs. The agency has formed a rulemaking team to further evaluate the appropriate level of financial responsibility for the motor carrier industry.

    The report does not examine the current bond and insurance requirements for freight forwarders and brokers since MAP-21 mandated these requirements to be $75,000 effective October 1, 2013, and the FMCSA will report on the appropriateness of these levels after it has had the opportunity to observe their impacts.

    The full report to Congress can be found at: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/mission/policy/report-congress-examining-appropriateness-current-financial-responsibility-and.

    To download the article, click here. For more information, please contact your Lashly & Baer attorney, or Patrick Foppe at 314-621-2939, or pfoppe@lashlybaer.com.

  • Lashly & Baer Attorney to Moderate at the Missouri Bar’s 2014 Annual Law Seminar

    May 14, 2014 – Melissa R. Null will serve as moderator for The Missouri Bar’s upcoming 2014 Annual Law Seminar to be held on Thursday, May 22, 2014, at the Renaissance St. Louis Airport Hotel. The seminar will discuss topics in various practice areas including Business Law, Employment Law, Real Property, Torts & Civil Actions, and Workers’ Compensation.

  • Michael D. Regan Presented “Overview of Missouri Charitable Exemption Law – The Franciscan Test”

    Lashly & Baer attorney, Michael D. Regan, presented at the LeadingAge Missouri 2014 Annual Conference titled, “Nonprofit Status: What You Need to Know” on Thursday, April 24, 2014. The presentation covered an Overview of Missouri Charitable Exemption Law – The Franciscan Test.

    CLICK HERE to download the presentation.

  • Lashly & Baer, P.C. Announces John S. McCollough and Melissa R. Null have joined the firm

    Wednesday, April 02, 2014The law firm of Lashly & Baer, P.C. announces that John S. McCollough has joined the firm as a member and Melissa R. Null has joined as an associate.  McCollough and Null both practice in the area of complex business litigation matters, including premises liability, product liability, labor and employment, trucking and transportation, and insurance litigation.  McCollough holds a J.D. from Saint Louis University School of Law. Null holds a J.D. from University of Missouri – Columbia School of Law.

    Click here to view the press release.

  • FMCSA Announces Proposed Rule For Electronic Logging Devices

    On March 12, 2014, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced its proposed amendments to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) regarding Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs), formally known as Electronic Onboard Recorders (EOBRs). The American Trucking Association has announced its general support for FMCSA’s proposed mandate for the use of ELDs. The proposed rule purports to address issues raised by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in its 2011 decision vacating the FMCSA’s April 5, 2010 final rule concerning ELDs (see Owner-Operator Indep. Drivers Ass’n v. FMCSA, 656 F.3d 580 (7th Cir. 2011)) as well as subsequent statutory developments.

    The proposed rule would amend the FMCSRs to establish: (1) minimum performance and design standards for hours-of-service (HOS) electronic logging devices (ELDs); (2) requirements for the mandatory use of these devices by drivers currently required to prepare HOS records of duty status (RODS); (3) requirements concerning HOS supporting documents; and (4) measures to address concerns about harassment resulting from the mandatory use of ELDs. Specifically, the proposed rule includes provisions designed to:

    • Respect driver privacy by ensuring that ELD records continue to reside with the motor carriers and drivers. Electronic logs will continue to only be made available to FMCSA personnel or law enforcement during roadside inspections, compliance reviews and post-crash investigations.
    • Protect drivers from harassment through an explicit prohibition on harassment by a motor carrier owner towards a driver using information from an ELD. It will also establish a procedure for filing a harassment complaint and creates a maximum civil penalty of up to $11,000 for a motor carrier that engages in harassment of a driver that leads to an hours-of-service violation or the driver operating a vehicle when they are so fatigued or ill it compromises safety. The proposal will also ensure that drivers continue to have access to their own records and require ELDs to include a mute function to protect against disruptions during sleeper berth periods.
    • Increase efficiency for law enforcement personnel and inspectors who review driver logbooks by making it more difficult for a driver to cheat when submitting their records of duty status and ensuring the electronic logs can be displayed and reviewed electronically, or printed, with potential violations flagged.

    Details regarding the proposed rule can be found at: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/rulemakings/rule-programs/rule_making_details.aspx?ruleid=475. Comments to the proposed rule should reference “Docket Number FMCSA-2010-0167” and be sent by one of following methods:

    • Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001;
    • Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays; or Fax: 202-493-2251.

     

    To download a copy of this article, please click here. For more information, please contact your Lashly & Baer attorney, or Patrick Foppe at 314-621-2939, or at pfoppe@lashlybaer.com.

     

     

     

     

     

     


     

  • Lashly & Baer, P.C. Named to Small Business Monthly’s 2014 Best In Reliability List

    Small Business Monthly’s Best in Business section features Lashly & Baer, P.C. among companies nominated by SBM readers as being one of the most Reliable firms in St. Louis. The list will appear in the April 2014 issue. Click here for a complete Best in Business listings.

  • Lashly & Baer Partner Presented “Key Compliance Issues for 2014”

    Lashly & Baer attorney, Stuart J. Vogelsmeier, spoke at the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) Greater St. Louis Chapter Annual Legislative Update on February 24, 2014, on the topic of “Key Compliance Issues for 2014.”

    CLICK HERE to download a copy of the presentation.

  • FMCSA Finalizes Rule to Shut Down Carriers based on Patterns of Safety Violations and Proposes New Rule for National Drug and Alcohol Testing Clearinghouse

    On January 22, 2014, the FMCSA published its new Patterns of Safety Violations Rule which implements the agency’s authority to shut down a bus or truck company if the company, or a company officer, has a history of purposely violating federal safety regulations. The rule is purportedly designed to target “high-risk carriers that endanger travelers by avoiding or covering up their negative history of safety compliance.” FMCSA stated it intends to apply the rule in “egregious cases” in which it finds that a motor carrier has committed a pattern of unsafe practices, even if that particular investigation alone does not result in a downgrade of the carrier’s safety fitness rating. The new rule is related to a rule adopted by the agency in 2012 to apply out-of-service orders to reincarnated or chameleon carriers and to consolidate their enforcement histories. The new rule goes one step further by authorizing a complete revocation of the motor carrier’s authority to operate. The new rule can be found at: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rulesregulations/administration/rulemakings/rule-programs/rule_making_details.aspx?ruleid=470.

    On February 12, 2014, the FMCSA announced a proposed rule to establish the Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, a database under the Agency’s administration that will contain controlled substances and alcohol test result information for the holders of commercial driver’s licenses. The proposed rule would require FMCSA-regulated motor carrier employers, Medical Review Officers, Substance Abuse Professionals, and consortia/third party administrators supporting U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) testing programs to report verified positive, adulterated, and substituted drug test results, positive alcohol test results, test refusals, negative return-to-duty test results, and information on follow-up testing. The proposed rule would also require employers to report actual knowledge of traffic citations for driving a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The proposed rule would establish the terms of access to the database, including the conditions under which information would be submitted, accessed, maintained, updated, removed, and released to prospective employers, current employers, and other authorized entities. Finally, it would require laboratories that provide FMCSA-regulated motor carrier employers with DOT drug testing services to report, annual, summary information about their testing activities. The proposed rule can be found at: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/rulemakings/rule-programs/rule_making_details.aspx?ruleid=471

    For more information, please contact your Lashly & Baer attorney, or Patrick Foppe at 314-621-2939, or pfoppe@lashlybaer.com.

  • CMS’ Recent Actions Affecting RAC Appeals For Providers

    CMS has recently updated the Medicare Benefit Policy Manual as it relates to the Medicare coverage for skilled care for a patient in the Skilled Nursing Facility, Home Health, and Outpatient Therapy settings.  This Manual update is in response to last year’s January 24, 2013 settlement agreement in the case of Jimmo v. Sebelius.  In that case, the plaintiffs alleged that the Medicare contractors were inappropriately applying an “Improvement Standard” in making claim determinations for Medicare coverage involving skilled care.  While CMS denied ever establishing an improper rule of thumb of an “Improvement Standard,” it has provided further clarification in its Medicare policies for these facilities as it relates to covered maintenance services.  The Manual now specifically indicates that Medicare will pay for skilled services if the skilled services are “reasonable and necessary to prevent or slow further deterioration.”  Medicare coverage “cannot be denied based on the absence of potential for improvement or restoration.”  Therefore, Medicare contractors are not supposed to deny coverage for a patient if the services are necessary to either improve the patient or maintain the patient.  The Manual does indicate that documentation in the medical record must fully establish that the medical condition as described supports the goals for the patient and the need for such skilled nursing or therapy services.  These services must be consistent with the nature and severity of the illness or injury, the patient’s particular needs, and the accepted standards of medical practice, as well as the services themselves being reasonable and necessary for treatment of the illness or injury.  In addition, CMS has provided additional examples of permissible coverage for maintenance services.  For further information, click on the link provided: [Jimmo v. Sebelius Settlement Agreement Fact Sheet (http://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/SNFPPS/Downloads/Jimmo-FactSheet.pdf)] and [Medicare Provider Benefits Manual.  [http://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Guidance/Manuals/Internet-Only-Manuals-IOMs-Items/CMS012673.html]].

    Further, CMS has recently announced that it will again delay the implementation of the “two midnights rule” (“Rule”) that was established in the new rule (CMS-1599-F) to be effective October 1, 2013 for inpatient admissions at hospitals.  The Rule provides that an admission will qualify for Part A reimbursement where the physician admits the patient with the expectation that the treatment will require a two night inpatient stay.  CMS claimed to have clarified their policy regarding inpatient hospitalization from the 24 hour benchmark in a response to the hospitals’ calls for more guidance about when a beneficiary is appropriately treated as an inpatient rather than as an observation patient or other outpatient status.  However, as a result of the outcry of such implementation of this new Rule, CMS established that it would perform a series of “Probe and Educate” reviews prior to the implementation of Rule.  The Rule’s previous effective date of October 1, 2013 was delayed until December 31, 2013 and then again delayed to March 31, 2014 so that such “Probe and Educate” period could continue for the hospitals.  However, on January 31, 2014, CMS again delayed implementation for another six months.  During this time, the Medicare administrative contractors (MACs) will continue to select claims for review with dates of admission between March 31, 2014 and September 30, 2014.  The MACs will review and deny such claims and hold educational sessions with the hospitals until the implementation date of September 30, 2014.  Additionally, the MACs and recovery auditors will not be conducting pre- or post-payment status reviews for compliance with the Rule for inpatient hospital claims with admission dates between October 1, 2013 and October 1, 2014.

    For more information regarding this delay, please contact your Lashly & Baer, P.C. attorney.

     

  • Provider-Based Status: Does Your Facility Qualify?

    Lashly & Baer attorney, Stuart J. Vogelsmeier, published an article in the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) Greater St. Louis Chapter Winter 2014 Newsletter entitled “Provider-Based Status: Does Your Facility Qualify?”. CLICK HERE to download a copy of the article or visit the HFMA Greater St. Louis Chapter website to view the Winter Newsletter.

     

  • RECENT NEWS FROM THE FEDERAL MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY ADMINISTRATION

    1)  One-Year Extension of Paper Medical Certificate Requirement for Commercial Bus and Truck Drivers

    FMCSA recently announced that it is extending by one year, until Jan. 30, 2015, a requirement that interstate commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders retain paper copies of their medical examiner’s certificate and continue to make the document available for review upon request at the roadside by federal and state commercial motor vehicle inspectors. In Dec. 2008, FMCSA issued a Final Rule modernizing, streamlining, and simplifying recordkeeping obligations for drivers, carriers and state governments by requiring that a driver’s medical certification record be merged with state-issued CDLs. States received support from FMCSA to implement the necessary IT system upgrades and merge the records into one, online database – the Commercial Driver’s License Information System (CDLIS). FMCSA announced the one-year extension today to protect commercial drivers from being cited for violations because some states are not yet in full compliance with the new system. For a copy of the Federal Register announcement, see: www.FMCSA.DOT.gov.

    2)  New Rule to Shut Down Carriers based on Patterns of Safety Violations

    FMCSA is expected this week to publish a Patterns of Safety Violations Rule which implements the agency’s authority to shut down a bus or truck company if the company, or a company officer, has a history of purposely violating federal safety regulations. The rule is one of the new enforcement tools that the agency has developed in recent years to target high-risk carriers that endanger travelers by avoiding or covering up their negative history of safety compliance. FMCSA intends to apply the rule in “egregious cases” in which it finds that a motor carrier has committed a pattern of unsafe practices, even if that particular investigation alone does not result in a downgrade of the carrier’s safety fitness rating. The new rule complements a rule adopted by the agency in 2012 to apply out-of-service orders to reincarnated or chameleon carriers and to consolidate their enforcement histories. The new rule goes one step further by authorizing a complete revocation of the motor carrier’s authority to operate. For a copy of the Federal Register announcement, see: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/rulemakings/rule-programs/rule_making_details.aspx?ruleid=470.

    3)  Public Listening Sessions on Knowledge Testing Requirements for New Entrant Carriers, Freight Forwarders and Brokers

    FMCSA plans to hold public listening sessions to solicit ideas and information from interested parties on possible knowledge testing requirements for New Entrant passenger and property carriers, freight forwarders, and brokers as follows:

    • March 28, 2014 at the Mid-America Trucking Show taking place at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky.
    • April 7, 2014 at the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s spring conference taking place at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites in Los Angeles.

    Room locations and times to be announced. To learn more about the New Entrant requirements in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) (Pub. L. 112-141) and the types of information FMCSA is requesting through the listening sessions, please see the FMCSA website.

    If you would like more information, please contact your Lashly & Baer, P.C. attorney, or Patrick E. Foppe at (314) 621-2939, or at pfoppe@lashlybaer.com

  • 2014 News from the FMCSA and a Look Down the Road

    Patrick E. Foppe authored, “2014 News from the FMCSA and a Look Down the Road,” DRI For The Defense Magazine, December 2014. View the above link to read a PDF copy of this article.

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