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This post was originally published to Seyfarth’s Global Privacy Watch Blog.

As organizations begin renewing and entering into new contractual relationships for 2024, an oft-forgotten aspect of the contracting process is determining whether a Business Associate Agreement (a “BAA”) is required. Under HIPAA, health care providers, health plans and health care clearinghouses (“Covered Entities”)

Seyfarth Synopsis: In light of a recent focus on price transparency, claims data, and hidden fees in the health plan world, employer-sponsored health plans have been bringing their fight to the courtroom in an effort to lower costs and demonstrate good fiduciary governance.

In the wake of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, as well as newly-issued transparency regulations, employers sponsoring group health plans now have access to (or should have access to) a bevy of data not previously available in the notoriously secretive space of health plan pricing. As predicted, this new era of information transparency has spurred a small but growing stream of lawsuits. Surprisingly though, the plaintiffs in these suits are plan sponsors (or their committees) in their role as plan administrator, as opposed to plan participants, and the defendants are health plan third-party administrators rather than the plans themselves. In light of these recent lawsuits, this post focuses on fiduciary considerations for health plans in this new era of fee and price transparency.

While each lawsuit filed to date has unique aspects, they all generally allege some combination of the following:

  • Failure to adequately and fully disclose payment data as required by law;
  • Imposition of hidden and unreasonable fees;
  • Breach of fiduciary duty; and
  • Claims mismanagement and overpayment.

Continue Reading Who Do I Need to Sue to Get a Decent Cup of Coffee? Jittery Fiduciaries Consider Options as Health Plan Litigation Froths Up

Seyfarth Synopsis: The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has stayed enforcement of a Texas federal district court ruling that that voided the ACA requirement for health plans to cover preventive care items and services (without cost sharing) recommended by the United States Preventive Services Task Force (“USPSTF”) effective as of March 23, 2010.

Update: On June 13, 2023, the 5th Circuit issued a stay order which freezes the ruling issued by a Texas federal district court that voided the ACA requirement for health plans to cover preventive items and services (without cost-sharing) recommended by the U.S Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). For more information, see our blog post

Seyfarth Synopsis: Under a Tri-Agency Proposed Rule, health plans could be required to report information relating to air ambulance services by March 31, 2023. As this proposed deadline approaches, plan sponsors should reach out to their third party administrators to determine what assistance, if any, will be provided relating to these reporting requirements.

Just as

Seyfarth Synopsis: Plans have been scrambling to gather data and work with providers in preparation for the December 27, 2022 deadline to report prescription drug and health care spending information. Just in time for the holidays, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Treasury (the “Departments”) have issued FAQs related to Prescription Drug

Seyfarth Synopsis: Almost a decade after the 408(b)(2) fee disclosure requirements took effect for retirement plan service providers, Congress finally passed legislation addressing compensation disclosure rules for service providers to group health plans. At the end of 2020, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which requires individuals to disclose direct and indirect compensation of