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Senate Rules Could Pose Hurdles for Vaccine Funds

Progressive Democrats in the US Senate are hoping to use a streamlined process that needs just 50 votes to approve a COVID-19 relief package that includes billions in new funding for vaccines and other supplies. But some experts are already casting doubt on that plan. STAT spoke with nine current and former congressional staffers and budgetary experts, including McDermottPlus consultant Rodney Whitlock, on the possibility of public health funds receiving approval through the budget reconciliation process. Access the article.

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Transformative Healthcare Collaboration Opportunities Emerge from COVID-19 Pandemic

The seismic, virtually overnight transformation of healthcare delivery as a result of the pandemic has flung open doors to innovation, as a diverse cross-section of digital health and life sciences stakeholders mobilize crisis resources; adjust operations for enhanced screening, sanitization and social distancing measures; harness telehealth capabilities to deliver healthcare remotely; and identify opportunities for smarter, better healthcare going forward. Writing for The US-Israel Legal Review, partners from McDermott's Health practice highlight the challenges and opportunities that digital health and life sciences operators and investors should consider as the industry charts a course through the post-pandemic changed healthcare landscape. Access the article.

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Top 10 Issues in Health Law 2021

A new president always brings new policy priorities and objectives, particularly when that president is from a different political party than their predecessor. As we begin 2021, and usher in the Biden era, we should likewise expect a significant shift in the health policy agenda. Writing for the American Health Law Association's Top 10 Issues in Health Law 2021, McDermott partner Eric Zimmerman discusses the top health policy priorities to watch for from the new administration. Access the article.

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Uniformity Needed in State Teleworking Guidance, Practitioners Say

The patchwork of teleworking guidance issued by states during the COVID-19 pandemic is creating withholding challenges for employers that could be unconstitutional, according to tax practitioners. In a recent article in Tax Notes, McDermott partner Alysse McLoughlin outlined employer tax concerns amid an increasingly remote workforce. Access the article.

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Full Disclosure Required: Lifetime Income Estimates on Defined Contribution Plan Benefit Statements

The Department of Labor provided interim guidance on the new required annual lifetime income disclosures to participants in defined contribution plans, including plans covered under section 401(k) or 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code, profit-sharing plans and employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs). The Lifetime Income Disclosure Rule is currently scheduled to go into effect on September 18, 2021. Given this timeframe, sponsors of defined contribution plans should start planning for these new disclosure requirements now. Access the article.

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What’s Expected in Employment Law in 2021?

Last year ended as an unprecedented and historic year, with far-reaching effects across diversity, equity and inclusion, employment practices and workplace standards. In a recent article for International Law Office, partners from McDermott's Employment group highlight what changes are expected in 2021 and how these may affect employers and employees. Access the article.

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3 Benefits Takeaways from New Surprise Medical Billing Law

The No Surprises Act, which was tucked into the year-end spending bill, protects patients from getting slapped with surprise bills after visits to the emergency room or their regular medical providers, leaving any payment disputes up to their plan and provider to resolve. A recent article in Law360 covers three key takeaways from the legislation that employers should know, with McDermott partner Judith Wethall weighing in. Access the article.

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Can Employers Make COVID-19 Vaccination Mandatory?

Can employers make COVID-19 vaccination mandatory? Yes, with some exceptions. Experts say employers can require employees to take safety measures, including vaccination. That doesn't necessarily mean an employee would get fired if they refuse, but they might need to sign a waiver or agree to work under specific conditions to limit risk. With vaccine rollout underway in the United States, McDermott partner Michelle Strowhiro outlines considerations for employers in a recent article for The Associated Press. Access the article.

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7 Ways President Biden Could Now Change Healthcare

The Democrats have control of all three levers of power—the Senate, the House and the presidency—for the first time since the early years of the Obama administration. How will President Biden use this new concentration of power to shape healthcare policy? A recent article in Medscape outlined seven key healthcare actions that Biden could pursue, with McDermottPlus consultant Rodney Whitlock weighing in. Access the article.

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