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Prescription Drug Data Reporting: What the “Good Faith Compliance” Extension Really Means for Self-Funded Group Health Plans

We recently reported on an FAQ issued December 23, 2022 (FAQ About Affordable Care Act and Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 Implementation Part 56) by the US Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and the Treasury (collectively, the Departments). The FAQ provides limited, albeit welcome, relief by extending the time for reporting information under the prescription drug data collection (RxDC) rules, which were enacted by Section 204 of Title II of Division BB of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.

Under the statute, the first RxDC reports for the 2020 calendar (or reference) year, were due to be filed by December 27, 2021. However, in response to concerns expressed by stakeholders, enforcement was pushed back a full year to December 27, 2022, at which time the reports for both the 2020 and 2021 reference years were due. The RxDC reporting process required the submission of one or more “plan lists,” a series of eight data files (files D1 through D8) and an accompanying narrative response. (The contents of the plan lists, data files and narrative responses are comprehensively explained here (the Instructions).)

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Why More Companies Are Linking CEO Pay To ESG

An important new governance survey suggests an increasing willingness to consider linking a company’s ESG performance measures to executive incentive compensation. Such a practice would demonstrate a significant corporate embrace of social responsibility principles. But implementing such measures may present boards and their compensation committees with practical implementation challenges.

The new survey from The Conference Board, “Linking Executive Compensation to ESG Performance” (the “Survey”), essentially concludes that tying some portion of executive compensation to
ESG principles is becoming a mainstream governance practice. Indeed, Survey data suggests that the percentage of S&P 500 companies that have adopted ESG performance measures is
increasing at a steady pace—from 66 percent in 2020 to 73 percent in 2021.

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Conversations on Healthcare Governance

In this three-part podcast series focusing on healthcare governance, McDermott Partner Michael Peregrine joins the American Health Law Association to discuss a range of governance issues, including the following:

  • The nature and scope of the fiduciary responsibilities facing board members within nonprofit health systems;
  • Standards of conduct, expectations and the line between governance and management;
  • The board’s role in tackling the pressing challenges facing nonprofit health systems, including environment, social and governance issues;
  • How to handle issues related to charitable status, cybersecurity and the US Department of Justice’s recent pronouncements on corporate compliance;
  • How legal counsel can advise their clients who are board members of nonprofit health systems; and
  • How chief legal officers can effectively share information with the board, approaches to board education and training, and the role of board assessments.

Access the first episode.

Access the second episode.

Access the third episode.




Washington State’s Pay Transparency Law Takes Effect January 1, 2023

Effective January 1, 2023, Washington employers must comply with SB 5761, commonly known as Washington’s Pay Transparency Law, signed by Governor Jay Inslee on March 30, 2022. SB 5761 amends Washington’s Equal Pay and Opportunity Act (RCW 49.58) to require employers with 15 or more employees to include in each job posting the wage scale or salary range of the job and a general description of all of the benefits offered and to identify other compensation offered. The law also requires employers to provide existing employees who are promoted or offered a new position with the wage scale or salary range of the new position.

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Insights and Challenges for the Executive Compensation Committee

The board’s executive compensation committee is the focus point for many of the extraordinary financial, economic and operating challenges currently facing healthcare organizations. Executive compensation increases are impacted by both an inflationary economy and significant revenue downturn. In addition, the US Department of Justice has identified executive compensation as an important conduit through by which corporate compliance incentives and deterrence can be implemented. Furthermore, executive recruitment and retention amidst the “Great Resignation” remains a key compensation concern.

These and similar issues have become important agenda items for the board’s executive compensation Committee. Michael Peregrine is joined by industry experts Tim Cotter and Ralph DeJong for the first in a two-part conversation about the impact of the developments on the compensation committee, including:

  • Key topics for briefing the board’s compensation committee.
  • Increasing communication between the compensation committee and the C-Suite.
  • Addressing pressures felt by executive committee members.
  • Insights from the Sullivan Cotter compensation data survey.
  • Projections for the impact of inflation on next year’s salary increases.
  • Expectations for future CEO salary increases and organization departures.
  • The segmenting approach to leadership plans.
  • Coordination with the Audit & Compliance Committee on compensation incentives

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A Light in the Dark: Seventh Circuit Helps Clarify New Pleading Standards for 401(k) Fee Cases

A recent US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit case supplies answers to many questions left open in 401(k) fee litigation cases after the US Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this year in Hughes v. Northwestern University. Specifically, to survive a motion to dismiss in the Seventh Circuit, the recent ruling in Albert v. Oshkosh Corp. reiterated that plaintiffs must allege both high fees and substandard services or performance in comparison to other similar 401(k) plans.

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Save It for a Rainy Day: Recent Amendment Extensions for Qualified Retirement Plans, 403(b) Plans and Individual Retirement Accounts

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued needed relief to extend some amendment deadlines for non-governmental qualified retirement plans and 403(b) plans, and for individual retirement accounts (IRAs) under the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (SECURE Act), the Bipartisan American Miners Act of 2019 (Miners Act), and certain provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) until December 31, 2025. However, the IRS did not provide relief for all required amendments for the 2022 plan year. Plan sponsors that elected to offer COVID-related distributions or loan relief (or utilized disaster-related relief for loans or distributions under the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020) still need to amend their plans by the end of 2022 plan year.

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SEC Adopts Final Pay Versus Performance Rules

On August 25, 2022, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted final rules to implement the pay versus performance disclosure requirement mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank Act). The Dodd-Frank Act added Section 14(i) to the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which directs the SEC to adopt rules that require registrants to clearly disclose the relationship between executive compensation actually paid and the registrant’s financial performance. More than 12 years after US Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Act, the SEC has adopted Item 402(v) of Regulation S-K to put these disclosure requirements into effect in time for the 2023 proxy season.

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New SEC Rules Heighten Scrutiny Over Executive Pay

On August 25, 2022, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted final rules imposing new mandatory “pay for performance” disclosures for most public companies (foreign private issuers, emerging growth companies and registered investment companies are excluded). These rules implement Section 953(a) of the Dodd-Frank Act, which provided for the SEC to adopt pay for performance rules requiring disclosure in a “clear manner” of the relationship between executive compensation “actually paid” and the company’s “financial performance” taking into account changes in stock value, dividends and distributions.

The final rules, which are primarily set forth in Item 402(v) of Regulation S-K, impose the following new tabular disclosure for any proxy statement or information statement for which executive compensation under Item 402 is required:


Important aspects of this table include the following:

  • Compensation “actually paid” to both the principal executive officer (PEO) (a/k/a CEO) and, as a group, the other named executive officers in the annual proxy statement, which is a measure that will require calculations different than amounts reported in the Summary Compensation Table, particularly for equity awards and pension benefits.
  • Financial performance is to be disclosed with respect to total stockholder return (TSR) for the company, its peer group and net income.
  • A public company covered by these rules can choose to use either the peer group used for its 10-K disclosures (under Item 201(d)) or the custom peer group in its CD&A for this table.
  • Issuers will be required to identify a “company selected measure” specific to their businesses (other than TSR and net income) that represents the “most important” financial performance measure used to link compensation actually paid to company financial performance.
  • The information required by the table is required to cover the five most recently completed fiscal years subject to a transition phase-in rule for 2023 and 2024.

Public companies will also need to provide a clear description of the relationship between each of the financial performance measures in the table and the executive compensation actually paid to its CEO and, on average, its other named executive officers during the lookback period, as well as the relationship between its TSR and the TSR of its peer group.

In addition, public companies will also need to identify the three to seven financial performance measures (or, in some cases, certain non-financial measures) that it determines are its most important measures.

Smaller reporting companies may avail themselves of scaled-back disclosure under Item 402(v), including a shorter lookback period (three years instead of five years) and no requirement to include a custom peer group, a tabular list or a company-selected measure.

Complying with these rules will require changes to existing forms of proxy disclosure. The extent to which these disclosures impact the amount or [...]

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