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A Better Partnership


Sep 2013
September 24, 2013

News Briefs

New HIPAA Regulations Take Effect

HIPAA regulations finally have been updated to reflect the HITECH Act. They became enforceable on September 23, 2013. Employers who sponsor self-insured benefits should make sure the new regulations are reflected in their policies and procedures. Employers must also update their HIPAA Business Associate Agreements to require health-plan service providers to more fully comply with HIPAA security rules. Now is also a good time to update risk assessment, especially if it hasn’t been updated within the last year.

State Commission Rules on Out-Of-State Medical Treatment

The Michigan Compensation Appellate Commission recently held that workers’ compensation cost containment guidelines apply to out-of-state medical treatment. The opinion in Lovely v. Ridge Co., Inc. instructs that charges for out-of-state medical facilities and care givers not only must meet the standard of “reasonable and necessary,” but also are subject to the same fee caps as
in-state providers.

Yale Law Professor Needs More Schooling?

A Yale Law School professor has been criticized for sending thousands of letters to retirement plan sponsors stating that, based on his research, the fees paid by those plans may be excessive. In response to the resulting “furor,” Fiduciary Benchmarks, recognized as one of the retirement plan industry’s leading services for independent and cost effective benchmarking, criticized the professor’s research, calling it poorly constructed, incorrect and outdated.

December 1 Deadline for Hazard Communication Training

In 2012, the state of Michigan revised its Hazard Communication Standard to align with the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals. As a result, employers must provide training on the new label elements and Safety Data Sheet (SDS) format by December 1, 2013. Additional information on training can be found on the Michigan Occupational Safety
and Health Administration website.

DOL Moves Forward on Lifetime Income Information

The Department of Labor recently announced it will require retirement plan sponsors to provide customized information to each plan participant projecting the participant’s current account balance into a stream of lifetime retirement income. The proposal is generating significant controversy because of the potential fiduciary implications for employers and the technical problems in converting a present lump sum into a stream of monthly pension income many years in the future.  Stay tuned for further developments.

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