Federal appeals court invalidates NLRB notice posting rule   05/07/2013
The National Labor Relations Board exceeded its statutory authority when it issued a final rule requiring all employers subject to the National Labor Relations Act to post a notice informing employees of their rights under the Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia affirmed today. The court invalidated the final rule as violating section 8(c) of the Act “because it makes an employer’s failure to post the…notice an unfair labor practice, and because it treats such a failure as evidence of anti-union animus in cases involving, for example, unlawfully motivated firings or refusals to hire – in other words, because it treats such a failure as evidence of an unfair labor practice.” In a concurring opinion, two judges said they also would hold the posting rule invalid under section 6 of the Act because “the rule is not…'necessary’ to carry out the express provisions of the Act,” as the Board itself argued. The lower federal court in D.C. previously upheld the requirement to post the notice, but found that that the Board could not deem the failure to post it an unfair labor practice or toll the statute of limitations against employers who failed to do so. A separate appeal of a challenge to the rule by the U.S. and South Carolina Chambers of Commerce remains pending in the Fourth Circuit.
PCORI awards $88.6 million for comparative effectiveness research   05/07/2013
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute yesterday awarded $88.6 million in funding for research to help patients and caregivers make better informed health and health care decisions. Authorized by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the funding will support 51 projects in four of the institute's national priority areas: assessing prevention, diagnosis and treatment options; improving health care systems; communicating and disseminating research; and addressing disparities. The projects were selected from more than 400 applications, based in part on how well they engage patients and stakeholders in the research process.
Reminder: Flu vaccination data deadline approaching   05/07/2013
May 15 is the deadline for acute care hospitals participating in the inpatient quality reporting program to submit summary data on health care personnel flu vaccination to the National Health Safety Network for the 2012-2013 flu season. Participating hospitals must report summary data for health care personnel working in the hospital for at least 30 days between Oct. 1, 2012 and March 31, 2013 to avoid a 2% reduction in their Medicare inpatient payments for FY 2015 and exclusion from the Value Based Purchasing program. For more information, see the AHA Quality Advisory.