Holy MACRA-oni; It’s Here

The Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) reformed the way physicians and clinicians will be paid for medical services under Medicare Part B.  Prior Medicare reporting systems have been replaced with MACRA.  Humboldt County physicians and practices should contact the Health Services Advisory Group and the California Health Information Partnership & Services Organization (CalHIPSO) for no-cost technical assistance to … Read More

Recent Medical Board Matters

For medical care providers who see patients and write prescriptions for pain management, the opioid epidemic is at the forefront of the practice of medicine—particularly here in Humboldt County.  Recent opioid overdose data suggests an estimated 26 opioid overdose deaths in Humboldt County in 2016.  That’s one of the highest rates in California (per 100,000 residents), with the majority of … Read More

California Cannabis Unions

The passage of California’s Senate Bill 643 established a comprehensive licensing and regulatory framework for the cultivation, manufacture, transportation, storage, distribution, and sale of medical cannabis.  The new law provides that all state commercial cannabis applicants or licensees with 20 employees or more (not counting some management) must operate under a Labor Peace Agreement (“LPA”).  This requirement includes all types … Read More

Recommending Medical Cannabis in California

The Compassionate Use Act of 1996 provided seriously ill Californians with the right to obtain and use cannabis for medical purposes when it has been recommended, under certain circumstances, by a physician who is the patient’s attending physician.  The recent passage of California’s Senate Bill 643 established a more comprehensive licensing and regulatory framework for the cultivation, manufacture, transportation, storage, … Read More

Student Loan Options for the Disabled

If you borrowed certain money from the federal government for student loans and subsequently became disabled and unable to pay, there is a process where you can request and receive a discharge of those loans. If you are totally and permanently disabled, consider applying for a disability discharge of your federal student loan or TEACH Grant service obligation. Once you receive … Read More

Marijuana in the Workplace

With the passage of Proposition 64, the “Adult Use of Marijuana Act,” employers may have some concern about whether the new law affects their right to enforce drug-free workplace policies.  While employers should always make employment decisions with great care, the Act clearly preserves the rights of private employers to maintain drug free workplaces.  The actual language for that preservation … Read More

No Right to A Jury Trial in a Whistleblower Case against Health Facilities

This month, the California Supreme Court decided a very important decision for health facility employers and employees.  California law, at Health & Safety Code section 1278.5, provides protections for patients, nurses, members of a medical staff, or other health care workers who notify government entities of suspected unsafe patient care and conditions.  A health care facility is prohibited from then … Read More

California’s 2017 Minimum Wage Increase

Attention Humboldt County employers:  California’s most recent version of the minimum wage poster, MW-2017, which includes the January 1, 2017 minimum wage increase, must be posted in your workplace. Copies of the poster can be found here(link is external).

AB 275: Written for Humboldt’s Nursing Homes

February 17, 2017 was the deadline for bills to be introduced in the California legislature. One of those bills was introduced by Assembly Member Jim Wood (from California’s Assembly District 2, which includes Humboldt County).  The bill, AB 275, is the result of Wood’s experience with the attempt by the owner/operator of five Humboldt County nursing homes to shut down … Read More

Exempt Employee Minimum Salary Increases for 2017

Humboldt County employers must remember that with California’s minimum wage increase on January 1, 2017, the corresponding base minimum annual salary to qualify any employee as exempt from overtime has a corresponding increase.  As always, to qualify for exempt status, employees must make at least twice the minimum wage on an annual basis.  If you have any questions about whether … Read More