Morris James Blogs
Showing 6 posts by A. Kimberly Hoffman.
Delaware Superior Court Enforces Noncompetition Covenant Against Physician Placed on “Garden Leave” Following Notice of voluntary Termination of Employment
The Delaware Superior Court has rejected the effort of a physician, bound by a noncompetition covenant with his former practice group, to argue that the covenant was unenforceable because the practice placed him on “garden leave” during the final four-and-a-half months of the contract’s mandatory six-month notice period. During a typical garden leave, the departing physician would get paid, but he or she could not practice.
The Court ruled that the physician’s effort to repudiate his noncompetition obligations by bringing suit against his former practice constituted an anticipatory breach of the physician’s obligation to pay liquidated damages as a result of going into prohibited competition with the practice following his departure. This case sets a new Delaware precedent, as no Delaware court has formerly decided garden leave could be used when the covenant did not authorize it expressly, but rather gave the practice broad enforcement authority. More ›
Here’s a first look at Governor Carney’s State of the State today, January 17. Plenty of air time on a wide range of healthcare issues, including spending benchmarks, addiction, mental health, raising the legal age to purchase tobacco to 21, and even prison healthcare system reform. All in all an ambitious agenda for the 2019 legislative session.
Budget Impasse Leads to Health Cuts & “Sin” Taxes
By 1:30 a.m. on July 3rd, the Governor had signed a budget. It included litany of cuts, including several in healthcare. Public health programs were cut 10%, including funding for prescription drug abuse prevention, needle exchange, immunizations, infant mortality, cancer counseling, and nurse-family partnerships. Also included was $5 million in unspecified “savings” from Medicaid, to be determined by Secretary Walker. However, the DIMER/DIDER/DIVME program, which reserves slots for medical training for Delawareans in neighboring states’ schools, was restored after being cut two years ago. More ›
The Kentmere Nursing Home located at Lovering Avenue and Lincoln Street plans to alleviate the shortage of on-street parking in the neighborhood by adding an additional 11 off-street spaces as well as an ambulance bay. Kentmere Executive Director Eileen Mahler explains, "Kentmere's residents are more medically complex than in the past and require more off-site transportation to the hospital and doctors' appointments, so the need for the covered drop-off bay will serve existing needs. Too often our van and ambulances have to park and unload on the street." The 21 off-street spaces Kentmere has on Union Street are 44 spaces short of what the modern City of Wilmington Code requires, so the turnaround area for the ambulance will also contain parking spaces, according to Kimberly Hoffman, Esquire, of Morris James LLP, attorneys for Kentmere. More ›
I attended Cerner's global gathering of health care professionals beginning October 12 in Kansas City. We discussed the future of health care, innovations, and best practices. Cerner’s own blog recaps major events and themes. Delaware had a strong contingent in attendance. Cerner provides health care IT services to Christiana Care and many of Delaware’s other hospitals and physician groups. The relationship between Delaware’s health care community and Cerner expanded as the movement to create electronic medical records (EMR) has accelerated. As a result, Cerner now handles over 70% of Delawareans’ EMR. Delaware connects more electronic patient records with health care providers and labs than any other state through its health information exchange, or HIE, known as the Delaware Health Information Network (the DHIN). The DHIN’s COO, Randy Farmer, explained the DHIN’s role and vision in a recent News Journal Op Ed.
Will the Delaware exchange follow New York and California with lower rates than expected? Stay tuned. Launch date is currently January 1, 2014.