Nathaniel M. Glasser, Member of the Firm in the Employment, Labor & Workforce Management practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, was quoted in Bloomberg BNA Health Law & Business, in “Obamacare Bias Claims Move Toward Consensus, but Still in Flux,” by Mary Anne Pazanowski. (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

Courts construing the Affordable Care Act’s antidiscrimination provision appear to be moving toward a consensus on the standards applicable to cases brought under the law that will affect litigation strategies going forward.

One recent decision said that plaintiffs bringing claims under Obamacare’s antidiscrimination section must comply with the preexisting legal standards and enforcement mechanisms for the four civil rights laws referenced in the law. …

So, while it now seems providers have viable defenses based on the underlying laws, it will take time for the rules governing these claims to “solidify” as more cases make their way through the courts, Nathaniel Glasser, a member of Epstein Glass Becker Green’s Washington office, told Bloomberg Law.

‘Any Ground”

Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act prohibits health-care programs that receive federal financial assistance from discriminating against people based on “any ground prohibited” by Title VI, Title IX, the Age Discrimination Act, or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. That is, it provides a cause of action for discrimination based on sex, race, color, national origin, age, or disability.

Rudolph Papa sued Pennsylvania’s Main Line Health Systems and its doctors under the section, alleging the doctors treated him differently than they would have treated a younger person who presented with the same symptoms.

In mid-February, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania dismissed Papa’s Section 1557 age discrimination claim based on his failure to comply with the Age Discrimination Act’s exhaustion of administrative remedies requirement before filing his court complaint.

The Age Discrimination Act is the only one of the four underlying laws that mandates bringing a complaint to the appropriate agency before filing a lawsuit.

Result ‘Not Surprising’

The result in Papa’s case isn’t surprising … Glasser said.

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