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DIETARY SUPPLEMENT HEALTH AND EDUCATION ACT (DSHEA) OF 1994, DEFINED DIETARY SUPPLEMENT AND ADDED SPECIFIC LABELING REQUIREMENTS FOR DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS.

July 3, 2016

The Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990 (NLEA) amended Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act, requiring food and dietary supplements to have nutrition labeling.

Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994, defined Dietary Supplement and added specific labeling requirements for dietary supplements.

In 1997, several key regulations for statement of identity, nutrition labeling, ingredient labeling, nutrition content and health claims for dietary supplements were implemented.[1]

The 1997 Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act authorizes health claims based on an authoritative statement of a scientific body of the U.S. government with official responsibility for public health protection or research directly related to human nutrition, or the National Academy of Sciences.  Such claims may be used after submission of a health claim notification to FDA.

Dietary supplements are classified as food products, but DSHEA stipulates that such products must be labeled as “dietary supplements” and be sold in the form of pills, capsules, tablets, gelcaps, liquids, powders, or other forms, and not be represented for use as conventional foods. Supplements also cannot be marketed as the only item in a meal or diet.

As of March 1999, dietary supplement packages must bear a “Supplement Facts” panel, similar to the “Nutrition Facts” panel mandated for food labels by the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) of 1990. The purpose of this labeling is to provide information about nutrients and other dietary ingredients. The label must list all dietary ingredients and the Daily Values (DV) of the amounts contained in a serving. If no DV has been established for a dietary ingredient, this must be indicated. [2]

If a blend of ingredients is proprietary, the total quantity of ingredients per serving must be stated rather than the amount of each individual ingredient in the blend. If an ingredient is an herbal product, the part of the plant (such as the root or leaf) from which the ingredient is derived must be identified. The common name of the botanical as listed in Herbs of Commerce (American Herbal Products Association, Silver Spring, Md.) may be used; if a botanical is not listed in the book, the Latin binomial name (e.g., Echinacea augustifolia DC) must be used. The following information also must appear on the label: statement of identity, which identifies the contents of the product; net quantity of contents; ingredient list (in descending order by weight); and the name and address of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor (FDA, 1997c). [3]

Under DSHEA, however, dietary supplement ingredients may be sold without undergoing a formal FDA approval process. Although the supplement manufacturer is not required to provide rigorous scientific evidence of safety or efficacy, the manufacturer should be able to provide information to support any labeling claims.[4]

Under the law, claims that are allowed to be used on food and dietary supplement labels fall into three categories:   nutrient content claims, health claims and structure/function claims.  Disease-related claims are generally not permitted for dietary supplements.

[1] See FDA website, Guidance for Industry, Food, Guidance and Regulation, Guidance Documents and Regulatory Information by Topic, A Dietary Supplement Labeling Guide.

[2] IFT Network, Dietary Supplements: Nutritional and Legal Considerations, July 1, 1999.

[3] IFT Network, Dietary Supplements: Nutritional and Legal Considerations, July 1, 1999

[4] IFT Network, Dietary Supplements: Nutritional and Legal Considerations, July 1, 1999.

By Al Mohajerian | Published April 1, 2016 | Posted in FDA  |

Filed Under: Dietary SupplementsFDA (Food)Healthcare

UNFAIR COMPETITION UNDER LANHAM ACT

July 3, 2016
  1. Bauer Bros., LLC v. Nike, Inc.. __F.Supp.3d___2016 WL 411065 (SDCA 2016).

The Bauer company, owner registered trademarks for apparel, including t-shirts, filed suit against Nike claiming unfair competition under Lanham Act and California law, and common law trademark infringement in the federal district court in the Southern District of California.   Nike attacking the suit on all fours.

As to consumer confusion, Nike contended that there was no likelihood of confusion among consumers.  Nike also requested that the Court grant summary adjudication as to Bauer’s lack of actual damages resulting from the alleged trademark infringement. Nike contended that “even if Bauer could overcome Nike’s fair use defense, its claims still fail as a matter of law because, based on the undisputed evidence, no reasonable juror could find a likelihood of confusion between Nike and Bauer’s products.”  Specifically, Nike contended that there is no likelihood of consumer confusion because:

[Plaintiff’s] marks are conceptually and commercially weak and are thus entitled to little, if any, protection; (2) [Plaintiff’s]  and Nike’s goods are dissimiliar; (3) [Plaintiff’s] and Nike’s marketplace uses are dissimiliar; (4) after years of purported concurrent use, no evidence of actual confusion exists; (5) the parties’ marketing channels are dissimilar; (6) Nike’s consumers are sophisticated and exercise a high degree of care; (7) Nike acted in good faith in adopting its use of the trademark; and (8) [Plaintiff] had not provided any evidence of an intention to expand any existing product line.

In response, the Plaintiff contended that there was, at a minimum, a triable issue as to likelihood of confusion because both parties’ trademarks are on the exact same products – t-shirts.  Plaintiff  further contended that it “produced evidence that some of its customers purchased Plaintiff’s  products to wear at World Cup Soccer games.  In addition,  Plaintiff contended that its trademarks are arbitrary or fanciful when applied to its products and are, therefore, entitled to a high level of protection.   Plaintiff then argued that the marks used by Nike have perfect similarity in sight and sound to Plaintiff’s  marks.  Plaintiff contends that it presented evidence of actual reverse confusion and submitted a likelihood of confusion survey by a professor.

After applying the Ninth Circuit court’s eight point test (i.e., the Sleekcraft factors) to this case, the court concluded that genuine issues of disputed fact remain with regard to a finding of likelihood of consumer confusion. See Fortune Dynamic Inc., 618 F.3d at 1031 (“We are far from certain that consumers were likely to be confused as to the source… but we are confident that the question is close enough that it should be answered as a matter of fact by a jury, not as a matter of law by a court.”) (quoting Entrepreneur Media, Inc., 279 F.3d at 1140).  Therefore, the summary judgment motion brought by Nike on the issue of likelihood of confusion was denied.

MOHAJERIAN APLC

By Al Mohajerian | Published April 16, 2016 | Posted in Uncategorized  | Tagged Bauer Bros.Bauer companyInc.. __F.Supp.3d___2016likelihood of confusionLLC v. NikemohajerianmohajerianlawNike claiming unfair competition under Lanham Act |

Filed Under: Franchise & DistributionLitigationTrade SecretsUnfair Competition

DE MINIMUS TIME IS NOT COMPENSATED

July 3, 2016

Lawsuits often allege that a class of employees performed work off-the-clock, and that the employees are not only entitled to compensation for that time, but to a slew of penalties that often dwarf the amount of alleged damages.

Depending on the nature of an employer’s business, a plaintiff might allege that employees were not paid for the couple minutes it might take to “boot up” a computer in the morning, or for waiting to punch in their time cards.  Or a plaintiff might contend that an employer has a time-rounding policy that somehow shortchanges employees by a minute or two of pay each day.

In defending these cases, employers often argue that not only must individualized inquiries be conducted to determine whether, when and how long an employee allegedly worked off-the-clock, but whether the employee was engaged in personal activities during some or all of that time.  Those are issues that go to whether a class should be certified.

On the merits, employers often argue that such time is non-compensable in any event as de minimis time – time that is so small that it need not be compensated.

The de minimis doctrine has been recognized by the United States Supreme Court for decades, and a variety of decisions have held that as much as 10 minutes per day is de minimis, non-compensable time.

AL MOHAJERIAN – MOHAJERIAN APLC

Filed Under: Class Action (Employment)Labor & EmploymentLitigation

UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT CONFIRMED REJECTION OF THE USE OF STATISTICAL SAMPLING IN A CLASS ACTION SUIT

July 3, 2016

Following the Supreme Court’s class action rulings in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes and Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, lower courts continued to grapple with significant class action issues.  One discernible trend during the past few years has been increased appellate scrutiny of the entire class action mechanism.

In 2014, both state and federal appellate courts issued significant rulings interpreting the Supreme Court’s landmark decisions in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011), and Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, 133 S. Ct. 1426 (2013).

In Dukes, the Supreme Court unanimously rejected the use of statistical sampling and extrapolation to circumvent resolution of individualized inquiries in a class trial.  The plaintiffs in Dukes proposed, and the Ninth Circuit endorsed, a procedure in which “[a] sample set of the class members would be selected,” and the “percentage of claims determined to be valid would then be applied to the entire remaining class . . . without further individualized proceedings.”  131 S. Ct. at 2561.  The Supreme Court “disapprove[d]” this “novel project” of “Trial by Formula,” and held that, because the Rules Enabling Act “forbids interpreting Rule 23 to ‘abridge, enlarge or modify any substantive right, . . . a class cannot be certified on the premise that [a defendant] will not be entitled to litigate its statutory defenses to individual claims.”  Id.(quoting 28 U.S.C. § 2072(b)).

Although the Court premised its rejection of “Trial by Formula” on the Rules Enabling Act, the use of statistical sampling and extrapolation to eliminate the class action defendant’s right to present individualized defenses also raises serious due process concerns.  Those concerns were placed before the California and Pennsylvania Supreme Courts in 2014–and those courts came to very different conclusions.

The California Supreme Court squarely held that a “Trial By Formula” approach raises due process concerns.  In Duran v. U.S. Bank National Association, 59 Cal. 4th 1 (2014), employees claimed they were improperly denied overtime compensation.  The court overturned a $15 million verdict that was the product of a trial that adjudicated claims of a 21-person sample set, and the results were extrapolated to the remaining class members.  In doing so, the court unanimously concluded that the trial court’s “decision to extrapolate classwide liability from a small sample, and its refusal to permit any inquiries or evidence about the work habits of [employees] outside the sample group,” impermissibly “deprived” U.S. Bank of its right to litigate its defenses to liability.  Id. at 35.

Echoing Dukes, the California Supreme Court explained that “the class action procedural device may not be used to abridge a party’s substantive rights,” and thus “a class action trial management plan may not foreclose the litigation of relevant affirmative defenses, even when these defenses turn on individual questions.”  Id. at 34.  Significantly, the court grounded its holding in “both class action rules and principles of due process.”  Id. at 35.  While the court declined to resolve definitively “whether or when sampling should be available as a tool for proving liability in a class action,” it instructed that “any class action trial plan, including those involving statistical methods of proof, must allow the defendant to litigate its affirmative defenses.”  Id. at 40.

  1. California appellate courts have denied class certification alleging rest and meal period violations in cases where common proof of the alleged violations is lacking

The following case involves both misclassification as well as rest and meal period “violations”, the latter of which pertains to our case. Abstract statements of what a sampling may “prove”, absent any actual substantive proof, is insufficient to certify a class.

In Dailey v. Sears, Roebuck and Co., 214 Cal.App.4th 974 (2013, the California Court of Appeal held the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it denied class certification in a case alleging Sears misclassified as exempt auto center managers and assistant managers. Plaintiff alleged Sears misclassified as exempt auto center managers and store managers when they should have been classified as non-exempt because, according to plaintiff, policies and practices common to all of them effectively required them to regularly spend more than 50 percent of their time performing nonexempt work, and because they did not regularly exercise discretion and independent judgment at Sears.

Based on that theory, plaintiff alleged that Sears was required to pay its auto center managers and assistant managers overtime wages and to provide to them the same rest periods and meal periods to which non-exempt employees are entitled. The trial court denied plaintiff’s motion for class certification and granted Sears’ motion to preclude class certification on the following grounds: (1) individual issues predominate over issues common to the proposed class, (2) it would not be impracticable for each manager or assistant manager to litigate his or her claim(s) individually, and (3) the plaintiff class representative would not be an adequate class representative on account of alleged resume fraud on his part.

On appeal, the court held the trial court did not abuse its discretion by crediting Sears’ evidence over plaintiff’s evidence. Sears successfully argued to the trial court and on appeal that wide variations existed between how each manager and assistant manager allocated their working time and that each managerial employee had substantial discretion in how they managed each store. The trial court held that this variation from manager to manager and from store to store made it impractical to try the case as a class action and denied certification finding that individual issues predominated over common issues. Notably, the Court of Appeal reiterated that a trial court determining whether to certify a class “must determine ‘whether the elements necessary to establish liability are susceptible to common proof,’” and held the trial court did not abuse its discretion when it ruled the plaintiff failed to meet his burden of showing that the alleged misclassification could be established by common proof. page 1 / 2

The court of appeal rejected plaintiff’s contention that the trial court failed to sufficiently consider the proposed statistical sampling methodology proposed by plaintiff’s expert witness to prove both liability and damages. The court explained plaintiff failed to identify any legal authority that a court has “deemed a mere proposal for statistical sampling to be an adequate evidentiary substitute for demonstrating the requisite commonality, or suggested that statistical sampling may be used to manufacture predominate common issues where the factual record indicates that none exist.” 

In other words, plaintiff “asked the trial court to certify the class based on little more than abstract statements about what statistical sampling might be able to establish,” which the court held is not sufficient.

The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s denial of class certification of the plaintiff’s rest period and meal period claims. The court held the plaintiff failed to present substantial evidence “that Sears employed any policy or routine practice to deprive proposed class members of ‘off-duty’ meal and rest breaks and, accordingly, [plaintiff] failed to show that this allegation could be proved on a classwide basis” by common proof.

If the parties’ evidence on a motion for class certification is conflicting on the issue of whether common or individual questions predominate, the trial court is permitted to credit one party’s evidence over the other’s in determining whether the requirements for class certification have been met, and doing so is not an improper evaluation of the merits of the case.  Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 382.

This decision by the court of appeal shows a growing reluctance by California courts to certify for class treatment cases alleging rest and meal period violations in cases where common proof of the alleged violations is lacking.

AL MOHAJERIAN – MOHAJERIAN APLC

Filed Under: Class Action (Employment)Labor & EmploymentLitigation

PLAINTIFFS CANNOT DEPEND UPON A STATISTICAL SAMPLING OF EMPLOYEES WHERE INDIVIDUAL QUESTIONS ARE AT ISSUE

July 3, 2016

In anticipation of Plaintiffs attempting to submit to the court a small number of employees who will claim to have suffered violations of wage and hour law, the defense should rely to a great extent upon the case of Duran v. U.S. Bank, decided in 2014 by the California Supreme Court, 59 Cal.4th 1 (2014), as well as other supporting case law which prohibits “biased” sampling to prove liability. The case of Duran v. U.S. Bank is summarized below.

In 2014, the California Supreme Court unanimously upheld an intermediate appeals ruling that struck down a $15 million judgment in a class action case against U.S. Bank. The court reversed an employee class action win, finding that the Alameda County trial judge mismanaged a wage and hour class action where the court relied on flawed statistical sampling by relying on testimony of just 20 employees in extrapolating damages that had a 43 percent margin of error. The class involved 260 current and former business banking officers who claimed they were misclassified as exempt.

Writing for a unanimous court, Justice Carol Corrigan criticized the trial court’s flawed reliance on statistics:

As even the plaintiffs recognize, this result cannot stand. The judgment must be reversed because the trial court’s flawed implementation of sampling prevented USB from showing that some class members were exempt and entitled to no recovery. A trial plan that relies on statistical sampling must be developed with expert input and must afford the defendant an opportunity to impeach the model or otherwise show its liability is reduced. Statistical sampling may provide an appropriate means of proving liability and damages in some wage and hour class actions. However, as outlined below, the trial court‘s particular approach to sampling here was profoundly flawed.

The court further noted, “[s]tatistical sampling may provide an appropriate means of proving liability and damages in some wage and hour class actions,” but “after a class has been certified, the court’s obligation to manage individual issues does not disappear.” 59 Cal.4th 1 (2014)

The decision is critically important in highlighting the challenge by the trial court certifying class actions, particularly in the misclassification context, and the obligation of the court in determining not just whether common questions exist, but also whether it will be feasible to try the case as a class action. Duran makes clear that class certification is not appropriate, unless these individual questions can be managed with an appropriate trial plan. Thus, depending on the nature of the claimed exemption and the facts of a particular case, a misclassification claim has the potential to raise numerous individual questions that may be difficult, or even impossible, to litigate on a classwide basis.

Detailed Discussion of Duran

The California Supreme Court in Duran highlighted the challenges in certifying class actions, particularly as related to calculation of damages at trial. The well-reasoned decision makes it more challenging to certify a class, as the court called on trial judges to consider whether a class action is manageable and can withstand a trial – at the class certification stage. The court criticized the trial court’s reliance on flawed statistical sampling, as a substitute in determining damages at trial, and noted:

After certifying a class of 260 plaintiffs, the trial court devised a plan to determine the extent of USB’s liability to all class members by extrapolating from a random sample. In the first phase of trial, the court heard testimony about the work habits of 21 plaintiffs. USB was not permitted to introduce evidence about the work habits of any plaintiff outside this sample. Nevertheless, based on testimony from the small sample group, the trial court found that the entire class had been misclassified. After the second phase of trial, which focused on testimony from statisticians, the court extrapolated the average amount of overtime reported by the sample group to the class as a whole, resulting in a verdict of approximately $15 million and an average recovery of over $57,000 per person.

The court explained that in marshaling through these types of cases, the trial court must consider the issue of “manageability,” separate and apart from whether common questions predominate, to determine whether it is possible to litigate on a classwide basis:

Although predominance of common issues is often a major factor in a certification analysis, it is not the only consideration. In certifying a class action, the court must also conclude that litigation of individual issues, including those arising from affirmative defenses, can be managed fairly and efficiently. In wage and hour cases where a party seeks class certification based on allegations that the employer consistently imposed a uniform policy or de facto practice on class members, the party must still demonstrate that the illegal effects of this conduct can be proven efficiently and manageably within a class setting. (Brinker, at p. 1033; Dailey v. Sears, Roebuck & Co. (2013) 214 Cal.App.4th 974, 989.)

Trial courts must pay careful attention to manageability when deciding whether to certify a class action. In considering whether a class action is a superior device for resolving a controversy, the manageability of individual issues is just as important as the existence of common questions uniting the proposed class.

The court also cautioned that reliance on a single policy cannot circumvent the aforementioned requirements, to justify certification. It took note of U.S. Bank’s well-written policies and noted that class certification is more likely to be appropriate in cases where the job is highly standardized, and if the corporate policy uniformly requires overtime work, noting that “[w]here standardized job duties or other policies result in employees uniformly spending most of their time on nonexempt work, class treatment may be appropriate even if the case involves an exemption that typically entails fact-specific individual inquiries.” However, the court explained that the employer’s “blanket” classification of a group of employees as exempt is not sufficient to justify certification of a class based on common questions.

The court acknowledged that the way to defeat certification remains by demonstrating that individual issues will swamp the common ones: USB’s exemption defense raised a host of individual issues. While common issues among class members may have been sufficient to satisfy the predominance prong for certification, the trial court also had to determine that these individual issues could be effectively managed in the ensuing litigation. (See Brinker, supra, 53 Cal.4th at p. 1054 (conc. opn. of Werdegar, J.); Sav-On, supra, 34 Cal.4th at p. 334.) Here, the certification order was necessarily provisional in that it was subject to development of a trial plan that would manage the individual issues surrounding the outside salesperson exemption.

In general, when a trial plan incorporates representative testimony and random sampling, a preliminary assessment should be done to determine the level of variability in the class.  If the variability is too great, individual issues are more likely to swamp common ones and render the class action unmanageable. No such assessment was done here. With no sensitivity to variability in the class, the court forced the case through trial with a flawed statistical plan that did not manage but instead ignored individual issues.

Notably, the court stated that if a court does not find that the class is manageable through a uniform trial plan at the certification stage, then the certification is reversed:

Although courts enjoy great latitude in structuring trials, and we have encouraged the use of innovative procedures, any trial must allow for the litigation of affirmative defenses, even in a class action case where the defense touches upon individual issues. As we will explain, the trial plan here unreasonably prevented USB from supporting its affirmative defense. Accordingly, the class judgment must be reversed. The trial court is of course free to entertain a new certification motion on remand, but if it decides to proceed with a class action it must apply the guidelines set out here.

The trial court could not abridge USB’s presentation of an exemption defense simply because that defense was cumbersome to litigate in a class action. Under Code of Civil Procedure section 382, just as under the federal rules, “a class cannot be certified on the premise that [the defendant] will not be entitled to litigate its statutory defenses to individual claims.” (Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes (2011) 564 U.S. __, __ [131 S.Ct. 2541, 2561].) These principles derive from both class action rules and principles of due process. (See Lindsey v. Normet (1972) 405 U.S. 56, 66; Philip Morris USA v. Williams (2007) 549 U.S. 346, 353.

  1. Duran prohibits “cherry picking” or biased selection of a “sample” 

A sample must be randomly selected for its results to be fairly extrapolated to the entire class. A random sample is one in which each member of the population has an equal probability of being selected for inclusion in the sample. Even when selection procedures appear to be random, errors may arise that undermine randomness. Nonresponse bias can occur if a sample is chosen randomly from a group containing only survey respondents. The potential for bias arises because those who do not respond have no probability of inclusion in the sample. Thus, although the participants are randomly selected from among respondents, the sample will not reflect the characteristics of members of the population who chose not to respond to the survey. Duran, 59 Cal.4th 1 (2014)

Selection bias occurs when members of the population are chosen based on a nonrandom criterion or are selectively included or excluded from the sample group. In litigation, selection bias can occur when members of the population are allowed to opt out of the class. If plaintiffs with high-value claims opt out, the sample will be skewed toward low value claims and may result in an unfairly low estimate of damages. Conversely, if the opt-outs represent mainly low-value claims or plaintiffs with no valid claim, the sample results will be unfairly inflated. Self-interest may motivate class members to act in ways that will maximize the class award. Thus, one must always suspect that any nonrandom method of picking sample cases will be skewed and therefore will be an inaccurate estimate of the population average. Selection bias can also occur if named plaintiffs are included in the sample based not on random selection but on their status in the litigation. Class counsel are entitled to select named plaintiffs in a manner that enhances their position. However, that tactical choice should not compromise the statistical approach required for random sampling. Duran, 59 Cal.4th 1 (2014)

A sample that includes even a small number of interested parties can produce biased results. The impact of this error is magnified when the biased results are extrapolated to the entire population. Selection bias cannot be cured simply by increasing the size of the sample. When a selection procedure is biased, taking a large sample does not help. This just repeats the basic mistake on a larger scale. A sample that is representative of a population when first drawn may become less so over time. In class action litigation, such changes can occur with opt-outs or other events that change the class composition. Attention must be paid to possible changes that could render a previously representative sample unrepresentative. When that occurs, sampling will not accurately reflect what needs to be known about a population. Duran, 59 Cal.4th 1 (2014).

AL MOHAJERIAN – MOHAJERIAN APLC

Filed Under: Class Action (Employment)Labor & EmploymentLitigation

WAGE AND HOUR CLASS ACTIONS GENERALLY

July 3, 2016

To summarize, California courts have long viewed class actions as a means whereby claims of many individuals can be resolved at the same time.

“Section 382 of the Code of Civil Procedure authorizes class suits in California when ‘the question is one of a common or general interest, of many persons, or when the parties are numerous, and it is impracticable to bring them all before the court.’

“Class certification requires proof (1) of a sufficiently numerous, ascertainable class, (2) of a well-defined community of interest, and (3) that certification will provide substantial benefits to litigants and the courts, i.e., that proceeding as a class is superior to other methods.”

“The ‘community of interest’ requirement embodies three factors:  (1) predominant common questions of law or fact;  (2) class representatives with claims or defenses typical of the class;  and (3) class representatives who can adequately represent the class.”

  1. Question of “common issue” 

California law requires that the complaint contain a “common” issue to all putative class members. In our case, we will argue that there is not a common issue, as the employee records will indicate the individualized time entries, break times, and compensation for each employee. These are individualized disputes, and cannot be resolved by a class action lawsuit since all employee time records differ, and there is not a “uniform” policy or common error in place to make this action suitable for a class action lawsuit.

Below is supporting case law to this point.

On the issue of whether common issues predominate in the litigation, a court must “examine the plaintiff’s theory of recovery” and “assess the nature of the legal and factual disputes likely to be presented.”  (Brinker, supra, 53 Cal.4th at p. 1025.)   The court may consider the elements of the claims and defenses, but should not rule on the merits unless necessary to resolve the certification issues.  (Ibid.;  Lockheed Martin Corp. v. Superior Court (2003) 29 Cal.4th 1096, 1106;  Linder, supra, 23 Cal.4th at pp. 439–440.)   “The ‘ultimate question’  is whether ‘the issues which may be jointly tried, when compared with those requiring separate adjudication, are so numerous or substantial that the maintenance of a class action would be advantageous to the judicial process and to the litigants.’ ”  (Brinker, at p. 1021.)  “ ‘As a general rule if the defendant’s liability can be determined by facts common to all members of the class, a class will be certified even if the members must individually prove their damages.’ ”  (Id. at p. 1022.)

For class certification purposes, a plaintiff is required to present substantial evidence that proving both the existence of an employer’s uniform policies and practices and the alleged illegal effects of such conduct could be accomplished efficiently and manageably within a class setting.  (See Sotelo v. Medianews Group, Inc. (2012) 207 Cal.App.4th 639, 654 [“A class may establish liability by proving a uniform policy or practice by the employer that has the effect on the group of making it likely that group members will work overtime hours without overtime pay, or to miss rest/meal breaks.” (italics added) ].)  [See more at: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ca-court-of-appeal/1626126.html#sthash.CFaIVhYB.dpuf]

“Critically, if the parties’ evidence is conflicting on the issue of whether common or individual questions predominate (as it often is), the trial court is permitted to credit one party’s evidence over the other’s in determining whether the requirements for class certification have been met,” the appeals court said in Dailey v. Sears Robuck and Co. (2013).

  1. The existence of Company “guidelines” does not support certification absent an employer’s application of a uniform policy

Often, there is no uniform application of a company policy or guideline, other than to clock in and out for work time, and break times.

Further support for the proposition that merely stating  a company has “guidelines” which violate California law, does not in itself support class certification, is in the case of Koval v. Pacific Telephone Co.

A recent case decided in January 2014 is  Koval v. Pacific Bell Telephone Co., 232 Cal.App.4th1050 (2014), where plaintiffs alleged “systematic company guidelines” restricted employee activities during meal and rest breaks and “prevented employees from fully realizing the [meal and rest] breaks to which they were entitled.”  Following Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court, 53 Cal.4th 1004 (2012), the trial court held the mere existence of a uniform policy does not mandate class certification, concluding that variations in the employer’s application of policy created “serious doubt as to whether the rules were consistently applied so as to allow adjudication of the liability issues on a class-wide basis.”  The California Court of Appeal affirmed, in a published decision.

The plaintiffs in the case sought to certify a class of approximately 6,700 current and former field technicians employed at company locations throughout California.  Plaintiffs alleged the company failed to relinquish control over their activities during meal and rest breaks and thus violated California law.  They argued that, collectively, an array of more than a dozen employer manuals contained “systematic company guidelines” prohibiting employees from doing any of the following during breaks:  meeting up with their colleagues; going home; leaving their work vehicles; riding in other vehicles; sleeping in their work vehicles, or driving their work vehicles outside normal work routes to get a meal.  Further, a company representative had testified that employees were “expected to adhere to the expectations” contained in a number of the manuals and that failure to do so could result in disciplinary action.

Opposing certification, the company submitted evidence that the manner in which supervisors enforced and/or orally conveyed the information in the written policies was highly variable, and therefore “determining whether the policies were so restrictive as to have transformed break time into work time would necessitate individualized inquires.”

The trial court denied certification, reasoning: “What is important, and ultimately fatal to Plaintiffs’ bid for class certification, is the manner in which the six rules reflected in the written materials were applied, and that in turn begins with the question of how the rules were communicated.”

On appeal, the court first recognized that, under Brinker, an employer is only obligated to make uninterrupted meal periods and rest breaks available to its employees, “but is not obligated to ensure they are taken.”  The court then emphasized Brinker’s recognition that claims may be suitable for class treatment where (i) a uniform policy (ii) is consistently applied to a group of employees.

On this basis, the appellate court rejected plaintiffs’ argument that, under Brinker, plaintiffs did not need to “introduce facts showing both uniform policies and consistent application of those policies.”  The court also rejected plaintiffs’ argument that the trial court had committed legal error by assessing “how the allegedly unlawful policies were implemented.”  The failure of plaintiffs to demonstrate that the allegedly unlawful policies were consistently applied, the appellate court reasoned, “create[d] a shifting kaleidoscope of liability determinations that render this case unsuitable for class action treatment.”

Koval joins post-Brinker state court decisions such as Dailey v. Sears, Roebuck & Co. 214 Cal. App. 4th 974, 1002 (2013)(“the absence of a formal written policy explaining [employees’] rights to meal and rest periods does not necessarily imply the existence of a uniform policy or widespread practice of either depriving these employees of meal and rest periods or requiring them to work during those periods”) and In re Walgreen Co. Overtime Cases 231 Cal. App. 4th 437, 443(2014) (“under the Brinker’ make available’ standard, you additionally must ask why the worker missed the break before you can determine whether the employer is liable”) in requiring more than a uniform policy to support class certification. These cases strengthen employers’ hand in opposing class certification where the plaintiff cannot establish both (i) the existence of a uniform unlawful policy and (ii) the consistent application of that policy to a putative class.

The above mentioned cases support a deeper pre-certification analysis, which seems to be the trend in California over the last year or two, as courts attempt to halt the class action epidemic.

AL MOHAJERIAN – MOHAJERIAN APLC

Filed Under: Class Action (Employment)Labor & EmploymentLitigation

DEFEATING CERTIFICATION OF A CLASS

July 3, 2016

Class certification is most often defeated where there is no “community of interest”, and most often for failure of commonality, or “predominance” grounds, rather than on the grounds of typicality, adequacy, ascertainability, and numerosity.

The  ‘community of interest’ requirement embodies three factors:  (1) predominant common questions of law or fact;  (2) class representatives with claims or defenses typical of the class;  and (3) class representatives who can adequately represent the class.

In opposing class certification defense has to show plaintiff would not be able to establish liability on the merits, i.e., there is no substance to the allegations complained of.  Thus there is no commonality or predominance of class issues. There may be individualized issues but the common issues do not predominate.

Following is a synopsis of California law as it pertains to class certification:

In 2011, the United States Supreme Court raised the bar for plaintiffs seeking class certification by requiring lower courts to conduct a “rigorous analysis” to determine whether the prerequisites for certification are met. Wal-Mart, 131 S. Ct. at 2551 (reversing the grant of class certification due to a lack of commonality under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a)(2)). This “rigorous analysis,” the Court explained, often will “entail some overlap with the merits of the plaintiff’s underlying claim.” Id. In the words of the Court, a merits-entwined inquiry for purposes of class certification “cannot be helped.” Id. at 2551-52 (collecting cases).

Two years later, the Supreme Court doubled-down on its “rigorous analysis” requirement for class certification, applying the teachings of Wal-Mart to prospective Rule 23(b)(3) classes as well. See Comcast Corp. v. Behrend, 133 S. Ct. 1426, 1432 (2013) (reversing the grant of class certification due to a lack of predominance under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(3)). In Comcast, the Court criticized the lower court’s “refus[al] to entertain arguments against respondents’ damages model that bore on the propriety of class certification, simply because those arguments would also be pertinent to the merits determination.” Id. at 1432-33. Rather, the Court’s precedents “flatly” require a determination that Rule 23 is satisfied, “even when that requires inquiry into the merits of the claim.” Id. at 1433.

The third installment in the Supreme Court’s class-action trilogy came in 2014 in Halliburton Co. v. Erica P. John Fund, Inc., 134 S. Ct. 2398 (2014). There, the Supreme Court opened the door even further to merits-based defenses at the class-certification stage—this time in the context of securities class actions. In Halliburton, the Court held that securities defendants can rebut the presumption of reliance under a fraud-on-the-market theory not only during the merits phase but also during class certification. Id. at 2414-15. Securities defendants, moreover, can rebut this presumption through the use of direct and indirect evidence alike. Id. at 2417.

The Wal-Mart/Comcast/Halliburton triumvirate marked big wins for class-action defendants, enabling them to raise merits-based defenses that might otherwise never be presented to a court. That is so because many class cases are settled following certification, given the high stakes of merit-stage proceedings. Now, those merits issues are ripe for consideration at the class stage, to the extent they inform the certification analysis.

Other courts have also followed these decisions discussed above. To the extent the propriety of certification depends upon disputed threshold legal or factual questions, a court may, and indeed must, resolve them”); Bartold v. Glendale Fed. Bank, 81 Cal. App. 4th 816, 829 (2000) (“when the merits of the claim are enmeshed with class action requirements, the trial court must consider evidence bearing on the factual elements necessary to determine whether to certify the class”). Wal-mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes , 131 S. Ct. 2541, 2551-52 (2011) (citing Gen. Telephone Co. of S.W. v. Falcon, 457 U.S. 147, 102 S. Ct. 2364, 72 L. Ed. 2d 740 (1982)); see also Ellis v. Costco Wholesale Corp., 657 F.3d 970, 984 (9th Cir. 2011) (holding the district court erred by failing to conduct a “rigorous analysis” of the merits to determine whether the plaintiffs had established commonality under Rule 23); In re Hydrogen Peroxide Antitrust Litig., 552 F.3d 305, 318 (3d Cir. 2008) (class certification requires “thorough examination” of factual and legal allegations; “rigorous analysis may include a preliminary inquiry into the merits” and consideration of “the substantive elements of the plaintiffs’ case in chief).

To be fair however, many courts in California are reluctant to quickly dismiss a class certification effort. The abuse of class action lawsuits however, has caused many California courts to direct more attention to the actual facts underlying Plaintiffs’ claims in a class action, to determine whether Plaintiff can produce any substantive claim, prior to a lengthy and costly class action lawsuit.

Filed Under: Class Action (Employment)Labor & EmploymentLitigation

Tagged With: class actionlabor employment law

EMPLOYER LAW: REST BREAKS – GENERALLY

July 3, 2016

California law provides that for every four hours of work, an employee must be allowed  a ten minute rest break.  The employer is not obligated to ensure one is taken, and the employee may opt to not take a rest break. An employer also may require an employee to remain on work premises during a rest period.

It is unclear when the rest period should be taken. It is not required by law that a rest period be taken after a four hour work period, only that a rest period is permitted for every four hours worked.

In 2012, the California Supreme Court decided an important meal and rest break case, Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court.  The question of whether employers must ensure breaks are taken or must simply provide breaks has been a source of significant litigation in both federal and state courts.  The California Supreme Court  ruled in Brinker’s favor on the most critical part of the decision – holding that employers do not have to ensure employees take their meal breaks. Once the meal period is provided, there is no duty to police meal breaks to ensure no work is being done.  This case has been, in an usual act by the court, “depublished” pending subsequent filings.  Although depublished, California courts have followed the decision and cited to the Brinker decision.

EMPLOYER ATTORNEYS: MOHAJERIAN LAWYERS REPRESENT EMPLOYERS THROUGHOUT CALIFORNIA

Filed Under: Labor & EmploymentLitigation

Tagged With: labor employment law

WAGE AND HOUR CLASS ACTIONS GENERALLY

July 3, 2016

To summarize, California courts have long viewed class actions as a means whereby claims of many individuals can be resolved at the same time.

“Section 382 of the Code of Civil Procedure authorizes class suits in California when ‘the question is one of a common or general interest, of many persons, or when the parties are numerous, and it is impracticable to bring them all before the court.’

“Class certification requires proof (1) of a sufficiently numerous, ascertainable class, (2) of a well-defined community of interest, and (3) that certification will provide substantial benefits to litigants and the courts, i.e., that proceeding as a class is superior to other methods.”

“The ‘community of interest’ requirement embodies three factors:  (1) predominant common questions of law or fact;  (2) class representatives with claims or defenses typical of the class;  and (3) class representatives who can adequately represent the class.”

  1. Question of “common issue” 

California law requires that the complaint contain a “common” issue to all putative class members. In our case, we will argue that there is not a common issue, as the employee records will indicate the individualized time entries, break times, and compensation for each employee. These are individualized disputes, and cannot be resolved by a class action lawsuit since all employee time records differ, and there is not a “uniform” policy or common error in place to make this action suitable for a class action lawsuit.

Below is supporting case law to this point.

On the issue of whether common issues predominate in the litigation, a court must “examine the plaintiff’s theory of recovery” and “assess the nature of the legal and factual disputes likely to be presented.”  (Brinker, supra, 53 Cal.4th at p. 1025.)   The court may consider the elements of the claims and defenses, but should not rule on the merits unless necessary to resolve the certification issues.  (Ibid.;  Lockheed Martin Corp. v. Superior Court (2003) 29 Cal.4th 1096, 1106;  Linder, supra, 23 Cal.4th at pp. 439–440.)   “The ‘ultimate question’  is whether ‘the issues which may be jointly tried, when compared with those requiring separate adjudication, are so numerous or substantial that the maintenance of a class action would be advantageous to the judicial process and to the litigants.’ ”  (Brinker, at p. 1021.)  “ ‘As a general rule if the defendant’s liability can be determined by facts common to all members of the class, a class will be certified even if the members must individually prove their damages.’ ”  (Id. at p. 1022.)

For class certification purposes, a plaintiff is required to present substantial evidence that proving both the existence of an employer’s uniform policies and practices and the alleged illegal effects of such conduct could be accomplished efficiently and manageably within a class setting.  (See Sotelo v. Medianews Group, Inc. (2012) 207 Cal.App.4th 639, 654 [“A class may establish liability by proving a uniform policy or practice by the employer that has the effect on the group of making it likely that group members will work overtime hours without overtime pay, or to miss rest/meal breaks.” (italics added) ].)  [See more at: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/ca-court-of-appeal/1626126.html#sthash.CFaIVhYB.dpuf]

“Critically, if the parties’ evidence is conflicting on the issue of whether common or individual questions predominate (as it often is), the trial court is permitted to credit one party’s evidence over the other’s in determining whether the requirements for class certification have been met,” the appeals court said in Dailey v. Sears Robuck and Co. (2013).

  1. The existence of Company “guidelines” does not support certification absent an employer’s application of a uniform policy

Often, there is no uniform application of a company policy or guideline, other than to clock in and out for work time, and break times.

Further support for the proposition that merely stating  a company has “guidelines” which violate California law, does not in itself support class certification, is in the case of Koval v. Pacific Telephone Co.

A recent case decided in January 2014 is  Koval v. Pacific Bell Telephone Co., 232 Cal.App.4th1050 (2014), where plaintiffs alleged “systematic company guidelines” restricted employee activities during meal and rest breaks and “prevented employees from fully realizing the [meal and rest] breaks to which they were entitled.”  Following Brinker Restaurant Corp. v. Superior Court, 53 Cal.4th 1004 (2012), the trial court held the mere existence of a uniform policy does not mandate class certification, concluding that variations in the employer’s application of policy created “serious doubt as to whether the rules were consistently applied so as to allow adjudication of the liability issues on a class-wide basis.”  The California Court of Appeal affirmed, in a published decision.

The plaintiffs in the case sought to certify a class of approximately 6,700 current and former field technicians employed at company locations throughout California.  Plaintiffs alleged the company failed to relinquish control over their activities during meal and rest breaks and thus violated California law.  They argued that, collectively, an array of more than a dozen employer manuals contained “systematic company guidelines” prohibiting employees from doing any of the following during breaks:  meeting up with their colleagues; going home; leaving their work vehicles; riding in other vehicles; sleeping in their work vehicles, or driving their work vehicles outside normal work routes to get a meal.  Further, a company representative had testified that employees were “expected to adhere to the expectations” contained in a number of the manuals and that failure to do so could result in disciplinary action.

Opposing certification, the company submitted evidence that the manner in which supervisors enforced and/or orally conveyed the information in the written policies was highly variable, and therefore “determining whether the policies were so restrictive as to have transformed break time into work time would necessitate individualized inquires.”

The trial court denied certification, reasoning: “What is important, and ultimately fatal to Plaintiffs’ bid for class certification, is the manner in which the six rules reflected in the written materials were applied, and that in turn begins with the question of how the rules were communicated.”

On appeal, the court first recognized that, under Brinker, an employer is only obligated to make uninterrupted meal periods and rest breaks available to its employees, “but is not obligated to ensure they are taken.”  The court then emphasized Brinker’s recognition that claims may be suitable for class treatment where (i) a uniform policy (ii) is consistently applied to a group of employees.

On this basis, the appellate court rejected plaintiffs’ argument that, under Brinker, plaintiffs did not need to “introduce facts showing both uniform policies and consistent application of those policies.”  The court also rejected plaintiffs’ argument that the trial court had committed legal error by assessing “how the allegedly unlawful policies were implemented.”  The failure of plaintiffs to demonstrate that the allegedly unlawful policies were consistently applied, the appellate court reasoned, “create[d] a shifting kaleidoscope of liability determinations that render this case unsuitable for class action treatment.”

Koval joins post-Brinker state court decisions such as Dailey v. Sears, Roebuck & Co. 214 Cal. App. 4th 974, 1002 (2013)(“the absence of a formal written policy explaining [employees’] rights to meal and rest periods does not necessarily imply the existence of a uniform policy or widespread practice of either depriving these employees of meal and rest periods or requiring them to work during those periods”) and In re Walgreen Co. Overtime Cases 231 Cal. App. 4th 437, 443(2014) (“under the Brinker’ make available’ standard, you additionally must ask why the worker missed the break before you can determine whether the employer is liable”) in requiring more than a uniform policy to support class certification. These cases strengthen employers’ hand in opposing class certification where the plaintiff cannot establish both (i) the existence of a uniform unlawful policy and (ii) the consistent application of that policy to a putative class.

The above mentioned cases support a deeper pre-certification analysis, which seems to be the trend in California over the last year or two, as courts attempt to halt the class action epidemic.

AL MOHAJERIAN – MOHAJERIAN APLC

Filed Under: Class Action (Employment)Labor & EmploymentLitigation

Strings of numbers

jCode

July 3, 2016

Common Procedure Coding System

J Codes

“J Codes are the Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) codes for the injection of drugs.[1]  “J Codes are drugs administered other than the oral method, chemotherapy drugs.[2] “The HCPCS “J” codes include the majority of those drugs and biologicals that should be reported with infusions, injections, and supply codes that go hand in hand with CPT procedure based coding.[3] A subset of the HCPCS Level II code set with a high-order value of “J” that has been used to identify certain drugs and other items.”[4]  For example: Herceptin has J9355, Privigen has J1459, Epogen has J1459, Epogen has J0885 and Humira has J0135. We have confirmed with one of the members of the CMS Work Group that J Codes also cover compound drugs.

Miscellaneous Codes

“ National codes also include “miscellaneous/not otherwise classified” codes. These codes are used when a supplier is submitting a bill for an item or service and there is no existing national code that adequately describes the item or service being billed. The importance of miscellaneous codes is that they allow suppliers to begin billing immediately for a service or item as soon as it is allowed to be marketed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) even though there is no distinct code that describes the service or item. A miscellaneous code maybe assigned by insurers for use during the period of time a request for a new code is being considered under the HCPCS review process.[5]

“Because of miscellaneous codes, the absence of a specific code for a distinct category of products does not affect a supplier’s ability to submit claims to private or public insurers and does not affect patient access to products. Claims with miscellaneous codes are manually reviewed, the item or service being billed must be clearly described, and pricing information must be provided along with documentation to explain why the item or service is needed by the beneficiary.”[6]

Level II HCPCS used in billing under the Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS)

.           “The American Hospital Association (AHA) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have joined together in establishing the AHA clearinghouse to handle coding questions on established HCPCS usage. The American Health Information Management (AHIMA) also provides input through the Editorial Advisory Board.  The AHA’s Central Office will handle the clearinghouse functions and provide open access to any person or organization that has questions regarding a subset of HCPCS coding, particularly hospitals and other health professionals who bill under the hospital outpatient prospective payment system (OPPS).  Specifically, the AHA’s Central Office will handle clearinghouse functions such as providing interpretation, promotion and explanation of the proper use of a subset of HCPCS codes as follows: Level 1 HCPCS (CPT-4 Codes) for hospital providers, Level II HCPCS Codes for hospitals, physicians, and other professionals who bill Medicare for A-Codes, C-codes, G-codes, J-codes and Q-codes (other than Q0163 and Q0181)” [7].

Updates

“The AMA updates and republishes CPT-4 annually and provides CMS with the updated data. The CMS updates the alpha-numeric (Level II) portion of HCPCS and incorporates the updated AMA material to create the HCPCS code file. The CMS provides the file to A/B MACs (A), (B), (HHH), and DME MACs and Medicaid State agencies annually.[8]” “The HCPCS are updated annually to reflect changes in medicine and provision of health care.”

The CMS provides a file containing the updated HCPCS codes to A/B MACS [Medicare Administrative Contractors for Parts A and B] (A), (B), HHH [Home, Health, and Hospice] and DME MACs [Durable Medical Equipment Medicare Administrative Contractors ] and Medicaid State Agencies 60-90 days in advance of the  implementation of the annual date. Distribution consists of an electronic file of the updated HCPCS codes, file characteristics, record layout, and a listing of changed and deleted codes. MACs are required to update their HCPCS codes file and map all new or deleted codes to appropriate payment information no later than three months after receipt of the update.”  There is a 2016 HCPCS Alpha-Numeric Index of 46 pages, which contains many drug products.

“Both the DME MACs and the A/B MACs (B) publish this list to educate providers on which MAC they should bill for codes provided on this list.[9]” “MACs will no longer accept discontinued HCPCS codes for dates of service January 1 through March 31.[10]

“In addition to the major annual update, CMS also updates HCPCS codes quarterly to reflect additional changes or corrections that are emergency in nature. Quarterly changes are issued by letter or memorandum for local implementation.[11]

“Physicians and suppliers must use HCPCS codes on the Form CMS-1500 or its electronic equivalent and providers must use HCPCS codes on the Form CMS-1450 or its electronic equivalent for most outpatient services.[12] A/B MACs (B) and DME MACs must continue to reject services submitted with discontinued HCPCS codes. A/B MACs (A) and (HHH) must continue to return to the provider (RTP) claims containing deleted codes.[13]

“It is important for physicians, practitioners, suppliers, and providers to note that code/modifier recognition does not imply that a service is covered by Medicare.[14]” HCPCS is a system for identifying items and certain services. It is not a methodology or system for making coverage or payment determinations, and the existence of a code does not, of itself, determine coverage or non-coverage for an item or service. While these codes are used for billing purposes, decisions regarding the addition, deletion, or revision of HCPCS codes are made independent of the process for making determinations regarding coverage and payment.[15]

Currently, there are national HCPCS codes representing approximately 6,000 separate categories of like items or services that encompass millions of products from different manufacturers. When submitting claims, suppliers are required to use one of these codes to identify the items they are billing. The descriptor that is assigned to a code represents the definition of the items and services that can be billed using that code.”[16]

[1] Veterans Administration Hospital, J Codes Over Billing Schemes, Chief Business Office Purchase Care, Department of Program Integrity (DPI), October 2013.

[2] HCPro website, Note similarities between HCPCS, CPT Codes, September 5, 2012.

[3] HCPro website, Note similarities between HCPCS, CPT Codes, September 5, 2012.

[4] AAPC website.

[5] Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) Level II Coding Procedures, November 13, 2015.

[6] Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) Level II Coding Procedures, November 13, 2015.

[7] Medicare, HCPCS, General Information, HCPCS Coding Questions, Do you have a Coding Question.

[8] Medicare Processing Manual, Chapter 23-Fee Administration and Coding Requirements, revisions 8-7-15, 10-9-2015, 11-23-2015.

[9] Medicare Processing Manual, Chapter 23-Fee Administration and Coding Requirements, revisions 8-7-15, 10-9-2015, 11-23-2015

[10] Medicare Processing Manual, Chapter 23-Fee Administration and Coding Requirements, revisions 8-7-15, 10-9-2015, 11-23-2015

[11] Medicare Processing Manual, Chapter 23-Fee Administration and Coding Requirements, revisions 8-7-15, 10-9-2015, 11-23-2015

[12] Medicare Processing Manual, Chapter 23-Fee Administration and Coding Requirements, revisions 8-7-15, 10-9-2015, 11-23-2015

[13] Medicare Processing Manual, Chapter 23-Fee Administration and Coding Requirements, revisions 8-7-15, 10-9-2015, 11-23-2015

[14] Medicare Processing Manual, Chapter 23-Fee Administration and Coding Requirements, revisions 8-7-15, 10-9-2015, 11-23-2015

[15] Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) Level II Coding Procedures.

[16] Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) Level II Coding Procedures.

By Al Mohajerian | Published May 2, 2016 | Posted in FDA  | Tagged General InformationHCPCSHospital Outpatient Prospective Payment SystemJ CodesMedicare Administrative ContractorsVeterans Administration Hospital |

Filed Under: NDCPharmaceuticals

Tagged With: Common Procedure Coding