Big Win for Injured Workers in MA: Courts Now Allowing Compensation for Pain and Suffering Damages

On February 12, 2016, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that, in third-party settlements, workers’ compensation liens will not cover damages for injured employees’ pain and suffering. The compensation for these “noneconomic damages,” which had previously been awarded to workers’ compensation...

Is It Legal for Hospitals to Ban Nicotine-Positive Employees in MA?

In 2011, UMass Memorial Marlborough Hospital adopted a tobacco-free policy for its property. Recently, the same hospital announced that they would be establishing a nicotine-free hiring policy for all new employees as well. Nicotine will join amphetamines, benzodiazepines, cocaine, and others on the list of...

Massachusetts Tanning Ban Has Teens Seeing Red

Massachusetts legislators have initiated a push to make it illegal for teens under the age of 18 to use or operate tanning beds. A bill requiring tanning salon employees and patrons to be 18 or older, An Act Further Regulating Tanning Facilities, was passed without contest in the Massachusetts House last...

MA Judge Upholds Sick Time Law

Massachusetts District Court Judge Rya Zobel recently dismissed a complaint filed by two construction contractors, and six construction employee associations, seeking to challenge the Commonwealth’s new sick time law. The Massachusetts Earned Sick Leave law went into effect on July 1, 2015 following...

California Superbug Trumped by Massachusetts-Made Device

An outbreak of drug-resistant bacteria at UCLA caused the death of several patients this past year. The source of the “superbug” was traced back to the use of contaminated endoscopes. Officials at UCLA stated that the endoscopes, by their design, are difficult to sanitize and that they followed the...

One-Year Extension for Massachusetts to Comply with Obamacare

Massachusetts has been given an additional year to comply with the Affordable Care Act, following a trend of deadline extensions. Initially granted a one-year extension in 2013, they have now been granted another year to get the program aligned with federally mandated standards. Governor Baker has asked for...

MassHealth Mistakes Cost Taxpayers Over $500M

In an audit of MassHealth—the MA Medicaid agency—released Tuesday, June 16th, by Massachusetts Auditor, Suzanne Bump, reported that the commonwealth’s health care program has wasted over 500 million dollars over the last five years. The errors resulted in duplicate payments being made for health...

Some MA Business Owners Urging Delay of Sick Time Law

In November of 2014, by a margin of 19 percent, voters in Massachusetts clearly expressed their wishes that a statewide provision be implemented requiring all employers to offer sick time. Every employer in the state will soon be required to offer either paid or unpaid sick time, depending on their number...

Spaulding Closing Salem Location

Administrators at Spaulding Hospital have announced that it will shut down The Spaulding Hospital for Continuing Medical Care North Shore’s inpatient operations by the end of September 2015, with the hospital saying that new federal regulations will severely impact patient volume. Approximately 320 people...

Gains Reported in State’s Human Services Sector

A new research study released by the Donahue Institute at the University of Massachusetts in conjunction with UMass Dartmouth has revealed that human services sector employment in the Bay State increased nearly 48 percent during the years spanning 2003-2011, a fact many in the industry will surely find to...

Baker Takes $750M from MassHealth with New Budget

On Wednesday, March 4th, Governor Charlie Baker filed a $38.1 billion budget proposal which includes recommendations for increased spending on objectives like local aid, transportation and higher education. The budget also proposes cutting more than $750 million from MassHealth to help fill a projected...

Central Massachusetts Stands Out in Nursing Home Rankings

It seems that Massachusetts may be the best place to go for rehabilitation and aftercare. Eleven of Central Massachusetts’ nursing homes have received the top rating in U.S. News & World Report’s annual list of best nursing homes. The list for 2015 bestows five-star status to four Worcester...

Boston Scientific Purchases American Medical Systems Unit for 1.6 Billion

Boston Scientific, a Marlborough-based life sciences company, announced on Monday that it has agreed to acquire the urology division of American Medical Systems for $1.6 billion. Boston Scientific expects to close the acquisition in the third quarter of 2015. This will be the company’s largest acquisition...

Employee Engagement and Wellness Top Priorities

Employee engagement and wellness continues to be a hot topic in business circles, as executives look for more ways to increase productivity and boost growth. At the same time, the job market is improving enough that some managers are becoming concerned about ways to keep their best people. A recent report...

The End of AstraZeneca in Westborough

The AstraZeneca plant in Westborough has announced it will shut its doors permanently by the end of 2015. This is the final step the company has taken to shut down the plant, having already decreased employee levels there from 800 to just 180.  More employees will be relieved by March, but others will...

Medical Device Manufacturer Moves to Worcester

Cogmedix, a wholly owned subsidiary of Westborough-based Coghlin Companies Inc., recently announced the relocation of its world headquarters to 17 Briden Street in Worcester.  The medical device engineering and manufacturing services provider has become quite a success story in an increasingly important...

Harvard Pilgrim Acquires TrestleTree

Wellesley, MA–based Harvard Pilgrim Health Care announced Friday that it has purchased Arkansas-based TrestleTree, Inc., provider of lifestyle health behavior change coaching. Harvard Pilgrim’s interest in TrestleTree developed because of their software, which supports and monitors patient progress in...

Shire Moving Headquarters to Lexington

Pharmaceutical company Shire, PLC says its plans to make Lexington, Massachusetts its U.S. operational headquarters and will begin the transfer of more than 500 jobs there from its Chesterbrook, Pennsylvania, site. The drugmaker is headquartered on the British island of Jersey and currently has about 5,000...

UMMS Receives Grant of $7.5M to Fight Ebola

In an effort to help fight the spread of Ebola, The University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) announced last Thursday that it received an award of $7.5 million to provide much needed resources to fight Ebola in Liberia. The generous endowment will help provide immediate assistance to the West...

Are Massachusetts’ Medical Records Good Enough to Help Fight Ebola?

Electronic medical records are meant to be helpful for all medical professionals. However, if we look at the case of the first person to die from Ebola in America, some of these records are clearly not up to snuff . When Thomas Eric Duncan went into the hospital complaining of not feeling well, he noted...

Massachusetts Emerging as Robotics Leader

In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, one need not look very hard to find robots under construction, being tested or in action. The state is fast becoming the robotics capital of the country. A long list of companies make their headquarters here including iRobot Corporation, the creators of the Roomba...

Two Atrius Health Providers Merging in 2015

Two major healthcare provider organizations will be ringing in the New Year by breaking away from Atrius Health. Worcester-based Reliant Medical Group and Southboro Medical Group have announced their merger plans will take effect on January 1, 2015.  The two will merge together into a new organization that...

Ebola and the Economy

Unless you’ve been under quarantine for the past few weeks, you know that Ebola has once again reared its ugly head, causing widespread concern – bordering on panic in some quarters – about the possibility of a global pandemic. How realistic a possibility is this?  Could it actually happen? Frankly, it’s...

Worcester Chamber Says ‘No’ to All Four Ballot Questions

In November, voters across the Commonwealth will have the option to cast their vote for or against four positions that could impact business across the state. Recently, the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce met to discuss each of these questions in detail and to develop a policy to assist its members...

Should Partners HealthCare System be Allowed to Acquire More Boston-area Hospitals?

A three week comment period has been ordered by a Suffolk Superior Court Judge before a final ruling permitting or denying a settlement between Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and the giant Partners Healthcare System. The proposed deal allows Partners Healthcare to expand in size by acquiring...

Did the $525,000,000 Massachusetts Poured Into Biotech Generate 571 or 17,994 Jobs?

Yes? No? Maybe? The state of Massachusetts has spent $525 million encouraging the development of the state’s biotech industry, just over half of the $1 billion budgeted for this purpose. This public investment is being applied to grants, tax breaks and business loans for companies planning on moving...

Worcester on the Affordable Care Act

Recently a panel was held in Worcester to discuss health care reform. Secretary of administration and finance, Glen Shor acted as the keynote speaker and spoke positively on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). He claimed it would help break down barriers to health care, along with assisting Massachusetts in...

Millions in Massachusetts State Tax Credits To Life Science Companies

The 2012 Mass Tax Credit Transparency report revealed that about $17 million was awarded to life science companies. In total $159.2 million in state tax credits were issued this year, with 11% going to life science companies. The $17 million was distributed to 28 different companies to improve life science...

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