CMS Rule on COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate Upheld by SCOTUS
The Supreme Court of the United States permitted the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) to move forward with its final rule implementing a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for hospital, and other healthcare facility staff.  The Supreme Court’s opinion removed the major legal barrier preventing CMS from enforcing a vaccination mandate in participating hospitals across the country.  Becerra v. Louisiana & Biden v. Missouri.

Other Vaccine Mandate Cases
In other cases addressing vaccine mandates, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana allowed a hospital to enforce its policy of mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for all employees (Payton v. Walsh) and the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island refused to prevent the Rhode Island Department of Health from enforcing a similar policy.  (Dr. T. v. Alexander-Scott).

Non-Compete Clause Upheld by Court
The United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa granted a hospital’s motion for a preliminary injunction preventing a former employed cardiologist from soliciting patients and competing with the hospital by offering cardiology services within 40 miles of the hospital.  After the cardiologist’s employment was terminated without cause, he set up shop less than half a mile from the hospital and began soliciting its patients.  In granting the hospital’s request to enforce the non-compete provisions of the cardiologist’s employment agreement, the court held that the hospital would suffer irreparable harm because the physician was exploiting the goodwill and reputation the hospital had created for him as evidenced by the fact that he had already solicited 49 patients from a hospital-affiliated clinic.  Mercy Health Servs. Inc. v. Efstratiadis

Non-Compete Clause Revised by Court
The Court of Appeals of Ohio affirmed the decision of the trial court which granted in part and denied in part a health system’s motion for preliminary injunction.  The health system sought to enforce a noncompete agreement against a former employed burn surgeon and his new employer.  Notably, the surgeon’s retention agreement prohibited him from providing burn care services within 35-miles of the health system for a period of two years following the termination of his employment.  However, he resigned and accepted a position at a hospital within 35 miles of the health system.  The court found that, among other things, public policy should allow the surgeon to begin clinical practice immediately; but the health system’s legitimate business interests should prevent the surgeon’s work as director for a modified noncompete period of one year.  MetroHealth Sys. v. Khandelwal.