While much attention has focused on recent Supreme Court decisions involving reproductive care rights and presidential immunity, a less-noticed case has potential implications for the health care industry.

In the case of Securities and Exchange Commission v. Jarkesy, the Supreme Court ruled last week that the SEC’s use of administrative proceedings to levy a fine against a hedge fund manager for misleading investors deprived that manager of the right to a court trial.  While the immediate ruling addresses only the SEC case, the underlying rationale has implications across the federal government – including health care agencies.

Currently, the Department of Health and Human Services has the authority to impose civil monetary fines for a wide range of purposes, such as HIPAA violations, information blocking, No Surprises Act matters, and more.  Numerous sources now speculate that at least some of those fined through department administrative law processes may sue, maintaining that they were denied their day in court.

According to Politico,

HHS has issued HIPAA fines and recently laid out potential fines of up to $1 million for providers that refuse to share patient information upon a patient’s request.  In a six-month period in 2023, the HHS inspector general took civil actions against 422 individuals and entities and excluded 750 individuals and entities from participating in federal programs like Medicare.

At this point it is difficult to predict the long-term effect of the Supreme Court’s decision in Securities and Exchange Commission v. Jarkesy but a number of analysts have outlined the case’s potential implications.  Learn more from Politico article “The SCOTUS case you might have missed;” Bloomberg Law’sSEC In-House Judges Ruling Will Ripple to Other Agencies;” the Vox article “The Supreme Court just lit a match and tossed it into dozens of federal agencies;” and this Scotusblog analysis.