The specialized requirements applicable to healthcare providers and healthcare-affiliated businesses can be overwhelming. Our firm’s healthcare practice provides counsel and advice to its clients in healthcare-related fields by assisting them with maneuvering through these requirements and other areas specific to this industry.
Ancillary Medical Service Facility Representation
Our attorneys have substantial experience in representing ancillary service medical facilities. This includes experience in all facets ranging from advising clients on the organization and structure of such facilities, acquisition of equipment and real estate, financing related to these acquisitions, compliance with the complex federal and state regulations involved in this area, creating medical staff bylaws and peer review committees, and resolving medical staff issues. We also regularly represent clients acquiring interests in new or existing facilities being sponsored by others.
Because of the large number of specialized requirements applicable to healthcare providers and healthcare-affiliated businesses, our attorneys are particularly well-suited in assisting such clients with all of their business transactions. Such transactions include capital equipment acquisitions, financing, leases, and other business transactions that occur in the operation of a healthcare business. Within our health law section are members of the American Health Lawyers Association, the American Bar Association Health Law Section, and the State Bar of Texas Health Law Section. This expertise allows us to fully understand and address the particularized needs of the health care business.
Choice of Entity Planning
Our diverse healthcare law experience enables our attorneys to counsel our clients on choice of entity planning for their healthcare business. Our clients include physician groups, surgery centers, imaging centers, and other healthcare-affiliated businesses. We assist our clients in determining the most advantageous entity structure for their business with consideration of each client’s individual concerns, such as liability protection, operating considerations, capital requirements, and tax planning.
Employment and Independent Contractor Arrangements
We assist physician practices, healthcare facilities, and other healthcare industry clients in negotiating and drafting employment contracts and independent contractor agreements with physicians and other healthcare professionals. We also regularly assist our physician clients and other healthcare professionals in negotiating the terms of their employment or independent contractor agreements with potential healthcare employers. Such agreements are structured to protect our clients and to provide our clients with continuity and security. Key provisions of an employment agreement include detailed salary and bonus structures; defined employee benefits (i.e., health insurance, life insurance, vacation time, etc.); termination rights of either party; confidentiality, non-solicitation and non-competition provisions; copyright ownership; and severance benefits. We structure our clients’ independent contractor agreements to clearly detail the relationship between the healthcare entity and the contractor.
Our firm’s attorneys are experienced in the interpretation and implementation of the requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). HIPAA is designed to implement a privacy protection framework to protect individuals from the unauthorized disclosure of their personal health information. Our health law practice is experienced in the design and implementation of programs to satisfy the requirements of HIPAA, including the negotiation and execution of business associate contracts and the implementation of HIPAA compliance procedures and policies. Additionally, our attorneys remain available to answer continuing issues that arise as HIPAA is being implemented in medical practices around the country.
Hospital and Ambulatory Surgery Center Representation
Our firm provides general counsel services on both a full-scale and selective-issues basis for hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, and other healthcare facilities across Texas. We advise healthcare facilities and their affiliated entities on a broad range of legal issues, including:
- Operational, liability, medical staff, and employment issues;
- Physician recruitment matters and preparation of recruitment agreements;
- Medicare and Medicaid repayment and voluntary disclosure issues;
- Joint ventures and contractual arrangements with physicians and physician-owned entities;
- Confidentiality issues;
- Drafting, reviewing and revising facility policies and procedures; and
- General business advisement.
Medicare / Medicaid Compliance
We assist professional providers, healthcare facilities, DME suppliers, and other healthcare clients in navigating the laws governing Medicare and Medicaid coverage, reimbursement, and compliance issues. We advise healthcare clients on Medicare and Medicaid billing issues; counsel clients in how to avoid Medicare or Medicaid fraud and abuse violations; assist in preparing and implementing corporate compliance programs; assist with the investigation and self-reporting of alleged Medicare/Medicaid fraud and abuse; and assist healthcare providers in qualifying for Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement.
Physician and Practice Representation
Our firm. represents a variety of physicians and provider organizations and is experienced in all matters relating to such physicians’ professional organizations and their operations.
We assist physicians and physician groups in organizational matters involving entity selection, governance, buy-sell agreements, non-competition restrictions, reorganizations, adding new members, terminating and/or buying out existing members, mergers and acquisitions, and dissolutions. Our attorneys have organized and represent numerous professional associations, general and limited partnerships, professional limited liability partnerships, professional limited liability companies, and certified nonprofit health organizations, in negotiation and review of all types of healthcare contracts. Our contract experience includes professional service, payer, managed care, ancillary service, “under arrangements”, joint venture, employment, medical director, non-compete, management, medical director, hospital/physician recruitment and collection guarantees, and asset and stock purchase agreements.
Regulatory and Stark / Anti-Kickback Issues
Our firm regularly advises clients on all facets of Stark and Anti-Kickback issues, including developing structures for arrangements with third-party service providers, self-referral arrangements, and investment and compensation models. We closely monitor the continuing developments in federal and state regulations and how they may affect our clients in the medical profession.