While conducting business, healthcare providers must navigate a wide range of federal, state, and local regulations prohibiting certain types of conduct. Attorneys at Southern Health Lawyers recognize the ever-changing scope of statutes and opinions regarding Anti-Kickback and Stark, and we regularly counsel our clients on potential regulatory pitfalls regarding these healthcare fraud and abuse statutes. While the settlement costs incurred from the violation of healthcare fraud statutes can be crippling, we ensure our clients reach their economic objectives while simultaneously ensuring they remain compliant with healthcare regulations.
Arbitration & Mediation
Southern Health Lawyers Healthcare Arbitration & Mediation Practice is becoming increasingly utilized by our clients as an Alternative Dispute Resolution which avoids the unwieldy costs and unpredictable outcomes of judicial proceedings. Clients are often better served by negotiated solutions, and at the Southern Health Lawyers, our nationally recognized attorneys have years of experience in the practice of Arbitration and Mediation. Specifically, many of our attorneys possess certificates and degrees focusing on specialized healthcare subjects and are incredibly knowledgeable and experienced on a plethora of healthcare matters.
At Southern Health Lawyers, we understand that arbitration and mediation can be pivotal, amongst others, for liability suits, and employment and vendor relationships. Our attorneys work tirelessly not only to ensure our clients are awarded the most advantageous result, but we also remain proactive, regularly implementing comprehensive arbitration programs to ensure our Alternative Dispute Resolution agreements are enforced in the courts.
- Facilitated the sale of a $7,000,000 business (employing 250 people), including the successful completion of an Attorney General’s hearing reviewing the transaction.
- Assisted in sale of an interest of a large physician group practice, including the development of an agreement for the future buy-in and sale of interests.
In a response to healthcare reform and supplemented by advancement and availability of innovative technologies and increasing operation costs, healthcare providers and corporations have extensively sought the critical assistance and knowledgeable counsel of attorneys at Southern Health Lawyers for mergers, acquisitions, consolidations, and a wide multitude of other business and health care transactions. Our firm is multi-faceted in that we represent a diverse group of clients; therefore, our strategy and advice is individually tailored to ensure our clients retain the ability to pursue their interests. Our clients include but are not limited to physician groups, hospitals, hospices, health care related businesses, and individual health centers. Our attorneys have specifically facilitated the sale of a $7,000,000 business (employing 250 people), including the successful completion of an Attorney General’s hearing reviewing the transaction. Also, Southern Health Lawyers assisted in the sale of an interest of a large physician group practice, including the development of an agreement for the future buy-in and sale of interests. Our team is comprised of experienced and talented negotiators who possess the knowledge and comprehensive resources to handle all aspects of a transaction, counseling our clients with their initial interest to the completion of the contract.
The attorneys at Southern Health Lawyers also assist our clients with any business contracting that is deemed necessary, whether related to healthcare of not. Our attorneys strive to ensure each of our clients are protected each and every time they enter into a contract or other business relationship with another party. As experienced business and health care transactions counsel, we apply our knowledge of traditional business transactions to this regulated industry in order to help our clients succeed.
Certificate of Need
The experienced attorneys at the Southern Health Lawyers excel in aiding healthcare clients with Certificate of Need (CON) counseling, due diligence, and litigation. In a heavily regulated industry like healthcare, a full range of licensure and certification obstacles arises. Compliance is essential and often affects daily operations when both organization and staff must comply with many, evolving licensure and certification requirements. Clients may encounter issues with Medicare and Medicaid certification requirements, disputes and appeals from denials, enforcement, termination, penalties and proceedings. We handle a wide spectrum of corporate transactions and applications involving the development of new and existing facilities, equipment, and services. When counseling on CON regulatory matters, our lawyers coordinate to develop unique and effective methods of complying with CON requirements. When facing a CON competitor challenge or need to challenge a competitor, our litigators are equipped to navigate all facets of the litigation process.
• Advising clients on the licensure of new health care facilities
• State licensing operational requirements of health care organizations
• Interactions with state licensing agencies
• Health care professional licensure requirements
• Citation Appeals
• COPN requirements and interaction with state COPN agencies
• Opposition to COPN approvals
• Clinical laboratory improvement amendments (CLIA) Compliance
- Received approval for exemption from CON review for interventional cardiac catheterization programs for three Georgia community hospitals.
- Drafted, filed, and received CON approval for a da Vinci surgical robot for two Georgia community hospitals.
- Represented hospice in asset purchase transaction.
Change of Ownership
Southern Health Lawyers comprises attorneys who have extensive experience and understanding in advising healthcare providers on regulatory facets of change of ownership (CHOW). Our attorneys’ multi-disciplinary insight and diverse educational backgrounds provide a solid intellectual foundation for our clients, allowing Southern Health Lawyers to successfully negotiate, mediate, or litigate an advantageous result regardless of the judicial arena. As ownership structures change and corporate priorities shift, the attorneys at Southern Health Lawyers provide invaluable counsel and unique insight into CHOW transactions. Our attorneys assist in drafting and structuring both simple and complex transactions specifically tailored to our client’s objectives. We continuously counsel a variety of health care providers and corporations including but not limited to hospitals, hospices, nursing homes, retirement estates, urgent care facilities, physician offices and physician group practices.
At Southern Health Lawyers, we understand the adaptation of the physician-hospital relationship in which provider payment is increasingly being tied to results, efficiency, quality and access of service. Today’s market demands the physician-hospital integration concept and the formation of other alliances including clinical integration and provider-owned payment organizations. The attorneys at Southern Health Lawyers understand all facets of this challenge as well as the inherent complexities and intricacies of consolidating multiple interests. This delicate relationship may take many forms, and the multi-disciplinary, experienced attorneys at Southern Health Lawyers provide counsel and assess physician relationships dealing with Anti-Kickback, Stark, the Civil Monetary Penalties Law, and state fraud and abuse laws. Whether our clients are experiencing issues with physician compensation or seeking counsel on policy or strategy, the attorneys at Southern Health Lawyers use their extensive knowledge and resources to enable our clients to continue to pursue their economic objectives.
At Southern Health Lawyers, our clients depend on experienced and knowledgeable counsel in pursuit of their interests. In an age of unprecedented scrutiny and record-breaking civil and criminal penalties for non-compliance, having counsel who provide practical solutions and assist in developing and implementing a compliancy strategy is pivotal. The attorneys at Southern Health Lawyers vigorously defend the interests of our clients regardless of the judicial arena with all of our attorneys. Whether Southern Health Lawyers must delicately cooperate with regulatory agencies, provide counsel to an investigation or audit, or develop an assertive defense strategy for our clients, we possess comprehensive resources and the legal expertise required. At Southern Health Lawyers, we understand the challenges healthcare providers and corporations experience daily, and our attorneys possess extensive knowledge of state and federal law as well as regulatory statutes. Our tailor-made proactive approach for each individual situation ensures our clients receive effective and efficient counsel, developing a strategy which works to prevent violations of the law before they occur while limiting exposure to civil and criminal litigation.
Corporate Practice of Medicine
Southern Health Lawyers recognizes and understands that the healthcare industry is comprised not only of licensed providers, but also a variety of other participants. The Corporate Practice of Medicine Doctrine prohibits a corporation from employing a physician or from practice medicine. States vary to the extent to which they articulate or even enforce the Corporate Practice of Medicine Doctrine. Regulatory issues implicated by the Corporate Practice of Medicine Doctrine must be considered and analyzed in any venture involving licensed providers and unlicensed individuals or entities. Attorneys at Southern Health Lawyers have extensive experience in structuring arrangements between licensed and unlicensed entities or entities and in the preparation of management agreements and related contracts that comport with regulatory issues related to the Corporate Practice of Medicine Doctrine.
The attorneys at Southern Health Lawyers provide a wide range of legal services in the healthcare field, including those revolving around employment. We relentlessly stand firm and proudly to those we represent. Regardless of the judicial arena, our top-rated and nationally recognized attorneys will vigorously defend the actions of our clients. Southern Health Lawyers possesses a multitude of resources which enable us to exceed specified client objectives. Our attorneys have counseled and achieved advantageous results for our clients on issues including but not limited to Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs), Non-Competes, trade secrets, defense again whistleblower claims, contract disputes, and retaliation.
The Government Investigations Practice of Southern Health Lawyers offers a broad range of services associated with government enforcement agency investigations and medical board inquiries. Our attorneys understand that each situation is different; therefore, our legal approach is specifically tailored to the services our clients require. Whether the case requires our subtle collaboration with other regulatory agencies or a strong, assertive litigation strategy in state or federal court, we will vigorously defend our client’s interests. At Southern Health Lawyers, we utilize a proactive approach, counseling and educating our clients on any changes to local, state, or federal, or regulatory statutes in their practice arenas. While not always possible, deterring the initiation of formal criminal charges is of paramount importance to the attorneys at Southern Health Lawyers, and we will never hesitate to represent our client’s best interests, resolving the case efficiently and expediently.
Healthcare Information Technology and Security
With increasing discovery of advanced technologies and the inherent complexity of healthcare systems, healthcare providers have an increasing need to be legally protected. At Southern Health Lawyers, our attorneys work diligently and efficiently to protect the innovative and instrumental ideas as well as intellectual property of our clients. We represent clients from a wide array of technology backgrounds, including but not limited to hospitals, physician groups, technology companies, and individual stakeholders.
Healthcare Real Estate
The dedicated and multi-disciplinary attorneys at Southern Health Lawyers provide integral counsel in real estate transactions for our clients. We work closely with our clients to counsel and provide key assistance to ensure they take advantage of the inevitable new opportunities inherent within our recovering and growing economy. Our attorneys represent both operators and owners of multiple healthcare assets including but not limited to nursing home facilities, physician offices, medical office buildings, retirement estates, and other medical ancillary facilities. We represent institutions of all sizes and types, and whether our clients require assistance with acquisition, development, or strategic planning, the attorneys at Southern Health Lawyers possess comprehensive knowledge of all facets of healthcare real estate.
Healthcare Regulatory Compliance
The attorneys at Southern Health Lawyers are often enlisted by our clients to aid their efforts in remaining compliant with healthcare regulations without sacrificing their interests and objectives. Our attorneys possess comprehensive knowledge of all facets of healthcare system including but not limited to technology, real estate, security, compliance, as well as local, state, and federal regulatory law. Both the state and federal government are often assertive in their regulations, but the attorneys at Southern Health Lawyers are here to guide you through the complex healthcare system expediently and efficiently. To help your organization thrive in such a demanding and chaotic environment, the attorneys at Southern Health Lawyers assist our clients with compliance and related matters they experience in their day-to-day operations.
- Negotiated settlement of dispute with Department of Justice on behalf of a community hospital, after its Chief Financial Officer became a whistleblower.
- Argued for dismissal of a qui tam (whistleblower) action under the federal False Claims Act for a federally-qualified health center.
Advised a physician group practice regarding the compliance implications of its formation of a subsidiary that is a referral source for federal business.
HIPAA and Healthcare Privacy
With the advancement of technology comes the increased difficulty for healthcare providers to keep their patients information private and secure. Healthcare providers are vulnerable to sanctions, penalties, and litigation related to healthcare privacy. The attorneys at Southern Health Lawyers understand the complex challenges our clients encounter as electronic data and filing become increasingly utilized by healthcare owners and operators. At Southern Health Lawyers, we understand the intricacies of both HIPAA and state breach laws and are ready to assist you with any analytical, security, or privacy questions.
Institutional and Individual Licensure
The number one priority of attorneys at Southern Health Lawyers is to prevent situations that may disrupt day-to-day operations of our clients. Our team is comprised of attorneys who understand the importance of remaining compliant to state and federal regulations. We are committed to ensuring our clients possess the necessary licenses and certifications to pursue their interests. Representing institutions both large and small, Southern Health Lawyers has the experienced attorneys that handle a wide spectrum of licensing and certification issues for our clients including but not limited to securing appropriate licenses and certifications and defending any restrictions or revocation attempts on currently held licenses and certifications.
Legislative and Public Policy
An impressive assortment of healthcare clients and stakeholders choose Southern Health Lawyers (SLF) on legislative and regulatory policy matters. We develop specifically tailored advocacy services to assist with the navigation of complex public policy challenges. Our well-respected lawyers within the field customize our complete body of resources to the needs of a broad group of health care organizations. SLF’s distinguished public policy practice closely observes healthcare legislation, often communicating with leading policymakers to advocate our clients’ interests. Our multi-disciplinary insight and far-reaching connections help us provide creative solutions to any advocacy need. The bipartisan attorneys at Southern Health Lawyers are both public and private sector savvy and offer direct lobbying support, which enables us to also assist our clients in the strategic planning of legislative and regulatory policies. Our showcase of professional experience and knowledge of public policy, government relations, and advocacy, prepares our clients to successfully engage and connect with all levels of government. We maintain regular communication with federal and state agencies that monitor the healthcare environment and have extensive understanding of the intricacies of government. Because of our consistent interaction with prominent influencers, our team is distinctively equipped to aid in building relationships with government officials and policy makers, achieving the most favorable policy objective results. Substantive knowledge of an issue, in depth understanding of legislative process, and strong relationships with policymakers comprise SLF’s comprehensive approach to legislative efficacy.
Not only does Southern Health Lawyers (SLF) boast a vast array of healthcare knowledge but also lawyers who operate as expert litigators. Our top-rated attorneys carry years of industry expertise into the courtroom. SLF’s extensive understanding of the complex healthcare environment exists as the solid foundation for our experienced litigation practice. The SLF team services a variety of organizations involving many different facets of health care at the local, state and national levels and guides clients through every stage in the litigation process.
Southern Health Lawyers litigators are equipped to provide representation in court, arbitration, mediation and administrative proceedings, and multiple other forums. Our seasoned attorneys are well versed in regulations and the healthcare payment system. Because of our award-winning results, Southern Health Lawyers has established a growing reputation that regardless of the setting, SLF uses its plethora of resources to effectively resolve complex disputes that arise. Our attorneys are adept at assessing client needs and determining the best and most effective avenue of dispute resolution.
As the healthcare world continues to change, Southern Health Lawyers strives to protect the changing needs of client businesses by focusing on existing interests as well as future strategic opportunities. We keep our finger on the pulse of the industry to help our clients succeed.
Managed Care Contracting and Appeals
The healthcare system is a multi-facet operation which depends on insurers, payors, and providers alike. At Southern Health Lawyers, our attorneys recognize the significance of the relationship between stakeholders, and we represent clients who possess a wide spectrum of interests within the healthcare arena. The financial burden that weighs on healthcare providers’ day-to-day operations can be a nuisance. We provide counsel on managed care contracting strategies to assist our clients in recognizing their critical bargaining power and other rights when negotiating with payors. Our multi-disciplined attorneys possess knowledge on the complexities of specialized managed care and provide critical counsel for our clients in structuring and implementing these managed care agreements. We also provide representation to our clients dealing with any reimbursement disputes with all payor types.
Medical and Chiropractic Integration
Southern Health Lawyers monitors and handles varied healthcare regulatory and operational issues, including advising a variety of healthcare providers and business entities on formation of integrated healthcare practices. Attorneys at Southern Health Lawyers routinely advise clients on the legal requirements regarding formation of integrated healthcare practices and assist in creating appropriate business structures in which such healthcare practices may be operated.
Mergers & Acquisitions
Southern Health Lawyers (SLF) Mergers and Acquisitions Team handles all size transactions, from large corporations to small businesses, of varying levels of complexity for a diverse group of organizations. Clients across multiple industries have sought our attorneys’ proven insight in this practice area. Our experienced team concentrates on the regulatory awareness and corporate, tax and securities expertise that is necessary to propel clients towards optimal outcomes. SLF lawyers across numerous specialties collaborate with other pertinent client advisors to ensure successful transactions and meet specified client objectives.
Our attorneys specialize in the transformative transactions typical of the changing healthcare climate. We possess the knowledge and expertise of unique healthcare nuances that shape transactions and are critical in order to successfully traverse the shifting industry landscape. As ownership structures change and innovations are born, the Southern Health Lawyers lends invaluable counsel in these transactions. Our attorneys assist with all substantive phases of healthcare transactions, including business, regulatory, reimbursement and risk allocation considerations. Other transactional relationships, such as: restructurings, spin-offs, sales, auctions, divestitures, buyouts, joint ventures, confidentiality agreements, strategic alliances, letters of intent/interest, stock purchases/sales, roll-ups, and syndications are all within the scope of SLF’s expertise. From analysis and planning to negotiating and closing, our practice involves all transactional stages.
Southern Health Lawyers health industry lawyers are often enlisted to guide purchasers and sellers through a specialized due diligence examination and thorough risk and reward analysis for a potential transaction. Sellers regularly use our assessment to recognize and resolve issues before engaging in the sale and purchasers to identify specific obstacles to closing and post-closing action items. We aid in tax structuring and antitrust analysis, licensing and permit qualifications and transferability, compliance with Anti-kickback safe harbors and Stark exceptions, and change of ownership/information requirements.
Opioid Crisis Management
With increasing scrutiny of pain management in light of the ongoing national opioid crisis, Southern Health Lawyers understands the multitude of legal, regulatory and contract issues facing providers and practices that treat patients experiencing chronic pain using methods that may include the prescribing of opioid medications. Attorneys at Southern Health Lawyers have experience assisting clients in remaining compliant with federal and state laws and regulations relating to pain management and prescribing opioids for chronic pain, including providing guidance that addresses pain management risk areas such as medical necessity and documentation protocols to ensure appropriate billing.
Since the late 1980s, both federal and state governments began to micro-manage physician self-referral services, titling these statutes as “Stark,” and they have continued to add prongs to Stark throughout the years. A vast majority of Southern Health Lawyers attorneys attended law schools specializing in the intricacies of healthcare compliancy regulations and business ethics. At Southern Health Lawyers, our bipartisan attorneys develop relationships with local, state, and federal elected officials and monitor any attempted changes or amendments to current Stark statutes. We continuously provide assistance and counsel to our clients to ensure they remain compliant with these statutes, and our attorneys regularly lecture on the subject.
The attorneys at Southern Health Lawyers possess years of experience in the healthcare arena, and we pride ourselves on being multi-disciplined, dedicated, and knowledgeable of the most discrete intricacies of Medicare, Medicaid, and graduate medical school reimbursement systems. In an era where government regulations seek to fiscally squeeze healthcare providers of all their earnings, a clear and comprehensive understanding of these systems is pivotal for any healthcare law firm. Our attorneys continually monitor any changes in state and federal laws which may affect the execution of our client’s day-to-day practices, including our ability to develop crucial relationships with public officials to help cut through or circumvent political red-tape. We understand the political considerations which drive decision making and utilize the same counseling for our clients by developing a strategy to ensure our clients interest remain intact.
The attorneys at Southern Health Lawyers offer an extensive range of legal services in regards to risk management, specifically looking to minimize the reoccurrence of behavior which may have violated state, federal, or regulatory statutes. We seek to minimize future damages and provide crucial counsel to our clients so that they may pursue their interests without fear of punitive repercussion. For healthcare providers, possessing risk management plans are pivotal in order to prevent liability suits and open oneself to litigation. At Southern Health Lawyers, our attorneys will personally assist in the development and implementation of risk management plans. Our attorneys represent a wide spectrum of healthcare providers who seek services such as review of medical bylaws, peer review functions, confidentiality agreements, non-disclosure agreements, and in-service education opportunities.
Telehealth & Telemedicine
Attorneys at Southern Health Lawyers have experience counseling clients on various aspects of technology in healthcare, including telehealth technology and telemedicine services. Once limited to use in rural or remote communities, telehealth technology and the provision of telemedicine services are increasingly being used throughout the healthcare industry to: (i) expand the geographic reach of health care services, (ii) improve access to healthcare, and (iii) enhance the healthcare consumer experience by making access more efficient and convenient. Southern Health Lawyers assists and counsels clients in navigating the many legal and regulatory challenges affecting the provision of telehealth and telemedicine services, including the developing state and federal regulatory requirements related to telehealth and telemedicine services.