Stradley Ronon’s Health Care Practice represents a broad spectrum of health care companies, including providers, payment professionals, managed care organizations and companies that supply them with specialized services and products. We help our health care clients execute their strategic plans; assess, manage and mitigate risk; and succeed in litigation. Our attorneys provide sophisticated, solutions-oriented advice, informed by the business goals of our clients and delivered in a clear and direct manner.
YOUR Issues – OUR Experience
Stradley Ronon’s Health Care Practice consists of an integrated, interdisciplinary team of lawyers with deep experience representing clients in the health care industry. Some of our attorneys are former health care executives and, as such, are particularly sensitive to the pressures facing health care institutions today. Our health care team is ideally positioned to address the issues faced by health care clients in a comprehensive, results-driven way. Some examples include:
- Intense Regulatory Oversight. Businesses in the health care industry are subject to a variety of complex and rapidly-changing federal and state regulations, including compliance with the Stark and anti-kickback statutes, Medicare provider enrollment and recertification, the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), regulations with respect to Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), Health Information Technology (HIT) regulations, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA), and state laws governing each of these areas. Our attorneys are highly experienced in giving practical advice regarding compliance with all significant federal and state statutes and regulations that effect clients in the health care industry.
- Focus on Health Information Privacy & Security. The use and disclosure of health information is heavily regulated by federal and state health information privacy laws, including HIPAA. As the use of electronic storage devices for protected health information becomes more prevalent, enforcement authorities and the media are increasingly focused on the risk of mass data breaches. Our attorneys regularly counsel health care clients on an array of HIPAA and other health information privacy and security compliance issues, including guidance to covered entities, business associates, hybrid entities, research organizations and sponsors, and health information vendors. We also have considerable experience assisting clients in complying with rules governing the electronic storage of protected health information and, where unauthorized access to protected health information is discovered, handling any required dealings with the U.S. Office for Civil Rights, including self-reporting.
- Need for Transactional Expertise. Regulatory changes, economic pressures and strategic opportunities are causing health care clients to consider – and undertake – an increasing number and variety of significant complex transactions. Our attorneys have broad experience in the unique business, regulatory, reimbursement, tax structuring and risk allocation issues that shape health care industry transactions, such as mergers, acquisitions, financings and dispositions of health care institutions and assets. We assist in the structuring and formation of joint ventures among hospitals, physicians and other nonprofit and for-profit health care providers. Our attorneys are also actively involved in drafting agreements to permit clients to participate in Medicare’s Bundled Payments for Care Improvement Initiative. We bring a pragmatic, practical approach to each transaction and actively manage our client’s investment in legal costs at every stage of the deal process.
- Governmental Investigations. Given the scope of regulatory oversight and the increasing focus on enforcement, health care clients are, not infrequently, subject to federal and state governmental investigations. Our attorneys handle a variety of civil health care investigations involving the Stark statute, the anti-kickback statute, the civil False Claims Act and applicable state laws. We have represented companies before both federal and state regulatory agencies and have extensive experience representing hospitals in connection with audits of payment claims, including by recovery audit contractors. Whether the matter requires delicate interaction with government investigators, a voluntary disclosure or an aggressive litigation stance, our multi-disciplinary health care group is well positioned to vigorously represent and defend our clients.
- Risk of Litigation. As dynamic organizations operating in a rapidly evolving commercial landscape, health care companies can and do become involved in litigation and other disputes. Our commercial litigators represent health care clients in a broad range of commercial disputes and are known for their innovative approaches to evaluating business disputes and setting a course for efficient, cost-effective resolution designed to achieve our clients’ objectives. Stradley Ronon’s litigators have long successfully defended hospitals, physicians, nurses and various other health care providers and entities in the face of medical malpractice and professional liability claims.
- Tax Exempt Organizations. Many health care clients are tax-exempt organizations with distinct tax structuring, valuation and other issues. Our attorneys have deep experience addressing these needs for tax exempt clients, including forming nonprofit medical schools, hospitals, nursing homes and supporting organizations for assisted-living facilities. We have applied for federal tax-exempt status for clients and obtained sales and real estate tax exemptions on behalf of our tax-exempt clients. We have assisted tax-exempt clients in responding to tax audits and have counseled clients on issues relating to intermediate sanctions, private inurement and private benefit. Our attorneys have obtained favorable rulings from the Internal Revenue Service, as well as state and local agencies, on the tax consequences of various transactions for tax-exempt clients, including joint ventures between tax exempt and for-profit entities.
- Day-to-Day Counseling and Legal Services. As complex entities operating in an intensely competitive commercial environment, health care clients require many of the same services non-health care organizations require. Our lawyers have deep experience addressing the day-to-day legal needs of health care clients and doing so in an efficient, cost-effective and user-friendly manner. Our employment and labor attorneys, for example, work with health care clients in the drafting of physician and practice group agreements to ensure that the health system’s legitimate interests are contractually protected. We regularly advise health care clients on restrictive covenant issues, physician disputes, employment discrimination complaints, sexual harassment issues, background checks, performance and termination issues, wage/hour and overtime issues, abandonment issues and other employment-related disputes.
Similarly, our intellectual property lawyers have knowledge and experience in many facets of the biomedical arts, as well as with drug formulations, drug delivery systems and medical devices. These attorneys regularly assist health care clients with drafting and prosecuting domestic or international patent and trademark applications, filing copyright registration applications, protecting trade secrets and avoiding infringing the intellectual property rights of others.
In virtually every other relevant specialty area – from ERISA to Environmental to Real Estate to Insurance – we have lawyers with extensive experience addressing the unique needs of health care clients.
Focus – Providers
We counsel hospital providers of all sizes, including acute care community and specialty hospitals, academic medical centers and teaching hospitals. In addition, we represent physician group practices, home health and hospice providers, and medical device manufacturers. Our attorneys regularly advise these providers on strategic planning, new service development, risk management, physician recruitment, physician credentialing, peer review, and Medicare and Medicaid billing and reimbursement issues.
Stradley Ronon approaches each client relationship with a long-term view. Our numerous client relationships that have continued for several decades are a testament to our approach. Client loyalty – and the repeat business that comes with it – is a natural outgrowth of our values. We are always looking for ways to deepen our relationships with our clients, including:
- offering in-house training programs at no cost
- “seconding” attorneys to assist in-house lawyers
- offering fixed-fee arrangements
- supporting charitable and community causes
Stradley Ronon’s health care lawyers are leaders in the profession and have received numerous industry awards and recognitions, including:
- Selection as a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (FACHE), the premier certification in health care management.
- Membership in Top 10 D.C. “Dealmakers” in Washington, as selected by the Legal Times
- “Legal Elites” by SmartCEO magazine
- Best Lawyers in America
- “Super Lawyers” in Pennsylvania and Washington
- Pennsylvania’s “Lawyers on the Fast Track,” as selected by The Legal Intelligencer
- “Top firm in New Jersey for Corporate/M&A,” as selected by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business