Stradley Ronon’s health care practice represents a broad spectrum of health care companies, including providers, payors, managed care organizations and companies that supply specialized services and products.
We help our health care clients execute their strategic plans; assess, manage and mitigate risk; and succeed in litigation by providing sophisticated, solutions-oriented advice that is delivered in a clear and direct manner. We know that our job is – first and foremost – to help our clients achieve their goals. Whether advising on a bet-the-company transaction or a more routine matter, we listen carefully to our clients and tailor our representation to best achieve the desired outcome. Our health care practice consists of an integrated, interdisciplinary team of lawyers with deep experience representing clients in the health care industry.
Areas in which we help clients include:
Our attorneys are experienced in giving practical advice regarding compliance with all significant federal and state statutes and regulations, including the Stark and anti-kickback statutes, Medicare provider enrollment and recertification, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), regulations with respect to Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), Health Information Technology regulations, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) and state laws governing each of these areas.
Health Information Privacy & Security
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.
Health Care Finance
Our lawyers in the financial services group represent lenders to the health care industry in asset-based, cash flow, term-loan, and real estate single and multi-tranche lending transactions. The transactions in which we are regularly involved include working capital facilities to support the liquidity needs of assisted-living and skilled-nursing facilities, device manufacturers and distributors, and other providers of health care-related goods and services; acquisition financing to fund purchases of portfolios of skilled-nursing facilities through operations transfer and management agreements, including associated real estate; related HUD loan and intercreditor arrangements with health care facility operators and real estate owners; intercreditor arrangements involving operators, REITs and other landlords; and construction financing for medical office buildings, renovations and refits. Our health care finance team works closely with our health care regulatory attorneys in dealing with issues arising in our finance practice, including Medicare/Medicaid provider agreements and related audit issues; dual lockbox arrangements; licensing transfers and issuances; and change-of-control triggers and other matters related to change of ownership.
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Stradley Ronon’s health care team has 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 also assist in the structuring and formation of joint ventures among hospitals, physicians and other nonprofit and for-profit health care providers.
We handle a variety of civil health care investigations involving the Stark and anti-kickback statutes, the civil False Claims Act and applicable state laws. Our attorneys have represented companies before both federal and state regulatory agencies, and have extensive experience representing hospitals in connection with audits of payment claims. Whether the matter requires delicate interaction with government investigators, a voluntary disclosure or an aggressive litigation stance, our multidisciplinary group is well positioned to vigorously represent our clients.
Stradley Ronon’s commercial litigators represent health care clients in a broad range of commercial disputes. We are known for our innovative approaches to evaluating business disputes and setting a course for efficient, cost-effective resolution that achieves our clients’ objectives. Our litigators have a long track record of successfully defending hospitals, physicians, nurses and various other health care providers and entities faced with medical malpractice and professional liability claims.
Our attorneys have deep experience addressing the tax structuring, valuation and other needs unique to tax-exempt health care organizations. In addition to 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 for tax-exempt clients. Our lawyers have assisted tax-exempt clients in responding to tax audits and counseled clients on issues relating to intermediate sanctions, private inurement and private benefit. We have also obtained favorable rulings for tax-exempt clients from the IRS, as well as state and local agencies, on the tax consequences of various transactions.
Day-to-Day Legal Counseling
We regularly advise health care providers on strategic planning, new service development, risk management, physician recruitment, physician credentialing, peer review, and Medicare and Medicaid billing and reimbursement issues. Our attorneys also counsel health care clients on a full range of employment and labor law issues, including restrictive covenant issues, physician disputes and employment discrimination complaints, among others.
Similarly, our intellectual property lawyers have knowledge and experience in many facets of the biomedical arts, and regularly assist health care clients with drafting and prosecuting patent and trademark applications, filing copyright registration applications, protecting trade secrets and avoiding infringing the intellectual property rights of others.
We advise clients on all of the significant health care statutes enacted over the past six decades:
The Social Security Act Amendments of 1965 were passed, establishing the Medicare and Medicaid programs.
The Anti-Kickback Statute was passed, prohibiting the exchange or offer to exchange of anything of value in an effort to induce or reward the referral of federal health care program business.
The Stark Law was passed, prohibiting physicians from making referrals of designated health services to entities with which they, or their immediate family members, have a financial relationship, unless the relationship is covered by a statutory or regulatory exception.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was passed, creating national standards for the privacy and security of patient health information.
Both the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act and the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act (FERA) were passed. The HITECH Act strengthened HIPAA’s existing privacy and security requirements, and promoted and expanded the adoption of electronic health records by providers. FERA combated health care fraud by expanding the reach of the False Claims Act to a broader array of transactions.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed, providing a dramatic overhaul to the U.S. health care system.
We represent the full range of clients in the health care industry, including:
- hospitals and multi-provider networks
- academic medical centers and teaching hospitals
- acute care community and specialty hospitals
- durable medical equipment and other suppliers
- group purchasing organizations
- health plans
- health professional societies and associations
- home health and hospice providers
- hospitals and multi-provider networks
- long-term health care facilities
- commercial finance companies
- private debt and credit funds
- specialty finance companies
- managed care organizations
- payment professionals
- physician group practices
- provider and medical service organizations
- research compliance services
- retail pharmacies