Whether you are a hospital, physician group, healthcare provider, or a company that serves provider organizations, you know that the demands on the health sector are complex. At Friday, Eldredge & Clark, our healthcare practice encompasses a wide range of legal services to address not only issues that arise in the highly-regulated healthcare industry, but also the counsel to handle business operation needs as well.
Our healthcare lawyers have the insight, capability and experience to effectively address the complex issues inherent in the highly-regulated healthcare industry, including regulatory and compliance matters, contract negotiations and preparations, reimbursement issues, and audit reviews and appeals.
Our firm also represents clients in mergers and acquisitions; financing and restructuring; corporate, regulatory and strategic counseling issues; litigation defense; physician compensation; and labor and employment matters.
Focused on Clients
We represent hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, physician groups, insurers, individual practitioners, ancillary service providers, nursing facilities and foundations. Our clients include such well-known entities as:
- American Physicians Management
- Arkansas Children’s Hospital
- Arkansas Children’s Hospital Foundation
- Arkansas Colleges of Health Education
- Arkansas Surgical Hospital
- Arkansas Urology, P.A.
- Ashley County Medical Center
- Baptist Health
- Baptist Health Foundation
- Bowen Hefley Orthopedics
- Chicot Memorial Medical Center
- Children’s Healthcare Systems, Inc.
- Conway Regional Medical Center
- Drew Memorial Hospital
- Habilitation Centers, Inc.
- McGehee Hospital Incorporated
- Medical Associates of NWA
- Medical Assurance/A Proassurance Company
- Medical Mutual Insurance Company
- Medical Protective Company
- Merck & Company, Inc.
- OrthoArkansas, P.A.
- Orthofix, Inc.
- Ouachita County Medical Center
- Pfizer, Inc.
- Radiology Associates
- Radiology Oncology Associates
- Unity Health
Focused on Services
Regulatory compliance - The healthcare industry is one of the most regulated in our economy, and careful attention is required to navigate through the complexities. Our team of healthcare attorneys will work with you to understand the state and federal regulations that are unique to the industry. We will also work with you to develop a compliance program tailored for your organization, perform internal audits, and advise on complex compliance issues and procedures.
Enrollment and accreditation - Our team of attorneys is experienced in assisting with the following matters:
- Physician and other health professional disciplinary and regulatory proceedings
- Enrollment, licensing and certification
- Practice management groups, preferred provider organizations (PPOs), independent practice or physician associations (IPAs) and professional associations
Privacy and security - Our healthcare attorneys have broad experience in advising clients regarding federal and state privacy laws including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). We currently represent more than one hundred (100) healthcare clients on matters concerning HIPAA compliance.
Fraud and abuse - Our team of attorneys will work in defending and managing audits, investigations, and potential violations of the False Claims Act, Anti-Kickback laws, Stark Law, and the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA). We are also able to provide a defense team that can vigorously represent you or your organization should you be named in a qui tam (or similar) suit, and assist with complying with corporate integrity agreements.
Government regulations - Public policy issues concern health care providers and provider organizations. We can help you shape the regulatory landscape through:
- Statutory and regulatory drafting, review, and monitoring
- Representation before federal agencies
- Auditing and Reimbursement
Because numerous areas of government are working hard to prevent and actively fight fraud, waste and abuse, so are we. We are skilled in working with providers to address their Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement issues. Our team is also equipped to handle your appeals, whether the audit originates from the Medicare Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC), Zone Program Integrity Contractor (ZPIC) and or Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC).
Litigation - If you are faced with a problem, we will help you work to resolve it. Our ethical, aggressive, cost-effective litigation services include assistance with all areas of conflict resolution, including representation in government regulatory actions, medical staff controversies, medical malpractice litigation and product liability concerns:
- Representation of hospitals, doctors, and other providers in medical malpractice cases
- Representation of ethical pharmaceutical manufacturers in class action product liability cases
- Representation of medical device manufacturers in product liability cases
Qui Tam - The False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729, et seq., provides a cause of action on behalf of the United States against a person or entity that knowingly submits a false or fraudulent claim to the United States. These are commonly referred to as qui tam actions and are brought by an individual, known as a relator, who sues on behalf of the United States. Typically, qui tam actions are filed by people with insider knowledge of allegedly false claims, and often involve health care, military, or government spending programs.
Labor and Employment - With our strong focus on representing hospitals and other health care providers, Friday, Eldredge & Clark knows how to identify the problems that can become employment lawsuits. Our teams work to prevent problems or resolve controversies with issues involving:
- Physicians contracts
- Employment agreements
- Credentialing, disciplinary and regulatory proceedings
Employee benefits and executive compensation - You know that to hire and retain the skilled professionals you need, you must strive to combine effective compensation strategies with competitive employee benefits plans. Our lawyers understand competitive industry conditions and can provide benefits and compensation advice tailored to your operational needs in such areas as:
- Qualified retirement plans
- Non-qualified deferred compensation plans
- Executive compensation arrangements
- Health and other welfare benefits plans
- ERISA controversies and litigation
- Cafeteria plans
Hospitals/provider operations and management - On the operations side of the healthcare industry, our attorneys can provide counsel in the facility operations, contracting, managed care and risk-sharing.
We also provide counsel on executive compensation and benefits packages, including advice to non-profits and design and compensation plans designed to meet the special tax rules applicable to foundations and Section 501(c)(3) organizations.
Our firm represents hospitals and physician groups in a wide variety of corporate matters. Our experience includes the formation of various types of entities such as nonprofit and for-profit corporate corporations, professional associations, limited liability companies, and professional limited liability companies. We also provide representation in drafting bylaws, operating agreements, shareholder and member agreements, practice acquisitions, integration arrangements between hospitals and physician practices and co-management agreements between hospitals and physician practices. We have formed clinically integrated networks of hospitals and physicians and helped our hospital and physician clients navigate the ever-changing regulatory landscape.
Transactions - A multi-disciplinary approach is required when a healthcare institution undergoes organizational changes. Providers trust our firm to make sure that mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and contracting arrangements comply with all aspects of antitrust requirements and related fraud and abuse enforcement and regulation. In addition, our team will address issues that might affect the transaction such as Medicare and Medicaid issues, tax and ERISA issues and issues relating to bonds.
The firm has extensive mergers and acquisitions practice, including experience with the acquisition and disposition of hospitals, surgery centers, practices and other ancillary service providers.
Our team can assist in forming practice groups and joint ventures for ambulatory surgery centers, hospitals and other ancillary service providers.
Focused on our Team
With our firm as your health law counsel, you will have a close, collaborative relationship with lawyers who are at the top of their profession.
Our healthcare lawyers have the insight and capability to effectively address your business, administrative and legal needs.