Health Care Law
Dealing with the ever changing world of health care requires a very sharp law firm. There are literally 1000’s of health care related laws pending in the legislature right now. It takes many skills and talents to maneuver in the mind field of forever changing regulation. From hospitals and hospital systems, to insurance reimbursement, HIPPA payors, managed care companies, physician offices, pharmaceutical companies, academic and medical centers, government contractors, medical device and biotech companies, as well as new start ups, you need expertise and an interdisciplinary approach to provide strategic solutions to your complex legal challenges.
Whether your company deals with product development, managed care, medical contracting, or regulatory compliance, only attorneys who specialize in health care law really understand how to protect you and your practice. Our Health Care specialists are comprised of attorneys who devote most or all of their time solely to health care related legal matters. Additionally, many have previously worked for federal and/or state regulatory or enforcement agencies, which has allowed them to gain a unique perspective on how the agencies operate.
The attorneys who devote their time to the Life Sciences have tremendous knowledge and understanding of the health care industry, life science product development, regulatory demands, Sarbanes Oxley, and litigation risks. They represent clients who develop and market drugs, medical devices, diagnostic equipment, and biotechnology products and related services. Our lawyers know the cost of litigation and work hard to avoid the expenses and time of litigation, and work with the enforcement agencies to minimize risks and bolster the clients business.
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Health law is the legal discipline associated with federal and state laws, regulations, and legislation affecting the health care industry and its direct impact on patients, providers, insurance payers, and various vendors of the health care industry. Health law covers a wide range of areas, such as mental health, public health, medical care, and includes specific laws governing the health care industry in regards to physicians, nurses, hospitals, health maintenance organizations, health insurers, managed care companies and the direct relationship that exist among them and patients.
Government and Health Law:
Major improvements in medical care and medical technology have increased the life expectancy of people around the world by a considerable amount. Along with these medical advancements, countires around the world are continuing to see health care costs rise dramatically. In the United States, preserving public health care and reducing its costs is the primary duty of each state. Each state has the primary duty to regulate and oversee the health and welfare of its citizens. The federal government delegated these “police powers” to each state under the 10th Amendement of the United States Consitution. Health care regulations and laws are therefore almost always state based. Many states delegate the act of health care regulation to sub-govermental agencies such as state boards of health. These health boards are almost always created by state legislative acts.
There are also federally based health law agencies and advocacy groups. Federal health law focuses on the activity of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). HHS has many roles and administers a wide variety of agencies and programs, such as providing financial assistance to need based individuals, conducting medical and scientific research, providing health care advocacy services and enforcing laws and regulations related to human services. An important part of the HHS are the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which oversee the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The primary role of these medical assistance programs are to ensure that the elderly and need based individuals receive proper medical care.
The landscape of health care has changed dramaticlally over the past quarter century. Today, many people receive health care through health maintainence orgaizations (HMO’s). HMOs are are managed care entities which essentially create a triangle relationship between physician, patient, and a health insurance company. Physicians are paid a flat per-member per-month fee for basic health care services, regardless of whether the patient seeks those services. The risk that a patient is going to require significant treatment shifts from the insurance company to the physicians under this model. Because of the importance of these managed care entitities and the duty of care owed to patients by health care professionals, HMO’s are now bieng heavily regulated by the federal government.
Attorneys specializing in Health Law:
Attorneys specializing in Health law must have great insight and knowledge in areas such as Contract Law, Administrative Law, Law of Negligence (Medical Malpractice), Public Health Law, Law of Consent, Law of Ethics and many other legal areas that govern the existing legal obligations that exist between health care professionals and society. Attorneys specializing in Health law must be able understand and comprehend a system of complex and interlocking statutes, laws and policy regulations which seek to regulate health care and how its being administered to the public.
Individuals looking for an attorney specializing in Health law need to find someone who is well versed in the Health Maintenance Organization Act of 1973 and is able to perform tasks such as reviewing and negotiating contracts, defending professional licensing cases, reviewing Medicare and Medicaid audits, and participating in administrative hearings if called upon to do so. A good attorney specializing in Health law will also understand the subtle and complex differences between patient rights, health and medical violations, informed consent violations, Medicare and Medicaid fraud, and the medical employment contracts that ultimately govern health care professionals and organizations and the duty of care owed to society at large.
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