The health care industry continues to undergo rapid change impacted heavily by technology, competition, and especially government regulation.
Regulatory compliance alone has created increasingly rigid and pervasive guidelines in all areas of health care, particularly pertaining to physician compensation and investments as well as to the operations of hospitals, nursing homes, and other patient care providers. At the same time, heightened competitive pressures have hastened consolidation within the industry, primarily through mergers and acquisitions, increasing the business and legal complexity of the industry exponentially.
At Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP, our health care attorneys keep pace with and anticipate these changes. We provide both transactional and regulatory representation to health care industry clients, partnering with them to keep them both competitive and compliant.
A principal focus of the health law practice has been the structuring and implementation of acquisitions and mergers, joint ventures, integrated delivery systems, and restructurings for numerous health care professionals and institutional health care providers. The Health Care Practice Group has been involved in negotiating and consummating complex and innovative transactions involving physician practices, hospitals, nursing homes, ambulatory surgery centers, assisted living facilities, durable medical equipment suppliers, technology companies, and other health care-related entities. The pace of transactional work for the firm’s clients has accelerated in recent years as the health care industry has been consolidating in response to managed care and health reform initiatives. These activities often bring together all disciplines of the firm, including lawyers specializing in tax, antitrust, insurance, employment, intellectual property, securities, financing, litigation, and general corporate work.
The Health Care Practice Group also regularly assists clients in developing, implementing and monitoring regulatory compliance programs and in responding to criminal and civil investigations. The firm has represented a variety of providers in civil and criminal investigations brought by federal and state regulators. We have also represented and advised providers in connection with False Claims Act litigation, including qui tam cases. Areas of emphasis in the regulatory compliance arena also include compliance with Stark and anti-kickback legislation; EMTALA and HIPAA compliance; licensure and medical staff issues; corporate practice of medicine; certificates of need; hospital/physician affiliations; and regulatory issues related to advances in health care technology. Also, the firm has considerable experience in working with health planning agencies and in administrative litigation and judicial appeals of health planning controversies, having litigated certificate of need matters involving virtually every type of regulated project and service.