Go-To Advocates for the Healthcare Industry
Experience. Expertise. Exceptional representation.
In the ever-evolving and highly regulated healthcare industry, litigation threats and challenges abound. Working collaboratively with other members of the firm’s extensive Healthcare Industry Group, McAfee & Taft’s experienced team of healthcare litigators actively represent, counsel and advocate for clients to resolve a broad range of business and operational disputes and threats, including regulatory compliance matters, professional and staff licensing issues, insurer and government audits, civil and criminal investigations, and commercial contract disputes.
Representing businesses in the healthcare industry requires understanding that clients are not a “one size fits all,” that each client is unique, and that each client’s litigation circumstance will present unique challenges that requires our litigators to think outside the box to reach a successful resolution. It also requires our litigators to have an understanding of the complex regulatory environment in which healthcare businesses operate. Our litigators are aided in this respect by McAfee & Taft’s cooperative and integrated firm structure, which ensures a team-driven approach to all litigation matters and permits litigators to work alongside our attorneys who have the deep regulatory expertise necessary to inform litigation strategies.
Hayley Myers: One of the things that we bring to the table is that we’re a really diverse group with a multitude of different experience. So we have attorneys that are really specialized in HIPAA compliance and transactions and the fraud and abuse litigations. So I think with that multitude of experience and the collaborative environment that our healthcare practice group has, we’re able to meet all the needs that our healthcare clients have.
Terra Parten: The practice of medicine itself is a challenge, right? And then you add in the complexity of running a business, and then you add in the complexity of healthcare regulatory landscape and all of the landmines that are out there. And so you take that and then you take into account that the government has dedicated so many resources to ferreting out what they call fraud and abuse. Where we come into play is helping them navigate these minefields and figuring out how can you structure your business arrangements and your relationship in a way that complies with the law, but also achieves your business objectives.
Patricia Rogers: Another significant part of our practice is litigation that relates to government investigations, typically, billing federal healthcare programs, Medicare, Medicaid, Tricare and those programs. Rick Mullins has developed an extensive practice in this area, along with Ron Shinn, Curtis Thomas and others within McAfee & Taft, depending on how the litigation or the investigation proceeds, handling settlements, self disclosures, and other matters with the Department of Justice and the Office of Inspector General.
Rick Mullins: So what has caused us to have to develop the expertise in the litigation for healthcare, is the fact that over time government has more and more heavily regulated healthcare. And that really started in the 1980s and by the mid to late 1990s had taken off. And so the government as part of all the regulatory framework that’s been put into place, more and more the Department of Justice, the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services have conducted the investigations to make sure that Federal funds are being used appropriately. And there’s not any fraud and abuse.
There is nothing good about a government investigation and the results can be catastrophic. First of all, even if the government investigates a practice and finds that there’s nothing that they need to do further, other than just, they’ve taken a look. For the client, it’s very expensive, it’s emotionally overwhelming, because your business and your livelihood are at stake. Oftentimes if there are criminal implications to a matter, a client can be looking at the potential for going to jail or even if there aren’t necessarily criminal implications, if the government determines there’s been fraud and abuse, the government can decide that the provider should be excluded from providing services and being paid for government programs. And so, so many providers now have a large percentage of their business that is constituted by government payment programs. And so a government investigation can be catastrophic on a number of levels.
Captioning/transcript provided by Rev.
August 5, 2021