Health care is one of the most complex and heavily regulated industries in Florida. As the industry has continued to expand, constant change has become the norm. Operating a health care business requires sophisticated legal counsel to navigate the many unique and complex challenges these entities encounter on a daily basis. Gunster’s Health Care lawyers are aware that this heavily regulated industry creates a variety of situations that can involve complex transactional and litigation challenges requiring state and federal regulatory experience.
Gunster’s Health Care law practice includes select attorneys and professionals who have medical and scientific backgrounds, as well as board certification in state and federal government and administrative law. This background helps our team to strive to deliver a unique perspective and dimensional knowledge when counseling clients. When appropriate, our Health Care attorneys draw upon the extensive experience of attorneys in other practices within the firm, such as guardianship, tax, corporate, labor and employment, immigration, business litigation, real estate and banking and financial services.
Gunster clients include a variety of health care industry participants, such as:
- For-profit and nonprofit hospitals, health care systems and academic and university medical facilities
- Individual practitioners, single and multispecialty physician groups and health care practices
- Nursing facilities, ambulatory surgical centers, assisted living facilities and home health providers
- Biotech, medical device, medical management and pharmaceutical companies
- Pathology and clinical laboratories, medical imaging centers and medical coding/billing companies
- ISNs, PHOs, IPAs, MSOs, HMOs, PPOs and ACOs
Our attorneys are dedicated to providing all types of state and federal regulatory advice and defense, including state licensure defense, fraud and abuse, antitrust, Stark law and HIPAA compliance. Gunster attorneys have advised clients on Medicare and Medicaid compliance, overpayment and recoupment. Members of the firm counsel clients on the practical application of policies and procedures relating to Federal Stark Law, Anti-Kickback, Anti-Markup and False Claims Act investigations. Our lawyers also provide legal counsel pertaining to health plan contracts and price fixing, and are involved in health care financing and leasing transactions with lending, banking and insurance institutions.
Gunster’s Health Care attorneys also represent physician groups, hospitals and other related organizations in a variety of traditional corporate transactions. These transactions include the purchase and sale of medical practices; integrated delivery system formation, mergers, acquisitions and affiliation agreements for medical groups and hospitals; and joint ventures between medical companies, hospitals and extended care facilities. Firm attorneys counsel clients regarding medical group/IPA organization and structuring, group formation and the integration of groups and provider networks to MSO, ACO and integrated delivery systems.
Gunster’s goal is to meet the needs of health care industry clients. Gunster structures hospital provider and risk compensation arrangements, provides regulatory advice, risk assessment and compliance strategies, as well as defends hospitals in an array of claims, including those pertaining to reimbursement, overpayment, risk funds, billing practices, RICO, antitrust violations and fraud. The firm negotiates and closes hospital purchase and sale transactions that involve extensive due diligence, licensing issues and Medicare/Medicaid certification. Our attorneys provide HIPAA advice and compliance. Our firm is committed to advising on employment related challenges and dispute resolution for a number of health care industry organizations.
Our litigators seek to resolve controversy utilizing alternative dispute resolution strategies before administrative agencies, in traditional litigation, at trial and on appeal. Our health care litigation lawyers endeavor to overcome conflict pertaining to insurance, health plan, managed care and nongovernment reimbursements; as well as covenants not to compete, risk fund discord and medical intellectual property claims. Gunster is retained to represent clients in Medicare investigations and whistleblower claims, fiduciary duty and health plan liability, as well as white-collar criminal defense.
Substantive areas of Gunster’s Health Care practice include:
- Professional licensure defense and applications
- Peer review and credentialing
- Bioethics, advanced directives, guardianships and health care proxies
- Joint ventures, under arrangements and co-management agreements
- Facility operations, risk management, EMTALA and AHCA compliance/defense
- Acquisitions and dispositions of physician practices and health care facilities
- Shareholder agreements, buy-in and buy-out, noncompete and other restrictive covenants
- Medical group income allocation and employment agreements
- Executive compensation and employee benefit plans
- Qualified and nonqualified plans of exempt organizations, including affiliated groups
- Physician and medical staff employment and consulting agreements
- Americans with Disability Act compliance
- “Qui tam” and whistleblower claims
- DEA, OIG and CMS reviews and investigations
- 403(b) and 457 plans
- Foundation and nonprofit counsel
- Health care contracts for providers and hospitals
- Purchasing, leasing and use agreements for physicians and hospitals
- Immigration issues for hospitals and other organizations, including inbound and outbound issues
- Labor and employment counsel and litigation
- Physicians group dissolutions and related disputes
- Joint ventures, mergers, acquisitions and dispositions
- Compliance and regulatory counseling
- Government affairs, legislation and lobbying
- Health information, including privacy and technology (HIPAA and HITECH)
- Real estate, including project development, leasing and construction contracts
- Landlord and tenant matters unique to health care facilities
- Environmental challenges, including medical and nonmedical waste management
- Medical malpractice defense
- Hospital and other provider patient account claims against health, automobile and PIP insurers, hospital liens and letters of protection
- Reimbursement and privileges disputes
- Service provider managed care litigation and reimbursement disputes with private and government payors, including Medicare, Medicaid, claims of lien and PIP recoveries
- Florida Patient Brokering Act, fee splitting and anti-kickback laws and the Patient Self-Referral Act
- Provider defense in federal fair debt reporting, fair debt collection and unfair and deceptive trade practices litigation