Health Care Litigation & Regulation | Fennemore Craig
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Overview

We have represented a number of private hospitals in the Mountain West, either directly or through insurance carriers. We have extensive experience representing for-profit and non-profit health care clients in a broad range of areas, including medical negligence defense, commercial litigation, antitrust, e-discovery, business and financing transactions, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, governmental relations, licensure, credentialing and other professional matters, including intellectual property, employment, immigration and labor relations. Our clients include acute care hospitals and multi-facility hospital systems, in-patient and out-patient behavioral health facilities, health maintenance organizations, physician groups, individual health care providers, long-term care facilities, medical associations, pharmaceutical companies, medical device companies, research organizations and universities, and retail health services.

  • Administration, Legislation, Regulation and Appeals

    Our attorneys advise health care clients on regulatory matters involving federal and state agencies, provider agreements and contract review, medical staff organization and credentialing, Joint Commission accreditation, environmental permits and enforcement actions, antitrust issues, National Practitioner Databank issues, health care facility and professional licensure, HIPAA and confidentiality/medical records matters, and local licensure and permitting. In addition, our attorneys advise health care clients on transactional matters involving mergers and acquisitions, financing, legal opinions, business structure and governance, analysis under federal and state self-referral laws, including Stark and Anti-Kickback, corporate practice of medicine and certificate of need issues. Our attorneys also assist physicians and physician group practices in group practice, employment and regulatory matters.

    We have experience with health care provider and insurer liens and reimbursement claims, Medicare Secondary Payer issues and mandatory Medicare reporting under Section 111 of the Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007, Medicaid and Medicare enrollment and changes of ownership (CHOWs). We have represented health care clients in connection with audits and surveys by state and federal agencies, including responding to Statements of Deficiency, preparing Corrective Action Plans and negotiating settlements where sanctions have been imposed. Our attorneys also advise hospitals regarding the authority of statutory surrogate decision-makers for treatment or end of life issues. We have also assisted with the court appointment of guardians and conservators for incapacitated patients in connection with their hospital discharge. We also have substantial experience handling appellate matters before federal and state courts, administrative agencies, and regulatory boards and commissions. Our appellate work has included significant matters related to health care litigation and regulatory matters. In addition, our attorneys have assisted HMOs and health insurers in Nevada in obtaining Certificates of Authority and regulatory compliance.

    We were instrumental in formulating and passing legislation resulting in the deregulation of the hospital industry in Arizona and permitting Maricopa County to privatize the County Hospital. Other legislative issues in which we have been involved include medical malpractice and tort reform, managed care and hospital regulation, non-profit operations, patient rights and grievance/appeal procedures. In Nevada, we are active in the Nevada legislature representing such clients as the Nevada Hospital Association, Association of Dental Service Organizations, as well as medical practice management companies, pharmacy benefit providers and health insurers.

  • Business Litigation, E-discovery and Antitrust

    We represent clients in quality of care and risk management issues, staff privilege matters, product liability, personal injury and business tort actions. We represent health care related organizations in labor and employment and workers’ compensation litigation. Our environmental practice represents health care clients against claims of toxic chemical exposure. We have extensive experience representing major pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers and has been involved in litigation for heart valves, hip and knee replacements and other prosthetic and medical devices. Pharmaceutical litigation has included representation of the manufacturers of Prozac and Fen-Phen, among others. Our attorneys also have substantial experience in electronic discovery issues including advising clients on legal holds and preservation, identification, collection, processing and production of electronically stored information (ESI). Our attorneys focus on assisting clients with both pre- and post- litigation planning including document and records retention policies, litigation hold policies, and the creation of in-house e-discovery teams, as well as assisting clients with the development, implementation and management of a strategy for collecting, reviewing and producing ESI through the discovery phase. Our involvement in antitrust matters has included advice and legal documentation services on the formation of physician groups and preferred provider organizations, monitoring and defense of federal antitrust investigations for physician groups, representation of a hospital employee in an antitrust grand jury investigation, and conducting antitrust audits. We have also represented hospitals and physicians in antitrust actions arising from peer review proceedings, and has represented health care providers and other health care industry participants in private civil antitrust actions and in state and federal enforcement investigations.

  • Corporate, Commercial and Non-Profit

    Our commercial section provides broad-based support and a depth of experience in business matters involving for-profit and non-profit health care clients. Our attorneys offer assistance with an extensive range of commercial transactions, including formation of professional corporations, prepaid health plans and other business entities; financing transactions (including tax-exempt financings); equipment leasing transactions; real estate acquisitions and sales; and tax issues (including tax issues of special concern to tax-exempt health care clients). We have represented hospitals and other health care providers on joint ventures, strategic alliances and securities offerings. We have significant experience representing health care clients in mergers and business acquisition transactions.

     

    Our construction group within the firm’s commercial section is active with matters involving hospital design and construction, with expertise in the structuring and administration of design and construction contracts from the hospital perspective. Our construction group offers assistance with structuring solicitations for procurement of design professionals and contractors, advice during selections, and negotiating terms of lender construction disbursement requirements to conform with contract requirements.Our construction attorneys have extensive experience assisting hospitals with resolution of disputes arising from construction, ranging from liens to course of construction disputes, and defects first appearing after completion as well as during hospital operations. Representative engagements include representation of a non-profit hospital and its affiliates with transactional, real estate and construction matters involving integration of operational issues unique to the health care industry, including the sale of a large health maintenance organization. Our attorneys have developed contracts for a major, multi-phase hospital expansion project, as well as developed equipment leasing program documents for a large non-profit hospital system with facilities in the Southwest and West.

  • Intellectual Property

    Our attorneys have significant experience in negotiating and preparing licensing and distribution agreements in the U.S and around the world. We assist clients in all aspects of intellectual property, including patent, trademark, trade secret, trade dress and related rights. We can litigate if necessary, but we seek to avoid litigation where possible by identifying and protecting intellectual property in commercial transactions, including licenses, joint development agreements, and e-commerce strategies.
  • Labor and Employment

    Our Labor and Employment attorneys provide counsel in virtually all aspects of the employment relationship. We work with clients to develop programs designed to improve and define employment relationships and reduce the likelihood that disputes will arise. In the event that disputes occur, we regularly represent our clients in labor arbitrations, wage and hour issues, employment contract disputes, discrimination matters and in contested cases in state and federal courts. In addition, we appear frequently on behalf of clients before federal and state administrative agencies.
  • Medical Negligence Defense and Representation of Health Care Professionals

    Our representation of hospitals, physicians, nurses and other health care providers throughout the Southwest and West encompasses decades of experience defending claims of medical negligence, wrongful death, elder abuse, negligent peer review and staff privilege processes, and other claims. Several of the attorneys and nurse consultants in the medical negligence practice group are licensed health care professionals. Our clients range from large hospital systems to smaller community hospitals and non-profit entities which provide health care services. Case experience is vast, involving such medical specialties as orthopedics, obstetrics, neonatology, pediatrics, radiology, emergency medicine, psychiatry, surgery, neurosurgery, neurology, anesthesiology, internal medicine, cardiology, behavioral health, elder abuse, and many other areas. Our attorneys also have substantial experience in physician credentialing, peer review and hospital risk management processes, the scope of physician-patient and attorney-client privileges, issues relating to claims of actual and ostensible agency in the health care context, and Medicare reporting and secondary payer issues. We represent physicians before the Arizona Medical Board and the Arizona Board of Osteopathic Examiners. We also represent a wide variety of other health care providers before their respective state licensing boards.

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