Health law is the federal, state, and local law, rules, regulations and other jurisprudence among providers, payers and vendors to the healthcare industry and its patient and delivery of health care services; all with an emphasis on operations, regulatory and transactional legal issues.
Contracts are a fact of life for all businesses. But many businesses have in-house attorneys or contract specialists that manage the review and negotiation of the terms and specific conditions of each contract. Smaller health care providers may not have the luxury of someone on staff to assist with contracting, someone who is particularly astute with contract language and pitfalls.
To evaluate and avoid some of the more common pitfalls, it is critical to review each contract in its entirety, whether the contract is to lease your office space, for internet service in your office, or rental of highly sophisticated medical equipment. Having an attorney familiar with healthcare law review your agreement is certainly one way to identify and avoid the most common pitfalls.
Some common contracts that health care providers may encounter include: read more
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and other similar “body hacking” treatments have expanded significantly over the years. With more and more people choosing alternative treatments to common ailments, these practices have experienced explosive growth in response to the demand. But what does it take to open one of these businesses and how risky can it be?
Understanding the Regulations
Healthcare businesses, especially in Florida, are heavily regulated. Even as a typically cash-only business, owners must stay aware of the ever-changing regulations. First, Florida and Federal anti-kickback laws affect cash-only businesses in regard to patient referrals. They also apply to laboratory referrals. Florida law has additional regulations against physician ownership in certain entities. In this case, ownership in an HRT business and a lab or pharmacy that you refer to could put you in violation of a number of Florida and Federal laws. While many HRT businesses offer other treatments that are not just hormones, the big draw is hormones, which are considered controlled substances. Prescribing controlled substances requires certain patient evaluation standards, prescribing standards, and pharmacy standards.
A company is considered a legal entity and recognized by both the IRS and the State. Depending on the number of owners and type of business, different options exist regarding entity type. Specifically, most healthcare businesses choose a limited liability company, corporation or a professional association, depending on the type of owner. Once you choose the appropriate type of entity, you’ll want to meet with your CPA to discuss taxation of the entity and how that affects the owners personally. Equally as important as choosing the right entity is ensuring that all corporate documents are appropriately buttoned up and protecting the owners.
As a business owner, you’ll need additional business, state, county, and city government licensure to do business. Florida has many counties, each with different rules. You may need local tax licenses depending upon your offerings and services as well. In addition to business licenses, you will need to either maintain a Florida medical license or contract a physician to treat patients.
Starting a successful practice begins months before with business planning. Develop a business plan for financing purposes, gather information regarding day-to-day operations, explore different financing options, develop a practice culture, assess bringing on any partners, and other practice considerations. You will also want to ensure that all of your patient and staffing policies are well thought out and comprehensive.
Trademarks and Branding
People recognize businesses by their logos, name, service, or specialists. Protecting your brand is just as important as building your business. Utilizing Federal or State trademark protections is just one method of building and creating your brand. This is at least a six (6) month process, so the earlier you evaluate your intellectual property, the better.
Once you’ve built the foundations of your new practice, protecting its assets should be high on your priority list.
In a high-earning business, you want to take all the necessary steps to ensure your business looks like and functions as an entity separate from yourself individually. With partners, the right agreements and actions will ensure that the company is treated as a legitimate entity.
While these are some of the biggest considerations, there are many more to opening and operating a successful HRT business.
Chances are, you hope you’ll never need the help of a Florida medical license lawyer. You just want to serve your patients with dignity and honor, without ever taking a break to deal with a lawsuit or legal complaint.
Unfortunately, even with the best Florida physician malpractice insurance program available, you may need legal help to save your business.
You may experience moments of uncertainty, where a choice could cause an error. A Florida medical license attorney might help if you’re dealing with:
Contract issues. Are you working long hours with no breaks? Is a lack of sleep impacting your work?
Interpersonal problems. Is workplace harassment impacting your ability to care for patients?
Licensing concerns. Are you able to attend continuing education classes to stay abreast of the latest developments?
Addressing any of these issues could keep common malpractice issues from occurring.
2. Represent Your Interests in Court
If you are facing a case, you’ll need a Florida medical license attorney more than ever. The consequences can be severe.
For example, one Florida pharmacist faced penalties of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. A lawyer could help defend you in a case like this and ensure you’re not punished for something you just didn’t do.
3. Clear Your Name
Plenty of websites allow consumers to search for malpractice claims against doctors. Presumably, the sites allow these patients to get better, safer care. As a doctor, they can ruin your reputation.
A talented medical license lawyer can work hard to defend your good name, so a frivolous lawsuit won’t stall your practice for a lifetime.
At Florida Healthcare Law Firm, we have a team of talented lawyers waiting to help you. Contact us to find out more.
Business law lawyers play an important role in protecting healthcare organizations. Through their work and expertise, lawyers ensure that executives make their concerns and demands well known. And lawyers also ensure that contracts are solid and clear, so everyone knows what to expect.
While a business law lawyer could help you with almost any type of problem, three issues tend to dominate our work at Florida Healthcare Law Firm.
3 Common Changes We Handle
When you’re working as a business law lawyer in Florida, you’re typically dealing with dozens of different clients with unique wants, needs, and capabilities. But strip away superficialities, and these clients tend to struggle with the same types of issues.
Acquisitions. Imagine this: You’ve just read about small pharmacies getting squeezed due to changes in Florida Blue plans. You’d like to buy one of these businesses. A business law lawyer could help you draft up an enticing and enforceable offer.
Partnership shifts. You started your business with a co-owner, and now that person wants to retire. A lawyer could help you craft an exit strategy and draw up new paperwork to change ownership legally.
Mergers. In healthcare, these deals are often huge. For example, the Teledoc and Livongo merger was worth $18.3 billion. A business law lawyer could ensure no mistakes are made in these high-stakes deals.
How to Work With a Business Law Lawyer
A legal professional is there to advise, guide, and protect you. Everything you share is protected. Hire someone you trust, so you can disclose documents and trade secrets freely without worry of theft or retaliation.
In addition to open communication, business law lawyers in Florida appreciate your discretion. If a lawyer is handling your case, don’t talk with the other party or the press. Let your team protect you and do the work you’ve hired them for.
If you’re ready to work with a discrete, professional team of business law lawyers in Florida, contact us at Florida Healthcare Law Firm. We work exclusively within the healthcare field, and we’re ready to start now. Contact us.
There have been a rise in cases recently, in which practices that operate under a Health Care Clinic License have been brought under scrutiny by insurance companies trying to recoup funds through any means possible. In an effort to claw back funds insurance companies are beginning to claim that medical directors are failing to meet their statutory obligations under Florida Law which in turn can have serious monetary repercussions. Due to the clinics allegedly failing to meet their statutory obligations the insurance companies are filing suit to recoup any payments made while violating the Health Care Clinic Act obligations, and to stall any future payments due until such cases are heard.
By law, a medical director must be a health care practitioner that holds an active and unencumbered Florida license as a medical physician, osteopathic physician, chiropractic physician, or podiatric physician. The type of services provided at a clinic may dictate who would be able to serve as a clinic’s medical director, because a medical director must be authorized under the law to supervise all services provided at the clinic.
Don’t face legal challenges alone. A business law lawyer can help you address problems head on, and together, you can craft programs to help you avoid future headaches. Learn how.
Far too many healthcare organizations believe they can head off legal challenges (or prevent them from cropping up in the first place) without the help of a business law lawyer.
As one of the top firms offering business law lawyers in Florida, we’re here to tell you this just isn’t true.
Every healthcare organization deserves competent, qualified legal counsel. Those that invest in help tend to experience far fewer complications than their counterparts do.
Let us explain.
3 Cringeworthy Medical Law Examples
A business law lawyer is concerned with the ins and outs of the way you run your organization. The details may seem small and insignificant. But get them wrong, and the consequences can be severe.
Here are three recent examples any executive would be wise to study:
Data sharing: A medical center in Chicago formed a partnership with Google to explore how technology could uncover hidden medical conditions. Patients allege that the documentation shared violated their privacy.
Crisis management: A hospital in Iowa faced many different lawsuits coming right after the other. The team allegedly attempted to bury the news, which became a reputation problem.
Employee spending: A hospital in Kentucky held back money from paychecks to cover health insurance premiums. Officials allegedly used the money for other purposes.
In some of these examples, a business law lawyer could have averted disaster. In others, counsel could clean up the mess and prevent future problems.
How to Hire a Business Law Lawyer
Plenty of legal professionals specialize in the details of corporate affairs. But medical teams need a little bit more. The rules and regulations that surround healthcare are obtuse, and an expert can do more than a novice.
If you need help from a business law lawyer in Florida, consider our firm. We have decades of combined experience in serving hospitals, health plans, and other affiliated clinics. We’d love to talk with you.
For physicians who are overwhelmed with legal issues this year, the outstanding attorneys at florid healthcare law firm will simplify even the most complex issues and spare you from unnecessary stress and financial burden.
Let’s face it…2020 has been a year of unprecedented challenges. The pandemic has shone a spotlight on the overwhelming medical-related issues faced by hospitals, physicians, dentists, practices and facilities throughout the country. Every decision you make as a medical professional now has additional ramifications. The consequences are daunting. Don’t waste precious time and money trying to navigate this field of legal headaches alone. At Florida Healthcare Law Firm we can guide you, advise you and ensure that all of your legal matters are handled with expert care. Why? The answer is simple: We don’t dabble in medical legal matters; we specialize in them. With more than 150 years’ collective experience, our expert team is ready to help with every type of medical-related business. From Covid-19 legalities, telemedicine and telehealth—which are hot issues right now—to managed care contracts, treatment center start-ups, selling or buying a practice, defense against a ZPIC audit, hiring and firing or interpretation of standard policies and procedures, we’re there for you every step of the way.
When you meet with a Florida Healthcare Law attorney, you’re guaranteed the best in the business—custom consultations with you, the client, in mind. After all, we’re the state’s first and only boutique legal business, so you get the service you want. We’ve helped small practices, $90 mammoth facilities, urban centers, rural hospitals, pharmacies, laboratories, durable medical equipment companies and ambulatory surgical centers. We’ve successfully negotiated financial raises and taken care of licensure, certification and accreditation issues. Why use up your time better spent with patients when you can schedule a complimentary appointment with our seasoned legal team and discuss your needs? You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, especially with our flat-fee pricing and a money-back guarantee. Lower your legal stress level this year; it’s one positive thing you can do to manage your medical business during this difficult time. Contact the professionals at Florida Healthcare Law Firm today.
Can an employer require employees to be vaccinated against influenza? And, a COVID-19 vaccine likely will be approved in the not-to-distant future. What about that vaccine when it becomes available? These are questions with which many organizations are grappling today. With the confluence of what is expected to be a very active influenza season and the ongoing and unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, employers are contemplating how best to protect their workforce and clients/customers/patients.
One of the most effective ways to achieve this is a mandatory vaccine policy, but is that right for your organization? Mandatory vaccination programs are not new. Depending on your business, a mandatory vaccine policy may be the industry norm. What factors should you consider? What processes would you need to develop to address exceptions?
CAN YOUR BUSINESS MANDATE VACCINATIONS?
In general the answer is yes. Although federal and state laws may vary, such programs are permissible provided any mandatory vaccination policy incorporates processes to address the required exceptions: medical accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA); and religious accommodations under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII). read more
In the beginning of June, 2020, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) revised its Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs Guidance Document. The Document is designed to assist prosecutors in making informed decisions as to whether, and to what extent, the company’s compliance program is effectivefor purposes of determining, when a compliance violation has occurred, the appropriate form of any resolution or prosecution and monetary penalty. It also guides a prosecutor as to the company’s compliance obligations contained in any criminal resolution. The Document has been revised on three occasions since 2017, telegraphing the DOJ’s intent to prosecute those businesses without compliance plans, or without effective compliance plans, more harshly than those taking steps to identify and remedy risks.
A healthcare business’ failure to have in place a compliance program designed to detect and respond to potential fraud and security risks places it at a serious risk of civil and criminal liability. When a compliance issue is investigated, charged and resolved, DOJ prosecutors are instructed to consider whether the business has invested in and improved its corporate compliance program and internal controls systems. They must also determine whether those improvements have been tested to demonstrate that they would prevent or detect similar misconduct in the future. According to the DOJ, there are three fundamental questions that a prosecutor should ask when determining whether a business’ compliance plan is sound:read more