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Forward Looking: How to Prepare for 2021

November 24th, 2020 by

fhlfhealthcarebusinesslawBy: Chase Howard

With 2020 coming to a close, and COVID-19 still very much a concern for businesses, there are a number of things for healthcare businesses and practices to consider before the New Year.

Here’s a list of items to review:

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This Florida Healthcare Law Firm Can Spare You from Legal Headaches

November 23rd, 2020 by

Florida Healthcare Law FirmFor 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.

Strategies for Successful Implementation of Mandatory Vaccine Policy for Your Workforce (Part 2)

November 7th, 2020 by

fhlf mandatory vaccineBy: Karen Davila

Read part 1 previously published on 11/1/20. 

DOES YOUR BUSINESS NEED A MANDATORY VACCINE POLICY?

Given the above, does a mandatory vaccine policy make sense for your organization?  This may depend on several factors, including the following:

  • Are your employees in direct contact with clients/customers/patients?
  • Is that contact prolonged and in indoor spaces where air circulation may be limited?
  • If one or more of your employees become ill, does that jeopardize continuity of your business?

If you answer “YES” to one or more of these questions, you may want to consider implementing a mandatory flu vaccine.

MANAGING ACCOMMODATIONS

In order to effectively implement a mandatory vaccination policy, you must develop both the policy and the process to manage exceptions (i.e. requests for accommodations).  The process generally involves the submission of an employer-developed form along with any additional supporting documentation.  The accommodations process should include review of information submitted by the employee in support of the accommodation, request for additional information as and when appropriate, an interactive process between the employer and employee in evaluating any potential accommodation, and ultimately a determination if the requested accommodation poses an undue burden that is more than de minimis on the employer. read more

Strategies for Successful Implementation of Mandatory Vaccine Policy for Your Workforce (Part 1)

November 1st, 2020 by

fhlf mandatory vaccine for covidBy: Karen Davila

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

Dentist Employment Contracts

September 9th, 2020 by

https://www.floridahealthcarelawfirm.com/our-team/chase-howard-attorney-florida-medical-lawyer/By: Chase Howard

A dentist’s first employer agreement is just as important as their last one. While all contracts include basic terms regarding compensation and restrictions, many simply do not contemplate important terms that have impacts on Dentist’s daily lives. Understanding, and negotiating, your contracts is the most valuable investment you can make prior to entering into a contract.

To understand what’s in your employment contract, simply read it over a few times. To understand not only how those terms affect you, but also what isn’t in your contract, hire an experienced health care lawyer. read more

Physician Engagements: Who Do I Really Work For and Does it Matter?

September 11th, 2019 by

By: Randy Goldberg, Co-Counsel

I am a successful physician who works for a thriving practice that is affiliated with a local hospital or Ambulatory Surgical Center (“ASC”).  The hospital/ASC was so impressed with my professionalism and skills that they retained me to perform certain additional duties and services for them.  Of course, they are paying me for my time and services.  This is great, I love my work, I am generating two sources of respectable income – all is good.

Not so fast!

As can sometimes be the case, all is good while there is smooth sailing and while the money is coming in.  However, once there is a bump in the road, a hiccup in a procedure, or a third party employee files a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”); the Florida Commission on Human Relations (“FCHR”); Department of Labor (“DOL”) or any federal or state agency complaining about some alleged incident in their workplace. Their filing of a lawsuit can be against you individually, against your practice or against the hospital/ASC.  Not to mention, a lawsuit can be filed by a patient or third party against the practice or the hospital/ASC.  Then what? read more

Physician Employment Contracts: Hidden Terms

January 11th, 2019 by

physician employment contractBy: David Davidson

Over the past few years, it seems like physician employment agreements are getting shorter and shorter.  While I applaud all efforts towards efficiency and economy, you should not always take those documents at face value.  For example, I recently reviewed a one page employment contract for a client.  That single page basically said, “We are hiring you as our employee for a term of one year, with an annual salary of $$$.”

At first glance, the simplicity of that document might seem refreshing.  That’s especially true if you’re worried about how much time it’s going to take for your lawyer to get through it!  My client’s second glance revealed a multitude of unanswered (and essential) questions.  There was no mention of expected duties, schedules, standards, renewals, terminations, insurance, benefits, vacation time, sick leave, CME, etc. in the employment contract  However, when we reviewed the contract together, we discovered that although those points were not even referenced on that single page, they were still legally, “in there.” read more

The Reality of the “Economic Realities Test”

August 7th, 2015 by

contractBy: Valerie Shahriari & Jacqueline Bain

Across the healthcare industry, providers and healthcare businesses are consistently faced with the decision of whether to employ or contract with their workers.  Whether it’s a physician working with a group practice, or a marketer on behalf of a healthcare service, correctly structuring relationships between healthcare businesses and their workers is important.  For tax reasons, many workers strongly prefer to enter into independent contractor relationships.  However, simply calling oneself an independent contractor is not enough to solidify the relationship.  Many times, workers who call themselves independent contractors are actually employees in the minds of the government.  And sometimes, so-called “employees” with several part-time positions are actually viewed as independent contractors.

On July 15, 2015 the Administrator of the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) provided additional guidance regarding the application of the standards for determining who is an employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  The goal of the guidance is to help the regulated community in classifying workers and decreasing misclassification.  The Administrator’s Interpretation reviews the pertinent FLSA definitions and the breadth of employment relationships covered by the FLSA.  The Administrator’s Interpretation then addresses each of the factors of the “economic realities test”.

According to the Administrator, when determining whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor, the application of the economic realities factors should be guided by the FLSA’s statutory directive that the scope of the employment is very broad.  The FLSA’s definitions establish the scope of the employment relationship under the Act and provide the basis for distinguishing between employees and independent contractor.

The Supreme Court and Circuit Court of Appeals have developed a multi-factorial “economic realities” test to make the determination whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor under the FLSA.  The test focuses on whether the worker is economically dependent on the employer or in business for him or herself.  The factors include: read more

Governing Boards in Healthcare Organizations – Making Compliance Your Priority

June 10th, 2015 by

compliance manualBy: Jackie Bain

Does your healthcare entity have a governing Board? How involved is that Board in overseeing your business? Would your Board members be able to respond to questions about your business’ compliance-related activities? Recently, the Office of the Inspector General (“OIG”), in conjunction with a host of non-profit healthcare associations, released guidance on achieving compliance for healthcare governing boards. The guidance is not based on abstract principals of compliance, instead it points to applicable federal law, OIG guidance, case law, and sentencing guidelines.

Each and every healthcare organization, whether or not it accepts reimbursement from government payors, must have in place regulatory compliance measures designed to protect the population it serves, and the persons paying for and providing those services. All levels of a healthcare organization must be cognizant of their roles in the organization’s continuing commitment to compliance. Even Board members, who often do not experience the inner-workings of the entities they represent, have an obligation and duty to the organization to act in a manner that stressed compliance. Applicable federal and state laws, how they apply to an organization, and how the organization reacts to its obligations imposed by those laws, must be of paramount importance to a governing Board.

The OIG compliance guidance for healthcare Boards tracks 4 areas over which boards should have specific oversight: read more

Protecting Your Practice Through Restrictive Covenants

January 14th, 2015 by

Contract CWBy: Charlene Wilkinson

The beginning of a new year is a great time to evaluate your medical practice and determine ways to protect its healthy growth for the future.  The time, effort and dedication that it may take to build a successful practice may be quickly undermined without certain contractual protections in place.   As you seek to establish or expand your practice, it is essential to protect your hard earned efforts from employees and consultants taking a portion of your patient base, employees and valuable proprietary business processes to compete against you.

One of the ways physicians seek to protect the investment that they have made in their practice is through the use of restrictive covenants. Restrictive covenant is an all-inclusive term used to refer to all contractual restrictions upon competitive practices; nonsolicitation; confidential information and use of trade practices.  Restrictive covenants may be found in a number of documents related to your practice. A restrictive covenant may be found in your practice governing documents, such as the shareholder agreement, the partnership agreement of a partnership or the operating agreement of a limited liability company. A restrictive covenant is often included in an employment contract where it prevents an employee from engaging in certain competitive practices while they are an employee and for a period of time after their employment ends. There may be a restrictive covenant provision in a contract for the sale of a party’s interest in the practice. read more