(Frequently Asked Questions)
Q. What is a Healthcare compliance and regulations law firm and why would one need to hire one?
- It is law firm that specializes in healthcare law. Federal and state governments highly regulate the healthcare industry. Therefore, it’s important that healthcare companies hire attorneys who are abreast of the current changes in healthcare laws to ensure that their businesses are compliant.
Q. Do you offer services to general businesses?
- Yes. While this is primarily a healthcare firm, we service various types of businesses. We offer services that can be used by general businesses, such as drafting and reviewing contracts, filing incorporation and limited liability company documents, etc.
Q. What kind of healthcare businesses do you service?
- Any company that files for reimbursement from the federal Medicare/Medicaid programs can benefit from our services. For example, hospitals, physician groups, nursing homes, ambulance services, home health companies and physical therapy companies to name a few. Basically, if your company files for reimbursement from the federal government, then we can help you.
Q. Do you offer legal services to individuals?
- Yes. We prepare documents that are related to healthcare, such as Last Will and Testaments, Advanced Directives for Healthcare (Living Wills), Powers of Attorney. When a person would like to have their healthcare decisions known to their family, an Advance Directive for Healthcare can be drafted to ensure that your wishes will be followed in case they cannot speak for themselves. Also, when individuals want to ensure that their financial affairs will be taken care of in the event that they become incapacitated, then they can assign a Power of Attorney to a trusted person.
Q. Your firm offers customized compliance consulting what is that?
- The federal government requires hospitals, physician practices, home health agencies, nursing homes and ambulance services to have an effective compliance program in place to demonstrate that they are fostering a culture of compliance with federal laws. An effective compliance program is not simply having a set of policies and procedures sitting on a shelf. It must be an active program of which employees are aware and follow. There are 7 elements to an effective compliance program. Some elements are: (1) Having a Code of Conduct; (2) Monitoring and Auditing medical records to ensure accurate billing and coding; and (3) Having policies and procedures in place to report compliance violations. Our firm can customize a plan for your company to ensure that your company is complying with government regulations.
Q. (a) I’m a healthcare business owner. Can't I just assign an employee to handle compliance issues for my business? (b) Doesn’t it cost a lot to hire your firm?
- (a) Yes, you can assign an employee to handle compliance issues for your company. However, even if you have the most dedicated employee assigned, many times these employees also have other duties and become overwhelmed with responsibilities. Thus causing some compliance issues to be missed. Also, conflict of interest issues may arise within a company and your employee may not want to report compliance issues if it involves a friend or colleague. Our firm will offer: (1) Education and training to your employees; (2) Have a centralized location for compliance documents; (3) Offer an Anonymous Compliance Hotline for employees to report compliance issues; (4) Launch unbiased internal investigations when compliance issues arise; (5) Perform federal Exclusion checks; (6) Monitor medical charting and billing; and (7) File disclosure reports when compliance violations occur. Since healthcare law is our specialty, you can be assured that we will only be focused on keeping your company compliant with the laws.
- (b) Hiring our firm will cost money. However it will likely cost less to hire our firm now to ensure continued compliance versus taking the risk of committing violations that may cost you more money in the end. For example, if the government has cause to believe that your company has committed compliance violations and launches an investigation, then you will likely have to hire an attorney for representation. And if it finds that your company has committed compliance violations, then the fines and penalties may cost you thousands or millions of dollars. However, if you hire our firm now to deal with compliance issues as they arise, then you will likely save money in the long run. So, think of hiring our firm as a preventive measure to possibly reduce costs in the future.
- Even if you feel that you already have an effective compliance program in place, the laws are constantly changing. Therefore it would be prudent for you to retain our firm for consultation, advice and representation on an as needed basis for future issues that may arise.