The attorneys in Ward and Smith, P.A.'s Health Care Practice Group serve all types of health care providers including hospitals, physicians, pharmacists, dentists, chiropractors, mid-level providers, nurses, practice groups, home health agencies, ambulatory surgical facilities, diagnostic centers, medical billing companies, ambulance service providers, pharmacies, and skilled nursing facilities. These clients experience a continuous increase in the number and complexity of regulatory obligations with which they must comply – with no relief in sight. The attorneys in this practice group understand that our clients rely on us to assist them through the regulatory quagmire so that they can concentrate their efforts on what they do best: providing quality health care services and products.
Our attorneys are committed to staying informed about the latest developments in the law and in our clients' business operations to enable us to anticipate and quickly respond to our clients' needs. From antitrust and fraud and abuse issues to Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement compliance and patient privacy issues, health care providers bear national and state regulatory burdens. A number of federal laws are broadly applicable, including the Affordable Care Act, the Anti-Kickback Statute, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act ("EMTALA"), the Ethics in Patient Referrals Act (also known as the Stark law), and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ("HIPAA").
The North Carolina Professional Corporation Act, the North Carolina Limited Liability Company Act, the Certificate of Need ("CON") law, and regulations issued by the North Carolina licensing boards affect the operations of our health care clients. Our attorneys routinely deal with the regulatory agencies overseeing our clients, including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the North Carolina licensing boards, and the Office of Inspector General and Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We regularly appear in administrative hearings before the North Carolina Medical Board and the North Carolina Board of Nursing, which have the authority to sanction physicians and nurses, respectively. We also appear in administrative hearings before the Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals regarding Medicare overpayment appeals. Our attorneys often advise our clients on CON matters and obtain "no review" letters stating that our clients may proceed with their plans without the necessity for a CON.
The Affordable Care Act delivered health care reform on a national level. Our health care attorneys guide health care providers and employers through the Affordable Care Act to plan for the future. Services also include advice and counsel relating to licensing, medical records, taxes, real estate acquisitions and transfers, third party reimbursement, creditors' rights involving collections and medical liens, billing and coding, HIPAA, EMTALA, wage and hour disputes, Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission regulations, medical staff bylaws and privileges, joint ventures, managed care agreements, consulting agreements, and exclusive services contracts.
To keep clients current on changes and trends in health care law, we host quarterly lunch discussions with medical and dental practice managers across the state.
The attorneys in the Health Care Practice Group belong to several organizations relating to health care law such as the American Health Lawyers Association, the Health Law Sections of the American and North Carolina Bar Associations, the Medical Group Management Association, the North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants, and the North Carolina Society of Health Care Attorneys.