Hospitals and Health Systems
Ober|Kaler’s Health Law Group represents and advises individual hospitals and health systems (both proprietary and not-for-profit) in a wide variety of legal matters. We assist teaching hospitals, community hospitals, their various subsidiaries and their parents in a range of reimbursement matters, including counseling regarding payment rules and pursuing claims on their behalf in administrative and judicial proceedings.
We also assist hospital clients with the development and implementation of compliance programs that follow the standards in the Office of Inspector General's Compliance Program Guidance for Hospitals and that comply with the federal sentencing guidelines.
The firm representations include hospitals in connection with comprehensive health planning matters such as certificate of need application, as well as in obtaining determinations that projects may be undertaken without a certificate of need. The firm has a long-standing background representing hospitals in matters relating to state pricing regulation.
Our attorneys have extensive involvement advising hospitals with regard to their relationships with medical staff physicians. We represent academic hospitals in their hospital-faculty relationships, focusing on their tax-exempt status and the viability of their residency programs. Hospitals and health systems also turn to Ober|Kaler when disputes with members of their medical staffs arise and for help in ushering them through the corrective action and fair hearing processes associated with such disputes. We also represent hospitals and health systems in employment matters, including employee benefit and pension plans, labor law and employee relations, and employment agreements.
The firm has substantial experience in providing counsel to governing boards of hospitals and health systems. Our attorneys regularly sit with the board of directors of hospitals and health systems to provide advice and counsel in real time to our clients. This advice pertains to the fiduciary responsibilities of the board members in general, and particular advice regarding those responsibilities in certain situations such as oversight of pension programs. For our not-for-profit clients, we provide counsel regarding the formation and workings of compensation committees in order to avoid interim sanction exposure from the IRS as well as advice on completing and understanding the significance of the new Form 990 filing to the IRS.
We also have strong capabilities in handling all kinds of health care transactions. Several firm attorneys have been recognized nationally for their prowess in handling health care transactions. The firm has experience in the purchase and sale of hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers and other health care facilities. A key aspect of any such transaction in the health care field is understanding the complex regulatory environment in which such transactions are conducted. Ober|Kaler is a national leader in such regulatory matters and having that capability within the firm allows health care transactions to be conducted with fewer complications and delays.
Widely recognized for their health care antitrust expertise, our antitrust attorneys provide counseling and representation to hospital and health system clients on a wide variety of organizational issues including mergers; acquisition of physician practices; joint ventures among hospitals and between hospitals and physicians; and formation and operation of physician-hospital organizations and other joint contracting networks. We also have extensive experience with managed care contracting issues, including exclusive and selective contracting and tying and bundling of health care services. As to physician-hospital relations, the firm provides assistance with peer review and credentialing issues, contracting with hospital-based physicians, and disputes with physician-owned hospitals and outpatient centers. For non-profit hospitals involved in the purchase and resale of discount supplies and pharmaceuticals, the firm also provides counseling on the Non-Profit Institutions Act.