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The healthcare industry is in a state of flux

The rapidly changing healthcare environment is affecting vast numbers of patients and virtually every US business enterprise. The demands of patients, employers, insurers, and government that consistently high-quality healthcare services be provided at lower cost has caused significant change in healthcare payment systems. The most obvious change is a shift away from fee-for-service models to systems that increasingly tie the level of reimbursement to the quality of care provided (pay-for-performance systems). Whether healthcare delivery is a company’s primary mission or whether a company’s healthcare concerns relate solely to benefits provision and employee retention, a myriad of regulatory, financial, and operational issues must be considered by all companies.

Access to a multi-disciplinary team with deep industry knowledge

Led by a core group of veteran healthcare attorneys, the Jones Walker healthcare industry team includes attorneys from all of the firm’s major practice areas. Each member of our group has extensive experience in specific legal disciplines, as well as in-depth knowledge of today’s healthcare marketplace and regulatory environment. Together with our extended network of industry advisors, we can help clients meet virtually all of their legal needs.

A number of our attorneys have served as in-house counsel and senior legal officers for leading national and regional healthcare systems, insurance companies, and corporations with insured and self-insured employee health benefits plans. Jones Walker attorneys have also held senior management positions in single and multi-specialty physicians group practices. Members of the team have also held key positions in relevant federal and state government and law-enforcement agencies that oversee or investigate compliance with healthcare-related laws and regulations. This experience enables us to identify key legal and operational issues for our clients and quickly work to develop customized solutions that are not only cost-effective but also practical and efficient.

Our clients include hospitals, health systems, academic medical centers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and medical device companies. We also advise financial institutions, private equity investors, venture capital firms, and other parties involved in healthcare-related transactions. And on behalf of companies from virtually every sector of the economy, we provide counsel on healthcare issues that play a role in corporate decision making.

Full-spectrum counsel with a healthcare focus

Our healthcare industry team provides coordinated, comprehensive legal counsel while maintaining a strong focus on today’s healthcare issues. We advise clients in the following areas, among others:

Mergers, acquisitions, and corporate transactions

Our healthcare transactional attorneys help clients negotiate and close a broad range of deals, including strategic alliances, joint ventures, and divestitures, as well as provide guidance on the formation and launch of new entities. Similarly, we help employers with healthcare benefits plans identify existing agreements and regulatory requirements when conducting due diligence and negotiating the terms of a merger, acquisition, or other transaction.

Labor and employment

We help clients address matters involving healthcare provider and physician employment and contracting, executive compensation and employee benefits plans, and negotiate labor agreements with unions and other employee groups. We work with clients to develop, document, and enforce employment policies and provide a broad range of training on anti-discrimination, anti-harassment, health information privacy, and other issues that arise with respect to individual conduct in the healthcare context.

Regulatory compliance

Government-mandated healthcare reform and growing public concern over quality of care, healthcare costs, and data privacy have spurred increased oversight of provider and insurer activities. Our attorneys advise clients on the full range of regulatory matters, including compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, the False Claims Act, the anti-kickback statute, the Stark law, and self-referral laws.

Litigation and dispute resolution

When disputes arise with customers, vendors, and employees, or when a client is the target of an agency investigation or law enforcement action, our litigators and trial attorneys provide aggressive, intelligent defense in federal and state courts across the country. We regularly represent healthcare clients facing antitrust investigations, pharmaceutical and medical liability and mass tort claims, environmental and occupational safety complaints, and white-collar criminal prosecution, among other issues. We have specific experience in healthcare issues such as denial of coverage, medical malpractice, medical staff and physician issues, and insurance coverage. Under appropriate conditions, we help clients resolve disputes through negotiated settlements and in mediation and arbitration.

Taxation, tax reporting, and controversy work

We help clients identify appropriate tax structures for new business entities and subsidiaries and ensure compliance with tax laws related to health-insurance coverage, health savings accounts, and other mandated and voluntary programs. We work with companies to prepare and file tax returns and, should disputes arise with tax authorities, represent clients before the IRS and state and local taxing bodies, and in the US Tax Court.

Business consulting

As the healthcare industry has changed, so has the array of services Jones Walker can offer its clients. In addition to providing legal advice, our healthcare team attorneys are increasingly being engaged to provide support in areas that involve both legal and business consulting elements. For example, we routinely assist clients in the development of customized policies and procedures designed to operationalize our base compliance-related recommendations, often followed with on-site training of company employees. Our healthcare team also participates directly in the design and implementation of compliant and effective physician-compensation systems. We are also increasingly being asked to participate in our clients’ strategic and tactical planning activities, and to help develop and implement our clients’ tactical business objectives.

Providing value to our clients is top of mind

Ever mindful that we must add value at all times, we recognize that healthcare clients require high-quality service provided at reasonable rates managed by lean legal teams. We regularly work with clients to develop alternative-fee and other financial arrangements that share risks and rewards and allow us to be true partners. Put our healthcare industry experience to work for you, because when it comes to healthcare, we know your business.

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Publications

  • "FTC Closes Its Review of the Express Scripts and Medco Deal"
    American Bar Association Health Care and Pharmaceuticals Committee Recent Developments, March 2012
  • “The FTC Dismisses Its Lawsuit Against Omnicare After the Company Abandons Its PharMerica Deal”
    American Bar Association Health Care and Pharmaceuticals Committee Recent Developments, March 2012