At Jones & Keller, members of our healthcare practice have a combined 100 years of experience litigating commercial disputes. We count among our members the former Solicitor General for the State of Colorado; the former chief of the Colorado Attorney General’s Anti-Trust Unit; and the former general counsel for the Colorado Medical Board. Our lawyers represent Healthcare providers and others throughout the litigation process, from initial investigations and settlement efforts through state and federal trial and appeal. We also represent physicians, dentists, nurses, chiropractors, and other Healthcare providers in administrative hearings and peer review proceedings, and anti-trust issues when a physician is denied privileges or barred from a facility.
Healthcare providers and business owners rely on a wide range of insurance products: medical professional liability, physician regulatory liability, cyber liability, employee practice liability, directors and officers liability, fiduciary liability, commercial umbrella liability, workers compensation, plus business-owners and personal policies.
At Jones & Keller, our healthcare lawyers assist providers and practices groups with all aspects of their insurance relationships, including coverage disputes or claims.
In addition, we represent healthcare insurers with their business, litigation and regulatory needs. We also represent individual healthcare insurance policyholders. Members of our healthcare practice work closely with the Dentists Professional Liability Trust of Colorado and the Colorado Dental Association.
Our team has a deep and broad history of handling insurance issues and is well versed in the numerous insurance issues healthcare providers face. The lawyers in our healthcare group have worked for insurance companies and individual healthcare providers in insurance disputes, both as lawyers and expert witnesses. One member served as the Commissioner of Insurance for the State of Colorado, is frequently selected as an expert witness for plaintiffs or defendants in matters involving insurance coverage or bad faith and has taught healthcare systems at the University of Denver. Our healthcare practice also follows the emerging challenges within the healthcare industry through membership in the Colorado Group Insurance Association.
One of the most valuable assets a healthcare provider can build is a medical practice. Years of hard work create significant value in a medical practice. When it comes time to sell, merge or dissolve a medical, dental, physical therapy or other practice, it is essential to understand its true value and comply with any regulations specific to the healthcare industry.
At Jones & Keller, members of our healthcare practice assist with this process by reviewing managed care and other contracts and leases, assessing compliance with DEA requirements, protecting the privacy of medical records, assisting with patient notification and making sure that the transition does not violate the Stark or Anti-Kickback laws.
We also represent clients in disputes that result from the purchase, sale, merger or dissolution of a medical practice.
The healthcare industry is among the most regulated industries in the country. Healthcare providers must operate in compliance with a complex web of federal regulations — like HIPAA, Stark and Anti-Kickback rules – and similar state rules.
At Jones & Keller, members of our healthcare practice work closely with providers to make sure that their operations comply with these regulations. HIPAA sets privacy standards to protect patients’ medical records and other health information provided to health plans, doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers.
If complaints are filed, our litigators stand ready to represent you with the appropriate federal or state agencies.
Antitrust is another area of regulatory law that affects the business of healthcare practitioners. As the healthcare industry becomes more competitive and new practice models appear, care must be taken to avoid and protect against anticompetitive behavior.
At Jones & Keller, members of the healthcare practice provide clients with advice and counseling on the antitrust implications of business activities such as pricing; dealing arrangements and distribution networks; joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions; and trade organizations. We also develop antitrust compliance plans.
For more information about how our Healthcare business lawyers can help you, contact Jones & Keller at (303) 573-1600.
The business of healthcare is never more apparent than when a healthcare provider hires employees. Hiring employees creates an entirely different set of issues for doctors, dentists and other practitioners. In a healthcare practice, the recruitment, hiring, training, retention and termination of employees must be conducted in compliance with not only general business standards, but healthcare standards and regulations as well. Healthcare employees often have access to controlled substances as well as a patient’s personal and highly regulated medical records.
At Jones & Keller, members of our healthcare practice help providers and practices negotiate employment and separation agreements; comply with human resources laws and regulations; and respond to enforcement issues under state and federal Equal Employment Opportunity Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, and other employment laws and regulations.
We assist our clients with the creation of employee handbooks to serve as a complete record of the employer’s policies and procedures. We also help providers design and implement employee benefits and welfare benefits plans for their valued employees.
Our attorneys are experienced in assisting doctors and dentists in leaving the practice of medicine and dentistry either at the end of a career or after becoming disabled. We also represent clients in the full range of disputes that can result from the employment relationship – including claims for welfare benefits under ERISA, and employment discrimination claims.
Our healthcare law group includes attorneys who have served as the Director of the Colorado Division of Labor, the Deputy Director of the Department of Labor and Employment, and the Director of the Division of Employment and Training; an assistant Attorney General in charge of the Labor and Civil Rights Unit; an assistant attorney general in the Labor/Civil Rights and Litigation sections.
The relationship between a doctors and physician practice groups is typically covered by an employment contract. Most of these contracts include “non-compete” agreements designed to restrict a physician from practicing within a geographic area for a set number of years after the employment contract is terminated. Colorado and other states, however, have special rules that apply to non-compete agreements among physicians and practice groups.
At Jones & Keller, members of our Healthcare practice help physicians and practice groups create employment agreements that fairly protect their future interests. When it comes time for doctors and practice groups to part company, our attorneys are often able to craft solutions that protects the practice group’s legitimate market share, while minimizing the departing physician’s payment of damages. If a negotiated solution cannot be reached, our attorneys are experienced in representing either side in litigation.
Our Healthcare attorneys have represented physicians and others involved in disputes over non-compete agreements specific to the Healthcare industry. Our attorneys have worked in in the Labor/Civil Rights Unit of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office and served as co-chair of the Employment Law Section of the Boulder County Bar Association.
For more information about how our healthcare lawyers can help you with your employment issues and disputes, please contact Jones & Keller at 303-573-1600.
While most Healthcare providers and practice groups would prefer to focus on providing care to patients, one reality of the Business of Healthcare is that business disputes often arise. Like other businesses, a Healthcare practice may be exposed to many of the same day-to-day business disputes as any other business. Additionally, the Business of Healthcare has its own unique issues, such as compliance with state and federal Healthcare regulations and peer review proceedings.
These can include disputes over:
Among the most valuable assets of most healthcare providers, including doctors, nurses, dentists, physician assistants, chiropractors and others, is his or her license. A provider’s license is essential to his or her professional reputation and livelihood. The loss or restriction of a medical license can have devastating results for all healthcare providers. Even the most prudent physician nurse or other provider can face inquiries from the Medical Board. Threats to licensure, including Medical Board complaints and peer review actions, must be taken seriously and addressed promptly.
Healthcare providers can face disciplinary actions from state Medical Boards for numerous reasons, including allegations of negligence, malpractice or substandard practice, inappropriate or excessive prescribing, sexual misconduct, mental or physical disabilities or illness, use of drugs and alcohol, fraud, and criminal convictions. Violations of the state Medical Practice Act can result in revocation, suspension, probation and fines. A provider who is subject to discipline from the state Medical Board can also face issues with hospital privileging and peer review actions. Similarly, doctors and nurses facing peer review issues can face discipline from the state Medical Board.
At Jones & Keller, our healthcare lawyers are adept at helping healthcare providers through all stages of the disciplinary process before both the Medical Board and peer review proceedings. If a Medical Board complaint is filed, an effective initial response can clear the air and help avoid or minimize formal action. If the matter proceeds to a formal disciplinary hearing before an administrative law judge, we provide skilled representation.
Our lawyers have represented several of Colorado’s regulatory bodies, including the Colorado Medical Board, the Colorado Boards of Dentistry and Nursing Home Administrators. We have also successfully represented practitioners before these and other boards, including the Colorado Board of Nursing.
Credentials and privileges are essential to the practice of medicine at hospitals and other healthcare facilities, and to acceptance by many insurance panels. Credentials and privileges control where physicians practice and what procedures they can perform.
At Jones & Keller, we represent healthcare providers who face credentialing, privileging and peer review issues – especially when these issues involve due process.
A Colorado hospital suspended the privileges of a physician. The hospital took years to conduct a hearing. Jones & Keller represented the physician in a suit against the hospital alleging that the hospital failed to follow its own by-laws that required a fair and timely review. Jones & Keller’s representation resulted in an appellate decision in the physician’s favor.
Our familiarity with the peer review process also allows us to ably advise healthcare facilities involved in peer review, to make sure that all proceedings comply with the policies and procedures of the medical staff bylaws.
Unfortunately, the peer review process is sometimes used by a hospital for economic rather than quality-of-care issues – to retaliate against an entrepreneurial healthcare provider who is seen as actually or potentially competing against the hospital or an influential practice group.
At Jones & Keller, we represent healthcare providers who feel that they are being disadvantaged in the peer review process by larger competitors. These include individuals, practice groups, provider-owned facilities like surgery and imaging centers, and practitioner joint ventures such as independent practice associations.
Jones & Keller’s healthcare group includes the former chief of the Colorado Attorney General’s Antitrust Unit and the former counsel for the Colorado Medical Board’s Committee on Anti-Competitive Conduct. Our attorneys represent clients in federal, state judicial proceedings and administrative and hospital proceedings that involve issues of fair competition.
For more information about how members of the Jones & Keller Healthcare Litigation practice can help you, please contact Jones & Keller, at 303-573-1600.