Academic Medical Centers
We have experience representing medical schools, teaching hospitals, faculty practice foundations and research institutes. Our attorneys have assisted such academic medical centers with respect to a wide variety of legal, regulatory and corporate issues. In addition, our attorneys have assisted academic medical centers in a wide range of disputes, including governmental investigations and intellectual property matters.
Ambulatory Surgery Centers
Every year, more than eight million surgeries are performed in Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs) throughout the country. We represent one of the largest providers of ambulatory surgery services in the United States, as well as smaller providers operating on local or regional levels. Our firm has experience in the acquisition, disposition or restructuring of ambulatory surgery centers in both single and multi-facility transactions. In addition, we have provided counsel in over 50 ASC syndications. The firm's transactional experience is complemented by its comprehensive knowledge of the complex regulatory environment in which ASCs operate. This depth of experience is critical to ensuring smooth and efficient transactions in what is considered one of the most highly regulated segments of the healthcare industry.
Representing public and private healthcare companies, radiologists and equipment manufacturers, Balch & Bingham is on the forefront of the rapidly expanding diagnostic imaging industry throughout the country. We provide comprehensive representation in mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and joint ventures relating to diagnostic imaging centers, including syndications to radiologists. Our experience also includes the development of start-up centers, including organization, capitalization through credit facilities and commercial lending, governance and the negotiation of management relationships. Our attorneys also provide counsel on day-to-day operational matters such as Medicare and other commercial payor arrangements; compliance with fraud and abuse regulations; real estate and environmental issues; medical staff, labor and employment matters; and compliance with federal, state and local tax laws.
Home Health and Hospice
Our attorneys provide day-to-day operational advice and regulatory counseling to clients in most segments of the healthcare industry including hospice and palliative care centers. This advice often entails structuring a proposed relationship to comply with federal and state healthcare laws and regulations, assisting clients in getting paid for the delivery of services and responding to government investigations.
Lawyers in the Health Law Practice understand and balance the intricacies of the highly regulated health care industry with the complex business challenges involved with the management of medical staff relations.
Our lawyers have experience representing hospitals, medical centers, long-term care facilities, providers that serve the developmentally disabled and pharmaceutical manufacturers in labor and employment matters, including discrimination and harassment prevention, union-avoidance training and strategy, union organizing campaigns, and unfair labor practice hearings. We have negotiated numerous collective bargaining agreements, including initial contracts and successor agreements, and we regularly provide advice on contract administration and interpretation to clients that have collective bargaining relationships.
We provide a full range of employment rights counseling, including guidance on Equal Employment Opportunity, Family and Medical Leave Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act and other laws and regulations. We regularly work with clients to develop education and training programs for employees, supervisors and managers that help them ensure that their organizations consistently treat individuals with respect, fairness, dignity and compassion. We have created customized education programs on the hiring process (including interview strategies); effective discipline and discharge practices; managing employee attendance and leave rights; wage/hour policies and practices; and handling sexual harassment and discrimination claims, including claims involving medical staff members.
Medical Staff Relations
We have drafted and amended hundreds of sets of medical staff bylaws, rules and regulations and have given hundreds of opinions on the construction of language. Our lawyers have served on Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations Task Forces regarding medical staff relations and speak regularly on this topic, including both board and medical staff retreats. We have drafted hundreds of physician employment contracts, provider-based physician contracts, affiliations between clinics and hospitals and physician contracts with other physicians. For our teaching hospital clients, we have drafted faculty practice plans and departmental practice plans.
We work with clients to develop education and training programs for medical staff employees, supervisors and managers that will help them ensure that their organizations consistently treat patients with respect, fairness, dignity and compassion and each other with civility and according to professional standards. We develop and conduct supervisory and management training on hiring and firing protocols and on handling sexual harassment and discrimination claims. We consistently monitor evolving compliance requirements and, because we are aware of emerging issues and trends pertaining to medical staff labor and employment, we are able to suggest preventive strategies to clients before difficulties arise. We also work closely with health care providers to ensure that physicians, physicians' assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists and other clinical staff are in full compliance with licensing regulations and requirements.
Our lawyers also have experience with immigration law issues and can assist our hospital and health care clients with immigration issues involved with implementing strategies to recruit and employ foreign doctors, nurses and other medical professionals. We also have experience working with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to help clients facilitate the entry of foreign employees for various projects.
In the event that a medical staff dispute requires resolution in an adversarial venue, we carefully analyze the case to determine the optimal course of action and seek favorable settlement opportunities. We have represented both hospital and physician clients in medical staff hearings, mediations and arbitrations and before federal and state agencies and trial courts on virtually all types of discrimination claims, retaliatory discharge suits, breach of contract actions and wage and hour cases. Our lawyers also serve as mediators and arbitrators in cases in which we do not represent either party.
Balch's Health Law Practice provides various legal services for the full range of patient care issues, including informed consent under federal and state law requirements, confidentiality of patient information, restraints, behavioral health patient holds, end of life issues, required reporting of certain matters and issues common to the practice of emergency medicine, including obligations under the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA). We also have special knowledge of the myriad and complex legal issues that surround human subjects research and Institutional Research Board compliance.