What do healthcare attorneys do and should you hire one?

What do healthcare attorneys do and should you hire one?

As a healthcare provider with a practice to run and protect, we oblige you to learn more about what healthcare attorneys do and determine if you should hire one!

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To many people, physicians and lawyers do not mix well together. But as physicians, you’re actually more likely to need a lawyer than most other people due to the nature of your work. 

Since your job requires you to interact with a lot of people on a daily basis, often involving direct physical contact, your chances of being legally entangled are never outside the realm of possibility.

It can be a relief to know that a healthcare attorney would step in and help if you ever needed it. As a healthcare provider with a practice to run and protect, we oblige you to learn more about what healthcare attorneys do and determine if you should hire one!

What do Healthcare Attorneys do? 

The first question to address is what a healthcare attorney does. These attorneys are responsible for advising healthcare institutions, such as hospitals, or private practices, such as physicians like yourself on how to navigate the regulatory landscape of health law and maintain compliance with the rules and regulations that are currently in place.

These include, but aren’t limited to, patient privacy laws and laws that mandate your facility to provide care regardless of someone’s ability to pay for the services.

A healthcare attorney also has the responsibility of working alongside other compliance experts to audit hospital and provider operations and assist with addressing any violations.

What Can Healthcare Attorneys Help with?

Most importantly, attorneys for HCPs can help with legal matters related to business issues and questions, medical transactions, audit and defense representation. 

They also specialize in compliance and regulatory matters that can be vital to you as a provider, given that non-compliance in healthcare can be costly. They can also advise you and answer any questions related to running your practice within and under the law.

Here are some examples of situations in which you might need a healthcare attorney: 

  • Miscoding or upcoding: If your system inadvertently miscode, double code or upcode patient visits or procedures, government or private payors may inquire about the charges and claim fraud which is very serious..
  • Purchasing or selling a healthcare practice: If you are interested in purchasing a healthcare practice there are numerous state and federal regulations that must be adhered to with specific timelines and requirements.  HIPAA compliance: You are accused of breaching the Privacy or Security Rules of the  Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
  • Healthcare employment: A former licensed professional employee of your practice files a wrongful termination lawsuit or makes a complaint against you to the Department of Labor, EEOC, OSHA, or any other government agency.
  • Breach of contract: Your business associate biller breaches The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) by improperly disclosing or using your patient billing and other personal health information.  
  • And many other reasons.

Why Should HCPs Hire Healthcare Attorneys

The last situation you want is to be running a incompliant practice. Therefore, you should hire healthcare attorneys to make certain you’re complying with all national and local regulations. 

This way, you can give yourself a better chance of avoiding a lawsuit and being taken to court. You can also work together to draft and come up with policies that will help reduce your chances of facing a lawsuit in the first place.

Healthcare is a complex industry. A healthcare attorney can help you navigate the regulations and follow them properly.

They can assist on issues with problem patients, professional compensation, business ventures, credentialing, audits, insurance or other business problems you may encounter as well. You can count on them so you can focus on running your practice.

Save Time & Money

Another reason you should find and speak with a healthcare attorney is that they can save you time and money. 

It all starts by making sure you’re in compliance or immediately get in compliance, if helpful, then by addressing any issues that arise head-on instead of avoiding them. They can take care of all the legal aspects involved with your practice so you can concentrate on providing the best care possible. 

A healthcare attorney can also step in and assist with creating contracts and settling any employment issues that pop up. Specifically, the American Medical Association (AMA) recommends always consulting employment lawyers who are versed in healthcare employment issues because of the additional complexities that healthcare employment presents.

The right attorney can help you save additional money by defending against federal or state regulatory claims and creating policies that minimize your chances of facing a lawsuit. 

Another way they can help is by advising you on and negotiating payor contracts. This way, you can ensure you have the best possible business advantages for your practice.

How to Find A Healthcare Attorney

You need a healthcare attorney that’s geared toward your line of work and industry.  Because of the complex nature of health laws, healthcare attorneys are specialized in different niches and an attorney which specializes in representing hospitals in facility compliance does not necessarily work with payor claim issues relating to long-term care facilities!

So, it is difficult to actually find a healthcare attorney that provides the exact services that you require in the type of practice that you have. In fact, you should consider using the Perla platform and services which will allow you and your healthcare business to find qualified experts and advisors with experience and knowledge in the healthcare industry, such as a healthcare attorney. 

Perla is a private networking platform that connects healthcare professionals and entities directly with expert advisors and consultants with experience in the healthcare industry. Get started in your FREE search today by visiting our website to find a trusted advisor with experience in the healthcare industry!

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