Healthcare General Counsel
Overview and Experience
Almost every day healthcare businesses and healthcare providers are faced with actual or potential legal issues. These issues may arise from difficult patients, difficult employees, requests for information from attorneys, or business relationships gone awry. At Wachler & Associates, many of our clients consider us to be their "general counsel" and call us for advice and consultation when these types of issues arise.
In addition to traditional employment law considerations, healthcare providers must take into account additional considerations when making employee disciplinary decisions. For example, disgruntled employees can often put an entity at risk for "whistleblower" or qui tam actions. At Wachler & Associates, we can guide you through the exit interview process and help you to address compliance concerns related to employees who are terminating. Regulations such as HIPAA may require employers to document that some type of disciplinary action be taken against employees who violate policies and procedures. These regulatory concerns must be carefully considered in addition to the traditional employment law concerns.
Difficult Patient Issues
Difficult patients can raise additional concerns for a healthcare provider or entity. While providers may conclude that the best course of action is to terminate the provider/patient relationship, such action must be carefully handled to avoid patient abandonment allegations or breach of provider agreements with payors. Disgruntled patients can also create problems for providers by making complaints to various government entities thus any correspondence must be carefully handled.
Requests for Medical Records and Subpoenas
Understanding the circumstances under which medical records may be released to someone other than the patient, as well as what charges can be imposed for the release of medical records, is an issue that frequently arises and requires consideration of both HIPAA and state law. Even though healthcare entities and providers may have written policies and procedures, situations often arise that have not previously been considered. It is often helpful to discuss these issues with counsel.
Policies and Procedures
In addition to HIPAA and Compliance policies, we are often called upon to assist providers with other types of office policies that have health law considerations, such as social media use policies, policies regarding medical treatment of employees, etc.