Health care is an industry in which antitrust continues to have significant influence. In the health care area, Stites & Harbison attorneys have dealt with antitrust issues relating to:
- Exclusive contracts with physicians, professional associations and other providers
- Medical staff membership
- Volume purchase arrangements and Robinson-Patman Act analysis
- Certificate of Need (CON) activities
- Joint ventures and other arrangements between hospitals and physicians
- Hospital mergers and affiliations, including Hart-Scott-Rodino analysis
- Physician mergers and affiliations
- Managed care contracting arrangements
Our eDiscovery and Discovery Management team works with the health care industry to develop sound document management policies before a claim has even arisen. We also deal with the discovery onslaught that follows the filing of a complaint.
Over the past few years Stites & Harbison has gained extensive experience in developing a document assembly and discovery management system to handle our clients' litigation needs. Working as a team with our clients, we have developed systems that increase productivity in reviewing and preparing documents during litigation. Depending on the size of the case, we use off-the-shelf, vendor hosted and proprietary technology to manage voluminous amounts of paper and electronic data effectively.
Our firm also has several offsite document management centers designed to manage large volumes of paper and electronic documents in a cost-effective manner. Our clients' electronic information often requires us to work with outside vendors to process and prepare the information for review, and Stites & Harbison has relationships with the nation's largest electronic document vendors. Our team can also use our in-house IT department to process and prepare electronic data, bypassing the cost of an outside vendor.
Our attorneys are prepared to handle any issue regarding the False Claims Act or qui tam (“whistleblower”) litigation for our health care clients.
Insurance and Risk Management
Stites & Harbison has advised clients in a variety of risk management matters including counseling and litigation related to hospital record-keeping (including appropriate maintenance and release of medical records); protection of hospital investigations and incident reports; and development of claims investigation procedures.
Medical Liability Defense
Stites & Harbison has a long-standing relationship with a number of major medical malpractice insurance companies. Our firm's attorneys try more than a dozen major medical malpractice claims through their verdict stage every year. Our firm also has close ties with individual physicians and organized medicine. We represent state and county medical organizations, major clinics, and hospital staff groups as well as biotechnology and life sciences companies.
Stites & Harbison’s trial practice reaches beyond our Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, and Virginia offices. Our lawyers have regional and national practices in serial litigation; both as principal trial counsel, and as coordinating counsel charged with managing discovery, recruiting expert witnesses, and supervising document production.
Medicare/Medicaid and other Government Investigations
The provision of health care services is one of the country’s most highly regulated industries. Accordingly, individuals and entities involved in the delivery or payment of health care services or supplies are customarily subjected to audits and investigations conducted by various government agencies. Our attorneys have efficiently and effectively advised a variety of our clients in their responses to fraud and abuse matters.
Product Liability Defense
Stites & Harbison defends a broad cross-section of product manufacturers on a regional and national basis. We also represent pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers. A sampling of pharmaceutical litigation includes tetracycline, oral polio vaccines, anesthetics, DES and various contraceptives such as the Cu-7 and the Dalkon Shield.
Representative medical devices defended by the firm include personal care products, surgical clips and instruments, intraocular lenses, prosthetic devices, cardiac defibrillators, ventilators, catheters, and kidney lithotripters.
Stites & Harbison is also involved in preventive law activities aimed at reducing the incidence of product-related accidents, preventing litigation, and minimizing product liability cases.
We encourage product manufacturers to be actively involved in the determination of defense strategies. Stites & Harbison can prepare and follow sophisticated litigation budgets, and can use task-code billing.
Our firm's defense role frequently involves coordinating product liability litigation on a regional or national basis, which can include:
- Selection of local counsel
- Familiarization of local counsel with defense theories and strategies
- Maintaining files of relevant and discoverable documents
- Identifying and protecting privileged documents
- Providing uniform discovery responses
- Preparing company employees for depositions
- Maintaining current databases and literature files relevant to the product
- Developing expert witness testimony
RAC Audit Appeals
Our health care and regulatory attorneys have the combined knowledge and experience to counsel Medicare providers and suppliers through each level of the Recovery Audit Contractor (RAC) program. From initial notification to Administrative Law Judge hearings to appeals, our attorneys stand ready to provide counsel and defend clients through this complex process.
Medicare and Medicaid billing mistakes can result in fraud investigations with serious, long-lasting consequences. Providers may be required to pay back up to three times the amount they were paid for improperly billed services. In addition, if the government finds that the improper billing was intentional, providers can face criminal charges, the loss of professional licenses, and exclusion from participation in Medicare and Medicaid.
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has recently begun to send warning letters to hospitals that are not in compliance with the recently effective price transparency rule. This warning comes on the heels of CMS’s audits of a sample of hospitals in January.
LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The American Bar Association (ABA) Health Law Section has ranked Stites & Harbison, PLLC in 6th place in its Eighth Annual Regional Law Firm Recognition List for the South region for 2020.