Health Care

Health Care - Litigation & Investigations


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.

False Claims

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.

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2024 Kentucky Health Law Institute

Date: 9/4/24 - 9/5/24

The Campbell House, 1375 South Broadway, Lexington, Kentucky

Stites & Harbison attorney Kelly Bryant is on the Planning Committee for the 2024 Kentucky Health Law Institute presented by UK Rosenberg College of Law. Healthcare attorney Shea Luna will be one of the speakers. The Institute is being held in Lexington, Kentucky September 4-5,

K. Kelly White Bryant and Stacy Shea Luna (Shea) July 11, 2024
Client Alerts

Providers and Laboratories Beware of EKRA: A Not-So-New Tool for Health Care Fraud and Abuse Enforcement

In an effort to combat the ongoing opioid crisis, Congress passed in 2018 the Eliminating Kickbacks in Recovery Act (“EKRA”) imposing significant monetary penalties on anyone paying or receiving payment for referrals to a recovery home, clinical treatment facility, or laboratory. However, given its broad language, EKRA may reach organizations not involved with substance abuse treatment. Health care providers and laboratories, therefore, should be aware of EKRA and its implications on their practice. Health care attorney Shea Luna takes a look at EKRA in this Stites & Harbison Client Alert.

by Stacy Shea Luna (Shea) June 07, 2024

Kentucky Hospital Association Annual Convention

Date: 5/20/24 - 5/22/24

Central Bank Center, 430 West Vine Street, Lexington, Kentucky 40507

Health care attorneys Shea Luna and Sarah Spurlock will be presenters at the Kentucky Hospital Association's Annual Convention in Lexington, KY being held May 20-22, 2024.

Stacy Shea Luna (Shea) and Sarah Cronan Spurlock April 22, 2024
Press Releases

Benchmark Litigation Selects Stites & Harbison as 2024 Litigation Firm of the Year for Kentucky

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Benchmark Litigation recently named Stites & Harbison, PLLC as Litigation Firm of the Year for Kentucky at its 2024 Benchmark US Awards Gala. This is the fourth time Stites & Harbison has received the honor.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC April 03, 2024
Press Releases

Thad Barnes and Michael Denbow Appointed to Lead Stites & Harbison’s Business Litigation Service Group

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Stites & Harbison, PLLC is pleased to announce that attorneys Thad M. Barnes and Michael Denbow have been appointed to Co-Chair the firm’s Business Litigation Service Group. Each attorney will continue their diverse legal practices in business litigation.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC March 25, 2024
Press Releases

Betsy Johnson Elected to Kentucky Nonprofit Network Board

LEXINGTON, Ky.—Kentucky Nonprofit Network (KNN) recently elected Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney Elizabeth “Betsy” Johnson to the organization’s Board of Directors. She will serve a three-year term.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC February 19, 2024
Press Releases

Jennifer Henry Jackson Elected to CASA of the River Region’s Board of Directors

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of the River Region has elected Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney Jennifer Henry Jackson to its Board of Directors. She will serve a three-year term.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC January 10, 2024
Client Alerts

Could Changes Be Coming to Kentucky's Certificate of Need Program?

Certificate of Need (“CON”) laws are often hot button issues for state lawmakers – and for Kentucky lawmakers there is no exception. During the 2023 regular session of the Kentucky General Assembly, House and Senate Concurrent Resolutions were introduced calling for the establishment of a Certificate of Need Task Force (“CON Task Force”). Health care attorney Betsy Johnson takes a look at the Task Force's findings in this Stites & Harbison Client Alert.

by Elizabeth Ann Johnson (Betsy) January 02, 2024
Press Releases

Elizabeth Ann "Betsy" Johnson Returns to Stites & Harbison in Lexington, KY

LEXINGTON, Ky.—Stites & Harbison, PLLC is pleased to announce that attorney Elizabeth “Betsy” Johnson has returned to the firm’s Lexington, Ky., office. She is a Member (Partner) in the Health Care Service Group.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC December 12, 2023
Press Releases

Stites & Harbison Welcomes Olivia Keller to the Covington Office

COVINGTON, Ky.—Stites & Harbison, PLLC welcomes attorney Olivia C. Keller to the firm based in the Covington, Ky., office. She joins the Business Litigation Service Group.

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC December 05, 2023