DC Business Attorney for Doctors, Dentists, & Other Healthcare Professionals
Medical professionals, doctors, and caregivers are part of an increasingly complex web of rules, regulations and restrictions that can simply overwhelm a business or professional housed to simply focus on the quality of service they provide. Today’s medical professional faces a dizzying array of business issues, employment rules and regulations, enhanced standards of care and patient treatment and confidentiality rules, leasing and ownership issues, staffing concerns, licensure requirements and federal, state and local oversight. Medical and mental health professionals face a complex world, where patient care, specialization, insurance and payment concerns and compliance with a wide variety of business, employment and ethics laws and rules, requires a successful professional to have a medical business attorney acting as legal advisor who understands this new terrain.
Comprehensive Legal Assistance for Your Practice
The firm acts as your virtual In-house Counsel. Our medical business attorneys have worked extensively with medical, mental health, and other health care providers who are state or federally licensed in legal issues including: business organization and development, the prosecution or defense of legal claims that arise from being a medical professional or care provider, responding to allegations related to the licensed practice of the profession itself. We represent medical professionals, including: physicians, dentists, psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, social workers and mental health professionals in all aspects of business creation and organization. From a solo practice to an LLC to a corporate entity, we handle partner and shareholder disputes, HIPAA issues, employment claims and defenses, purchase and sale agreements, restrictive covenants, ethics and patient inquiries, state and federal investigations, insurance disputes, collections issues, due diligence of employment and business relationships, leasing and equipment issues, staffing matters, responding to state and federal regulators, and an array of full services designed to assist doctors and medical professionals. We also assist medical professionals in responding to employer and disability issues and medical malpractice claims raised by patients and clients and the responses that must be provided to employers, investigators or law enforcement as they relate to clients.
Active Defense for Medical Professionals Under Scrutiny
When a physician or medical professional finds themselves under investigation or suspicion, faces an ethical charge, suffers from a physical or mental impairment in the workplace, faces substance issue and pain medication issues, or is responding to an administrative, civil or criminal complaint, Kevin offers advice on presenting an active defense designed to protect the professional at risk, while recognizing the matters and interests at issue.
We understand the unique difficulties and challenges facing medical professionals and those in the healing arts professions. We offer direct, personalized and comprehensive assistance to our clients. This firm recognizes the dedicated work done by licensed medical professionals for the public. We believe that doctors, including dentists and other physicians, nurses, social workers, mental health personnel and persons associated with the healing arts, should be able to focus on practicing their craft. A dedicated and experienced medical business lawyer can offer peace of mind to those who are working hard to keep us healthy.
Current Legal Issues Facing Medical Practices
However, the medical business has changed from the days when a general physician or family doctor was the primary contact for the public. Today, medical professionals face issues relating to privacy, patient care, patient medication, compliance with federal and state licensing, and other various business and employment related issues that can overwhelm a practice and undermine a professional’s ability to do their job.
Indeed, today’s medical professionals are heavily regulated and subject to a wide variety of legal and ethical duties that virtually require them to have an attorney on call. Federal and state authorities oversee the actual practice for doctors, dentists, psychologists, nurses, healthcare providers, social workers or therapists.
Highly competent and capable medical professionals often need guidance how to:
- Create a medical practice business
- Ethically and responsibly manage that practice
- Handle the business, employment, and patient care aspects of the practice
- Deal with partnership disputes and business issues that relate to investments or dealings with third parties
In addition, doctors who dispense pain medication face oversight by federal and state law enforcement agencies. Indeed, pain management and the recognition of how to deal with patients taking or prescribed medication, and the advice or conduct of their treating medical personnel, is now one of the principal sources of complaints against medical professionals. A medical business attorney can help doctors handle the complex legal issues surrouding pain medication dispensing.
Focus on Your Passion, Let Us Handle the Rest
This firm believes that doctors and medical professionals should devote their attention to their specialized, competitive and highly rewarding patient care. Business and employment issues, patient complaints, and ethical compliance issues should be handled by a trained lawyer. In fact, the attorney should be seen as a form of preventive care or, where necessary, remedial care for the vast number of issues that arise in caring for the public.
We offer a complete set of services for the medical professional. We strive to help you avoid complaints, litigation, and inquiries, but in the event these occur, we will (and have) aggressively and efficiently litigated these disputes in mediation, arbitration, or trial. We have worked with the following professionals and will continue to do so, by understanding both the general and specialized nature of their matters:
- General Practice Doctors
- Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists
- Oral Surgeons
- Management and Health Service Providers
- Counselors and other Mental Health Professionals
Medical Practice Formation and Organization of Business Structure
When a medical professional joins a practice, they need to be clear on the business relationships they have and the duties of a partner, an associate, a member of a limited liability corporation or a shareholder. What liability attaches? Are there restrictive covenants on future practices in terms of geography, competition, or society, or on maintaining staff or patients? When affiliating with a health facility or other practice, a medical professional needs a clear understanding of the compensation, duties and expected terms of employment. A medical business attorney can assist healthcare professionals with understanding business structure and can assist with partnership agreements.
The Benefits and Risks of Practice Incorporation
The primary benefit to doctors and physicians to incorporate their practice is to limit liability. There are other administrative, operational, tax, and insurance benefits associated with incorporating; however, the process is complex and can be costly. With benefits come risks and complications. Thus, it is important to hire a medical business attorney who is knowledgeable in the particulars associated with the formation, management, and dissolution of partnerships and corporations.
Medical Practice Real Estate Assistance Attorney
We are skilled in reviewing commercial building and real estate purchases and sales, leasing and property purchasing issues, and the proper maintenance “Class A” medical properties. We also assist medical professionals with issues arising from the formation of a business and the duties that arise if the business is an LLC, a PLLC, a sole proprietorship, or a corporation.
Employee Agreements for All Practice Types
The firm has helped numerous medical professionals effectively negotiate employment agreements as partners, associates, stockholders, co-property owners, and LLC members. Our lawyers will ensure a proper, well-understood business arrangement exists to protects our client’s best interests.
Purchase and Sale of Medical Practices
Over the years, we have seen an increase in the buying and selling of medical practices, particularly hospitals buying private practices. The buying and selling of a medical practice is a complex task that may have many professional, tax, and legal ramifications. Although extensive and intricate, the selling and buying of private practices offers some attractive benefits for both the buyer and seller. Among some of the benefits for hospitals, buying an established practice allows them to streamline and widen their medical network, which also allows hospitals to have more access to more patients and new referrals. For physicians, especially those with struggling practices, the selling of their practice may bring about financial security, administrative support, advanced technology, and other valuable resources.
Many older healthcare professionals seek to sell their practices, while younger professionals are often the purchasers. Professionals often pay large broker fees and place their trust in a transactional attorney. The asset purchase or sales agreement is often lengthy and highly legalistic and requires a trained eye to ensure that the parties reach a well-understood and fair mutual agreement. The purchase or sale of a medical practice requires a realistic, sober assessment of the risks, benefits, costs and goals of the professional.
Issues Related to Medical Practice Sales
Issues of due diligence, accuracy of information, attention to accurate assessment of patient numbers, action taken to preserve the patience base and goodwill of the business, concern over turnover of duties, staff and responsibilities, lease or purchase issues, confidentiality disclosures to the public are as instrumental to the success of the transaction as is negotiating a fair purchase and sale price and obtaining a favorable location in order to ensure the parties negotiate in good faith and understand and receive what they pay for. In addition, proper valuation of a practice, its equipment, patient base, past earnings and earning potential are all required.
Restrictive covenant issues also arise when a purchase or sale is made. The restrictions made by a sales agreement are generally enforceable and there is no such thing as a “standard contract.” Moreover, financing issues are also paramount. How and when will the purchase price be paid? What duties does the buyer have? What are the seller’s duties? Will the seller remain with the practice? Will he or she transfer patients? What will the patients, staff, and public be told? A medical business attorney can help to answer these questions and more.
Proactive Approach to Issue Resolution
We believe these issues should be vetted and addressed in advance. Nevertheless, disputes arise over the accuracy of information or the conduct of the parties. If litigation occurs, it could become highly personalized and expensive. When this happens, our law firm defends our client’s interest with the awareness that speedy resolution is preferred.
Experienced, Dedicated Medical Practice Attorneys
We have valuable experience helping medical professionals buy and sell business practices; address staffing and personnel issues; conduct due diligence; address patient complaints and privacy issues; respond to complaints and inquiries issued by licensing boards; respond to investigations by state, local or federal authorities; address the hiring, firing and terms of employment of associates and licensed staff; maintain compliance with state, local and federal law and ethics requirements; and address matters involving the proper relationship between licensed professionals and non-licensed persons, such as landlords, management services providers and consulting companies.Whether you are looking to sell or acquire a practice, our medical legal professionals can provide the legal guidance, strategy, and support you need from valuation of practice to closing.
Request a Consultation with DC Business Lawyer for Medical Professionals
The Medical Business Lawyers at the Law Office of Kevin E. Byrnes are all experienced in handling the variety of challenges a healthcare business faces, such as ethics issues, contract and partnership management, medical business formation and corporation, and more. Whether you are a solo doctor or a multi-unit practice, our medical legal firm is ready to assist you with any legal components of your business. Contact us today at (202) 831-2019 to Request a Consultation with a DC Business Lawyer for Medical Professionals.