Health Law Blog - Healthcare Legal Issues

Health Care Transaction and Compliance for Dentists

John Fisher, JD, CHC
Dental Attorney

John Fisher has been representing dentists, oral surgeons, and other dental professionals since he began practicing health law over 25 years ago.  Mr. Fisher is certified in Health Care Compliance by the Health Care Compliance Association.  Background in compliance has become a necessary element to assure complete representation of dental practices and other health care providers in recent years.

Mr. Fisher’s Dental Representation includes some of the following:

  • Establishment of dental compliance programs.
  • Representation of dental practices in government investigations.
  • Conducting internal audits and investigations in support of compliance.
  • Conducting thorough due diligence in connection with dental practice acquisitions; including due diligence of potential compliance issues.
  • Representing practices in connection with acquisition transactions.
  • Creation of compensation systems that provide appropriate (and legal) incentives to professionals.
  • Negotiations of shareholder buy-in and employment agreements.
  • Structuring management service organizations and integrated dental groups.
  • Advice regarding corporate practice of dentistry issues.
  • Compliance with Medicare and Medicaid regulations where applicable.
  • Compliance with state and Federal laws relating to patient privacy, medical record privacy, protection of patient data.
  • Negotiation of acquisition or leasing of dental equipment.
  • Compliance and defense of dental board actions.
  • Structuring “partnership” arrangements between dentists including creation of compensation structures that work.

As the health care industry has become more complicated and regulated, Mr. Fisher has adapted and expanded his practice to include dental practice compliance, health care privacy, health technology, in addition to the usual areas of practice structure, dental system structure and integration, management service organizations, and corporate and transaction law.  This approach provides Mr. Fisher’s dental clients with value added in areas that are not normally handled by other attorneys who represent dentists.

State and Federal regulatory agencies no stress the need for health care providers of all types to establish and operate consistent systems for identifying and solving compliance issues before they are subject to governmental investigation.  Dental practices are not immune from these requirements.  Typical dental practices accept Medicaid reimbursement as a major source of revenue.  Some practices provide services (such as some oral surgery) that is covered under the Medicare or other governmental health programs.  All dental practices are required to comply with state and Federal regulation relating to patient privacy and protection of health information.  There are a host of other Federal and state regulations that apply within a dental practice, all which require a proactive approach of identifying and addressing areas of potential risk.

There are a handful of law firms across the country who hold themselves out as experts in the representation of dental groups.  These firms represent dental groups in sale and acquisition, corporate mergers and professional employment arrangements.  Mr. Fisher’s dental representation practice goes much further and offers a regulatory compliance overlie that assures that dental transactions and organizational practices appropriately mitigate potential regulatory risk.

Attorney Fisher has a deep presence and experience in health law, dental transactions and compliance which offers his clients a comprehensive approach to the representation of dental practices.  The leader of the Ruder Ware Health Care Industry Focus Group is certified in Health Care Compliance.  This enables the firm to not only provide the usual business advice, but also enables us to structure arrangements that comply with regulations; many of which are not even identified by other attorneys with a dental “expertise.”  A compliance focus also assists practices that are in acquisition mode to identify potential regulatory problems before the acquisition is completed through proper due diligence that extends to compliance program operation and regulatory issues.

In our experience, firms that do not bring this perspective to the representation of dental groups can structure transactions and operations in ways that can increase compliance risk.  Many firms out there consider the profession of dentistry to be “just another business” and apply the same analysis to solving the legal problems of a dental practice as they would to any other business.  This is a mistake and can result in exposure of the client to unacceptable levels of risk.

Mr. Fisher’s dental practice is also supported by attorneys with expertise in other area such as estate planning, real estate law, employment litigation, and other areas that may be called upon to assist our dental clients in appropriate circumstances.

Ruder Ware is a member of the Meritas Worldwide Organization.  This provides the firm with access to local attorneys in every state in the United States and in many parts of the world.  This relationship permits us to provide our dental and compliance expertise to dental practices from across the country by associating with our local Meritas partners.  Mr. Fisher also works in conjunction with local counsel, adding expert representation in compliance and specialized regulatory issues that impact dental practices.

John H. Fisher

Health Care Counsel
Ruder Ware, L.L.S.C.
500 First Street, Suite 8000
P.O. Box 8050
Wausau, WI 54402-8050

Tel 715.845.4336
Fax 715.845.2718

Ruder Ware is a member of Meritas Law Firms Worldwide

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