Overview

Pullman & Comley’s Health Care practice has counseled clients in nearly every major sector of the health care industry on regulatory, transactional and business matters. Our experienced and innovative attorneys help navigate the complex maze of health care law for a broad range of health care providers and businesses in related fields. Our commitment to the highest quality legal service is grounded in our ethic of practical, responsive advice that helps our clients achieve their clinical and business goals. 

The Health Care practice stays abreast of current legal issues in the health care field, such as state and federal efforts on health care reform and developments affecting physician self-referral (known as “Stark”), HIPAA, fraud and abuse and other health care regulations. Our attorneys have served in leadership positions in state and national health law organizations, and frequently lecture and write on cutting-edge topics. This experience gives us a sophisticated understanding of the business realities our clients face and an ability to craft creative solutions to meet the changing demands of the dynamic health care sector. 

Our core group of health care attorneys is supported by attorneys from our Business Organizations and Finance, Real Estate, Labor and Employment, Employee Benefits, Government Finance and Privacy and Data Security groups. We serve as general counsel to institutional providers and group practices and advise in most areas, including:

  • Mergers, acquisitions, affiliations, and development of integrated delivery systems
  • Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement/fraud and abuse
  • Internal and government investigations
  • Strategic partnerships and joint ventures
  • Certificate of Need (“CON”) proceedings and advice
  • Tax-exemption
  • Patient care/licensure
  • Professional discipline and credentialing proceedings
  • HIPAA/HITECH Act
  • Corporate structure, governance and compliance
  • Health information technology (HIT) and technology licensing
  • Managed care contracting
  • Tax-exempt bond financing
  • Litigation and administrative proceedings
  • Licensure and Medicare certification surveys and complaint investigations
  • Reimbursement audits and medical record reviews
  • Joint Commission accreditation and sentinel event reporting
  • Disclosures under OIG and CMS voluntary disclosure protocols
  • Electronic Medical Record contracting and meaningful use requirements
  • Proceedings before medical examining and nursing boards
  • Advice to Institutional Review Boards and FDA compliance

In addition to the above services, our lawyers assist clients on a day-to-day basis with various operational issues in health care. These services include:

  • Advising board members and management on governance matters
  • Patient rights and adverse event reporting
  • Medical staff credentialing and corrective actions
  • Drafting and amending bylaws
  • Structuring compliance programs and policies
  • Advice regarding tax-exempt organization issues
  • Peer review and impaired physician issues
  • Advice regarding charitable donations
  • Executive employment and severance agreements
  • Exclusive provider agreements (e.g., radiology, pathology) 

Experience

  • Assisted hospitals in completing "Stark audits" to inventory all financial relationships with physicians, and developed policies and procedures governing such relationships
  • Represented  health center in negotiations with a vendor for acquisition and implementation of a new electronic health record and practice management system
  • Represented home health agency in the acquisition of another agency and its corporate restructuring
  • Represented hospitals and specialty practice groups in negotiating exclusive service agreements in fields such as radiology, anesthesiology and pathology to meet business and compliance objectives
  • Assisted in the development and provided ongoing representation of  hospital-affiliated physician practices
  • Served as general counsel to a teaching hospital and advised on all aspects of hospital operations, governance and compliance, including sitting on the hospital's Institutional Review Board (IRB), Compliance Committee and Ethics Committee
  • Represented physicians before the Medical Examining Board, including high-profile cases involving the use of controversial treatment modalities
  • Serves as general counsel to one of the largest community health centers in the state, assisting in regulatory compliance, corporate governance and transactions, contracts, policy development, and day to day operational and risk management issues
  • Advise clients on Certificate of Need (CON) matters and representation of clients in regulatory proceedings before the Office of Health Care Access (OHCA)Represent both hospitals and physicians in development of joint ventures for diagnostic and therapeutic services, including imaging, lithotripsy and cardiac treatment
  • Represent providers in contract negotiations, including managed care contracting, commercial leases, services agreements, and clinical research agreements
  • Assisted a hospital to establish a multi-faceted collaborative relationship with a larger Connecticut-based health system, including the establishment of an in-house rehabilitation center
  • Defended a specialty provider in a Medicaid audit for alleged improper use of evaluation and management and therapy codes for rehabilitation patients referred to its facilities
  • Represented an ambulatory surgery center in the sale of a majority interest to a national operator of surgery centers

News & Insights

Publications

Case Studies

CT Health Law Blog

CT Health Law Blog

The attorneys of Pullman & Comley’s Health Care practice publish the “Connecticut Health Law Blog,” which provides alerts, commentary and insights on legal developments affecting hospitals, physician groups, pharmaceutical and medical device companies as well as other health care providers and suppliers.

We have been closely monitoring the legal implications of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic for employers, and have been responding to a broad range of client questions. For your reference our most recent Connecticut Health Law Blog posts are highlighted below.  For a complete list of all of our firm's advisories related to COVID-19, please visit our FOCUS-Responding to COVID-19 page.

Connecticut’s Acting DPH Commissioner Walks Back One of Predecessor’s Final Orders – May 20, 2020
On May 14, 2020, the newly-appointed Acting Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Public Health, issued an Order reinstating the requirement that a request for collection or analysis of a COVID-19 test must be made by a licensed physician, physician assistant, APRN, or pharmacist, as well as the requirement that the results be reported to the licensed provider who ordered the test.

The COVID-19 Telehealth Boom Might Be Here to Stay, but HIPAA Flexibility Might Not – May 19, 2020
One of the many changes brought by the COVID-19 pandemic may be the permanent expansion of telehealth, but not all video communications services were designed to provide sufficient privacy and security to facilitate the provision of health care (and HIPAA compliance).

Telemedicine-Medicaid Billing and Compliance: Not Just a Matter of Picking Up the Phone – April 30, 2020
What should new and old Connecticut telemedicine and telehealth providers know about billing for Connecticut Medicaid services now that Connecticut’s Governor Ned Lamont again has expanded the ability of providers to offer services remotely?

More Money for Hospitals and Other COVID-19 Caregivers:  Federal Provider Relief Fund Replenished and Disbursement Begins – April 24, 2020
Among other things, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement (“PPPHCE”) Act, signed into law on April 24, 2020, adds $100 billion to the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund to reimburse “eligible health care providers” for COVID-19 care.

Connecticut Allows New Telehealth Capabilities and Further Expands Clinical Workforce in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic – April 24, 2020
On April 22, 2020, Governor Lamont issued Executive Order No. 7DD that expands the ability of health care providers to offer services remotely. This Executive Order also expands the health care workforce in Connecticut in several ways.

Latest Executive Order Repeals Certain Changes Made to Provider Reimbursement Rates – April 22, 2020
On April 21, Governor Lamont issued Executive Order No. 7CC, which repeals two of the temporary changes to health care provider reimbursement rates that were made in Executive Order No. 7U.

New Liability Limitations for Health Care Providers and Added Workforce Flexibility in Connecticut Should Not Obscure Duty to Treat During Pandemic – April 9, 2020
Connecticut law still requires that institutional and individual health care providers provide that level of care, skill and treatment which, in light of all relevant surrounding circumstances, is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent similar health care providers.

Executive Order Limiting Liability for Connecticut Providers Responding to COVID-19 Grants Protections for Health Care Professionals and Hospitals Grappling With Pandemic – April 5, 2020
On April 5, 2020, Connecticut Governor Lamont issued an Executive Order that provides immunity from civil liability to health care professionals and certain facilities supporting the state’s COVID-19 response efforts except for acts or omissions that constitute a crime, fraud, malice, gross negligence, willful misconduct, or would otherwise constitute a false claim under federal or state law.

UPDATE ON CONNECTICUT’S RESPONSE TO COVID-19 CRISIS: Governor Forms Health System Response Team; CMS Grants Connecticut a Waiver of Certain Medicaid Requirements – March 30, 2020
Governor Ned Lamont announced a collaboration among three of the largest hospital systems in Connecticut to assist in the state’s coordinated response to the COVID-19 pandemic. More on this and other updates.

Connecticut DPH Issues Order Allowing Out-of-State Healthcare Providers – March 24, 2020
In anticipation of a healthcare workforce shortage resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 23, the Connecticut Department of Public Health issued an Order allowing professionals licensed in other states to work in Connecticut for up to 60 days without obtaining a Connecticut license, certification, or registration.

Determining Who is an Essential Health Care Employee in Connecticut Under Executive Order 7H – March 23, 2020
Hospitals and other health care providers are, of course, among the businesses considered “essential.” But must all employees of an essential business continue to work on-site? 

Connecticut Further Expands Coverage of Telehealth Services During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency – March 20, 2020
Yesterday Governor Lamont issued  Executive Order 7G, which temporarily expands the statutory definition of “telehealth” to include services provided via telephone by Medicaid providers, as well as in-network providers for commercial fully insured health insurance providing services to patients with whom there is an existing provider-patient relationship.

Novel Coronavirus Hastens the Expansion of Remote Care in Connecticut – March 18, 2020
On March 17 the Trump Administration announced a sweeping expansion of Medicare coverage for telehealth services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic while separately the Connecticut Department of Social Services (“DSS”) published a State Plan Amendment (“SPA”) providing Medicaid coverage for telephone visits. This Alert outlines the impact on Medicare and Medicaid, as well as how Connecticut state laws affect these developments. 

Is Connecticut Prepared for the Coronovirus (COVID-19)? - March 4, 2020
The steps that state and local health authorities could take regarding isolation and quarantine.

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