Health Revolution Heats Legal Environment

By Pear, Robert | THE JOURNAL RECORD, January 28, 1995 | Go to article overview

Health Revolution Heats Legal Environment


Pear, Robert, THE JOURNAL RECORD


WASHINGTON _ For lawyers who specialize in health care and related issues, business is booming, largely as a result of the wholesale restructuring of the health care industry.

Doctors, hospitals, insurance companies, clinics, laboratories and drug manufacturers are repositioning themselves to make money in a brave new world of joint ventures and managed care that continues to evolve amid the ashes of national health care legislation.

The new business arrangements and transactions all require lawyers: experts who understand antitrust law, tax law, insurance law, medical malpractice, bioethics and patients' rights, securities law, the regulation of employee benefits and reimbursement under Medicare and Medicaid, including laws that prohibit kickbacks, false claims and self-dealing by doctors.

"We're in the midst of one of the largest industrial reorganizations in history, and it's a viciously competitive environment," said Gerald Peters, a health care lawyer at Latham

Watkins in San Francisco.

Lawyers often serve as police officers, telling clients what they can and cannot legally do, Peters said.

In the health care field, lawyers also help minimize the financial risks and the potential for civil and criminal liability as investigators from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Justice Department, the Federal Trade Commission and the IRS train their sights on this trillion-dollar industry.

Nonprofit hospitals, for example, are often tempted to offer lavish bonuses, gifts, interest-free loans and other incentives to doctors whom they are trying to recruit or retain. The doctors generate business, but if the IRS concludes that the incentives are excessive, it may revoke a hospital's tax-exempt status, a severe penalty. The hospital may also be legally unable to issue tax-exempt bonds to pay for construction and for new high-tech equipment.

This is a far cry from what health law once was, said Lynn Shapiro Snyder, a lawyer at the Washington office of Epstein, Becker Green, whose clients include doctors and hospitals, ambulance companies, kidney dialysis centers and retail pharmacies.

"Fifteen years ago, when I started in this field," she said, "I would tell people I was a health lawyer. They would say, `You must do malpractice.' I said, `I do everything but malpractice.' They would say, `What else is there?' I would explain that I help create HMOs. And I had to spell out health maintenance organizations. But now, with all the talk about health care reform, my friends and relatives and neighbors have a little more understanding of what I do for a living."

President Clinton and his wife, Hillary, both have law degrees and understood the complexities of federal-state health programs, like Medicaid, for the poor. But the health plan devised for them by Ira Magaziner, the coordinator of the President's Task Force on National Health Care Reform, did not mesh with the edifice of health care laws built over the last century.

That edifice includes the English common law of trusts, which defined the concept of charity; the Social Security Act, passed in 1935 and amended 30 years later to create Medicare and Medicaid, and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, which regulates benefits provided to employees by employers.

The lawyers who drafted Clinton's health bill had difficulty translating his bold, abstract concepts into the concrete specifics needed for laws and legislation. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Health Revolution Heats Legal Environment
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.