Health Care

Gardere has a national health care practice with a strong presence in Texas and Mexico. We represent a number of major health care corporations, insurers, hospitals, and other for-profit and not-for-profit health care providers in corporate, finance, insurance, real estate, tax, antitrust, labor, employee benefits, intellectual property, licensing and government relations, regulatory and administrative, bankruptcy and civil litigation matters. Our health care practice consists of a core group of attorneys whose focus is health care along with a multidisciplinary team of attorneys who effectively serve client needs in all segments of the health care industry. When it comes to health care law, Gardere excels in three strategic areas:

  • Regulatory work, representing both individual health care providers and facilities;
  • Transactional services, such as general corporate, mergers and acquisitions, private equity, venture capital, administrative, bankruptcy and reorganization, labor and employment, intellectual property and finance to health care companies and providers; and
  • Litigation and dispute resolution.

Health care professionals and facilities benefit from our relationships in Texas ­especially in Austin ­as Gardere routinely represents clients who have issues with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), including its Office of Inspector General, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), the Texas State Board of Pharmacy (TSBP), the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) controlled substances division and other Texas agencies that license health professionals and facilities, and enforce compliance. Health care professionals and facilities can also encounter compliance issues that involve agencies not traditionally associated with health care, such as the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI), including the Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC), and the Texas Attorney General’s Office, including its very active consumer protection division. Adding an important dimension to health care industry representation, Gardere’s governmental affairs lobbying team is also highly regarded and available to help if a health care client needs assistance addressing a pending law or regulation, or interim issues.

In litigation, Gardere represents providers involved in discrete, high-stakes claims and disputes of all sizes. Our clients include solo physician practices, physician groups, acute-care hospitals and stand-alone surgery centers. In addition, we often handle large, one-off disputes and claims for huge, national health care corporations.

Gardere provides general corporate, administrative, regulatory and finance services to health care companies and providers ranging from large not-for-profit health care networks to small, independent, private hospitals and other entities, including home health agencies, imaging centers, medical device companies, physician groups and health care ancillary services, such as billing, financing and management companies. These services include corporate reorganizations and spinoffs, financing arrangements, joint ventures, acquisition of stock, assets and management transactions, fraud and abuse counseling, reimbursement advice, regulatory compliance and licensing, accreditation issues, provider and vendor contracts, and corporate practice of medicine issues. Gardere represents employers, insurers and third-party administrators in connection with contracts to provide employee medical benefits and has managed care contract experience. Health care related employee benefits and labor services provided by the Firm's health care practice include Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) counseling and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance.

Regardless of whether the project we undertake is transactional, regulatory, litigation or technology, our clients vouch for our persistence, passion and creativity as problem-solvers and advocates. Gardere lawyers understand both the specialized language of the health care industry and the commercial concepts present in the health care business.

Client Story

A Houston Hospital Survives ­and Thrives Against Very Steep Odds

Where we started: Leaders in a brand new acute-care hospital learned that it had suddenly and mysteriously lost its insurance coverage. Then, despite assurances from its landlord that everything was in order, its real estate is tied up in a huge legal and financial Gordian knot.

Our roadmap: Gardere spent four years in a relentless, multipronged, full-court press to get its client's ship back on course and to recover its losses.  Our representation involved every Gardere office and virtually every tool we have. In the litigation alone, we took or defended nearly 150 depositions and managed millions of documents.

And finally: Our client prevailed, obtaining a favorable settlement and ­most importantly continued in business, rock solid to this day.

Health Care Industry Essentials

Health care clients in Texas seek our guidance and assistance with difficult litigation, complex regulatory issues and sophisticated transactions. We are especially focused on the following kinds of matters and sectors:

  • Regulatory and Texas Attorney General
  • Represent numerous health care entities in merger transactions
  • Pharmacy chains and individual pharmacies in Texas regulatory and compliance matters
  • Represent multiple hospital locations on behalf of various parties
  • Pharmacy benefit managers
  • National associations in Texas pharmacy matters
  • Represent imaging businesses in multiple imaging center transactions
  • Texas Department of Public Safety Controlled Substance regulatory issues
  • Represent ambulatory surgery center (ASC) businesses in multiple ASC transactions
  • Texas Medicaid audit matters before the HHSC and its Office of Inspector General (OIG)
  • Represent hospice companies in multiple transactions, including sales of hospice locations
  • National companies on health care matters before the Texas Attorney General and other state agencies
  • Represent various parties in transactions involving the sale of long-term care facilities
  • Major health care companies before the Texas Legislature and agencies
  • Dentists, in Medicaid enforcement matters and at the Texas Legislature
  • Health care providers in litigation matters
  • Home health regulatory matters
  • Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS) assisted living and long term care licensing issues
  • Texas Medicaid managed care organizations
  • Health care related clients on TDI compliance and regulatory matters
  • Advising on Stark Law compliance and Anti-Kickback compliance
  • Represent physicians’ practices in Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) audit matters
  • Represent nurses before the Texas Board of Nursing (BON)
  • Represent physical therapy companies in licensure matters

Financial Restructuring and Reorganization

The Firm also has significant experience with transactional matters, including workouts and bankruptcy matters in the health care arena. The Firm represents a number of health care entities and financial institutions and other parties in workouts, bankruptcies, insurer and health maintenance organization (HMO) receiverships, the purchase and sale of distressed hospitals, nursing homes and health care facilities, and other matters involving health care providers and facilities.

Corporate Finance

The Firm has a comprehensive asset securitization practice that includes working with investment bankers, commercial banks and other investors in developing and improving securitization technology and effectively applying it to health care receivables and other assets.

Labor and Employment

We represent national health care clients in all phases of labor and employment law. Gardere attorneys represent health care clients in wage and hour claims, including state and federal wage and hour class actions and collective actions, as well as individual and class action employment discrimination. Representation also includes Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) claims, Railway Labor Act issues, immigration, affirmative action plans, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliance and claims, government contractor employment, wrongful discharge claims, and sexual harassment, retaliation and whistleblower claims. We advise clients on the labor and employment implications of corporate reductions in force, reorganizations, acquisitions and relocations, as well as employment forms, contracts, executive compensation, severance agreements, noncompetes, and employment policies and procedures.

Intellectual Property

Gardere's health care practice includes the work of Gardere’s intellectual property attorneys – preparing and protecting medical software contracts and patent and copyright services related to medical technology and equipment. In addition, we have represented clients in IP-related transactions, such as in the sale of a wellness software company.

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