End of Life Issues, Including Guardianships and Patient Health Care Directives
Pam is keenly aware of the painful decisions confronted by patients and family members facing end of life issues. Pam authored “Using Living Wills to Start the (Other) Tough Conversation with Mom and Dad” published by the Daily Business Review, and counsels hospitals and individuals with concerns about end of life issues, health care directives, and decisions made by health care proxies and surrogates. Pam feels strongly about speaking for those who can no longer speak for themselves, and has obtained court orders enforcing living wills when proxies or surrogates have been unable or unwilling to comply with a patient’s last wishes. She also routinely assists hospitals seeking to obtain guardianships for patients unable to make health care decisions as a result of mental incapacity.
Medicare or Medicaid Audits and Investigations
Pam represents health care providers during Medicare and Medicaid investigations and audits. These proceedings often stem from criminal investigations, qui tam actions, or audits, and can raise coding and billing issues that can expose physicians and facilities to overpayment obligations or worse, criminal prosecution. Obtaining assistance early allows counsel to expeditiously examine key issues and intercede in the government’s investigation in an effort to reduce or eliminate financial and criminal exposure.
Pam has represented health care providers facing discipline brought by professional and certifying organizations, as well as organizations bringing those claims. Actions brought by professional and certifying groups can have a profound impact on a professional’s licensure and career. Pam handles each such matter meticulously with a sharp focus on protecting her client and ensuring the procedural and substantive fairness of each proceeding.
HIPAA and Patient Confidentiality Issues
HIPAA and analogous state statutes can be confusing, and many providers have learned the hard way that it is easy to run afoul of these labyrinthine laws. Pam represents individuals and entities facing investigations for alleged privacy violations and breaches, or have disclosure and notification obligations under federal or state law. She also advises individuals and entities with questions about the construction of HIPAA and Florida patient confidentiality laws, and assists clients seeking to avoid liability based upon patient privacy violations. She is the co-author of “Lawyers Must Get Hip to HIPAA: Avoiding the “Wall of Shame.”
Hospital Patient Discharge Issues
Pam routinely represents hospitals in matters concerning discharge issues, including those involving patients who, at times at the insistence of family members, decline to leave hospitals when they no longer require acute care. Pam recognizes the scarcity of precious hospital resources, and believes that the treatment afforded hospital patients who require acute care may be jeopardized when hospital resources are diverted to patients who no longer require that level of care.