Health Care

Thompson Coe’s Health Care attorneys offer consummate and broad experience in virtually every aspect of health care transactional and litigation matters. We routinely advise health care providers to seek to avoid litigation. This includes serving as outside general counsel for many health care providers and their practices. With this comprehensive approach, we advise health care clients in such matters as policies and procedures, administrative and regulatory compliance with governing boards and agencies, peer review proceedings, disputes with managed care companies or other payors, employment matters, risk management, and other contractual matters.

But even with sound advice, sometimes litigation is unavoidable. When a lawsuit is filed, you want experienced trial lawyers. Not simply lawyers who have handled claims, but lawyers experienced in trying them. We have tried cases for many specialties and practices, with claims ranging from health care liability claims to employment matters, from business disputes to products liability.

Simply put, Thompson Coe’s Health Care attorneys can assist you with your health care legal needs, from the boardroom to the courtroom. As experts in our field, we are also frequently called on to speak about health care matters, handling and trying lawsuits. Whether you are a health care provider or an insurer insuring health care providers, we would be happy to work with you to present a speech that fits your needs, including securing continuing education credit.

Health Care Liability Claim Defense
Many lawyers boast that they can handle health care liability claims. But defending health care liability claims is one of the more specialized areas of the law. Particularly after tort reform in Texas, plaintiffs’ lawyers who handle these cases tend to be very experienced lawyers, and require equally experienced lawyers on the defense side to effectively defend the case. Thompson Coe’s Health Care trial attorneys offer this type of experience. We regularly defend health care providers and health care institutions against claims alleging professional negligence, gross negligence, and patient abuse. We have represented numerous different types of health care providers, including:

  • Physicians
  • Hospitals
  • Skilled nursing facilities
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Intermediate care facilities
  • Chiropractors
  • Podiatrists
  • Physician’s Assistants
  • Registered and Licensed Vocational Nurses
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Psychologists
  • Licensed Professional Counselors
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Professional associations of physicians
  • Home and community support service agencies
  • Home health care providers and agencies.

Thompson Coe’s Health Care trial attorneys have an intimate understanding the laws governing health care liability claims in the State of Texas. But our experience is not in merely knowing the law of, and how to handle, these claims. It is in actually trying these types of cases. Whether a health care liability claim will ultimately be dismissed, settle, or tried, you want a lawyer who is experienced and diligent enough to know that cases are best positioned each step of the way by preparing them as if they will be tried. In this way, Thompson Coe’s Health Care trial attorneys are not defensive in merely reacting to what the plaintiff’s attorney does, but are proactive in staying ahead of the plaintiff’s attorney in defending the case.

In addition, Thompson Coe attorneys have represented the long-term care industry for many years. We have handled claims against skilled nursing facilities alleging abuse and neglect, malnutrition, dehydration, pressure sores, medication errors, falls and restraint issues, elopement, and understaffing, among other claims. The emotional allegations involved range from failure to properly diagnose and treat serious medical conditions to abuse of the elderly in long-term care facilities. Our defense of medical professionals is aggressive and informed, and we have the knowledge and resources to counter plaintiffs’ often emotional arguments with the factual requirements of the law, medicine and science.

We understand that being sued for professional negligence is one of the most stressful events a health care professional will experience, and we help guide our clients through that experience. We also know that under many policies of professional liability insurance currently being written in Texas, every dollar spent on liability defense erodes the indemnity benefit under the policy, so we proudly offer our clients both competent and cost-effective representation.

Health Care Litigation
Thompson Coe’s Health Care trial attorneys are highly skilled litigators who have litigated and won hundreds of cases in state and federal court involving health care litigation. Our health care litigators have substantial experience in a wide and varied array of civil and criminal litigation matters on behalf of health care clients, including employment, premises liability, the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, breach of contract, fraud, abuse allegations, end-of-life issues, RICO, intellectual property disputes, unfair competition, qui tam actions, and general contractor suits. In addition, the Health Law practice attorneys defend health care providers against administrative sanctions such as exclusion from managed care contracts, continued participation in federal health care programs, and suspension of Medicare payments.

Our practice includes representing clients in cases involving, among others:

  • Seeking injunctive relief against DHHS and CMS for DMEPOS National Competitive Bidding Program
  • Defending durable medical equipment providers before Administrative Law Judges
  • Appealing pre-payment, post-payment, and overpayment audits
  • Contract disputes involving health care providers
  • Pursuing or defending prompt pay statute claims
  • Litigating covenants not to compete or non-solicitation agreements

Administrative and Regulatory Compliance
Thompson Coe’s Health Care attorneys offer consummate and broad experience in administrative and regulatory matters. The unintended consequence of tort reform in Texas is an exponentially increased number of regulatory board and peer review actions. The key to defending a regulatory board or peer review action is getting an experienced attorney involved early on to get ahead of the potential investigation and vigorously defend it with strategies that often vary significantly from defending a lawsuit. Thompson Coe’s Health Care attorneys offer just this type of expertise in administrative and regulatory matters, including:

  • Texas Department of Health investigations
  • Texas Medical Board investigations
  • Texas Nursing Board investigations
  • Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners investigations
  • Hospital credentialing
  • Other peer review proceedings
  • Disputes and appeals with managed care companies

Products Liability
Thompson Coe defends producers of pharmaceuticals and medical device manufacturers in products liability litigation throughout the country. Among our clients are a major pharmaceutical company involved in statewide litigation over its fen/phen product, and a maker of vitamin supplements that has faced a decade-long class action involving more than 300 claimants in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

In defending these types of cases, our lawyers regularly retain and work with medical experts from various fields, including neurologists, pulmonologists, pathologists, radiologists, orthopedic surgeons, internist, sleep medicine physicians, obstetricians/gynecologists, critical care specialists, epidemiologists, and other treating physicians and medical care providers. In addition to knowledge of the medical issues involved, we bring to each of our cases a combination of trial and negotiating skills, case management sophistication, solid technical knowledge and innovative defense strategies.

Durable Medical Equipment
Lawyers in this section of the Health Care practice represent Durable Medical Equipment (DME) providers, Home Health Agencies (HHAs), Pharmacy Infusion providers, and medical equipment manufacturers throughout the country.

Elder Law
Thompson Coe’s Health Care practice attorneys provide advice on a wide range of issues affecting seniors, persons with disabilities, and their families. In addition, we have experience in nursing home defense work, risk management for health care facilities, home health care issues and long term care financing.

Our attorneys have defended against claims such as negligent admission or failure to discharge, overall negligent care claims, malnutrition, dehydration, and feeding tube care, resident injury claims resulting from resident-on-resident or staff-on-resident abuse, resident falls and wrongful death, as well as a variety of other claims including negligent hiring and supervision.

Attorneys in this section of the Health Care practice also help individuals achieve Medicaid eligibility by preparing and/or modifying estate plans, including the instruments necessary to preserve Medicaid eligibility.

Our practice includes representing clients in the following matters, among others:

  • Traditional estate planning, including preparation of Wills, Trusts and related tax advice;
  • Planning for incapacity, including preparation of Durable Powers of Attorney, Medical Care Powers of Attorney, Revocable Living Trusts and Advance Directives or “Living Wills”;
  • Housing matters, including reverse equity mortgages, landlord/tenant issues and tax advice concerning sale of a principal residence;
  • Medicaid eligibility (including trust planning);
  • Medicare Claims and Appeals;
  • Social Security and Disability Claims and Appeals;
  • Supplemental and Long-Term Health Insurance Issues;
  • Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”);
  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”); and
  • Retirement Planning, including tax advice and Social Security benefits.

Health Care Transactions
Thompson Coe’s corporate and business transaction attorneys work closely with health care regulatory and antitrust lawyers to achieve successful results. They are skilled in forming corporations, limited and general partnerships, limited liability companies, and joint ventures.

We frequently help clients apply for Section 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(6) status, advise health care clients on maintaining their tax-exempt status, and advise clients in areas of corporate reorganization. In addition, our attorneys regularly provide advice on state non-profit, ad valorem and franchise taxes, as well as state indigent and charity care requirements.

Our practice includes representing clients in matters involving, among others:

  • HIPPA compliance
  • Due diligence
  • Corporate governance
  • Joint ventures Establishing and advising 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(6) organizations
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Financing private placements
  • Contract drafting and reviewing
  • Business formation and reorganization
  • Tax planning
  • Tax-exempt financing
  • Physician and nurse recruitment
  • Contract negotiation with PPOs and HMOs
  • Union negotiation
  • Trade associations formation and operation
  • Physician practice formation and operation
  • Medicare and Medicaid application filings (e.g., CMS-855S)
  • FDA approval applications
  • Peer review and accreditation issues
  • Employee benefits and labor issues

Lobbying and Policy-Making
Attorneys in this section of the Health Care practice are experienced in representing the interests of the health care industry trade associations and health care clients on matters pending before Congress, the Texas Legislature, and various state and federal regulatory agencies.

Our practice includes representing clients in cases involving, among others:

  • Providing comments to government agencies concerning proposed federal and state regulations
  • Drafting proposed legislation and regulations
  • Meeting with representatives of various governmental agencies and legislative bodies
  • Advising clients on impact of legislation and regulation
  • Developing white papers
  • Analyzing state legislation and regulations
  • Meeting with state and national legislators

Labor & Employment
Thompson Coe’s labor and employment lawyers regularly advise health care industry clients, including medical associations, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, insurance carriers, and physicians, concerning the full spectrum of labor and employment issues.

Our lawyers have significant experience in drafting employment agreements, covenants not to compete, and severance agreements, and assisting employers in reducing work force, mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures. Additionally, we are well-versed in developing employment policies and procedures, compensation plans, and employee benefit packages.

We regularly represent employers in both individual and class action discrimination litigation in federal trial and appellate courts, state courts, and before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).