Hospitals across the country are still facing unprecedented demand for COVID-19 treatment. As of today, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that over two million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19 infections. As hospital staff continue to work around the clock and explore new options for treating more patients than their facilities can handle, hospital administrators must ensure that their operations remain compliant with the myriad laws and regulations that apply.
As the COVID-19 crisis continues to paralyze life in America, hospitals are on the front lines of protecting public health and helping the country get to the point that it can reopen. However, when they are performing triage, diagnosing and treating COVID-19 patients, consulting with other patients (in person and remotely), and opening temporary facilities, hospitals are still very much at risk for exposing themselves to legal liability. This includes both liability in private civil litigation (i.e. medical malpractice and wrongful death claims) and liability in federal law enforcement proceedings (i.e. investigations targeting Medicare fraud and Anti-Kickback Statute violations).
In order to help hospitals mitigate their liability risk, Oberheiden P.C. is offering a hospital compliance program to facilities that are operating during the COVID-19 crisis. According to firm founder, attorney Nick Oberheiden, PhD, “Hospitals are currently on the front lines, and they are doing everything they can to protect American citizens, but unfortunately this is not enough to insulate them from legal risk. We have already seen several instances of lawsuits being filed against hospitals involving a broad range of allegations.”
According to Dr. Oberheiden, the firm’s hospital compliance program is designed specifically to help hospitals meet their legal obligations while also meeting the extraordinary demands of the novel coronavirus outbreak in the United States. “Hospitals face enormous compliance burdens under normal circumstances,” he says, “but their obligations are even greater – and their risks are even higher – during the COVID-19 crisis.” In particular, Dr. Oberheiden says that hospital administrators need to be wary of assuming that compliance issues will be overlooked during the crisis, and that hospitals cannot expect patients and their families to forego asserting their legal rights.
“Our firm is uniquely positioned to assist hospitals during the outbreak,” says Dr. Oberheiden. “A significant portion of our practice is devoted to health care compliance, and our compliance team is led by former U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) attorneys who previously prosecuted health care fraud cases on behalf of the federal government. Our team also includes senior consultants who previously served in high-level positions with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and other federal regulatory agencies.”
With a nationwide presence, Oberheiden P.C. is offering its hospital compliance program to facilities across the country. Hospital administrators and executives who have questions should contact the firm at 214-692-2171 or email Dr. Oberheiden directly at [email protected].
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