EMS and Public Safety

Healthcare and public service. Medicine and transportation. First responder and clinician. Emergency medical services is often the proverbial square peg in a round hole. Most healthcare law is written with physicians and hospitals squarely in mind. Having a dedicated legal counsel who is familiar with the unique needs of EMS is a virtual necessity in the current regulatory climate.
That means having legal counsel experienced at interpreting statutes, regulations, and rules for healthcare and emergency medical services. The Law Office of Mark Smith, PLLC has the experience to help your agency with any navigate all of these compliance pitfalls and assist with any legal matter.

Healthcare Compliance

In fiscal year 2013, the U.S. Departments of Justice and Health and Human Services recovered $4.3 billion related to healthcare fraud. And, over the last three years, the federal government has ambulanceaveraged a return on their investment to combat fraud of 8.1 to 1. In other words, the government recovers $8.10 for every $1 they invest in enforcement actions. That is a very lucrative return on investment. As a result, more federal dollars are being budgeted for various healthcare fraud investigations. Many ambulance providers have been caught up in federal prosecutions, including several in the Houston area.

The Law Office of Mark Smith, PLLC has helped numerous EMS agencies analyze their Medicare/Medicaid fraud risks and develop many compliance plans to help protect agencies when the Office of Inspector General knocks on the door.

General Counsel

A good General Counsel is much more than an agency lawyer. A General Counsel should be a valued team member who knows your business and can take proactive steps to help the business avoid risk, increase productivity, and generate healthy profits.

Just as every person is a unique individual, all businesses develop their own identity. Knowing a company’s strengths, needs, and personalities is vital to effective representation. When hired as a General Counsel for a company, the first thing Mark strives to do is to understand all aspects of the business – the mission, culture, corporate structure, goals, plans, and everything else that makes the company one of a kind. Having a legal partner who knows the ins and outs of your business is crucial to long-term success.

Contracts & Commercial Real Estate

The life blood of any business is the transaction. EMS agencies are no different. Provider agreements with facilities, event medicine contracts, or 911 provider agreements with various government agencies are common in the industry. Every time a transaction occurs a contract is formed. Depending on the size, complexity, and frequency of the transaction, a business may need a valid, written contract to spell out all of the terms and conditions. Such an agreement can mean the difference between a healthy business relationship and expensive, nasty litigation.

Mark has the experience to help your agency negotiate, draft, and execute all of its vital agreements to increase revenue and mitigate risks. Call today if you have questions regarding purchase agreements, provider contracts, employment contracts, non-compete clauses, commercial leases, or any other business contract.

HR Issues

Hiring employees is an exciting time in the growth of any business. Expanding your workforce means you’re doing something right and people want you to do more of it. On the other hand, having employees is one of the greatest sources of liability for any business. Depending on how many employees you have, the following list of laws likely apply:

  • FLSA
  • ADA
  • PPACA (Obamacare)
  • OSHA
  • Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
  • Texas Payday Act

These laws only scratch the surface of all of the federal, state, and local laws which affect businesses. Many laws impose different standards in different industries. Having an attorney to guide you through compliance with all of the statutes, regulations, and rules applicable to your business helps you avoid unnecessary risk.

EMS agencies often have specific employment related issues, especially related to non-profit or government-based 911 services. Often, these services have a mix of volunteer and paid providers. This and other issues related to EMS present unique challenges in employment law and human resources.
Mark has attained a certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) through the Society of Human Resources Management. This focus on employment related issues can prove extremely valuable to your business when it encounters human resources related questions. Call today to have Mark review your current policies or for a free consultation on how he can help your business avoid employment risks.