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New York Lawyers for Physical Therapists

Lawyers for Physical Therapists: A Helpful Guide

Physical therapists and physical therapist assistants work in a complex legal environment that requires compliance with various healthcare laws, rules, and regulations. As issues arise in clinical practice, employment, or running a private practice, physical therapists may benefit from securing legal counsel who can provide tailored advice and guidance. This article aims to provide a helpful overview of common legal issues facing physical therapists and how working with a lawyer can help.

Why Physical Therapists Need Lawyers

There are several reasons physical therapists may need to consult with a lawyer:

  • Navigating healthcare laws and regulations – Healthcare is one of the most heavily regulated industries. There are complex federal and state laws governing areas like privacy, documentation, reimbursement, telehealth, and more. Lawyers can help PTs understand and comply with these laws.
  • Managing liability risks – As healthcare providers, PTs face liability risks related to issues like professional negligence, informed consent, and standard of care. Lawyers can advise on liability insurance, documentation practices, and defense in the event of a claim.
  • Employment issues – Employment laws related to discrimination, leave, compensation, and more apply to PTs. Lawyers can assist with employment contracts, non-competes, disputes, and termination.
  • Operating a private practice – Those running their own clinic must comply with business laws and healthcare regulations covering issues like Stark law, anti-kickback statutes, billing, HIPAA, and taxes.
  • Responding to complaints or audits – Lawyers can defend PTs if they receive a complaint from a patient, payer audit, or notice of disciplinary action from a licensing board.
  • Buying, selling, or merging a practice – Legal assistance is crucial when entering partnerships, buying or selling a practice, merging, adding locations, bringing on investors, and more.

Key Healthcare Laws Impacting Physical Therapists

Physical therapists must comply with various federal and state healthcare laws and regulations. Having a lawyer familiar with these key laws can help PTs avoid violations and penalties:

  • HIPAA – The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act protects patient privacy and sets rules for handling protected health information (PHI). Fines for HIPAA violations can be steep.
  • Stark Law – This federal law prohibits physician self-referrals to entities with which they have a financial relationship. It impacts PT private practice owners who refer to their own clinics.
  • Anti-Kickback Statute – This federal law bans paying or receiving remuneration to induce or reward referrals for federal healthcare program business. PTs must avoid improper financial relationships.
  • State practice acts – Each state has laws governing PT licensure, scope of practice, continuing education, and discipline. Lawyers can advise on compliance.
  • Insurance laws – Complex state and federal laws govern areas like reimbursement, network participation, balance billing, utilization review, and more. Legal expertise is key to navigating insurance requirements.
  • Labor laws – Federal and state laws related to wage and hour rules, leave, discrimination, disability, workers’ comp, unemployment, and more apply to PTs as employers or employees.

Key Practice Areas for Physical Therapy Lawyers

Experienced healthcare lawyers can provide legal assistance to physical therapists in many aspects of professional and business operations:

George FernandezGeorge Fernandez
14:16 30 Apr 24
Excellent 10 out of 10, Helped resolve my case. Jeremy explained everything and made everything easy to understand.
21:33 24 Apr 24
If you are looking for a lawyer that listens, is aggressive where needed, and holds his word above all else, Todd is the best pick. I had hired multiple attorneys prior to hiring the Spodek Group for a white collar case. The first thing that stood out to me was the cost, as anyone going through the process and dealing with the system, money was tight at that time - especially after hiring and firing multiple lawyers. The cost was not as high as others which was definitely a plus. Todd's intake process was also unlike other attorneys. He took the time to actually listen. He cared. He was trying to put himself in my shoes while I was explaining the situation to him and he really took the time to understand the whole situation. Other lawyers will give you 15 mins and send you a retainer agreement. Not Todd, I think he spent almost two hours with me as I was explaining everything.Not only was he great during the onboarding process, he was supportive and very informative through the entire plea process and eventually sentencing. After hiring him, I asked if I should hire a prison consultant, he told me to save my money as he would do everything they would. He was right and held up to his word. Later on I would hear from others that went with the prison consultants that they were a waste of money - I am glad I listened to Todd!When it came time for sentencing, two days prior to sentencing, the prosecutor tried increasing my proposed prison time by almost double - apparently a normal move. Todd and his team worked with me non-stop through the weekend prior to sentencing to ensure that I was not given additional prison time. Again, he took the time to listen and came up with a strategy to explain the case with great detail.Unfortunately, I did plead guilty as that was my best option. Todd and his whole team wrote up nearly 300 pages of a summary of what happened and why I should not be given prison time. If I breakdown the amount I spent with Todd versus the amount of work that I saw being done, I am shocked I was not charged four times as much. The other benefit was, a lot of criminal defense lawyers were just a single attorney with a paralegal or two. Todd had a team of people that I dealt with (5-7 people that I interacted with), but he was ALWAYS accessible. It would never take him more than an hour to reply unless he was in court.I was sentenced to prison and I was emotionally distraught. Todd and his team did whatever they could even after sentencing to make sure I was alright. He personally stayed in touch with my family to ensure I was doing alright and offered support to them. Most lawyers would consider the job complete at sentencing, not Todd.After prison, Todd still spent time with me to make sure I was on the right track and avoiding any potential risks in the future. He has also been giving advice on how to navigate probation etc and has not been looking at the clock for billing.Although I wish I had never been arrested in the first place, I am glad I had Todd and his team in my corner. Without them I likely would have had to spend a lot more time in prison than I did.Thank you, Todd, and the entire Spodek Law team, for helping turn what was a nightmare into a manageable situation!
Yelva Saint-PreuxYelva Saint-Preux
19:26 19 Apr 24
I am immensely grateful to the entire team at Spodek Law Group for their unwavering dedication and exceptional expertise throughout my case. From our initial consultation to the final resolution, their professionalism and tireless advocacy made all the difference. Their strategic approach and attention to detail instilled confidence in me every step of the way.Thanks to their hard work and commitment, we achieved a truly favorable outcome that exceeded my expectations. Not only did they navigate the complexities of my case with precision, but they also provided invaluable support and guidance during what was undoubtedly a challenging time. I cannot recommend Spodek Law Group highly enough, especially attorneys Todd Spodek and Claire Banks; they are beacons of excellence in the legal profession.YSP.
Katherine SunKatherine Sun
18:08 18 Apr 24
my lawyer is Alex Zhik. Efficient, patient and professional
Nun yaNun ya
17:48 18 Apr 24
Todd, Ralph and Alex are amazing. Helped my husband get from a double digit number with multiple charges to a single digit, by the time I blink he will be out. They very professional and help with all your needs. They dealt with my anxiety and worry very well and they understand that your family member needs to get home as soon as possible.
Keisha ParrisKeisha Parris
20:45 15 Mar 24
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko BeautyTaïko Beauty
16:26 15 Mar 24
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence.Thank you team!
K MarK Mar
01:37 25 Jan 24
I recently had Spodek Law Group represent me for a legal matter in NYC and I am thoroughly impressed with their services.Alex Zhik secured the best possible outcome for my case.It was a seamless journey from the initial consultation to the resolution of my legal matter. From the moment I spoke to Todd about my case, his enthusiasm to help was evident, setting a positive tone for the entire experience. The efficiency and professionalism displayed by the team is commendable.A particularly noteworthy aspect of their service is their user-friendly portal to upload your documents/evidence. This not only simplified the process, but showcases their commitment to streamline the client experience.Lastly, in an industry where legal fees can often be a concern, I found their pricing to be very reasonable, making needing legal assistance feel accessible and stress-free.I am grateful for their support and wouldn't hesitate to turn to them again in the future.

Healthcare Regulatory Compliance

  • Advising on federal and state healthcare laws and regulations
  • Conducting risk assessments and implementing compliance programs
  • Updating policies and procedures to meet legal requirements
  • Training staff on properly handling PHI, documentation, coding, billing, etc.

Professional Licensure Defense

  • Responding to licensing board complaints and investigations
  • Guiding defense in disciplinary hearings and appeals
  • Advising on compliance with practice act requirements
  • Appealing improper licensure denial or discipline

Malpractice Litigation

  • Managing liability risks through proper documentation, informed consent, etc.
  • Advising on liability insurance needs
  • Responding to claims of negligence or malpractice
  • Defending PTs in mediation, arbitration, or trial

Private Practice Business Law

  • Structuring a practice entity and addressing Stark Law, Anti-Kickback Statute, etc.
  • Handling mergers, acquisitions, partnerships, adding locations, bringing on investors
  • Navigating contracts with payers, vendors, management services organizations, etc.
  • Advising on employment matters, leases, taxes, and other business issues

Payor Reimbursement Disputes

  • Appealing denied claims and fighting improper recoupment attempts
  • Challenging audits and defending against allegations of fraud
  • Negotiating out-of-network status and reimbursement rates
  • Complying with payor documentation and billing rules

Employment Law Services

  • Drafting employee contracts and agreements with independent contractors
  • Advising on wage and hour, leave, discrimination, disability, and safety issues
  • Responding to EEOC charges or lawsuits over termination, harassment, etc.
  • Handling unemployment insurance hearings and workers’ comp claims

Questions to Ask When Selecting a Lawyer

Not all attorneys have relevant experience assisting physical therapists. When choosing legal counsel, PTs should ask:

  • Do you have experience working with physical therapists and physical therapy practices?
  • What is your knowledge of healthcare regulations like HIPAA, Stark Law, Anti-Kickback Statute?
  • How familiar are you with physical therapy licensing laws and disciplinary processes?
  • Have you handled cases involving physical therapy liability, malpractice, or reimbursement disputes?
  • What is your experience advising physical therapy private practice owners?
  • Do you have experience with employment law issues relevant to physical therapists?
  • Will you provide training for me and my staff on key healthcare regulatory compliance issues?
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