Our law firm represents business owners, professionals and healthcare providers in Augusta, Georgia and other Communities We Serve. Our firm’s typical clients are physicians, federally qualified health centers, elder care facilities, ambulance services, pharmacies and owners of closely held specialty businesses.
We Provide Legal Solutions for Healthcare Businesses
We take care of the legal side of the business of healthcare so that our clients can focus on providing care. We advise and represent healthcare providers and businesses in the following types of legal matters:
- Formation, Ownership Agreements and Joint Ventures
- Staffing and Employment Law
- Physician Employment Agreements
- STARK LAW/Self-Referral/Anti-Kickback
- Concierge Medicine
- Medical Practice Sales
- Contracts and Transactions
- HIPAA/HITECH Privacy and Security
- Affordable Care Act
- Accountable Care Organizations
- Compliance Programs
- Medical Audits
- Reimbursement and Third Party Payer Contracting
- Medicare Reimbursement
- Litigation, Administrative Hearings and Alternative Dispute Resolution
Augusta lies on the eastern side of Georgia, bordered by the Savannah River and the State of South Carolina. Augusta is directly across the Savannah River from North Augusta, South Carolina, approximately 140 miles east of Georgia’s capital, Atlanta, about 75 miles west of South Carolina’s capital, Columbia, and within what is known as the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA). The Augusta area population is about 200,000 people. Our Augusta office is located within the downtown medical district.
Augusta, Georgia Healthcare Attorneys
Our business and Healthcare lawyers have extensive legal experience. They have represented Augusta area physicians, physician groups, and physician associations in connection with managed care contracts and disputes, reimbursement issues, and regulatory compliance issues. Augusta has a very strong healthcare industry, including University Hospital and numerous other hospitals, physician groups, and other medical providers in a Medical District that employs over 25,000 people.
The Continuously Changing Healthcare Landscape
Healthcare is the most regulated industry in the United States. The Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act (“ACA,” a/k/a “Obama Care”) as the law of the land. The ACA and implementing regulations will profoundly affect physicians, hospitals and a host of other healthcare businesses. By 2022, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that 33 million Americans who would otherwise be uninsured will be insured because of the ACA. For physicians, the ACA has many well-intended elements, but the impact of the ACA upon the profession will not be positive according to many experts.
Under the ACA, physicians are intended to have more control over patient decisions and less uncompensated care or claim denials. Insurers will be prohibited from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions, young adults will have coverage on their parents’ policies until age 26, and annual and lifetime limits on insurance coverage are eliminated. More insured individuals should (in theory) mean more insured patients and third-party payer reimbursement. The ACA will usher plenty of change. It will, for example, encourage coordinated care by medical team organizations that will allow a doctor to profit by providing better care at lower costs, with emphasis on prevention, and reduction of unnecessary hospital admission.
The ACA is intended to reduce administrative costs by standardization in billing and an emphasis upon electronic records and protection of private medical information, with strong financial incentives for healthcare providers who comply and stiff penalties for those that do not. Whether the ACA will succeed in controlling healthcare costs may largely depend upon efforts to transform the way healthcare is delivered, from encouraging accountable care organizations and medical homes to utilization of various metrics intended to measure the quality of care that will impact reimbursement to providers.
In addition to healthcare providers, the ACA will also profoundly affect tens of thousands of small businesses. Although not all businesses (big or small) will embrace the ACA as a positive thing, many aspects of the ACA are well intended for small businesses. For example, a business with 25 employees or less that pays average annual wages of less than $50,000 and provides health insurance can qualify for a small business tax credit of up to 35% to offset the cost of insurance. In 2014, the tax credit will increase to 50%. In 2014, a business with less than one hundred employees can participate in an affordable insurance “exchange” (sort of an insurance marketplace) that, in theory, will give it power like a large business in shopping for better insurance choices at lower prices. Effective in 2018, the ACA will impose a 35 percent tax on employers whose health benefit plans cost more than $10,200 for individuals ($27,500 for families), incentivizing employers not to provide Cadillac insurance policies. Owners of small businesses should begin to educate themselves now on how the ACA will impact their business, both with respect to requirements it may impose respecting insurance and also opportunities it will present to enhance the bottom line.
Our Law Firm’s Focus: the Healthcare Industry
Our attorneys have a demonstrated interest in helping doctors and other healthcare providers succeed in their businesses. Kevin Little represented numerous physicians and the Medical Association of Georgia with regard to managed care issues impacting doctors and other healthcare providers.
“Kevin Little [of Hamil Little] represented the Medical Association of Georgia and individual physicians in a matter addressing the abuses of the health insurance industry. Kevin was a pleasure to work with and brought forth legal theories to hold the health insurance industry accountable to physicians and patients. We received outstanding representation from Kevin.” *
Donald Palmisano, CEO and General Counsel, Medical Association of Georgia
Augusta is a growing city that boasts strong employment opportunities. In addition to a very strong healthcare industry, Augusta and the CSRA have a thriving industry of large employers, including Club Car, CareSouth, International Paper, NutraSweet and Proctor and Gamble; a long-standing military presence, the U.S. Army Signal Center at Fort Gordon; two unique nuclear sites located near Augusta, the Savannah River Site in Aiken, South Carolina and the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant (aka “Plant Vogtle”) in Waynesboro, Georgia, which combine to employ tens of thousands of people who reside in the CSRA; and a strong educational and research presence with Georgia Regents University.
Augusta is perhaps most well known as the home of the Augusta National Golf Club and for the annual Masters Golf Tournament, one of the greatest sporting events in the world held the first full week of April. During Masters week, Augusta plays host to hundreds of thousands of guests from all over the world who travel to see golf’s best vie for the most coveted prize in golf, the Green Jacket. Augusta also hosts of the world’s richest drag boat race, the Augusta Southern Nationals, which takes place on the Savannah River.
1450 Greene Street
Augusta, GA 30901