Flaster Greenberg healthcare attorneys Steve Greenberg, Mark Roderick and Alan Zuckerman were tapped by South Jersey Magazine to give expert commentary on how the healthcare industry, specifically in New Jersey, is rapidly evolving and how it’s having a direct impact on physicians.
The article, which was featured in the April 2013 issue, explains how physicians are faced with decisions about efficiency, consolidation and asset protection as the country struggles with ways to deliver healthcare at a lower cost.
Flaster Greenberg has been involved in thousands of physician practice matters over the years, serving as trusted counsel to several of the largest practices in the area. The firm’s attorneys have extensive experience in the healthcare industry and healthcare law, allowing them to provide focused, practical and efficient service to clients. Healthcare providers and related businesses have turned to Flaster Greenberg for assistance with mergers and acquisitions, employment law, tax, estates, asset protection planning and pension and benefit plans, among others.
Steve Greenberg, President and Chair of the Healthcare Practice Group at Flaster Greenberg, told the magazine that “our firm has represented physicians since its inception.” He goes on to say that “working in this area of the law has given us the opportunity to see the good, bad and the ugly. We know what has worked well and what pitfalls clients should be aware of when contemplating these transactions.”
Private practices getting absorbed into larger health systems is one of the most publicized methods of consolidation. Physicians may consider selling a practice to a hospital or entering into a financial agreement with one to help reduce costs while creating income stability, increasing reimbursements, and attracting patient volume. This trend toward consolidation has created what is known as Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), which is another option for physicians who are looking to build a future within a large organization that will share in cost savings and bring revenue back to those involved.
Mark Roderick, Shareholder at Flaster Greenberg, told the magazine that “the government encourages these ACOs to reduce healthcare costs by minimizing the treatment provided to patients without sacrificing the care. If the ACO members are successful, the government refunds a portion of the savings back to the group.”
Additionally, private equity firms are also analyzing and making investments in the healthcare industry. Alan Zuckerman, shareholder at Flaster Greenberg, says these private equity firms are looking to buy physician’s practices, but it’s not a simple transaction. “In New Jersey, the law generally states that non-physicians cannot own a medical practice,” he says. “We have the experience navigating within the laws to help the firm form a management service organization (MSO) for the practice it wishes to buy.” Flaster Greenberg has participated in equity deals like this on a national and local level.
“These moves are indicative of the industry-wide movement away from segmentation,” says Roderick. “We don’t know what the healthcare industry will look like in 20 years—if it will be government owned or if it will be large institutions. Private equity is another way that medicine is becoming industrialized.”
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