By: Greg Edwards, Reporter
St. Louis Business Journal
The Lashly & Baer law firm is expanding its legal services, and it’s hiring. The firm, long active in the health care arena, has formed a health care team to advise business client on federal government investigations and prosecutions, state licensing, commercial disputes, privacy and the opioid crisis.
“The number of calls we are getting from providers regarding government investigations, payer disputes, privacy issues, and licensure issues has probably tripled in the past two years,” said Stuart Vogelsmeier, chairman of the team. “So many people hear the words ‘health care litigation’ and they think of medical malpractice actions. We have defended providers for years in these actions. But now, the government and commercial payers seem to be the opposing parties.”
In part, the formalization of the practice is a marketing strategy, but it’s also a way to standardize health care client services. “There are not a lot of road maps in this area. So many of these investigations and audits are new creatures brought about by the Affordable Care Act,” Vogelsmeier said.
The firm plans to expand its six-lawyer health care practice by two in the immediate future and two more within the next three years, Vogelsmeier said.“These issues aren’t going to go away any time soon,” he said. While Vogelsmeier runs the day-to-day health care practice, Rick Watters, who has practiced in health care law for decades, will provide advice. “Rick is the guru of health care law,” Voglesmeier said.
Matthew Eddy will be the lead attorney for federal government investigations and prosecutions. Michael Barth will lead the state licensure action efforts. Richard Hill specializes in certificate of need, defending facility licensing actions, and health care regulatory compliance counseling. Matthew McBride will focus on payment disputes with commercial insurance companies.
“Providers are very frustrated in the delays they are experiencing in getting paid,” McBride said.
Lashly & Baer was founded 107 years ago and has offices in downtown St. Louis and Belleville. It has about 50 lawyers. Lisa Stump is firm
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