Healthcare Information Technology

Technology continues to transform the delivery of healthcare and is vital to advancing interactions among patients, caregivers, clinicians, vendors, providers and payers. Our Healthcare Information Technology (HIT) Practice Group provides business-oriented, practical solutions to commercial and regulatory issues that are faced by both healthcare IT vendors and the providers that use healthcare technology.

Healthcare information technology issues are not limited to software companies or Silicon Valley—our healthcare clients rely every day on hardware, software and services to reduce costs, avoid reimbursement reductions, improve patient care, and compete in a rapidly changing environment. Because of our extensive knowledge of the healthcare and information technology industries, our integrated team represents many of the nation’s leading health systems, academic institutions, payers and senior living solutions companies on the acquisition, licensing, development and use of technology.

We also provide an advantage to technology innovators and companies operating in the healthcare industry as a result of our diverse healthcare and technical experience. For example, we understand the factors that healthcare providers should take into account when considering a healthcare IT purchase and the process that leads to a purchasing decision. We represent all types of healthcare technology vendors, including hardware and software providers, healthcare data analytics companies, life science companies, and healthcare social media companies, as well as entrepreneurs, executives, clinicians, and investors involved in startups, joint ventures and spinoffs.

We have advised clients on a full-range of healthcare IT legal issues, including:

  • Becoming a “meaningful” user of electronic health record (EHR/EMR) technology in order to qualify for federal and state incentives and avoid reimbursement penalties.
  • Navigating the interplay between the meaningful use requirement and obligations under pre-existing programs, such as the physician quality reporting system (PQRS) and the e-prescribing (eRx) incentive program.
  • Developing healthcare IT joint ventures and strategic relationship agreements.
  • Assisting revenue cycle management (RCM) providers in all aspects of licensing agreements, intellectual property protection, mergers and acquisitions, financing transactions and privacy matters.
  • Negotiating HIT transactions for both healthcare providers and vendors, including acquiring and implementing enterprise-wide licenses for clinical and financial operations software, hardware and technology-based services by multi-hospital systems.
  • Complying with the latest federal laws and regulations regarding HIPAA and the privacy and security of personal health information, including federal and state security standards, business associate standards and breach reporting requirements.
  • Incorporating information security and EHR into a healthcare company’s compliance plan and patient experience.
  • Guiding clients through the maze of federal and state reimbursement and fraud and abuse laws that may affect how EHRs are transferred and funded, including advice on Stark Law exceptions and anti-kickback safe harbors for donations of EHR systems and e-prescribing capabilities.
  • Incorporating the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) “red flag” rules into the overall information security framework for healthcare companies.
  • Advising hospital systems on use of mobile devices, including physician use of mobile devices to transmit and access electronic patient records.
  • Representing physicians and entrepreneurs in manufacturing and commercialization agreements with medical device companies.
  • Crafting and implementing sophisticated outsourcing, licensing and development arrangements, including business process and information technology outsourcing (BPO/ITO).
  • Developing intellectual property portfolio strategies.
  • Assessing potential issues under federal and state antitrust laws as interoperability and data-sharing increase.

Healthcare IT Litigation

Healthcare organizations today face an evolving regulatory environment that increasingly embraces the use of new healthcare IT across the entire spectrum of patient care. As a result, healthcare organizations rely heavily on their software vendors to provide robust, adequately tested products that not only ensure regulatory compliance but also facilitate safe and efficient operations.

The current regulatory environment has created unprecedented opportunities for healthcare software vendors who are aggressively competing for market share. Occasionally, the strong demand and fierce competition among software vendors can result in unsubstantiated promises, poorly resourced or inadequately supervised software implementations, and inattention to critical organizational details – any of which have the potential to be financially or operationally devastating to healthcare organizations.

Bass, Berry & Sims has unique experience in investigating and identifying claims and resolving disputes that may arise between healthcare organizations and their information technology vendors. We have successfully prosecuted claims against major healthcare software vendors, the most recent of which resulted in a nine-figure arbitration award in favor of our client.

From providing general advice on information technology transactions to investigating and resolving disputes surrounding failed implementations, Bass, Berry & Sims’ team of healthcare information technology litigators is experienced in managing the intricate technology-related issues that face our healthcare clients. During times of information technology related challenge, we advise healthcare organizations and work closely with them to develop a plan of action. When viable legal claims are identified, our attorneys will advise our clients of the potential legal remedies that may be available and explain the options for pursuing those claims.

Jaime L. Barwig
Associate
Robert L. Brewer
Member
Stefanie P. Carter
Associate
Meredith Edwards Collins
Associate
Michael Dagley
Member
Alexandria Wood Davenport
Associate
John A. Greer
Senior IP Attorney
Chelsea L. Harrison
Associate
Angela Humphreys
Member
J. James Jenkins, Jr.
Member
Amy Sanders Morgan
Associate
Daniela J. O'Mara
Associate
H. Shine Chen Schattgen
Associate
Russell E. Stair
Member
Greg Stevens
Senior Counsel
G. Scott Thomas
Member
Shelley R. Thomas
Member
Meredith Mallard Thompson
Counsel
Nesrin Garan Tift
Member
Elizabeth S. Warren
Member