IT IS TIME TO CONGRATULATE STACEY LIPITZ MARDER, ESQ. ON BECOMING A PARTNER.

Weiss Zarett Brofman Sonnenklar & Levy, P.C., is pleased to announce that Stacey Lipitz Marder, Esq.  as been promoted to a Partner of the Firm. Ms. Marder has been an integral part of the Weiss Zarett team since 2015 and has been practicing law since 2007. Ms. Marder focuses her practice in the area of healthcare law, with an emphasis on transactional matters and regulatory compliance. She has represented clients in both New York and New Jersey in connection with the formation and structure of professional practices and Article 28 facilities, joint ventures, stock and asset acquisitions, employment and consulting agreements, commercial leases, license agreements, buy/sell agreements, settlement agreements, and general corporate counseling. Ms. Marder  also has experience advising healthcare clients on a wide range of regulatory issues including Stark, the Anti-Kickback Statute and HIPAA, managed care disputes, Medicare and Medicaid investigations, and licensure matters. She is also a frequent lecturer on health care topics including employment agreement negotiations and fraud and abuse.

“Since the day she joined us, Stacey has truly been an asset to the firm. She has consistently demonstrated high quality business and legal acumen, with a proven track record of serving clients. We are honored to have Stacey become a Partner, and we are excited to have Stacey meaningfully contribute to the development and growth of our law practice for many years to come,” commented Mathew Levy, Esq., on behalf of all the Partners at the Firm.  

Please join us in congratulating Stacey on such a significant milestone in her professional career.

MATHEW J. LEVY, ESQ. WILL BE SPEAKING AT NEW YORK MEDICAL COLLEGE

On Wednesday, January 6, 2021, Mathew J. Levy, Esq. will be presenting to senior residents at NYMC regarding contracts for young physicians. 


See below for a previous publication from Mr. Levy regarding this topic:
Understanding How to Respond to a Visit From an Investigator
Understanding Physician Employment Contracts
Understanding Physician Lease Agreements & The Anti-Kickback Statute
Understanding Prepayment Audit Reviews

QUI TAM/WHISTLEBLOWER SETTLEMENT OBTAINED FOR FIRM CLIENT

Press Release: Weiss Zarett Brofman Sonnenklar & Levy, P.C., represents client in Whistleblower Case against New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation and Former Program Director of the Podiatric Medicine and Surgery Residency Program at Coney Island Hospital, which pays $1.25 million to Settle Lawsuit Alleging Submission of False Claims to Medicare and Medicaid

Brooklyn, New York, September 24, 2020 – The New York City Health and Hospital Corporation (“HHC”) and Glenn J. Donovan, DPM (“Dr. Donovan”), former Program Director of the Podiatric Medicine and Surgery Residency Program at Coney Island Hospital (“CIH”), have agreed to pay $1.25 million under the False Claims Act (“FCA”) to settle a whistleblower case brought by a podiatrist, Irina Gelman, DPM, who alleged that HHC and Dr. Donovan knowingly violated Medicare and Medicaid program requirements in submitting claims for hospital and professional services, and in operating the PMSR program at CIH.

Dr. Gelman’s “qui tam” (whistleblower) lawsuit against HHC and Dr. Donovan was filed in 2012 in federal district court in Brooklyn. Dr. Gelman was represented by the law firms Farrell Fritz, P.C., Kaiser Law Firm, PLLC and Weiss Zarett Brofman Sonnenklar & Levy P.C.

“Dr. Gelman is a medical professional of utmost integrity who refused, at great personal cost and over the course of eight long years, to look away from what she knew were wrongful billing and operational practices inside the podiatry residency program at Coney Island Hospital,” said Geoffrey R. Kaiser, a whistleblower attorney and Principal of Kaiser Law Firm, PLLC. “She never once wavered in her confidence and belief.” 

The whistleblower complaint alleges that HHC and Donovan: (1) submitted or caused to be submitted claims for payment to Medicare and Medicaid, which violated Medicare and Medicaid program requirements governing payment for inpatient and outpatient hospital services for podiatry at CIH, payment for professional podiatrist services furnished by Dr. Donovan, and payment for the costs of direct and indirect graduate medical education relating to the podiatric and surgical residency program for podiatry residents at CIH; (2) violated standards and requirements established by the Council on Podiatric Medical Education governing the podiatric medicine and surgery residency program at CIH; and (3) submitted or caused to be submitted claims for payment for the costs of graduate medical education and indirect medical education, and for hospital and professional services in which certain podiatry residents at CIH participated, during periods when those podiatry residents lacked a Limited Residency Permit established pursuant to § 7008 of the New York Education Law.

Dr. Gelman served as a podiatric resident, including in the position of Chief Resident, in the PMSR program at CIH from July 2010 until in or about late 2013. As a podiatry resident, Dr. Gelman witnessed the improper billing and operational practices that compelled her to commence her whistleblower lawsuit. 

“This case highlights the importance of people being willing to step forward and expose improper conduct and billing involving federal and state funds,” said Kevin P. Mulry, a litigation partner at Farrell Fritz, “particularly where the allegations involve a troubling lack of training and supervision in one of our public hospitals.”  

“From the moment I met Dr. Gelman, I was singularly impressed by her desire to expose institutional wrongs impacting the public fisc,” notes David A. Zarett, Esq., a founding member of Weiss Zarett Brofman Sonnenklar & Levy, P.C., “and her confidence and self-determination to pursue this issue in court rather than look the other way.” 

An important aspect of the case is that Dr. Gelman and her attorneys litigated it entirely on their own to recover federal and state taxpayer money since the government declined to intervene in the qui tam lawsuit.

“The government is frequently the first to point out that a declination does not mean that a case lacks merit, since there are many reasons that the government may sometimes elect not to intervene in a whistleblower case,” Kaiser said.  “We could not be more pleased to have played a part in prosecuting this important case, and to have recovered significant proceeds for taxpayers.”

$1,030,325.00 of the settlement amount will be paid to the United States for Medicare-related conduct and the federal portion of Medicaid-related conduct. $219,675.00 will be paid to New York State for the state portion of Medicaid-related conduct covered under the settlement agreement. 

The federal False Claims Act and similar state laws offer whistleblowers (frequently called “Relators”) protections and rewards to encourage them to file qui tam lawsuits against individuals and entities that are stealing from the government through Medicare fraud and other types of fraud. The laws also allow whistleblowers and their counsel to independently pursue FCA claims on behalf of the government when the government declines to join a qui tam lawsuit, which is what happened in Dr. Gelman’s case. 

Case citation: United States of America, et al., ex rel. Gelman vs. Glenn J. Donovan, DPM, et al., Case No. 12-CV-5142

Mathew J. Levy, Esq. will be speaking at the New York Chiropractic Council 31st Annual Convention

Mathew J. Levy, Esq. will be speaking at the New York Chiropractic Council 31st Annual Convention.

This course looks at the third-party payor audit process and how to avoid being subject to one of these audits. The course will also address what to do when an investigator shows up at the office.

There is perhaps no more frustrating moment in a doctor’s career than when a health plan or managed care company notifies him/her that, after the doctor has spent countless hours and expended endless efforts to get paid fifty or sixty cents on the dollar for services rendered to his/her patients, the payor is now suddenly demanding that some exorbitant amount of money be “repaid” to the payor, or that the payor is not going to pay the doctor for the services rendered and billed until documentation is reviewed. This course will explore the basis for these audits, including retrospective overpayment demands and prepayment audit reviews, as well as the steps involved in responding to these audits to achieve the most favorable results possible.  Furthermore, we will explore how a doctor can reduce his/her odds of being subject to a third-party payor audit, and what to do if an investigator pays an unexpected visit to the doctor’s office.

MAURO VISKOVIC, ESQ. HAS JOINED THE FIRM

By Mauro Viskovic, Esq.
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Mauro Viskovic is pleased to announce that he has joined Weiss Zarett Brofman Sonnenklar & Levy, P.C., bringing with him over 20 years of experience representing clients in mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance deals, private fund matters, and a wide range of other transactional and securities law matters.

Mauro is proud to be part of the Weiss Zarett team, as Mauro shares with Weiss Zarett the same focus on strong attorney-client communications, responsiveness, and high quality legal services that you have come to expect.

Weiss Zarett is a prominent and well-respected Long Island-based Firm known for assisting members of the healthcare industry and general business clients.  In the healthcare field, Weiss Zarett represents physicians and physician groups, other healthcare providers and health-related businesses with a wide array of legal services including corporate and transactional matters, civil and administrative litigation, healthcare regulatory issues, governmental and commercial payor audits, bankruptcy, and commercial real-estate transactions.  Weiss Zarett brings decades of experience to this complex and ever-changing area of practice.

Equally experienced outside of the healthcare industry, Weiss Zarett advises and represents businesses and business owners in corporate and commercial matters, business disputes, employment practice, commercial, bankruptcy and commercial real estate and commercial landlord and tenant litigation, creditor’s rights, financing, documenting secured transactions and all phases of commercial real-estate transactions.

Mauro is looking forward to continuing his valued relationship with you here at his new home with Weiss Zarett and offering all the additional services now available to you at the Firm.  Please feel free to call upon us for your legal needs.