Nearly 1 in 3 attorneys at Chapman Law Group earned their Master of Law (LL.M.) in Health Law from Loyola University School of Law. In this video, they welcome Loyola Professor Kristin Finn to discuss the advantages their advanced law degrees make in their careers as healthcare lawyers.
What makes our national health care lawyers leaders in healthcare fraud, healthcare compliance, civil litigation, and licensing/regulatory matters? Our edge is knowing the intricacies and nuances of health care law, and that comes from a specialized, advanced education.
We are proud that nearly 1 in every 3 healthcare attorneys at Chapman Law Group holds a Master of Law (LL.M.) in Health Law from Loyola University School of Law, the top school in the U.S. for health law studies. This puts us in a higher class for representing healthcare providers nationwide.
“Unless you have an LL.M.,” says Ronald W. Chapman Sr., Chapman Law Group’s founding shareholder, president and CEO, and a Loyola grad (2016), “you really don’t know healthcare law. You know maybe a small section of it, but you don’t have the breadth of it. You can analyze the Anti-Kickback problem, but you won’t be able to see some other problem, whether it’s a Stark Law problem or whether their compliance program isn’t very good.”
With advanced legal degrees from Loyola, our attorneys use this knowledge in practical ways for our clients. We know to look beyond the surface of one problem to discover and help prevent another, and to give healthcare providers the quality service and zealous advocacy they need.
As complex as the practice of medicine is, healthcare law is just as intricate. Being a health care law attorney means having a thorough and practical understanding of the regulatory, political, ethical, and economic aspects that go with the healthcare profession.
With healthcare being a highly regulated industry, there’s a lot at stake for a physician, pain management specialist, chiropractor, nurse practitioner, or other health care provider who runs afoul of the law, needs malpractice defense, wants to expand their practice, or is under federal investigation.
If this should happen to you, you will want attorneys who can understand and break down all of the criminal and regulatory/licensing consequences — and provide the best counsel to get you back to your career of helping patients.
Those are the health care compliance, health care fraud, health care-based criminal law, and malpractice/civil litigation lawyers who have earned their credentials from a highly regarded law institution: Loyola.
“Having tools [such as an LL.M.] to understand the landscape and how it all fits together is really beneficial and something you really can’t have if you haven’t studied health law in particular,” says Prof. Finn, who serves as the curriculum and career advisor for campus health law students.
Why is Loyola’s Health Law LL.M. program the highest ranked at the university? And outside the campus walls, what prompted Law Street Media to put Loyola at No. 1 in health care law in its 2017 Specialty Rankings, and U.S News & World Report to rate Loyola’s health care law program as the country’s third best in its 2021 Specialties Ranking?
Because the 60 courses in its health law program cover everything that a lawyer needs to know about healthcare providers and their practices and careers in relation to government health policy and the criminal statute. Consider these subjects in Loyola’s program:
Chapman Law Group’s national healthcare defense lawyers who hold a Loyola LL.M. studied these subjects — and many, many more — in order to gain the kind of advanced healthcare knowledge that medical professionals deserve. In a manner of speaking, our Loyola graduates are at the top of their class.
Just as law itself is a fluid, changing thing, the health care industry also is in a constant state of shifts and progression.
“Health care law is really specialized,” says Juan Santos, a Loyola LL.M. grad (2015) who specializes in health care compliance at Chapman Law Group’s Miami office, “because of the Anti-Kickback Statute, Stark Laws, and laws that are not in any other industry, for that matter. Everything basically is a puzzle that ties everything else together.”
But a healthcare lawyer with an LL.M. has the skills to follow new advancements — and, at times, restrictions — in the healthcare sector, and to keep medical providers up to date.
As Loyola’s course description for its LL.M. in health law states:
“You will be able to anticipate clients’ needs and assist them in developing tools and procedures for engaging in their health care business in full compliance with the law and in keeping with organizational goals and values. You will also be able to advocate for the changes necessary to advance social justice and equity in the health care system.”
Ron, who heads Chapman Law Group’s Civil Litigation and Compliance practice groups, attests to that, saying that the best thing his Loyola education taught him is “how to spot the health care issues and then it showed me where to go to find the answers. Because the law changes about every administration or every year, so if I knew it two years ago, it doesn’t mean I know it today, but I know where to look.”
Often times, that means looking to colleagues for the answers — and for Chapman Law Group, our lawyers need not search very far. As Ron explains in an example, one of his clients reached out to him late in the game about a compliance problem that soon developed into a serious criminal matter.
“So the compliance part of it, whether it’s an Anti-Kickback violation, whether EKRA’s [Eliminating Kickbacks in Recovery Act] involved and all those things, I will work out,” Ron says, “and Ron Chapman II [who leads Chapman Law Group’s White Collar Defense & Government Investigations practice group] and his team will handle all the issues with the FBI and the DOJ … and we’re able to share all that back and forth.”
This, Juan says, benefits the client in more ways than one — particularly when it comes to rates. In doing healthcare auditing and compliance work, he explains, sometimes a criminal law or healthcare fraud matter may come up.
“We want to be the most cost effective for our clients,” he explains, “so sometimes I don’t want to spend four hours on [criminal law] research when I can contact [Ron Chapman II]. He can send an email — he knows basically that area — and then we save our clients a lot of money and research because another attorney specializes in that area.”
Because criminal law as it applies to the healthcare arena has different elements at play (such as administrative, licensing, and regulatory consequences) than common criminal infractions, a healthcare law attorney’s LL.M. designation gives that lawyer a better understanding of what’s truly at risk.
Ron Chapman II explains it best: “When we jump into a very unfamiliar area of health care … we can look at the entire area of healthcare. We can boil it down to an area and we can select from a menu what tools we’re going to use to be able to solve that problem and get in touch with the right people to do it.
“Loyola gave me that 30,000-foot top-down view of the entire area of healthcare, so that I can look into a business and find the problem.”
Wedad Suleiman, who is an attorney in our Healthcare Compliance practice group, earned her Loyola LL.M. in health law this spring. She believes that colleagues in the classroom have been just as important as the ones within the Chapman Law Group.
“The great thing is you’re with colleagues in your classes that have the similar kind of lifestyle,” Wedad explains. “You’re with doctors, you’re with risk management directors with just as busy lifestyles. You feel like you’re in a community of colleagues that understands that we’re not just students — we’re also practitioners in the real world and we also have real world pressures on us as well.”
One of those pressures is COVID-19. As it continues to be burdensome for the healthcare system as well as the public, her LL.M. studies have prepared her for what comes next.
“A big area that I think we’re going to see a lot more of deals with cyber security, HIPAA/HITECH, all of those different issues, especially with how COVID-19 has really highlighted a lot of the challenges in delivering health care to people,” Wedad says.
“It’s not just enough to be HIPAA compliant anymore; you have to do more in order to protect your protective health information, your patients. I think we’re going to see a lot of different new regulations come about that I’d like to kind of delve into and figure out how … we can help out our clients in that respect.”
For our attorneys, having a framed LL.M. certificate on their office walls and the LL.M. designation on their professional profiles means our healthcare provider clients can view us as advocates, professionals — and experts.
“The LL.M. was basically the best choice that I made in my career as an attorney,” Juan says. “I think because we just focus on healthcare and all of us have the LL.M., that allows us to basically focus on what we like we like to do and provide the best advice for our clients.”
As Loyola’s Prof. Finn attests, more healthcare professionals will be needing that kind of advice once Coronavirus is either eradicated or fully under control, and regulatory fallout within the healthcare industry could swell.
“It’s one of the most regulated areas of business in the country,” Prof. Finn says, “and that’s great because it means jobs for health lawyers for many, many years to come.”
For Ron Chapman Sr., he says he knows exactly where to turn to find those attorneys.
“We just do healthcare and we’re really proud of what we do and we’re proud of our education … and we’re still looking for lawyers with LL.M.s, particularly from Loyola, to add to our robust nature.”