Steve has spent his entire career in health law -- first with the North Carolina Attorney General's Office and, since 1985, in private practice. His clients range from large hospitals to sole practitioners. Most of his work focuses on Medicare and Medicaid fraud & abuse, false claims, hospital medical staff matters, and professional licensing board cases. His cases have involved patient deaths, million-dollar claims for recoupment, and other urgent matters. Steve has also helped providers with a number of innovative business transactions. He speaks frequently to various professional organizations, including the North Carolina Psychological Association, the North Carolina Medical Society, and the North Carolina Hospital Association.
- Reimbursement, Fraud and Abuse - He represents providers having problems with Medicare, Medicaid, the OIG, and private insurers regarding possible underpayments, overpayments, fraud and abuse, and corporate compliance. On behalf of a large hospital, he recovered $1.3 million dollars in underpayments by a private insurance company. On behalf of an individual physician, he persuaded the OIG to treat a $1.0 million overpayment as a civil matter, and helped the physician avoid exclusion from Medicare. On behalf of another physician, he and co-counsel at Poyner Spruill persuaded the Medicare Program Safeguard Contractor to reduce its claim from $1,900,000 to $7,000. He regularly handles hearings before Medicare's administrative law judges. In one hearing, the ALJ reduced the government's claim to zero.
read all representative experience
- Licensing Board and Medical Staff Matters - He represents licensees in hearings before the N.C. Medical Board, the N.C. Pharmacy Board, the N.C. Psychology Board, and others. He also handles hospital medical staff hearings, sometimes representing the physician, sometimes the medical staff, and sometimes serving as the hearing officer. His licensing board and medical staff cases involve patient deaths, sexual misconduct, adulterated drugs, substance abuse, professional competence, and fraud.
- Business Matters - He also represents providers in business disputes with other providers. He organized several small physician practices into a company that won the right to develop a new surgical center. He represented a specialty surgical practice that obtained exclusive rights to do certain procedures at a large hospital.
- Clinical Research - Much of his work is for non-profits. He chairs the research ethics committee (IRB) for an international medical research organization, and he has traveled to research sites at rural hospitals and urban slums in Africa and Asia.
Lobbying - He lobbies the State government on behalf of various children’s services organizations in North Carolina, and he chaired the General Statutes Commission committee that rewrote the State’s adoptions law.
“Chapter 8: Hospital physician employment agreements,” in ACOs, CO-OPs and other options: A “how-to” manual for physicians navigating a post-health reform world (American Medical Association, 2011).
An Overview of the New Forensic Specialty Guidelines: Is More Less? Or Is It More? Or Is It Just More of the Same?” in NC Psychologist (NC Psychological Association, 2012).
Prior Legal Experience
While a N.C. Assistant Attorney General, he represented the State in federal class action lawsuits involving hundreds of millions of dollars. He argued and helped win Lassiter vs. Department of Social Services
in the United States Supreme Court, on behalf of the State as amicus curiae