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, provider reimbursement, false claims, hospital medical staff matters, and professional licensing board cases. He also advises physicians with business and contract matters. His cases have involved patient deaths, large-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, the North Carolina Medical Group Managers Association, and the North Carolina Hospital Association.
While a N.C. Assistant Attorney General, he represented the State in federal class action lawsuits involving hundreds of millions of dollars for Medicare, mental health, and other programs of public assistance. He successfully argued Lassiter vs. Department of Social Services in the United States Supreme Court, on behalf of the State as amicus curiae.
Areas of Focus
- Reimbursement, Fraud, and Abuse – Steve represents corporate and individual providers having problems with Medicare, Medicaid, the OIG, the Attorney General’s Office, and private insurers regarding possible underpayments, overpayments, fraud and abuse, and corporate compliance. He has successfully represented clients in cases involving very large amounts of money and potential criminal charges.
- Licensing Board and Medical Staff Matters – Steve frequently 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. He obtained a preliminary injunction against a hospital, preventing it from summarily suspending a surgeon’s privileges without a hearing. Steve also helps medical staffs draft and revise staff bylaws.
- Business Matters – Steve 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. Steve regularly advises physicians about employment contracts.
- Clinical Research – Steve chairs the Institutional Review Board (the research ethics committee) for an international clinical research organization, and he advises physicians about serving as local and site investigators.
- Steve represented providers before state health agencies. For over 20 years, he lobbied state government on behalf of various children’s services organizations in North Carolina. He chaired the General Statutes Commission committee that rewrote the state’s adoptions law.
Duke University School of Law, J.D., 1976
Wabash College, B.A., 1973, magna cum laude
Recognized in North Carolina Lawyers Weekly’s Power List of the state’s most influential healthcare attorneys in 2023
North Carolina Psychological Association, President’s Award for “dedication and outstanding service” to the organization and profession, 2020
Recognized as a Leading Attorney by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business (Healthcare) 2014 – 2018
Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® (Administrative Law), 2008 – 2021, 2023; (Health Care Law) 2010 – 2021, 2023; (Litigation – Health care) 2023
Ranked among Law & Politics magazine’s North Carolina “Super Lawyers” (Health Care Law), 2006
Phi Beta Kappa
+Professional & Community Activities
North Carolina Opera, Board of Directors, 2011-Present; Executive Committee, 2018-2021; Treasurer, 2019 – 2021
North Carolina Medical Society Foundation, Board of Trustees, 2013 – 2018; Treasurer 2017-2018
Sustain Foundation, Board of Directors, 2009-2018
North Carolina Medical Society, Accountable Care Organization Task Force, Member 2010 – 2012
North Carolina Medical Society, Physician Hospital Issues Committee, Consultant, 2008-2014
North Carolina Medical Society, Community Practitioner Program Advisory Board, Member 2013-2014
North Carolina Bar Association, Administrative Law Section Council, Chair, 2004-2005
Tenth Judicial District Bar, Attorney Fee Dispute Resolution Committee, Chair, 1999-2003
North Carolina Society of Health Care Attorneys, President, 1992
American Health Lawyers Association, Member
+Speaking & Writing
“Practical Chaperones”, a webinar for Medical Mutual Insurance Company concerning use of chaperones during physical examinations (2019).
“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, rev’d 2017).
“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).