A senior clinical faculty member at Harvard Medical School, Harold J. Bursztajn, M.D., is active in patient care in medical, psychiatric and judicial education nationally. He is qualified in both state and federal courts and is nationally recognized as a distinguished impartial, clinical, ethical and forensic expert to P/D attorneys and institutions. Individual and multispecialty team consultations available.
Informed Consent & Malpractice
Employment Litigation: ADA, Disability, Sexual Misconduct Discrimination, Worker's Compensation
Recent Supreme Court decisions emphasize the need to regulate the admissibility of expert testimony by means of standards that require opinions going beyond ipse dixit; that is, that are based on more than the fact that the expert "said it him/herself
Mark A. Smith, MD, MBA, FACS, FACHE, CPHQ, is an independent senior Healthcare Consultant and a Practicing Vascular Surgeon as a Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Smith previously served as the Chief Medical Officer with Morrisey Associates Inc/ Morcare LLC for six years. He is a member of HG Healthcare Consultants LLC. Dr. Smith brings over 30 years of clinical practice and hospital management experiences to his work with physicians and hospitals across the United States. He is Board Certified in Vascular Surgery and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the American College of Healthcare Executives. He is a member of the American College of Physician Executives, the Society for Vascular Surgery and the Southern California Vascular Surgical Society. Litigation Support - Dr. Smith provides expert witness services to attorneys representing plaintiff and defendant. His decades of clinical practice as a surgeon and multiple roles in senior hospital administration to his work on peer review, credentialing, ED call, and other matters involving physicians and hospitals across the United States. He has testified several times in the past 5 years. Areas of Expertise:
Expert Witness: Retained in Washington, D.C., and over 25 states as an expert in hospital administration who could render opinion after assessing medical records, hospital policies and procedures, medical staff bylaws and regulations, JCAHO standards, depositions, etc. Served as Expert Witness for Plaintiff and Defense.
Consultant: Has assisted hospitals and health systems with accelerating their performance improvement efforts. Speaks, writes and consults on ethical issues in health care.
Consultant, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the health system.
Executive Director of two academic medical centers: Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia, Stanford University Hospital and Clinics at Stanford.
Past chairman of the national advisory board for the University of Chicago’s Center for Clinical Medical Ethics.
An author of over 175 publications, he has written articles for USA Today, Health Management Quarterly, Trustee, Health Progress, the Journal of Health Administration Education, Frontiers of Health Services Management, Bioethics Forum, Modern Healthcare, the Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, Stanford Medicine, and Healthcare Executive among others.
Co-editor of Management Mistakes in Healthcare: Identification, Correction, and Prevention, published by Cambridge University Press in 2005.
Co-editor of Managing Ethically: An Executive's Guide, published by Health Administration Press in 2001, and a second edition, Managing Healthcare Ethically: An Executive's Guide was published in 2010.
Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, a past member of its Leadership Advisory Committee, and a consultant on health care management ethics since 1994.
Served as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Stanford University’s Center for Biomedical Ethics.
Recipient of American Hospital Association's Award of Honor in 2009 and an Albert Schweitzer Leadership Award in 2012.
Faculty appointments held at Harvard, UCLA, Stanford, Emory, the University of California, and Seton Hall University.
Bachelor of Science, Master of Public Health, and Doctor of Public Health degrees are from the University of California, Berkeley.
Although there are still too many instances when clinical mistakes are denied, timely disclosures and apologies are not made, results of investigations are not shared and compensation offers are not extended, more hospitals are taking a less adversarial position.
In 1989, I agreed for the first time to serve as an expert witness in a case brought by the family of a terminally ill pregnant patient who had a cesarean section performed against her will in a prominent university teaching hospital. Since then, whether retained as a plaintiff or defense expert, I have been surprised and disturbed by the number and types of cases in which hospitals and other health care facilities have been sued.
The belated but formal acknowledgement of medical errors and their impact has been well documented.1 Curiously, the topic of management or executive mistakes in healthcare is not raised in professional meetings nor, until recently, addressed by an article in health administration journals
Ethical dilemmas are common in healthcare management. Although there is no handbook providing absolute solutions to ethics challenges, healthcare leaders can seek guidance and insight from others who have tackled similar issues. This book provides advice and inspiration from healthcare executives, ethicists, scholars, educators, and consultants. This collection of ethics columns from Healthcare Executive magazine will guide healthcare managers and executives in making personal and organizational decisions.
Mary Wickens, JD, CFE, CHC has over 35 years experience in the Healthcare Insurance, Managed Care, and Compliance Industry. Her experience includes advising and counseling health care providers, insurers, government contractors, and others in compliance, ethics, fraud and abuse, Medicare, Medicaid and Federal Employees Plan, managed care, and other matters. Background Experience - Ms. Wickens is a former compliance officer for a major health insurer and former legal and compliance specialist for a CMS Medicare Program Safeguard Contractor. Also a former operations director for government programs (Medicare Part C, Medi-gap, and FEHBP) for a major HMO, she is experienced with government audits and investigations, commercial audits, as well as self-reporting and internal investigations. Ms. Wickens has decades of experience as in house counsel to HMOs and health insurers. She has drafted, developed, negotiated, and implemented numerous healthcare provider-payor contracts, and developed and implemented codes of conduct, ethics programs, compliance programs and numerous corrective action plans. Litigation Support - Mary Wickens provides litigation support, including skilled expert services, reports and testimony in federal False Claims Act cases, arbitrations, and provider-payer disputes. She is an experienced testifying expert, responsive to the needs of counsel, with excellent report writing skills. Ms. Wickens' services are available to counsel representing both plaintiff and defendant. Areas of Expertise:
This brief describes: Which government agencies and health care providers have power to act and what are those powers? Who controls testing and reporting results and who has the power to isolate individuals, impose quarantines and take other steps to mitigate the outbreak.
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) recently joined a federal qui tam lawsuit1 brought against a private equity firm that specializes in health care pharmacies. Notably, the case also charges individual partners of the private equity firm, Riordan, Lewis & Haden, Inc. (RLH) based in Los Angeles2. They are charged with violations of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) and the federal False Claims Act (FCA) in connection with their management of Diabetic Care Rx/Patient Care America (PCA), a compounding pharmacy. The case involves reimbursements from TRICARE, the health care program for the military and their families.
Health care fraud and abuse cases are often won or lost on the effective use of expert witnesses. As health care fraud cases have become more complex and technical, the scope and use of expert testimony has proliferated, and the successful use of experts is one of the lawyer's most important jobs. False Claims Act, Anti-Kickback Statute, and Stark Law cases all demand various types of experts to assist the trier of fact in understanding the nature of the case, the morass of rules at play, the evidence, and a variety of billing, valuation, contractual, technical, and compliance concepts. Increasingly, expert reports and testimony play a pivotal role in motions for summary judgment, as well as at trial. Experts also are used in "conference room litigation," such as mediations or negotiations between defense counsel and enforcement agencies. This article is the result of interviews with health care fraud litigators and expert witnesses in the field who identified their best practices to produce optimum outcomes for their clients.
Vipul Kella, MD, MBA FACEP is a board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician who has been practicing for 15 years. Dr. Kella is a Fellow, of the American College of Emergency Physician, and is licensed in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS).
Prior to his current position as a Physician and Partner in a multispecialty national acute care services company, Dr. Kella was Chief of a regional health system managing 100,000 patient visits in Frederick, Maryland. His responsibilities included developing quality initiatives, improving operations and efficiencies, patient experience, staffing, and recruiting.
Dr. Kella has delivered seminars and given presentations on healthcare administration, fraud and abuse, critical care, myocardial infarction, trauma, aortic dissection, sepsis and shock, and medical ethics
Litigation Support: Dr. Kella has served as a medical expert for 10 years. He has reviewed over 100 cases, and spent over 1,000 hours on case reviews and preparing reports. He is dedicated to providing expertise to clients in a variety of areas, including medical malpractice, personal injury, forensics, disability, and others.
Over the past ten years, Dr. Kella has been retained in the following areas:
Telehealth has been a boon in the COVID19 era. Patient populations that have once been difficult to treat or in rural areas now can receive medical care that was previously not accessible. This is especially important for patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes, kidney disease, COPD, and heart failure.
Recently, Feds have charged almost 350 people for submitting $6 billion in fraudulent claims. One of the largest initiatives, Operation Rubber Stamp, targeted a network of telemedicine fraud totaling over 4.5 billion in false claims. Operation Rupper stamp is the most-publicized action against telemedicine providers to date. A sting operation of this size adds a dose of reality and caution against telemedicine’s many benefits.
While the vaccines may potentially provide the widespread immunity needed to quell the spread of COVID19, questions remain about the medicolegal immunity medical providers will afford during and well after the pandemic.
Jonathan Wiesen, MD received training in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine with a special focus on Medical Ethics.
Dr. Wiesen is currently a Pulmonary and Intensive Care Attending Physician at Community Intensivists where his duties include general clinical care and workflow organization and protocol authorship. He also serves as a Medical Technology Analyst at OurCrowd where he is responsible for the Scientific and financial assessment of medical technology start up companies and provides multi-disciplinary interactions for assessments and investments.
Dr. Wiesen has extensive academic experience with over 75 publications, including first authorship on over a dozen full length manuscripts. He has been honored with the Teaching Excellence Award from the Cleveland Clinic, a non-profit academic medical center, which provides clinical and hospital care and leads in research, education, and health information. He also received the Best Abstract Award, Critical Care session, at the ACCP CHEST annual conference in 2014.
Litigation Support - Dr. Wiesen provides expert witness services to attorneys representing plaintiff and defendant. His services include medical record review, written reports, depositions, and trial testimony as needed.