Our firm focuses its practice on the business of healthcare. In working with medical professionals, practices, health tech startups, and related enterprises, we’ve found that many current and prospective clients have the same questions.
We created this FAQ page to help familiarize you with our working, billing, and communication styles. As always, reach out with questions!
Questions from Potential Clients about Working Together
- What’s the difference between you and my small business or entrepreneurial lawyer?
- Why would someone hire a lawyer versus an accountant to open their practice?
- Can you help me if I don’t live in [state]?
- How can I get started?
- What is the complimentary consultation?
- What is a conflict check and a conflict of interest?
Questions from New Clients
- How often do I need to come to the office?
- How can I get ahold of you?
- How long will [a certain activity] take?
- Who will I be working with?
- What is attorney confidentiality?
Questions about Accessibility
Questions about Our Work
- Am I a covered entity under HIPAA?
- What’s a feasibility opinion?
- Can you help me ___?
- Can you help me with a HIPAA violation, medical malpractice, or patient’s rights violation?
Questions about our Billing Practices
Employment at Jackson LLP
Questions from Potential Clients about Working Together
What’s the difference between you and my small business or entrepreneurial lawyer?
We focus exclusively on healthcare! Our clients are all healthcare professionals, practices, technology startups, and telehealth companies. Because of this niche focus, we have a unique and focused understanding of healthcare law issues.
For example: while your small business or entrepreneurial attorney is very comfortable establishing your LLC, s/he is probably less familiar with the additional registration requirements the State imposes upon healthcare professionals, the specific language that should be included in your bylaws or operating agreement, and the stricter requirements for who can co-own your company with you.
We’re business lawyers for healthcare – by working with us, the entire startup process is streamlined, and we don’t waste time undoing things that another attorney did! As your business grows, you’ll only require more specialized legal and compliance guidance from attorneys who understand healthcare inside and out.
Why would someone hire a lawyer versus an accountant to open their practice?
We often hear that a client’s accountant offered to establish their business for them. Without exception, when a client comes to us with an established practice which was created by an accountant, some aspect of its formation was not done correctly.
Accountants handle tax matters, while attorneys hire legal matters. While there is occasionally some overlap between these fields, and we do work closely with our clients’ tax professionals, a healthcare business should not be established by an accountant. Stated simply: accountants lack the legal training and experience necessary to perform this work – even if they offer to handle it for you.
Just as we won’t prepare your tax returns, an accountant should not prepare your corporate formation or governance documents. Healthcare entities are subjected to complex regulations and should be carefully managed by an attorney experienced in healthcare law.
Can you help me if I don’t live in [state]?
We can help clients who live or work anywhere within the borders of the states in which we are licensed: Illinois, California, Connecticut, Michigan, Texas, New York, Wisconsin, and Florida (through which we work mostly with international clients). We also work with companies that operate nationally or across multiple states—especially common in the HIT / health tech and telehealth industries. If you reach out and we can’t help you, we’ll try to connect you with an appropriately-licensed colleague who can help.
How can I get started?
Start by scheduling a complimentary consultation with one of our attorneys, which you can book online. If we’re a good fit and you want to work together, we will email you a retainer agreement, which you will sign electronically. Depending upon your needs and the scope of work, we may also send you a quote to review and sign. This will allow you to identify the tasks that you want us to prioritize, and it puts you in control of your case’s progression and your budget. We will also collect a deposit, which will be stored in our trust account. The amount of the deposit will depend upon the scope of services. We will begin work when we have received the retainer, quote, and deposit.
What is the complimentary consultation?
Our initial complimentary consultations allow us to have a low-pressure conversation about your plans and needs and our services. We’ll ask pointed questions about your plans and needs, tell you about how we work, and leave time for some follow-up questions. We’ll also ask you for the names of other parties, people, or practices involved in your case so we can run a conflict check. Finally, we’ll tell you what to expect next.
All of our initial consultations take place by phone. To ensure that it remains logistically feasible for us to continue offering this important service to new clients, we unfortunately cannot offer complimentary in-person or videoconference consultations.
If you’ve already had one complimentary consultation, even if your plans have changed, we will ask that you make a deposit prior to subsequent consultations. If this is you, just email us – we have a simplified portal through which you can schedule a time to chat.
What is a conflict check and a conflict of interest?
Before we agree to represent you, we need to perform a conflict check. This means that we will review our previous clients, potential clients, and adverse parties to determine if representing you will create a conflict of interest for us. A conflict of interest just means that we cannot simultaneously advocate for you and for another of our clients.
For example: you’re a physician currently employed by an urgent care center, and you want to open your own urgent care practice. If we determine that we represent your current employer, we must decline to assist you; we also cannot divulge the nature of the conflict to you – i.e., we can’t tell you that we are your employer’s attorneys. However, we also cannot tell your employer that you called us.
Sometimes, the mere fact that you called us to open your own practice means that we now know information that we’re keeping secret from our client; in this example, we may need to tell our existing client that a conflict of interest has arisen and we can no longer represent them.
If we tell you that we have a conflict of interest, it can mean a myriad of things. We might have a close or attenuated personal relationship that interferes with our objectivity, your business goals may conflict with an existing client’s business goals (e.g.: you’re opening a dental practice next door to our existing client’s practice, even though you don’t know one another), or we may suspect that a conflict of interest might arise in the future. We won’t be able to give you more information or tell you the source of the conflict.
New Client Questions
How often do I need to come to the office?
Never! We would love to meet you, but we understand that you’re busy. All of our work can be performed over email and phone calls. If we need your signature on something, we’ll just mail it to you.
How can I get ahold of you?
It’s really easy. Once we start working together, we’ll send you a link that allows you to schedule phone calls directly with your attorney. You can also call or email us with questions or to book an appointment. We pride ourselves on being accessible, and we work hard to be responsive and attentive to your needs.
How long will [a certain activity] take?
The amount of time that a particular task will take us depends upon a variety of factors, including the complexity and time-sensitivity of the work. For example, a 20-hour project will necessarily take longer to deliver than a 3-hour project. There are things you can do to speed up the process: respond promptly and fully to your attorney’s emails and provide us with all of the documents or information that we need to perform the project. Please also pay your bills on time – if you end up in the red, we may email you that we need you to bring your account up-to-date before proceeding with work.
Who will I be working with?
This depends upon your needs and the type of work we are undertaking for you. Most work at Jackson LLP is a collaborative process, so more than one person is likely to be involved in your case. However, you will have a primary point-of-contact who you can call with questions, and that attorney will keep you apprised of what is happening on your case.
What is attorney confidentiality?
If you are a client or potential client, we are duty-bound to protect your confidentiality. Barring unusual and exceptional circumstances (e.g.: you want our help committing a crime without getting caught), we cannot tell anyone: that we spoke to you, that we know you, what we discussed, what you’re doing, your trade secrets, your ideas, what you told us, what we told you. This is known as “attorney-client privilege.” Even if we were called to testify in court about the content of our conversations, the court wouldn’t require us to disclose this information. This privilege fosters the free flow of information between us and helps to cement the trust between a client and his or her attorney. Importantly, this privilege applies even if you don’t end up hiring us.
Is your office ADA accessible?
All of our offices are ADA accessible. If you are visiting an office for an in-person meeting and you require accommodation, please let us know in advance.
Do you speak a non-English language?
Our staff and attorneys are fluent only in English. When appropriate, we use a legal translation service. If you require a translator or are aware that someone involved in your case requires a translator, please let us know in advance.
Our Healthcare Focus
Am I a covered entity under HIPAA?
You are a covered entity – meaning that you are required to abide by HIPAA and maintain comprehensive written policies and procedures – if you perform any covered transaction. Generally, this means that anyone who files insurance claims is a covered entity. Even for providers who are not covered entities, we strongly advise adherence to HIPAA. HIPAA has become the standard of care for patient privacy and records access, and patients expect all professionals to follow its requirements.
What’s a feasibility opinion?
If you come to us with a new idea for a business, invention, or practice, we may suggest that we begin by creating a feasibility opinion. This generally arises when you ask, “Am I allowed to do X?” and our answer is “It depends.” We most often recommend a feasibility opinion when a client wants to establish a management service organization (MSO), is undertaking a new telehealth venture, or is taking advantage of (or suffering from) a recently enacted or changed law.
In law, there are no one-size-fits-all answers, so if we recommend that we begin with a feasibility opinion, you can expect a detailed examination of: the legality of your proposed plan, ways to alter your proposed plan to conform it to the applicable laws, and a proposal of next steps for us to make your plan a reality. These opinions keep your budget in check by ensuring you’re allowed to do something before undertaking the nuts and bolts of your plan (i.e.: vendor contracts, HIPAA compliance, Medicare enrollment, etc.).
Can you help me ___?
If you need help with something relating to the business of healthcare, the answer is probably yes! Our services include:
- HIPAA compliance and risk assessment
- Fraud, waste and abuse prevention, including OIG compliance
- Employment, including hiring, firing, and contracting
- Contract drafting and negotiation
- Commercial real estate contracts, negotiation, and build-outs
- Telehealth / telemedicine guidance
- Medical spa, laser center, and IV/infusion therapy management services organizations (MSO) contracts, start-up, and compliance
- Sexual harassment and violence prevention policies
- Employee legal and compliance training
- Informed consent and registration packets
- Scope of practice guidance, including supervisory requirements
- Corporate practice of medicine doctrine compliance
- Health tech company start-up and compliance, including corporate governance
- Practice start-up and compliance, including corporate governance
- Medical device and fitness equipment company start-up and compliance, including corporate governance
If you need help with something that’s not listed here, there’s a good chance we do that too. Please reach out anytime you have questions about the scope of our services.
Can you help me with a HIPAA violation, medical malpractice, or patient’s rights violation?
Unfortunately, we cannot represent patients or injured parties. We only help healthcare professionals with legal and regulatory compliance, and we cannot help a patient whose rights have been violated. If you’re a patient or caregiver who needs an attorney, here are a few places to find help:
- Your local state bar association’s attorney referral service
- Your local legal aid society
- The hospital or practice’s patient advocate office
If you are searching for an attorney to file a claim or complaint on your behalf, you likely need a “plaintiff’s attorney.”
How will I be billed?
We ensure that all clients are billed in a timely, transparent, and predictable manner. Here are a few key points:
- Attorney time and support staff time is billed at an hourly rate. You will be billed in 6-minute increments (i.e.: if we have a 5-minute phone call, you’ll be billed for 1/10th of an hour). The rate for each person’s time can be found in your retainer agreement.
- Upon request, we will provide you with a quote for how long a given task will take us to complete. It is common for clients to request quotes at the onset of our relationship. If you ask us to perform a task urgently (i.e.: “I just got this letter and need to respond today!”), we likely won’t be able to prepare a quote and will give you our best guestimate on the phone.
- We collect a retainer at the onset of our work together, and it remains in our trust account until it is earned. Many clients choose to pay their bills upon receipt and then ask that we refund their trust account deposit when we’re done working together. Others choose to leave those funds in our trust account to allow them to contact us anytime questions arise without needing to re-start the relationship. This is entirely your decision, but you will be required to maintain a deposit on-file while we work together.
- You will be billed either biweekly or anytime your balance exceeds the amount of your deposit funds in our trust account.
Many clients also ask questions about our rates, which take into account:
- Our healthcare law knowledge and experience;
- Our attorneys’ credentials, which include without exception law school honors
- Our use of support staff for whose time you are not billed (i.e.: office clerks and receptionists)
- Our use of other professionals’ time for whose time you are not billed (e.g.,We call our accountant to ensure our legal strategy doesn’t complicate a client’s tax situation. We didn’t have time to ask for your approval first, so we pay for the accountant’s time.)
- Our overhead! Our only incoming funds come from our billable time, so it covers our costs of rent, bar association dues, legal research software, case management software, billing software, continuing education, computers, a secure VPN on which we perform all work to ensure confidentiality, office supplies and other technology, and credit card processors. We also work with several professionals whose ‘behind the scenes’ efforts allow us to continue to operate and thrive.
Aside from our fees, you may also be billed for third-party expenses, including:
- State-mandated filing fees
- Optional expedited filing fees, at your request
- Printing costs for documents sent to a third party
- USPTO trademark application fees
- Bank fees if your payment is returned
What is a trust account?
A trust account is also sometimes called an IOLTA (“interest on lawyers trust account”). This is a very specific type of bank account that holds only our clients’ funds, and it is highly regulated. We are not permitted to comingle any of our funds in the trust account, and it strictly holds only clients’ money. Once fees are earned and a client has authorized payment from their trust account funds, we transfer those funds promptly and mark the invoice as paid. All of your invoices display your current trust account balance. You may request a refund of your unspent trust account funds at any time.
Employment at Jackson LLP
How can I apply for a job?
We’re thrilled that you’re interested in working at Jackson LLP!
Current Active Openings
We always welcome inquiries from qualified lateral attorney candidates. Please email your resume to Erin Jackson, Managing Partner.
Summer Associate Program
We will begin the hiring process for our 2021 summer associate program in fall 2020. Candidates pursuing health law certificates are encouraged to apply through their school’s OCI.