South Florida Hospital News
Sunday May 26, 2019
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October 2007 - Volume 4 - Issue 4

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Lester Perling Named Secretary of Florida Bar Health Law Section

Managed care is here to stay and hospitals are facing significant legal challenges.

Legal issues are becoming more prominent in todayís healthcare arena, especially as it relates to hospitals, according to Lester Perling, who was recently named secretary of the Health Law Section of the Florida Bar. This is a section of the Bar that addresses legal issues and transactions involving healthcare providers.

Perling is especially concerned about the challenges facing hospital administrators. "There are significant challenges facing hospitals," Perling said. "There are lawsuits filed under the United States False Claims Act. Also we are seeing managed care payment disputes more often. There is more scrutiny by government payers like Medicaid and Medicare. These issues are becoming more routine."

And there are many unanswered questions facing the healthcare industry, according to Perling. "The statutes of government managed c are plans and the payment relationships of plans leave a lot of answered questions. There are contradictions between state and federal laws. Sometimes these laws are more friendly to managed care than to providers."

And even though there are many challenges facing the relationship between healthcare providers and managed care providers, Perling believes managed care is here to stay. "Some Democratic presidential candidates have been characterized as wanting to move in the direction of socialized medicine but I donít think we will go that far," he said. "But managed care is not a panacea although it offered some good ideas. The idea of spending money on the front end and emphasizing prevention was good. But in many cases managed care has not lived up to its promise and money has simply gone from one pocket to another."

One issue that may be up for discussion involves peopleís right to healthcare. "Courts and Congress in the Unites States have not recognized healthcare as a right," he said. "When the Constitution was written healthcare was not very advanced and the U.S. is not a socialized society. In Europe there is socialized medicine but that is a choice that people there made."

Perling said that as an officer of the health section of the Florida Bar he wants to serve the residents of Florida and not just lawyers. "I want to further the practice of healthcare law and to ensure that healthcare providers are protected and educated about legal issues affecting them," he said.

He would also like to see more education programs to ensure that healthcare lawyers have strong expertise in healthcare law. "If lawyers are certified in healthcare law, then we know they are qualified to practice in this area and can do a good job for their client," Perling said.

Perling knows the challenges healthcare professionals face because for ten years, he was a hospital administrator. He was the chief operating for Delray Community Hospital for about two years before attending the University of Miami Law School. While studying law there, he began as a clerk with Broad and Cassel in 1992. He became a lawyer in 1994 and is now a partner with Broad and Cassel.

Lester Perling can be reached at (954) 764-7060 or lperling@broadandcassel.com.
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