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Clay J. Countryman
Clay J. Countryman

Clay J. Countryman

Partner - Baton Rouge

Clay Countryman is a partner in the health care group in the Baton Rouge office of Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson, L.L.P. Mr. Countryman represents clients in all areas of the health care industry, with a focus on health care corporate transactions, fraud and abuse compliance, development of health care provider networks and alternative health care payment approaches.

Clay has primarily served as legal counsel to several different types of health care providers and provider organizations, ranging from national and regional hospital systems, physician organizations, specialty physician groups, clinically integrated networks, physician-owned hospitals, diagnostic imaging facilities, ambulatory surgical centers, pharmacies, health care management companies, and health care trade associations.

Clay is an active member of several health care associations and other organizations. Clay has been an active member of the American Bar Association for over 20 years, including several leadership positions in the Health Law Section, the ABA Veterans Legal Services Commission, Medical-Legal Partnerships and the ABA Young Lawyers Division.

Health Care Corporate Transactions

Clay has assisted health care providers in structuring joint ventures and other transaction to promote business objectives while meeting compliance requirements of specific health care laws and regulations, such as the Stark Law, the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute, Medicare and Medicaid coverage and reimbursement requirements, and licensure and accreditation requirements.

  • Formation of Joint Ventures to Develop and Operate Hospitals and Other Health Care Facilities
  • Mergers and Acquisitions of health care providers
  • Development of health care provider networks, Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), and Clinically Integrated Networks
  • Employment Agreements, Professional Service Agreements, Medical Director and Recruitment Agreements
  • Conducted Due Diligence in Acquisitions and Financing

Fraud and Abuse Compliance

Clay has extensive experience in counseling clients on compliance with the Federal Anti-Kickback Law, the Stark Physician Self-Referral Law, and the federal Civil Monetary Penal Law and regulations.

  • Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute Compliance in Structuring Transactions
  • Development of Co-Management Agreements and Gainsharing Arrangements
  • Implemented and Reviewed Corporate Compliance Programs
  • Government Investigations and False Claims Act Defense
  • Advised Health Care Providers on Voluntary Self-Disclosures and Refunds

Education

Loyola University New Orleans School of Law, J.D.

University of Oklahoma, B.B.A.

Admissions

Louisiana

Professional Associations

American Bar Association. Health Law Section

- Secretary of Health Law Section Council, 2018 - 2019, ABA Health Law Section

- HLS Council Member at Large, 2015-2018, ABA Health Law Section

- Medical-Legal Partnerships Work Group, Chair, 2015-2019, ABA Health Law Section

- Vice Chair Health Care Reform Task Force, 2017-2019, ABA Health Law Section

- Physician Legal Issues Conference, Co-Chair 2014, 2015 and 2017, ABA Health Law Section

- ACO Task Force, Vice Chair, 2015-2016, ABA Health Law Section, ABA Health Law Section

- Business & Transactions Interest Group, Chair, 2014-2015, ABA Health Law Section

- eHealth, Privacy & Security Interest Group, Vice Chair, 2011-2012, ABA Health Law Section

- Emerging Issues Conference, Planning Committee, 2005-2006, ABA Health Law Section

American Bar Association, Veterans Legal Services Commission

- Veterans Legal Services Commission Member, 2017-2018, ABA Veterans Legal Services Commission

American Bar Association, Young Lawyer Division

- YLD Liaison to Health Law Section Council, 2002-2004, ABA Young Lawyers Division

- Chair and Vice Chair, YLD Health Law Committee, 2000-2002, ABA Young Lawyers Division

American Health Lawyers Association

Louisiana Medical Group Management Association

Louisiana Hospital Association, Society of Hospital Attorneys, Member

Health Care Compliance Association

Louisiana Ambulatory Surgery Center Association

Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)

Community Involvement

Board of Directors, St. Vincent de Paul

Open Air Ministries, Board Member

Baton Rouge Area Chamber Leadership Program, Class of 2015

St. Joseph’s Academy, President Dad’s Club 2014/2015

Council for a Better Louisiana (CABL) Leadership Louisiana (2016)

Honors and Awards

AV® PreeminentTM Peer Review Rated.

Ranked in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business for Louisiana in the area of Healthcare in 2017

Publications

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Presentations

  • Navigating the Minefields of a Successful Physician Hospital Collaboration, ABA Physicians Legal Issues Conference, June 7, 2018
  • Physician Contracts: Compliance Auditing & Strategies, CHRISTUS Health Compliance & Privacy Summit, May 2, 2018
  • Measuring Compliance Program Effectiveness, HCAA New Orleans, April 2018
  • Healthcare Enforcement and Radiology Services, 2018 PaRaDigm Conference - Radiology Business Managers Association, April 5, 2018
  • HIPAA and Mental Health, Crisis in the Community Conference - Mental Health Association for Greater Baton Rouge, March 10, 2018
  • Medical Legal Partnerships: Attorneys and Healthcare Providers Working Together to Help Veterans and Other Patients, Moderator, American Bar Association Center for Professional Development Health Law Section Webinar, February 12, 2018
  • Legal Issues Facing Ambulatory Surgery Centers, Louisiana Ambulatory Surgery Center Association, Annual Conference, February 9, 2018
  • Lessons Learned from Recent Fraud Enforcement Cases and Settlements, Region 9 Conference, Healthcare Financial Management Association, November 7, 2017
  • MACRA and Other Important Considerations in Physician Employment Agreements, Presented to Members of the Chicago Medical Society, September 15, 2017
  • Legal Update: 2017 Hot Topics for Physician Practices, MGMA - Acadiana, September 14, 2017
  • Legal Update: 2017 Hot Topics for Physician Practices, MGMA - Acadiana, September 12, 2017
  • Compliance and Enforcement Roundtable Discussion, MGMA Louisiana & MGMA Mississippi Southern Summer Conference, August 17, 2017
  • What are Medical-Legal Partnerships and How Can I Get Involved?, American Bar Association Center for Professional Development Health Law Section Webinar, July 11, 2017
  • Legal Update: LASCA Business Meeting, 2017 Gulf States ASC Conference, June 22, 2017
  • Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute Compliance for HFMA Members, Presented to Members of HFMA, June 13, 2017
  • Emerging Compliance Issues with the Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute, Louisiana State Bar Association Healthcare Law CLE, New Orleans, LA, May 25, 2017
  • Health Care Fraud Enforcement Update: False Claims Act and Beyond, Louisiana State Bar Association Healthcare Law CLE, New Orleans, LA, May 25, 2017
  • Financial Relationships/Law & Regulations for FQHCs, LPCA Corporate Compliance Institute Services, Session 7, May 3, 2017
  • Hospital-Physician Contracting: Compliance Issues and Strategies, HCCA Regional Meeting, New Orleans, LA, April 21, 2017
  • Lasseiz les Bons Temps Rouler: Hope for Potential Stark Law Changes, 18th Annual Conference on Emerging Issues in Healthcare Law, New Orleans, March 10, 2017
  • HIPAA Compliance And Radiology Practices, Delta States Chapter of RMBA Annual Conference, February 16, 2017
  • Legal Update: Hot Topics for ASCs in 2017, Louisiana Ambulatory Surgery Center Association 2017 Annual Meeting, January 20, 2017
  • HIPAA Compliance for Posting Videos to the Web, 2016 American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Annual Meeting, New Orleans, November 13, 2016
  • Advanced Compliance Seminar, Louisiana Hospital Association Conference Center, September 2015
  • Fraud and Abuse Traps in Physician Relationships: Lessons Learned from Recent Government Investigations, 2015 MGMA-LA Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA, August 2015
  • Louisiana ASC Licensing Statutes and Regulations Resource Guide, 8th Annual Gulf States ASC Conference, LASCA Business Meeting, Biloxi, MS, June 18, 2015
  • Community Clinics, Pharmacies, and Other Opportunities for Physicians and Attorneys to Work Together, ABA Physicians Legal Issues Conference, ABA Health Law Section, Chicago, IL, June 11, 2015
  • HIPAA Compliance: Recent Changes to the HIPAA Rules and Enforcement Actions, Acadiana Vascular Center, Lafayette, LA, May 15, 2015
  • Compliance Risk Areas: Where to Begin, Louisiana Hospital Association Basic Compliance Seminar, Baton Rouge, LA, April 29, 2015
  • Government Investigations, Settlements, and Resulting Compliance Obligations of Long Term Care Providers, Co-Presenter, American Health Lawyers Association Long Term Care and the Law Conference, New Orleans, La., February 24, 2015
  • Compliance Strategies for Physician Relationships, Health Ethics Trust Conference Southeast Regional, January 28, 2015
  • The Evolution of a Hospital Compliance Program and the Role of the Compliance Officer, Louisiana Hospital Association 25th Annual Health Law Symposium, November 5, 2014
  • Hot Fraud and Abuse Compliance Topics for Physician Practices, MGMA New Orleans 2014 Fall Workshop, September 24, 2014
  • Mental Health Law Update, Louisiana Hospital Association, Baton Rouge, LA, August 20, 2014
  • An Ethical Dilemma: Hospitalists and the Continuity of Care, ABA Physicians Legal Issues Conference, ABA Health Law Section, Chicago, IL, June 13, 2014
  • HIPAA Compliance: Recent changes to the HIPAA Rules and Enforcement Actions, R.W. Johnson & Company/Eye Center Surgery Center; Baton Rouge, LA, May 17, 2014
  • HIPAA Compliance: Recent changes to the HIPAA Rules and Enforcement Actions, Northeast La PHO; Alexandria, LA, May 13, 2014
  • Why Does Security Get the Back Burner and How to Change That in Your Organization, Roundtable Discussion, HealthTech Research Advisory Council Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana, April 2014
  • HIPAA Compliance: Recent changes to the HIPAA Rules and Enforcement Actions, East Jefferson Charity Hospital Family Practice Graduate Medical Education Residents; New Orleans, LA, March 17, 2014
  • 15th Annual Conference on Emerging Issues in Health Care Law, Litchfield, AZ, February 26, 2014
  • HIPAA Compliance: Recent changes to the HIPAA Rules and Enforcement Actions, Ochsner Graduate Medical Education Residents; New Orleans, LA, January 27, 2014
  • Legal Updates on Issues Impacting ASCs, Louisiana Ambulatory Surgery Center Association, 2014 Annual Conference, January 23, 2014
  • Implementing the Omnibus Changes Part II, Including Business Associates and More, 2013 Louisiana HIPAA and E H R Conference; Baton Rouge, LA, October 28-29, 2013
  • Resolving Legal and Audit Issues in an Internal Compliance Investigation, American Health Lawyers Association, and Health Care Compliance Association, Fraud & Compliance Forum; Baltimore, MD, September 29, 2013
  • HIPAA Compliance and Enforcement by the Office of Civil Rights: Lessons Learned for Physician Practices, Greater New Orleans Medical Group Management Association; New Orleans, LA, September 26, 2013
  • HIPAA Compliance Made Easy for Physician Practices, Louisiana Medical Group Management Association 2013 Annual Conference; New Orleans, LA, August 21, 2013
  • Compliance Topics for ASCs, 2013 Gulf States ASC Conference; New Orleans, LA, June 19, 2013
  • Current Fraud and Abuse Initiatives Impacting Physicians, 2013 Physician Legal Issues Conference, American Bar Association Health Law Section; Chicago, IL, June 13-15, 2013
  • Mental Health Law Update, Louisiana Hospital Association; Baton Rouge, LA, May 9, 2013
  • Implementation - Business Associates and Breach Notification, HIPAA Changes - Understanding and Implementing the Latest Rule, 2013 Louisiana HIPAA & EHR Conference; Baton Rouge, LA, March 11, 2013
  • HIPAA Compliance: Recent Enforcement Actions and Recent Changes to the HIPAA Rules, Louisiana Orthopedic Association Annual Meeting; New Orleans, LA, March 2, 2013
  • HIPAA Enforcement by the Office for Civil Rights: Lessons Learned for ASCs, Louisiana Ambulatory Surgery Association Conference, January 24, 2013
  • Hospital-Physician Alignment Strategies, Louisiana Hospital Association Conference; Baton Rouge, LA, January 24, 2013
  • Advanced Business Associate Issues, Louisiana HIPAA & EHR Conference; Baton Rouge, LA, September 29, 2012
  • New Healthcare Delivery Models: Challenges for Physician Practices, Greater New Orleans Medical Group Management Association Compliance Boot Camp; New Orleans, LA, September 26, 2012
  • Hot Compliance Topics for Physician Practices: 2011 Year in Review, Louisiana Medical Group Management Association 2012 Annual Conference; Lake Charles, LA, April 21, 2012
  • Fraud and Abuse Compliance in Mental Health Settings, Louisiana Hospital Association/Mental Health Law Update, March 1, 2012
  • Federal and State Legal Issues Impacting Ambulatory Surgery Centers, Louisiana Ambulatory Surgery Association 2012 Annual Meeting, January 25, 2012
  • Hospital-Physician Alignment Strategies, Louisiana Hospital Association 22nd Annual Fall Health Law Symposium; Baton Rouge, LA, November 2, 2011
  • Challenges for Physician Practices Since Healthcare Reform in 2010 and Alignment Strategies for Physicians and Hospitals After Healthcare Reform, Greater New Orleans Medical Group Management Association, September 15, 2011
  • Managed Care Contracting, Baton Rouge Medical Group Management Association, August 11, 2011
  • 2010 Fraud and Abuse Enforcement Year in Review, Louisiana Society of Hospital Attorneys 21st Annual Health Law Symposium, November 4, 2010
  • Navigating Fraud and Abuse Issues with Health Care Reform and Other ASC Business Relationships!, 2010 Gulf States ASC Conference; Biloxi, Mississippi, June 15, 2010
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Representative Matters

  • Represented physician groups in the acquisition of the group and subsequent employment by a hospital or health system.
  • Represented healthcare providers in internal compliance investigations and resolving overpayment and related issues under the Federal False Claims Act.
  • Advised several health care provider clients on compliance with the Stark Law, Federal Anti-Kickback Statute and other similar laws applicable to their business operations.
  • Advised physician groups and other health care providers in the formation of joint ventures to own and operate diagnostic imaging centers, hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers and cancer treatment centers.
  • Drafted and reviewed several types of agreements for healthcare providers, including professional service agreements, employment agreements, physician recruitment agreements, medical director agreements, third-party billing agreements, management agreements, and HIPAA policies and procedures.
  • Advised health care providers regarding managed care contracting and network provider agreements with commercial insurance carriers and other third-party payers.
  • Advised physician groups, hospitals and other health care providers to create and implement forms, policies and procedures to comply with the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules.
  • Formed limited liability companies and other corporate entities on behalf of health care providers, including drafting and reviewing operating agreements and corporate by-laws.
  • Advised several types of health care providers to develop and implement a compliance program.
  • Advised several hospital-based physician groups, including anesthesiologists, radiologists and pathologists, regarding exclusive agreements with Hospitals.