W. Jerad Rissler

Partner

Fax: 404.873.8781
Atlanta
171 17th Street NW
Suite 2100
Atlanta, Georgia 30363

Biography

Jerad is a partner in the Healthcare and Litigation practices and a member of the firm’s Long-term Care Industry Group. Jerad counsels and represents healthcare clients in a broad range of healthcare and business disputes, with a particular focus on issues involving government payments, defense of professional liability claims, and regulatory compliance. He is the co-editor of the AGG Healthcare Authority, a weekly electronic newsletter distributed by the Healthcare Practice that includes current news briefs, articles and announcements relevant to the healthcare industry. Jerad frequently authors articles and client updates on recent developments in healthcare law.

With respect to government payments, Jerad’s practice includes representation of providers in defense of government investigations and lawsuits involving the False Claims Act, with a particular focus on claims involving allegations relating to medical necessity, “worthless services,” and violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute. Jerad also represents skilled nursing facilities in the protection of their Medicare and Medicaid provider agreements, including negotiation and administrative appeals of survey and certification matters and, when necessary, federal court actions to preserve provider agreements pending completion of the administrative review process. Jerad also represents providers in disputes relating to payment determinations, including litigation challenging payment determinations and the regulations under which payment determinations are made.

With respect to defense of skilled nursing facility clients, Jerad is a strong proponent of arbitration as a fair and efficient method of resolving disputes. Jerad contributed to revisions to the American Health Lawyers Association Dispute Resolution Service’s Rules of Procedure for Arbitration and contributed to a toolkit addressing the special issues involved in arbitrating disputes between long term care providers and consumers. Jerad has filed amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs in appellate courts involving enforcement of arbitration agreements. He has reviewed, analyzed, provided comments, and drafted proposed amendments regarding legislation affecting the Long Term Care industry, including proposed laws regarding tort reform and arbitration agreements. Jerad counsels skilled nursing facility clients regarding arbitration programs, including the content of arbitration agreements and processes for obtaining proper signatures to maximize the enforceability of those agreements. Jerad represents skilled nursing facilities in the enforcement of pre-dispute arbitration agreements, including filing motions to compel arbitration, petitions in federal court to compel arbitration, and appellate briefs with respect to orders on the enforceability of arbitration agreements.

Jerad is licensed to practice in the trial and appellate courts of Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

Experience

  • Obtained numerous trial court orders compelling arbitration pursuant to pre-dispute arbitration agreements and successfully defended claims in arbitration.

  • Successfully represented a hospital in a state administrative appeal of an imposition of an excessive provider fee under Georgia’s Provider Payment Agreement Act.

  • Successfully challenged regulations implementing the Medicare hospice cap.

  • Demonstrated skilled nursing facility’s achievement of substantial compliance (and ability to maintain compliance) with Medicare’s conditions of participation and obtained a temporary restraining order in federal court halting termination of the facility’s Medicare and Medicaid provider agreement. The facts developed in connection with obtaining the TRO provided key support to a bankruptcy filing made during the pendency of the temporary restraining order that has successfully avoided termination of the provider agreements pending completion of the administrative appeals process.

  • Achieved a favorable settlement (a fraction of the alleged single damages) of False Claims Act case involving the medical necessity of hospice services after forcing government to correct and clarify allegations in its Complaint in Intervention regarding physician certifications because the allegations were contradicted by the government’s own interview notes of the witness to whom the allegations were attributed. U.S. ex rel. Smith v. Serenity Hospice Care, LLC, 3:13-cv-00001-DHB-BKE (S.D. Ga. Oct. 6, 2014) (Notice of Correction and Clarification).

  • Assisted in framing the arguments and preparing the briefs resulting in favorable appellate court opinions enforcing pre-dispute arbitration agreements entered in connection with nursing home admissions. Dean v. Heritage Healthcare of Ridgeway, LLC, 759 S.E.2d 727, 2014 WL 2771300 (S.C. June 18, 2014) (reversing 20-year precedent that nursing home contracts do not involve interstate commerce and finding that agreement could be enforced notwithstanding unavailability of AAA to administer arbitration); Estate of Daneshmayeh v. Heartland of Boynton Beach FL, LLC, 134 So.3d 470 (Fla. App. 2014) (decision without published opinion); Estate of Lewandowski v. Heartland of Boca Raton FL, LLC, 134 So.3d 470 (Fla. App. 2014) (decision without published opinion).

  • Implemented novel strategy of filing a federal lawsuit to successfully compel arbitration of a nursing home case resulting in a decision of first impression in Georgia. Kindred Nursing Centers Limited Partnership v. Cynthia Jones, Case No. CV409-105 (S.D. Ga. March 16, 2011).

  • Favorably resolved a high-profile federal False Claims Act case brought by the Department of Justice alleging that two national nursing home chains and their principals conspired to solicit a $50 million kickback from a large national pharmaceutical supply company in exchange for continuing to provide pharmacy services to the homes.

  • Obtained rulings from the North Carolina Court of Appeals and South Carolina Court of Appeals enforcing pre-dispute arbitration agreements entered in connection with nursing home admissions. Westmoreland v. High Point Healthcare Inc., 721 S.E.2d 712 (N.C. App. 2012) (holding that agreement was not unconscionable and enforcing agreement notwithstanding unavailability of AAA to administer arbitration); Johnson v. Heritage Healthcare of Estill, LLC, 2014-UP-318 (S.C. App. Aug. 6, 2014) (unpublished).

  • Successfully negotiated the resolution of claims for reimbursement of Medicare bad debts on behalf of a group of skilled nursing providers following an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

Credentials

  • Washington University School of Law, Juris Doctor
    • Washington University Law Quarterly
    • Order of the Coif
    • CALI Excellence for the Future Awards in Complex Civil Litigation, Conflict of Laws, Commercial Law, Labor Law and Real Estate Transactions, 2002
    • Charles Wendell Carnahan Award (Conflict of Laws), 2002
    • Philip Gallop Award (Real Estate Transactions), 2002
    • Joseph Kutten Prize in Insurance, 2002
  • Marshall University, Bachelor of Business Administration - Finance and Business Law,
    magna cum laude
  • State of Georgia 2005
  • State of South Carolina 2003
  • State of North Carolina 2002
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit 2010
  • Georgia Court of Appeals 2009
  • Supreme Court of Georgia 2009
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia 2006
  • United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia 2005
  • United States District Court for the District of South Carolina 2004
  • South Carolina Court of Appeals 2003
  • Supreme Court of South Carolina 2003
  • Supreme Court of North Carolina 2002
  • North Carolina Court of Appeals 2002
    • American Health Lawyers Association, Vice Chair of Strategic Planning and Special Projects for the Alternative Dispute Resolution Affinity Group (ADR AG)
    • Defense Research Institute

Recognition

  • “Rising Star,” Georgia Super Lawyers (Healthcare), 2012 to present

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