A health care compliance and government enforcement defense lawyer, Rich Westling regularly interacts with various health care regulatory agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice; the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General; and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Clients call upon Rich when facing complex compliance challenges, government investigations, high-profile enforcement actions, or the prospect of severe criminal, civil, or administrative sanctions.
Rich’s experience spans both the public and private sectors, and he has been Certified in Healthcare Compliance (CHC) by the Health Care Compliance Association. His services include:
- Representing academic medical centers, ancillary service providers, DME suppliers, home health agencies, hospice providers, hospital systems, managed care organizations, nursing homes, pharmacies, physicians, and other health care entities in enforcement and regulatory actions
- Defending clients in criminal health care fraud cases and in False Claims Act matters (including qui tam litigation) based on allegations of Stark/Anti-Kickback violations, billing and coding irregularities, and/or lack of medical necessity
- Assisting clients with managing risk in mergers and acquisitions, providing due diligence support and evaluation, and advising on structuring corporate arrangements that are compliant with fraud and abuse laws
- Advising clients on health care compliance issues, enforcement trends, internal investigations, regulatory issues, voluntary disclosures, HIPAA compliance, and medical staff issues
- Providing guidance to C-suite management and boards of directors on corporate governance, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) disclosures and reporting, and compliance oversight practices
For nearly 30 years, Rich has honed his communication and advocacy skills in diverse roles, including general counsel for a Medicare Advantage organization, white collar defense attorney, and federal prosecutor. Rich spent more than eight years with the U.S. Department of Justice, serving as First Assistant U.S. Attorney and as an Assistant U.S. Attorney (Health Care Fraud Coordinator and Asset Forfeiture Chief) in the New Orleans U.S. Attorney’s Office, and serving at Justice Department Headquarters in Washington, DC, as Special Assistant to the Assistant Attorney General for the Tax Division and as a Trial Attorney in the Tax Division’s Criminal Section. Most recently, he was a partner at a U.S. law firm headquartered in Nashville, where he served on the firm’s Healthcare Compliance and Government Enforcement Defense Team.
Health care industry clients facing government investigations appreciate Rich’s reasoned approach to representing their interests in difficult situations. With his ability to enter a heated conflict and restore calm, he demystifies the investigation process, assists with crisis response, and seeks to map out a strategy that will help his clients find closure and get back to business. Where litigation cannot be avoided, clients benefit from Rich’s experience as a courtroom advocate gained by trying more than 25 federal cases to verdict before juries throughout the United States.