RICHARD W. WESTLING is a Member of the Firm in the Health Care & Life Sciences and Litigation practices, in the Nashville and Washington, DC, offices of Epstein Becker Green.
A health care compliance and government enforcement defense lawyer, Mr. 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 Mr. Westling when facing complex compliance challenges, government investigations, high-profile enforcement actions, or the prospect of severe criminal, civil, or administrative sanctions.
Mr. Westling’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, Mr. Westling 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. Mr. Westling 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 Mr. Westling'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 Mr. Westling’s experience as a courtroom advocate gained by trying more than 20 federal cases to verdict before juries throughout the United States.
Mr. Westling has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America©, in the field of Criminal Defense: White-Collar (2019). In 2018, he was recommended in The Legal 500 United States, in the areas of Healthcare: Health Insurers and Healthcare: Service Providers. In 2013, Chambers USA ranked Mr. Westling in Band 1 for Healthcare: Government Investigations & Fraud in Tennessee, and he was selected to the Mid-South Super Lawyers list (2013, 2018) in the areas of Criminal Defense: White Collar, Health Care, and Business Litigation. Mr. Westling was also named an Outstanding Healthcare Litigator by Nightingale’s Healthcare News (2009).
- Tulane University School of Law (J.D., cum laude, 1988)
- Board of Editors, Tulane Law Review
- Notes and Comments Editor, Tulane Journal of Maritime Law
- Sewanee: The University of the South (B.A., 1985)
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- Supreme Court of the United States
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- U.S. District Court, District of Columbia
- U.S. District Court, District of Maryland
- U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court, Middle District of Louisiana
- U.S. District Court, Middle District of Tennessee
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana
- U.S. District Court, Western District of Tennessee
- American Bar Association, Litigation, Health Law and Criminal Justice Sections
- American Health Lawyers Association
- Episcopal School of Nashville, Board of Trustees
- Health Care Compliance Association
- St. Andrews-Sewanee School (Sewanee, Tenn.), Board of Trustees