About Martin Merritt
Martin Merritt of Dallas was a Board Certified Medical Malpractice Litigator, (1987-2005) often defending physicians in state court, as well as defending his physician clients in MDL Pharmaceutical litigation filed by many of Texas’ powerhouse plaintiff’s firms. While Tort Reform under HB4 in 2005 successfully reduced the number of medical malpractice defendants, there arose another threat. Under the heading, Medicare “Fraud and Abuse,” the Department of HHS, which had long possessed the authority to punish providers for actual fraud, began cracking down with a vengeance on violations of even the most arcane rules and manual provisions—even if no fraud were involved. The OIG gained the power to bypass the Attorney General by using the CMPL, instead of the False Claims Act to impose fines of as much as $50,000 per patient bill submitted. Under PPACA, the government was authorized to summarily seize assets and exclude physicians from Medicare and Medicaid– with little thought of Due Process– merely upon a credible report of a rules violation. This, together with a dramatic increase in Qui Tam FCA whistleblower lawsuits, makes fraud and abuse compliance a top priority. Unlike medical negligence, there is no generally available insurance a physician can buy which will cover fraud-like claims. Penalties for each bill submitted in violation of a regulation can aggregate into the tens of millions. The government can unilaterally freeze a physician’s assets, or suspend further payments, crippling a Practice to the point that resistance is futile.
For this very reason, Martin now maintains a
state-wide boutique practice, Dallas-based Martin Merritt PLLC,
which represents physicians, small practice groups, and other
providers with a primary goal of preventing a violation of Stark
Law/AKS/FCA fraud and abuse laws before it happens. Contracts,
Employment Agreements, Equipment Leases, Office Space Agreements,
Joint Ventures, Medical Directorships, and many other transactions
carry Stark Law implications. Martin Merritt also assists business
lawyers who need a partial consult to ensure a business deal
involving groups of physicians meets state and federal Stark/ AKS/FCA
regulations. Martin also defends physicians in litigation and
administrative actions. In addition to his practice, Martin appears
weekly in a column for Washington, D.C. based, Physicians Practice
Magazine, and is a frequent contributor to Chicago's Becker's
Hospital Review and Becker’s ASC Review as well as a frequent guest
on local radio talk shows. Martin publishes a monthly newsletter
“Merritt’s Health Law Reporter, ” which covers False Claims Act
cases of interest. He delivers the annual “Fraud and Abuse” address
to the Health Law Section of the Dallas Bar Association, and the
North Texas Healthcare Compliance Association. Martin is available
to address small or large groups in need of help understanding state
and federal health law compliance. Martin is a member of the Health
Law Section of the Texas Bar Association and the Health Law Section
of the Dallas Bar Association.
Texas Motion Practice Handbook, Vols. I-II, 1600 pp., Knowles Publishing Co., Fort Worth, Texas (1992-2005)(Best-selling treatise and form book, Texas Civil Trial Procedure and Evidence. Chapters include Summary Judgment, Default Judgment, Motions to Recuse Judges, Motions to Disqualify Counsel, New Trials, Dismissal for Want of Prosecution, Sanctions, Discovery Motions.) This book and the annual updates required reporting on every major development in civil procedure each year during the publication run.
Bar Journal Articles, Texas CLE
Presentations, Speeches and Magazine Articles
Martin Merritt, PLLC - Dallas Physician Law. Copyright 2012. All Rights Reserved.