F. Peter Lehr and David N. Vozza, Members of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., presented “Liability Issues in the Time of COVID-19” for the local Lehigh Valley Pennsylvania Chapter of Professional Association of Health Care Office Management (PAHCOM) on December 3 as part of its annual holiday dinner (held virtually this year).
“Health care providers and facilities are often considered allegedly responsible for personal injury, wrongful death, and other torts relating to COVID-19. It is critical they be prepared and stay current on risk and liability issues, such as negligence, gross negligence, medical malpractice, and violations of state law,” said Lehr.
Vozza added, “It’s a scary subject for health care professionals to talk about, but one they must acknowledge. We are privileged to have the opportunity to help shed some light on avoiding these potential legal issues.”
Lehr and Vozza addressed how health care providers, including physician groups, have faced unprecedented challenges since February of 2020, not only in providing care but also in operating as an employer and as a business. Discussion topics included pre-and post-COVID-19 trends; potential risks and liability issues; the declaration of a public health emergency and the series of declarations, orders, guidance, and lawsuits; and the impact on patient, employee, provider, vendor, and landlord relationships and consent. The 2.5-hour-long program offered 2.5 CMM CEUs to participants.
Lehr focuses his practice on health care transactional and regulatory matters, real estate, and land use law, including zoning and subdivision applications and commercial lending. He represents and counsels a variety of health care providers, including hospitals, long-term care and nursing facilities, home health agencies, assisted living facilities, and more.
Lehr assists clients in numerous transactions and regulatory issues involving such mandates as HITECH, HIPAA, Stark, Anti-Kickback and attendant safe harbors, and EMTALA. He is experienced in leading operational assessments of health care providers and drafting corporate compliance programs and has counseled clients on fraud and abuse avoidance and represented them in third-party payer reimbursement cases.
An active member of the community, Lehr serves on the boards of several nonprofit organizations, including LifePath, Inc., the Weller Health Education Center, and the Forum for Ethics in the Workplace. He is a member of the Leonard Pool Society of Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network. Lehr earned his J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law in 1998, and his B.A. from Vanderbilt University in 1995.
Vozza devotes his practice to the areas of health care and litigation. He defends health care professionals in connection with disciplinary and regulatory actions before federal and state agencies, and in private and government payor audits, civil and criminal fraud investigations, hospital and privileges disputes, and general health care litigation in both federal and state courts.
Vozza also regularly defends health care professionals before the Office of Professional Medical Conduct and the Office of Professional Discipline. He frequently lectures at hospitals throughout New York State regarding medical fraud, regulatory agencies, professional licensure, and medical documentation.
Vozza earned his J.D. from Hofstra University School of Law in 2001 and his B.A. from the State University of New York, Stony Brook, in 1998.