Although hospice and palliative measures are not usually top of mind when most people think about health care, the topics take up much of Jarod Ferch’s time at his legal practice.
Ferch, an associate at Reinhart Boerner Van Dueren in Milwaukee, works with hospices across the country on a range of regulatory, compliance and business matters.
“When I was in law school, I really enjoyed my regulatory classes and knew that was an area I wanted to work in. Hospices are endlessly under scrutiny and many regulations govern them,” he said. “It was a good fit.”
Ferch’s practice covers a broad array of matters from contracts and compliance to defending organizations that may not have followed the rules or are under audit.
“It is a busy practice and I have worked on so many areas,” he said. “But it all gets back to what the rules and regulations are and whether or not the organization followed them.”
The regulations can be difficult to understand. For that reason, Ferch works closely with clients to avoid inadvertent violations. The Centers for Medicaid & Medicare subjects hospice centers to Zone Program Integrity Contractor (ZPIC) and Medicaid Integrity Contract (MIC) audits to double check that they are making the proper payments, he said.
“The ZPIC and MIC audits can be complex and stressful to deal with and I help guide my client through the process,” Ferch said.
In another part of his practice, Ferch reviews contracts between hospices and nursing homes, hospitals, physicians and other vendors.
“Rules and regulations really dictate how they need to be,” he said.
Just three years out of law school, Ferch is already seen as a legal expert in providing assistance to organizations that provide hospice care or palliative care, said Meg Pekarske, a shareholder at Reinhart Boemer Van Dueren and chair of the firm’s hospice and palliative-care practice group.
“Through his diligence and hard work, Jerod has learned a highly technical area of the law and garnered the trust of clients from across the country,” she said.
And although he is a fairly new attorney himself, Pekarske said Ferch has demonstrated his leadership abilities by the help he has provided to young lawyers.
With so many rules and regulations, keeping up on the latest changes can be daunting. Ferch said this is why he enjoys being able to specialize.
“When you are in specialized niche, it’s definitely easier to keep up with the changes related to rules and regulations,” he said.