W2 or 1099’s Important Considerations Avoid Liability

It is paramount for drug and alcohol addiction treatment centers and sober livings to be well educated on the laws nationally, and on the local regulatory climate in West Palm Beach FL. and throughout southern Florida. Behavioral Health Network Resources Addiction Executive Ethical Marketing Practices (EMP) conference series tackles these issues head on. The next one of our addiction professional conferences is on 3/30/18. This event focuses on patient brokering, website structure, SEO, legal billing issues and making sure your clinical team is not costing you revenue. One of our feature panelists is a well-known and respected attorney for addiction treatment centers, sober livings and their ancillary service providers.; David Hirshfeld, Esq. of Hirshfeld PLLC. He will be presenting vital information on W2 Employees and 1099 Contractors in a practical and easy to digest manner.

Many addiction treatment centers, sober livings and marketers are misinformed on their marketing contracts. Recently the Tomasso brothers thought they were covered with their marketing contracts. Many of these contracts are not in compliance and owners and marketers need to be Crystal clear on what the law requires.

From a Palm Beach Post article by Jorge Milan Palm Beach Post Staff Writer ”

“The Tomasso brothers, both residents of Boca Raton, entered into a “marketing employment contract” on Dec. 1, 2016, that “was actually for the referral of patients from Ronald’s sober home” to a substance-abuse facility run by James Tomasso’s wife, the report said.”

“Marketing employment contracts, like the one the Tomasso brothers signed, are used by treatment facilities to circumvent Florida’s patient-brokering law, which states “it is unlawful for any person to offer or pay any commission, bonus, rebate, kickback, or bribe … to induce the referral of patients or patronage to or from a health care provider,” according to Delray Beach police, which investigated the case.”

Counsel Hirshfeld, Esq. Making Arrangements with Marketers More Defensible

David will be discussing some fundamental and wide-spread misconceptions on patient brokering and kickbacks that leave many open to legal issues. He will be sharing practical tips on how to make ethical arrangements with marketers more defensible. Below are some questions we plan on asking him.

David Hirshfeld panelist on patient brokering at Behavioral Health Network Resources Addiction Conferences on rehab marketingDavid Hirshfeld, Esq. is licensed to practice in Florida and New York. He currently owns a nationally respected law firm Hirshfeld PLLC. Counsel Hirshfeld has spent his 23-year legal career advising clients with respect to business arrangements among licensed health care providers, unlicensed entities in the business of health care, insurers and other third-party payors.  For the past five years he has focused almost exclusively on the substance abuse treatment segment.  David was one of FARR’s original board members, and represents SAT providers, physician groups, clinics, clinical labs, lab managers, marketing and lead generation companies, billing companies, recovery residences, and is occasionally asked to advise private equity concerns as well as other law firms.  David has also served as full-time in-house counsel to several insurance companies, a health care marketing company, and an SAT provider.

picture of the scales of justice signifying patienr brokering in the addiction treatment marketing industryDavid Hirshfeld, Esq. is very well-versed in laws governing the corporate practice of medicine, fee-splitting, kickbacks, self-referrals, scope of practice and supervision, privacy, insurance, false claims, health care marketing; as well as more general laws governing business entities.  As part of representing health care businesses, he has become expert with respect to general legal issues arising from space and equipment leases, loan documents, employment and contractor arrangements, human resource issues, wage-and-hour law, arrangements among owners within a business, and other general business arrangements not specifically related to health care or insurance.

Counsel Hirshfeld, Esq. Many Marketing Arrangments Still Not Legal


Many treatment center’s and sober living’s current contracts may not protect them from criminal liability. With the current statues of the addiction treatment industry it is critical than owners and operators have contracts that are as defensible as possible. Many are relying on recommendations from inexperienced legal counsel and peers. There are still gray areas and operating ethically in compliance with the law is critical. Here are some topics we plan on asking Mr. Hirshfeld;

  • Many people seem to believe that they are free to compensate marketers based on the numbers of patients or the amount of revenue they bring to a treatment provider as long as the marketer is hired on a W-2 basis. Is it really that simple?
  • In addition to carefully choosing whether to characterize the marketer as 1099 or W-2, are there any other steps that treatment centers can take to help shore up their marketing arrangements from a regulatory perspective?

Counsel Hirshfeld is on of the 6 featured speakers at the Addiction Executive Ethical Marketing Practices conference on 3/30/18. He is be tackling patient brokering contracts and their misconceptions head on at the conference. This event is an open forum that is turned over to the audience to ask any question they wish. Check out our other panelists, exhibitors and participants and get the critical business and marketing information to survive the difficult landscape in our industry. Click here to learn more.



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