When structuring and planning any asset protection strategy, one of the more important factors is often how the asset protection entity or multiple entity structure is funded. While the funding of the structure itself is of paramount importance, one of the major factors is to create an asset protection structure that titles assets in a manner that takes the equity away from the person who is of primary risk, and whose assets are to be protected.
[Time to Read: 2.5 mins] As we’ve just ended the year, it is always important to remember to do proper annual minutes for your various business organizations.
Many corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, and other business entities get tied up in other year-end business and ignore what is often perceived as minutia in the recording of annual minutes and year- end operational meetings. Others just forget to do them. Small businesses are particularly susceptible to ignoring this very important corporate obligation and tool.
Physician incentive bonuses are often a way a physician employer can provide a physician employee with a means of enhanced salary based upon the physician employee’s productivity. For a physician employer, if a part of their physician employee’s salary is based on a bonus, the physician employee is more likely to be productive as greater productivity leads to additional compensation. Such arrangements must be carefully scrutinized and structured so they comply with any professional misconduct guidelines, as well as any other regulations that govern compensation arrangements between physicians and healthcare providers.
Many legal scholars have theorized that the civil Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act statutes (RICO), which are designed to go after businesses that are inherently manipulated and corrupted to the point that they function as criminal organizations, were not intended to be applicable to the healthcare industry. However, in the last 10 years, many insurance companies, particularly in the realm of no-fault insurance, have filed such claims against providers. Every so often one of the large insurance companies tends to file another RICO claim in an effort to “clean house” from providers that they feel are billing inappropriately or are operating with non-doctors in a “dummy doc,” or “doc in the box” situation.
Typically, civil RICO claims put a huge amount of pressure on the defendant. This is due to the far reaching ability of a plaintiff to look beyond just the defendant and individuals or the entity in the lawsuit. An insurance company bringing such a suit also has the ability to look into the payments and finances of third parties and the relationship of third parties with the defendant and its owners. This means that any claim of fraud under a civil RICO action could potentially expose any entity, in addition to a management company or other organization that is regularly doing business with the practice (such as a landlord that holds the lease and provides specific services), to scrutiny or inclusion in the civil RICO lawsuit.
In recent years, much attention has been focused on the activities of physicians who operate with management companies and collection lawyers in the no-fault industry. Up until now, no-fault insurers would often file a civil RICO (Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act) claim against a provider in order to go after additional fines and penalties that are permitted under this type of action.
This series of laws also permits the insurance companies to collect significant damages such as triple damages and an expanded ability to attach personal assets. In addition, it gives them the ability to go after and subpoena documents which they would otherwise not be able to in a regular fraud lawsuit.