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Henry R. Fenton  Partner

Henry Fenton has handled a wide range of civil litigation matters in the areas of healthcare, labor and employment, antitrust and other areas of the law. He has won many important appellate decisions for physicians and other healthcare providers and has argued several cases in the United States and California Supreme Courts. Mr. Fenton has successfully represented hundreds of physicians and other healthcare professionals who have faced accusations or disciplinary investigations by the Medical Board of California or their respective licensing bodies. He specializes in providing representation and advice to health care professionals and health care entities and individuals, in the areas of fraud and abuse, medical staff, credentialing, Medicare and MediCal, reimbursement, Stark and Anti-kickback, DEA, FDA and HIPAA issues, business disputes, long term care, behavioral health and alcohol and substance abuse.

Among other distinctions, he has been rated AV Preeminent by the Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating system and has been chosen for a number of years as a Southern California “Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters in the field of health care law. Mr. Fenton has also been named “Lawyer of the Year” by California Lawyer Magazine and is regularly chosen as a “Best Lawyer in America in the areas of healthcare law and administrative/regulatory law. In 2013, Mr. Fenton was selected as “Lawyer of the Year” in Administrative/Regulatory Law in the Southern California area by The Best Lawyers in America.

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Representative Experience

Henry has successfully represented hundreds of physicians and other healthcare professionals who have faced accusations or disciplinary investigations by the Medical Board of California or their respective licensing boards.  Some of Henry’s representations include:

  • Successfully represented prominent dentist in Dental Board hearing by obtaining dismissal of accusation.
  • Successfully defended a dentist charged with fraud by the California Dental Board by obtaining dismissal of accusation.
  • Resolved case brought against pharmacy by Pharmacy Board in connection with alleged unlawful internet prescribing, seeking over $1,000,000 in fines, for a minimal amount.
  • Advised physicians with respect to disputes pertaining to their contracts and staff privileges at various hospitals and various employers.
  • Persuaded California Attorney General that there was no basis for criminal charges against surgeon in case where initially prosecution was certain.
  • Represented surgicenters and physicians practicing at surgicenters in various disputes and with respect to government investigations.
  • Successfully defended anesthesiologist charged with various charges of gross negligence and repeated acts of negligence by the California Medical Board and obtained dismissal of accusation.
  • Successfully defended dentist charged with various acts of fraud by the California Dental Board by obtaining a dismissal of accusation.
  • Advised governing body at hospital with respect to various issues including Stark and Anti-kickback pertaining to exclusive physician contracts.
  • Represented hundreds of physicians investigated by the California Medical Board and avoided filing of accusations.
  • Successfully represented Durable Medical Equipment (DME) supplier in Medi-care administrative hearings seeking recovery of millions of dollars.
  • In the case of Bode v. Los Angeles Metropolitan Medical Center, Mr. Fenton secured $2.1 million jury verdict against Los Angeles Medical Metropolitan Center in one of the largest jury verdicts stemming from a hospital peer review hearing. (August 2012)
  • Mr. Fenton has several decisions that were published by the appellate courts in disputes involving the Department of Health Services.  In Grier vs. Department of Health Services (2000), and in UAPD vs. Department of Health Services as trial counsel, Mr. Fenton won important cases on behalf of physicians facing huge extrapolated audit demands and established precedents which limited the ability of the Department of Health Services to unfairly audit physicians.
  • In Florence Western Medical Clinic vs. Coye, Mr. Fenton established the precedent that physicians may be able to avoid repayment entirely or obtain a reduction in claimed overpayments where there is a delay by the DHS.
  • In the case of Potvin vs. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, Henry Fenton established, in the California Supreme Court, the right of physicians to a hearing before being terminated or deselected by HMOs, insurance companies, or any other healthcare entities.  For his work in this case, Mr. Fenton was named among the Lawyers of the Year by California Lawyer Magazine “for his role in reshaping HMOs.”
  • In San Joaquin Hospital vs. Pacificare, Mr. Fenton won an appellate decision on behalf of a hospital against an HMO reversing a trial court decision and reinstating a lawsuit for more than $8 million in damages.
  • In the landmark decision of Sahlolbei vs. Providence Healthcare, Henry Fenton established the right of physicians facing non-reappointment of their staff privileges by a hospital to maintain their staff privileges until all internal remedies under the medical staff bylaws are exhausted.
  • In the recent case of Hayes vs. Cedars Sinai, Mr. Fenton established the right of a physician to a hearing when his application for staff privileges was denied.
  • In the decision of In Re Pomona Valley Medical Group, Inc., 476 F.3d 665 (9th Cir. 2007) Mr. Fenton established the right of a physician to pursue state law claims against a healthcare network that had filed for bankruptcy.
  • In another case handled by Mr. Fenton, Bode v. Los Angeles Metropolitan Medical Center 174 Cal.App.4th 1224 (2009), the court clarified that the medical staff may not sanction or discipline physicians for wrong doing unless they prove the charges with a preponderance of the evidence.
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Associations, Memberships & Awards

  • Board of Trustees, Executive Committee of the Health Care Law Section, Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Member, California Academy of Attorneys for Health Care Professionals
  • California Bar
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • D.C. Court of Appeals
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Thomson Reuters Southern California “Super Lawyers” (2009-Present)
  • “Best Lawyers in America” (2008-Present)
  • Former Member of Board of Directors, California Society for Healthcare Attorneys

 

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Education

  • UCLA, School of Law (J.D., 1969)
  • UCLA (A.B., History cum laude, 1966)
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Life Outside the Firm

Henry enjoys playing with his four grandchildren. In his spare time he enjoys running, skiing, reading, brushing up on foreign language skills and attending UCLA basketball games when his wife, a USC grad, lets him.

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Medical Board Forgoing Due Process – LACMA Physician

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