BATON ROUGE – Health care law is attracting the best and brightest in the legal profession, according to the former Louisiana assistant attorney general currently on Jones Walker's new special counsel on the firm's health care practice team.
"[This is happenging] because health care is such a significant issue for our nation," Jeffrey D. Jeter said during a Louisiana Record email interview. "The law continues to both rapidly develop and constantly change in this field. Healthcare certainly attracts attorneys wanting a dynamic, impactful practice."
Explosive growth in the health care industry continues to fuel an expansion in legal healthcare practices, Jeter said. "The demand for high-quality health care representation will continue because of the aging of the Baby Boomers and the resulting opportunities and challenges facing our healthcare delivery system," he said.
"Fortunately, when I was in-house, I had the privilege of working with very bright and talented lawyers both with my former company, as well as outside counsel that I retained from across the country, which is ultimately what led me to Jones Walker - first as a client and now as a special counsel with the firm. This kind of solid, top-notch representation is available right here in Louisiana, led by people who not only know health care, but also understand the unique issues and needs of our local communities."
Jeter, during his Louisiana Record interview, said his advice to up-and-coming attorneys who aspire to health care law is to be truly effective and to add value to a practice.
"In order to be truly effective and add value in your practice, you must serve as a partner both understanding the law and, more importantly, the client’s business," Jeter said. "One should never forget that our work creates profound business implications for the client. Ultimately, there is always a way to facilitate a client’s legitimate business needs and objectives, but sometimes it requires creativity and persuasiveness on our part to help them navigate through the morass of laws, rules, and regulations. Doing this successfully requires that we first understand their business and their objectives."
Jones Walker announced Jeter's addition to the Baton Rouge office in an Aug. 2 news release.
“Jeffrey Jeter was an influential and important part of Amedisys," President and CEO Paul Kusserow was quoted in the news release. "He was extremely conscientious in building a very strong and comprehensive compliance program during his 16-year career at Amedisys. He always promoted a culture that encouraged ethical conduct and a commitment to compliance. He did this with hard work and a good sense of fun."
Jeter told the Louisiana Record his experience, both as a former prosecutor and a health care executive, gives him a special insight into the problems with which clients must wrestle. "I have seen their challenges from all sides," he said. "This background really complements the depth of great talent within the Jones Walker health care practice team and gives our clients the advantage of not only solid legal advice, but also experience with [putting] that advice into action. I am excited to offer this advice and experience to clients in my new role with Jones Walker."
Jeter was chief compliance officer for more than 15 years at Amedisys before joining Jones Walker. He was responsible for oversight of the company's anti-fraud and ethics program for the national home health and hospice services provider, according to the news release. He administered policy development, training, and enforcement for more than 16,000 employees and managed audit oversight of more than 400 home health and hospice agencies in 37 states across the country. He also was the company’s chief privacy officer responsible for the privacy and security of the company’s protected health information.
Jeter began his legal career as an assistant attorney general with Louisiana's Department of Justice's Criminal Division Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. He was responsible for investigating, charging, and prosecuting Medicaid fraud offenses, as well as crimes involving the abuse and neglect of residents of skilled nursing facilities. He drafted the state’s Fraudulent Remuneration "Anti-Kickback" Statute and oversaw enforcement of health care anti-fraud laws and elder protection statutes.
He received his juris doctor degree from Louisiana State University Law Center in 2006, a masters of public administration from Louisiana State University in 2000, and a bachelor of arts, cum laude, from Texas Christian University in 1993. Jeter also is a graduate of the prosecutor training course at Northwestern University School of Law.
Jones Walker is among the 120 largest law firms in the U.S., serving local, regional, national, and international business interests with offices in Alabama, Arizona, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New York, Ohio and Texas.