Peggy Kozal

Member

Peggy Kozal, based in Dickinson Wright’s Denver office, is a dedicated attorney deeply involved in the complex world of health care law. With a passion for untangling legal complexities, Peggy navigates regulatory compliance, litigation, data privacy and security matters, and strategic counsel for a diverse range of clients within the health care sector, including long-term care facilities, hospitals, physicians and physician practices.

She excels in identifying crucial legal matters and devising compliance strategies that not only reduce risks but also align with her clients’ strategic goals. Peggy brings a wealth of experience in advising on legal issues impacting health care operations for providers and other organizations within the health care industry.

Peggy’s practice extends to constructing frameworks that shield health care entities from fraud and abuse. She adeptly assists clients in managing whistleblower complaints and government investigations and also represents providers in reimbursement disputes involving state and federally funded programs.

She actively guides the day-to-day operations of health care clients, offering counsel on risk management, patient care, and emergency response programs. Peggy also regularly advises clients regarding compliance with privacy laws, including HIPAA, 42 CFR Part 2, and other state and federal data privacy and security frameworks. In today’s health care landscape, which emphasizes efficiency and quality, Peggy ensures her clients are well-prepared and compliant.

Beyond health care, Peggy leverages her legal insight in employment matters, skillfully managing high-stakes class actions and guiding health care entities in managing employment disputes. Her litigation skills cover administrative, state, and federal courts, demonstrating proficiency in enforcing arbitration agreements and advising clients on minimizing losses.

Her approach prioritizes strategic resolution, settling when it’s pragmatic and standing firm against unreasonable opposition.

Spoken Languages

  • Spanish

Prominent Assignments

  • Represented health care facilities in government investigations conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) and other state fraud units, such as the Colorado Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU).
  • Assisted ambulatory surgery center (ASC) in appealing to an administrative forum overpayment demands made by a Medicare Administrative Contractor (MAC).
  • Assisted employer in responding to a U.S. Department of Labor investigation. Achieved favorable outcome by significantly negotiating a narrowed scope of the investigation with minimal fines assessed.
  • Assisted employer with establishing an employee wellness and prevention program that complies with regulatory frameworks such as GINA, ADA, ERISA, COBRA, HIPAA and the ACA.
  • Represented providers in regulatory appeals related to overpayment demands resulting from Medicare compliance audits.
  • Defended provider of rehabilitation services in False Claims Act (FCA) case alleging that services were not reasonable or necessary and did not qualify as skilled care based upon alleged inflated Resource Utilization Groups levels.
  • Advised on regulatory issues and developed policies and procedures for municipality in order to comply with HIPAA and 42 CFR Part 2.
  • Tried cases before the Departmental Appeals Board (DAB) and Civil Remedies Division (CRD) of the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) to contest sanctions and civil monetary penalties assessed against long-term care facilities.
  • Appealed to the Colorado Office of Administrative Courts (OAC) adverse actions against providers resulting from claimed overpayments or other allegations made by state governmental agencies.
  • Defended health care professionals and organizations in government investigations before licensing boards and in other administrative proceedings.
  • Drafted, reviewed, and negotiated contractual documents related to provider transactional matters such as forming corporations, advising on Medicare and Medicaid certification and reimbursement issues, and general business planning. Reviewed and negotiated physician employment and recruitment agreements with a frequent emphasis on analysis and structuring of compensation provisions.
  • Advised health care professionals, providers, and business entities regarding Stark, anti-kickback laws, and other state and federal compliance matters, including fraud and abuse issues.
  • Drafted admissions agreements, program statements, and general policies and procedures for senior living facilities to ensure conformance with regulatory requirements.
  • Achieved a defense verdict on behalf of a skilled nursing facility facing allegations that it violated health care workers' retaliation statutes.

Professional Involvement

  • American Health Lawyers Association
  • Colorado Health Care Association
  • Colorado Bar Association
  • Denver Bar Association
  • LeadingAge Colorado

 

Community Involvement

Immediate Past Chair, WellPower f/k/a Mental Health Center of Denver
Mayoral Appointment to Board of Directors, WellPower f/k/a Mental Health Center of Denver (June 2017 to present)
American Health Lawyers Association, Post-Acute and Long Term Services Group, Vice-Chair Educational Programming (June 2019 to present)
American Health Lawyers Association, Post-Acute and Long Term Services Group, Social Media Chair (June 2018 to June 2019)
Colorado Managed Care Collaborative, Board Member, Government Policy Committee Chair (January 2014 to December 2018)
 

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California

Publications/Presentations

Presentations

  • Speaker, “Donation After Circulatory Death and First Person Authorization”, Donor Alliance 2023 Donation Summit, Englewood, CO 80112 (December 2023)
  • Speaker, “Employment Law Update and Litigation Trends,” Leading Age Colorado Assisted Living Conference, Westminster, CO (September 2023)
  • Speaker, “Employment Issues in Senior Living: Connecting with Regulators, Addressing Staffing Issues and Leading the Industry,” Leading Age Colorado Annual Conference, Vail, CO (May 2023)
  • Speaker, “Assisted Living COVID-19 Related Lawsuits: What You Need to Know,” Leading Age Colorado Assisted Living Conference, Denver, CO, September 2022
  • Speaker, “Difficult Discharges, Real World Solutions, American Health Law Association,” In-House Counsel Program, Chicago, IL, June 2022
  • Speaker, “Data Privacy in Senior Living Environments: How to Operationalize an Effective Compliance Program, American Health Law Association,” Long-Term Care and the Law National Convention, Orlando, FL, February 2022
  • Speaker, “Compliance—Remember Me? Things You May Have Forgotten During COVID Times,” American Health Law Association, October 2021
  • Speaker, “The Biden Administration – Impact on the Long Term Care Industry,” American Health Lawyers Association, April 2021
  • Speaker, “How to Implement Risk Management Strategies During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” Colorado Health Care Association, Denver, CO, June 2020
  • Speaker, “Fundamentals of Medicare and Medicaid Reimbursement in Long-Term Care,” American Health Lawyers Association, Long-Term Care and the Law National Convention, Phoenix, AZ, February 2019
  • Speaker, “Drugs, Money, and Change: What you Need to Know about the 2018 Legislative Session,” Colorado Managed Care Collaborative Event, Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO, June 2018
  • Speaker, “2017 Colorado Legislative Session Wrap-Up, Colorado Managed Care Collaborative Event,” Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO, June 2017
  • Speaker, “Whistleblowers and the False Claims Act—Avoiding Ethical Pitfalls,” Continuing Legal Education in Colorado Seminar, April 2016

Publications

  • Author, “Federal Trade Commission Issues Landmark Decision Involving Online Therapy Provider,” August 2023
  • Author, “Candor in Colorado: New Statutory Protections for Communications About Adverse Health Care Incidents,” Health Care Pulse, June 27, 2019
  • Author, “SAMSHA Revisions to Part 2 – A Long Time Coming for Updates to Substance Use Confidentiality,” DRI Medlaw Update, July 14, 2017
  • Author, “OIG Releases FY 2017 Work Plan: New Areas of Focus for Skilled Nursing Facilities, Hospices, and Home Health Agencies, American Health Lawyers Association Post-Acute and Long Term Services Health Law Email Bulletin,” November 2016
  • Author, “CMS Seeks to Stop Infection in Its Tracks through Modification to Infection Control Program Requirements, American Health Lawyers Association Post-Acute and Long Term Services.” Health Law Email Bulletin, October 2016
  • Author, “CMS Releases Report on Initiative to Reduce Avoidable Hospitalizations among Nursing Facility Residents, American Health Lawyers Association Post-Acute and Long Term Services,” Health Law Email Bulletin, February 2016
  • Author, “CMS Issues Final Rule Related to Medicaid Face-to-Face Requirements for Home Health  Services and Implements Other Key Policy Clarifications,” American Health Lawyers Association Post-Acute and Long Term Services Health Law Email Bulletin, February 2016
  • Author, “OIG Checks on States’ Implementation of Background Check Programs, American Health Lawyers Association Post-Acute and Long Term Services,” Health Law Email Bulletin, February 2016
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