Stephen M. Azia, shareholder in the Washington, D.C. office, is a member of the Firm's Health Law Group.
Mr. Azia has more than 20 years of experience counseling clients in health care reimbursement, coverage, compliance, Medicare and Medicaid appeals, HIPAA, managed care, and legislative and regulatory advocacy. He has represented suppliers, providers, manufacturers, and national and state trade associations before various government agencies and Congress.
Mr. Azia's practice includes representation of clients subject to various audits and investigations conducted by Recovery Audit Contractors (RACs), Zone Program Integrity Contractors (ZPICs), Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs), and the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG). Mr. Azia has extensive experience representing suppliers and providers before Administrative Law Judges and the Medicare Appeals Council of the Departmental Appeals Board.
Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Azia was the Associate Director of Government Relations for the Health Industry Distributors Association (HIDA), a national business trade association of medical distributors and home care companies.
- Successfully overturned large extrapolated overpayments for various clients during the Medicare appeals process.
- Represented a large state school district before the Departmental Appeals Board in a case involving Medicaid administrative claims for services performed over a multi-year period. The DAB ruled favorably, allowing the challenged expenditures to be paid to the school district.
- Navigated client through HIPAA investigation conducted by the HHS Office of Civil Rights. Investigation was dismissed and no penalties assessed.
- Led federal advocacy efforts in meetings with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) addressing power mobility documentation standards. Worked to retract a restrictive mobility coverage policy, ultimately resulting in the development of a new National Coverage Determination.
- Filed a bid protest to the Government Accountability Office on behalf of a manufacturer contesting the award of a large health care contract by the Department of Veterans Affairs. In response to the bid protest, the VA terminated awardee's contract and took corrective action.
- Represented a Florida client subject to Medicaid fraud investigation. Presented detailed evidence demonstrating fundamental errors in case which was subsequently withdrawn.
- Co-author – "CMS Relaxes Proposals for Returning Overpayments, but Significant Questions Remain," Baker Donelson Health Law Alert, February 12, 2016
- Co-author – "OIG Hospital Compliance Audits: Is Your Number Up? Are You Ready?" Bloomberg BNA, September 30, 2015; Baker Donelson Alert, October 23, 2015
- Quoted – "Medicare Audit Reforms Raise Hospital Hopes," Law360, January 14, 2015
- Presenter – "Health Care Environment," Annual National Training Conference for The Compliance Team, August 20, 2013
- Presenter − "The Legal Beat: You've got questions, they've got answers," HME Expo and Conference, 2009
- Presenter − "Medicare Part B Appeals Process," MedTrade Conference, 2007
- Presenter − "Ready, Set, Bid: Nuts and Bolts of Competitive Bidding for Medicare DME Suppliers," sponsored by Thompson Interactive Publishing, 2007
- Member – American Health Lawyers Association
- Member – District of Columbia Bar Association
- Member – Connecticut Bar Association
- District of Columbia, 1991
- Connecticut, 1989
- University of Connecticut School of Law, J.D., 1989
- Colgate University, B.A. Political Science, 1986