Justo A. Mendez
Justo Mendez is a healthcare attorney with more than 18 years of experience in health law. Mr. Mendez's practice focuses on representing and advising healthcare providers in regulatory compliance, enforcement, criminal defense, transactional, recoupment, reimbursement and disciplinary matters. He has a particular focus in representing healthcare providers in government investigations and enforcement actions.
Mr. Mendez's experience in healthcare law includes serving as assistant attorney general in the Texas Medicaid Fraud Control Unit; as a federal agent for the Office of the Inspector General in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); and as a federal prosecutor for the U.S. attorney's office in Houston. As a federal prosecutor in the white collar crimes section, Mr. Mendez successfully investigated and prosecuted dozens of healthcare fraud cases, amounting to millions of dollars in recoveries. The cases involved allegations of false claims, violations of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and other cases related to healthcare qui tam actions and Stark Law violations. Mr. Mendez also investigated and prosecuted bank and bankruptcy fraud cases.
Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Mr. Mendez was an attorney at an international law firm in its Houston office. Previously, he served as senior regulatory counsel for a Fortune 500 healthcare company, where he focused on regulatory compliance of ongoing and future ventures, provided legal advice regarding compliance and led internal investigations related to healthcare regulatory matters. In addition, Mr. Mendez served as chief legal, compliance and human resources officer for a private healthcare organization. In that role, he managed more than 900 employees across five states and oversaw healthcare regulatory compliance, health information privacy, employee relations, provider disciplinary issues, use of outside counsel and negotiations with providers of employee benefits.
Mr. Mendez began his career with private firms, where he represented healthcare providers and businesses in diverse matters as well as in administrative hearings before Medicare's administrative law judges.
- Defended providers in recoupment actions by Medicare, Medicaid and fiscal intermediaries
- Structured transactions and drafted contracts in compliance with healthcare regulations
- Defended providers in regulatory actions by federal and state authorities
- Represented providers in labor-related matters
- Defended providers in recoupment actions by private insurance carriers
- Represented providers in proceedings before Texas Department of State Health Services
- Defended providers in disciplinary actions by licensing entities
- Assured providers on continued compliance with relevant healthcare regulations
- University of Houston Law Center, LL.M.
- Tulane University, MHA
- University of Puerto Rico School of Law, J.D.
- University of Michigan, B.A.
- Puerto Rico
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
- American Health Lawyers Association
- American College of Healthcare Executives
- Top Lawyers of 2016 – Healthcare, Houstonia
- Inspector General's Exceptional Achievement Award, Houston Medicare Fraud Strike Force, 2012
- Sharpshooter Certification, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2010