Office of the General Counsel

Stuart F. Williams
General Counsel

2727 Mahan Drive, Mail Stop #3
Tallahassee, FL 32308
(850) 412-3630

The General Counsel manages the Office of the General Counsel (OGC), is a member of the Agency's Management Team, and advises the Secretary and the Agency Management Team on legal issues relating to the Agency. The General Counsel supervises all OGC Section Chiefs.

OGC provides legal advice and representation for the Agency on all legal matters, including: licensure and regulation of health care facilities; regulation of managed care plans; administration of the Medicaid State plan; recovery of Medicaid overpayments due to abuse or third party liability; and, civil litigation related to various Agency programs. The Agency Clerk's Office and Public Records Office are also managed by the OGC.

For Office Contact information please visit the OGC Contact page.

The Agency Clerk's Office

The Agency Clerk's Office (ACO): receives all requests for hearing and other documents filed with the Agency; reviews all requests for hearing and grants or denies such requests based on their timeliness and legal sufficiency; rules on various motions and requests filed with the Agency; processes and mails all Final Orders issued by the Agency; prepares the record indices and records for every Agency case that is appealed; and oversees the Agency's Public Records Unit. The Agency Clerk is responsible for implementing the provisions of Chapters 119 and 120, Florida Statutes, and Chapter 28, Florida Administrative Code.

Appellate Section

The Appellate Section is responsible for handling and/or monitoring all Agency appeals cases filed in the Florida District Courts of Appeal, Florida Supreme Court, and Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. The Appellate Section is also responsible for advising Agency clients and attorneys in the OGC on issues related to appeals.

Facilities Section

The Facilities Section provides legal representation to the Agency's six HQA Bureaus: Health Facility Regulation, Managed Care, Field Operations, Central Services, Plans and Construction and the Florida Center for Health Information and Policy Analysis. Their representation consists of appearing on behalf of the Agency on licensure and regulation matters, Certificate of Need actions, administrative rule actions, and bankruptcy actions. In addition, the Facilities attorneys prepare bill analysis, draft responses to petitions for declaratory statements, waivers and variances, respond to public records requests, conduct administrative rule reviews, provide representation to Agency employees at depositions, and provide other advice and counsel on HQA legal matters.

Litigation Section

The Litigation Section represents and defends the Agency throughout Florida in federal district court and state circuit court. Representation includes such matters as putative class actions; federal constitutional claims (spending clause and equal rights); alleged violations of the federal Medicaid Act; alleged violations of Florida's Medicaid Act; and others.

Medicaid Section

The Medicaid Section provides guidance about improvements to programmatic aspects of Medicaid operations as well as procedural recommendations to improve the likelihood of success should the Agency's actions be challenged in court. The attorneys represent the Agency in Medicaid-related litigation before administrative tribunals. The attorneys are involved in litigation resulting from record reviews (audits) performed by the Agency or contracted vendors related to the recovery of overpayments from providers, protests related to public procurement activities, and challenges to Agency rules. Additionally, litigation can result from actions taken by the Division of Medicaid or the Bureau of Medicaid Program Integrity related to the provider's enrollment status (termination from the program), real-time reviews of claims for reimbursement (pre-payment reviews), the withholding of reimbursements upon evidence of fraud, or other complaints by providers, recipients, or advocacy groups.

Medicaid Managed Care Section

The Medicaid Managed Care Section provides counsel in all matters relating to managed care for the Agency. This begins with the reorganization of the Agency around managed care and ranges from procurements related to managed care, contract management, litigation, compliance with federal law and the ongoing work with the federal waivers granted by CMS, any expansion of Medicaid enrollment which could potentially occur due to the Affordable Care Act, and legislative support.

Administrative Rules Coordination

The Rules Coordinator provides legal guidance and recommendations to the Agency's divisions regarding the rulemaking process. The Agency's rulemaking activities are reviewed and tracked to ensure compliance with the relevant statutes and rules.