Practice Focus Area: Fraud & Abuse and Reimbursement
Office: Washington, DC
Years at Firm: 2.5
What is your favorite part about practicing healthcare law at McDermott?
McDermott is fortunate to be on the cutting edge of many of the legal issues that shape the healthcare industry. My favorite part of practicing healthcare law at McDermott is collaborating with and learning from my colleagues as we tackle novel and challenging problems. The McDermott health team is known for its collaborative approach and I love being able to discuss potential approaches and strategies with my colleagues. I am constantly learning from my attorney and professional colleagues and solving obstacles with my colleagues for clients makes the workdays pass quickly.
What is the biggest opportunity and greatest challenge facing clients in your area of focus today?
Telehealth and digital health have been around for a while now, but with COVID-19 the widespread adoption of these technologies has presented huge opportunities but also significant challenges for our clients. In response to the pandemic, there are new opportunities for reimbursement for services and products provided remotely. However, the legal issues presented by these new technologies and partnerships that providers and innovators are seeking to offer are complex and require a thoughtful approach. Payment policies and guidance have also been evolving quickly, which makes staying on top of the changes difficult for clients.
What kind of client work gets you most excited when it comes across your desk?
Although many healthcare companies are driven by improving patient care and expanding access to care, the reality is that the availability of reimbursement from federal healthcare programs and other payors tends to drive the services that our clients can provide. I love evaluating whether the products and services a client is seeking to offer are reimbursable and compliant, including collaborating closely with our McDermott+Consulting colleagues on the details of CPT codes. This also frequently involves providing practical advice on how to set up business models that are compliant with applicable fraud and abuse statutes and regulations. My favorite work inevitably is when my two areas of practice intersect.
What is the proudest moment of your career to date?
I love seeing our clients get a big win. My proudest moments are when a client achieves exactly what they are seeking to achieve. As a recent example, a new digital health company asked us for strategy advice related to setting up a compliant business model for remote patient monitoring services. We subsequently provided significant compliance, fraud and abuse and practical advice as the client began operations. We also helped the client negotiate several contracts for its services with key customers which enabled the client to establish and expand its services into multiple new states.
If you were not a lawyer, what career would you pursue?
If I was not a lawyer, I’d love to attend culinary school and become a chef, or just open a restaurant. Cooking is pretty much the only household chore I enjoy, and I love unplugging from work to try out a new recipe for my husband. I particularly love researching and trying out authentic recipes from cuisines I’m less familiar with, such as Thai curries.