5 Questions with a Health Lawyer

Marshall E. Jackson, Jr.
Associate
Office: Washington, DC
Year at Firm: 4

What is your favorite part about practicing healthcare law at McDermott? 

My favorite part of practicing healthcare law at McDermott is working with clients that are out in front tackling very interesting and unique issues. The healthcare industry continues to evolve, and our clients are at the forefront. The changes in the industry have required clients to navigate areas of uncertainty, and our clients look to us to help them navigate that uncertainty. I have been blessed to sit shoulder to shoulder with a dynamic McDermott team helping our clients tackle new and unprecedented issues. No day is a dull day.

What is the biggest opportunity and greatest challenge facing clients in your area of focus today? 

Many of our clients face the challenge of balancing the need to deliver affordable, quality healthcare to people when and where they need it, while maximizing return on investment for their business within a hot healthcare market. While one side seems provider-centered and the other investor-centered, providers and investors alike grapple with this balancing act. In addressing this balance in the context of an ever-changing industry, our clients are seizing opportunities to embrace new ways to deliver healthcare, and forming strategic partnerships and collaborations to strike the balance. We are increasingly seeing the industry embrace the use of digital heath technologies to allow providers to reach patients and address growing healthcare concerns. We are also seeing providers, payors, retailers, tech companies, and investors collaborating in new ways to spearhead innovation within the industry. It has been great to work with clients to address this challenge through innovative approaches.


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Name: James A. Cannatti III
Practice Focus Area: Healthcare Fraud & Abuse
Office: Washington, DC
Years at Firm: 1

What is your favorite part about practicing healthcare law at McDermott?

My favorite part of working in the McDermott Health practice, and at the Firm generally, is the team approach to advising clients. Each of us has unique subject matter knowledge and experience in different areas of law. Very often, our clients require advice that cuts across multiple areas and issues. By working together across different disciplines within the Firm and within the Health practice we can provide comprehensive advice and counsel to our clients – not just advice on one discrete issue – and approach things from a broader, strategic perspective to help meet their needs.

What is the biggest opportunity and greatest challenge facing clients in your area of focus today?

I work in the healthcare regulatory space, focusing on federal and state fraud and abuse issues. As the healthcare industry has evolved and focused more on delivering value, many fraud and abuse laws, which were written decades ago, have not kept pace and have been seen as barriers to innovation. Over the last few years regulators have signaled a willingness to rethink how some of the laws should be applied to novel arrangements and approaches to care. The evolving regulatory landscape and the potential removal of some of the barriers posed by the fraud and abuse laws presents a significant opportunity for clients to pursue transformative approaches to care within our healthcare system. At the same time, change creates uncertainty and when there’s uncertainty there is also risk. Those who are able to manage the uncertainty and take advantage of new opportunities will be well positioned for success.


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Drew Elizabeth McCormick
Associate
Office: Boston
Years at Firm: 2

What is your favorite part about practicing health care law at McDermott? 

I get to work with world class lawyers on cutting edge issues and help our clients navigate the challenges of succeeding in a very dynamic, heavily regulated industry. I am constantly being challenged and learning new things, all while having the honor of helping guide our clients in transforming health care.

What is the biggest opportunity and greatest challenge facing clients in your area of focus today? 

Definitely the ability to take on risk and succeed in a value-based payment paradigm. We are seeing many shifts in the industry, which are largely being driven by fundamental changes in reimbursement structures away from fee for service. Compounding this, the regulatory framework is lagging behind in many regards, creating tensions and uncertainty that our clients lean on us to help them resolve.


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Anisa Mohanty
Associate
Office: Washington, DC
Years at Firm: 3

What is your favorite part about practicing health care law at McDermott? 

I started out pre-med in college, but I quickly realized what excited me was the intersection between science, medicine, policy and law. Many of our clients are at the forefront of shaping policy in the life sciences space through their innovations, and the quality of our health care practice means we have the opportunity to partner with and support them in really exciting projects. I am grateful for the breadth and depth of knowledge and experience of my colleagues—it pushes me to be a better, smarter and savvier lawyer.

What is the biggest opportunity and greatest challenge facing clients in your area of focus today?

Because our clients are addressing some of the most complex challenges in healthcare and healthcare delivery, often there aren’t straightforward regulatory paradigms for their businesses. Our clients want to do the right thing, but that can be challenging because their regulators haven’t yet articulated how they will enforce the law as it applies to their services and solutions. Digital health is a great example of this and there’s a lot of opportunity to advocate for our clients so that regulators can take industry perspectives into account when finalizing regulations.

What kind of client work gets you most excited when it comes across your desk?

I love when a client has a service or product under development that has real potential to address an unmet public health need. It goes without saying that the American healthcare system is incredibly complex, but if I’m doing my job well, piece-by-piece, I’m helping to untangle it so our clients can deliver meaningful therapies and solutions.


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Erika Mayshar
Partner
Office: Los Angeles
Years at Firm: 2

What is your favorite part about practicing health care law at McDermott? 

When I moved to McDermott, I was proud to be joining the nation’s top health care law practice,   but the industry rankings don’t tell the whole story. The breadth and depth of expertise are backed by a collegial and innovative culture that builds strong relationships among colleagues and clients. Health lawyers at McDermott truly enjoy their work and working with each other.

What is the biggest opportunity and greatest challenge facing clients in your area of focus today? 

Industry disruption in health care is an ongoing reality for boards of directors and health system leadership. Being able to respond to moving-target opportunities is a challenge for leaders facing fast-paced regulatory change and economic pressure. The challenge is to determine what type of change makes sense for each organization – not to embrace disruption for the sake of staying current, but to seek opportunities that further the corporate mission and then implement change with meaningful stakeholder involvement. Tax-exempt nonprofit hospitals face additional hurdles, both cultural and legal, but are continually finding new ways to serve their communities and collaborate with for-profit businesses in creative ways.


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Kate McDonald
Partner
Office: Washington, DC
Years at Firm: 6

What is your favorite part about practicing health care law at McDermott? 

The health care regulatory work we do is cutting edge. From the largest health care companies to the smallest start-ups, our clients tend to be highly sophisticated and they come to us with high stakes questions that have no easy answers. We help clients navigate a complex web of health care regulations to implement innovative business models or bend the cost curve. The work I do is intellectually challenging and I love partnering with my crazy smart colleagues to solve problems. This is what keeps me coming back to work day after day.

What is the biggest opportunity and greatest challenge facing clients in your area of focus today? 

There is so much innovation occurring in the health care market today, and in particular in the managed care industry. Health insurers are partnering with an increasingly diverse set of business partners in an effort to provide higher quality care more efficiently, while actually keeping people healthier and improving their experience in the health care system – both of which inure to the benefit of both health insurers and consumers. While health care payors are at a critical intersection and have a unique opportunity to influence changes in the system, figuring out the best way to do that is also the greatest challenge for these companies. Health care is really complex – there is no magic bullet or easy solution, but I am optimistic that some of the innovations that shake out of this transformative time will have lasting and beneficial impacts.


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Megan Rooney
Partner
Office: Chicago
Years at Firm: 13

What is your favorite part about practicing health care law at McDermott? 

The team, the team, the team! It’s a pleasure to work with colleagues who have deep substantive expertise, prioritize client service, and are good human beings. As a healthcare M&A attorney, I am responsible for leading large teams of attorneys, including a variety of subspecialists, to drive efficient and effective outcomes and achieve business goals. I love knowing that, in nearly every instance, when an issue arises we have the specific expertise to handle it and there is no need to reinvent the wheel.

What is the biggest opportunity facing clients in your area of focus today? 

Our hospital and health system clients have a tremendous opportunity to improve the delivery of patient care, expand services provided to their communities and defend against the challenge of declining reimbursement through strategic partnerships. In addition to traditional hospital and health system M&A, our hospital and health system clients are increasingly pursuing Collaborative Transformations – that is, partnerships with non-traditional health care players. A successful Collaborative Transformation takes cultural integration between non-traditional partners, incorporating new technologies into health care regulatory compliance structures, and so much more.


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Matt Friendly
Associate
Office: Miami
Years at Firm: 5

What is your favorite part about practicing health care law?

I appreciate that health care is constantly evolving and changing. While the vastness of the field can be intimidating for some, it provides career-making opportunities to gain experience in a sub-specialty and build a reputation within