HEALTH & LIFE SCIENCES NEWS
HEALTH & LIFE SCIENCES NEWS
Exploring Critical Business and Legal Issues across the Healthcare and Life Sciences Industries
HEALTH & LIFE SCIENCES NEWS
Exploring Critical Business and Legal Issues across the Healthcare and Life Sciences Industries
5 Questions with a Health Lawyer
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5 Questions with a Health Lawyer: Sharon Lamb

Sharon Lamb
Practice Focus Area: Health and Life Sciences
Office: London
Years at Firm: 4

What is your favorite part about practicing health and life sciences law at McDermott?
This is an easy question to answer! McDermott has a truly international health and life sciences practice with talented lawyers with deep expertise across all disciplines around the world– our lawyers truly works together as an integrated team and share a collective enthusiasm and energy for advising our international clients in a way that helps them move their businesses forward. I feel really privileged to work with such dedicated and talented lawyers. Our practice is both regulatory and transactional, meaning we support our clients on cross border investments and acquisitions to expand their businesses but also on strategic and regulatory issues, such as licensing, collaborations, and market access. The pandemic has been challenging on many levels – working remotely has been just one part of that. But, on the other hand, the move to virtual meetings and ease of zoom calling has created even more cohesion across our international offices.

What is the biggest opportunity and greatest challenge facing clients in your area of focus today?
Our health and life sciences clients have been at the forefront of the fight against Covid-19 – whether that be providing care to patients or developing drugs and devices such as vaccines, and diagnostics. Many [...]

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5 Questions with a Health Lawyer: Dr. Deniz Tschammler

Dr. Deniz Tschammler 
Practice Focus Area: Health and Life Sciences
Office: Munich/Frankfurt
Years at Firm: 2

What is your favorite part about practicing healthcare law at McDermott?
Apart from exciting clients and projects, a great privilege of my work at McDermott is to closely collaborate with a wide range of inspiring and outstanding health and life sciences lawyers – in our German offices, across Europe and the US. I am regularly working on large collaboration, market entry or compliance projects that involve multiple jurisdictions and/or require different legal perspectives. In such projects, it is invaluable to be surrounded by the right team of experts. After more than two years at McDermott, I am still impressed to see how quickly you find such helpful team across all offices. Moreover, everyone shares the same attitude and passion for achieving our clients’ goals. It is magnificent to be a part of this.

What is the biggest opportunity and greatest challenge facing clients in your area of focus today?
For many clients, the answer is digitization. At great speed, digitization is turning the health markets upside down. Digital health has started to revolutionize research and development, create entirely new ways of diagnosing and treating diseases, make the patient’s trip to the doctor or pharmacy unnecessary, and facilitate communication among all public and private players in the various health markets. This not only results in abolition and liberalization of outdated legal regimes, but also in new [...]

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5 Questions with a Health Lawyer: Brian Hall

Brian Hall
Practice Focus Area: Healthcare Transactions & Regulatory
Office: Washington, DC
Years at Firm: 3+ years

What is your favorite part about practicing healthcare law at McDermott?
It’s easily the colleagues I work with on daily basis. I’m fortunate that my practice requires me to work with attorneys across the entire Healthcare practice group and other practices at the Firm. Having colleagues who are the best at what they do is a tremendous resource for myself and our clients. I also really enjoy working on the cutting-edge legal issues our clients bring to us. Healthcare law is never static and forces us to always be learning to help clients navigate this increasingly complex legal landscape.

What is the biggest opportunity and greatest challenge facing clients in your area of focus today?
My practice is focused primarily on healthcare transactions/M&A and related regulatory issues, representing investors like private equity funds and the healthcare providers they partner with. The healthcare delivery market continues to be highly fragmented with many specialty areas attractive to potential investors. This benefits healthcare providers who are facing increasing reimbursement and cost pressures while needing to invest heavily in technology to take advantage of telehealth modalities and value-based care arrangements. One of the greatest challenges facing investor clients today is the growing competition they face from other investors as the healthcare delivery space [...]

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5 Questions with a Health Lawyer: Caroline Reigart

Caroline Reigart
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 [...]

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5 Questions with a Health Lawyer: Travis Jackson

Travis Jackson
Practice Focus Area: Hospital and Health System M&A
Office: Los Angeles
Years at Firm: Joined in May 2021

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

The people are my favorite part of being at McDermott. I am not just repeating some “corporate speak” I learned in orientation when I say that. Each person recognizes that we are part of the same team. Our collective success depends on our ability to meet and exceed our clients’ goals. Doing that consistently takes a selfless approach that we exemplify. As a firm, McDermott has unique capabilities across the healthcare industry, regardless of what the issue might be; we work with a commitment of being prepared to assist one another whenever necessary to bring that collective experience to bear on a unique transaction question or regulatory issue. I think that shared philosophy distinguishes us from many of our peers.

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

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5 Questions with a Health Lawyer: Dana Dombey

Dana Dombey
Practice Focus Area: Healthcare M&A
Office: Miami
Years at Firm: 8 years

What is your favorite part about practicing healthcare law at McDermott?
Without question, our team. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from and collaborate with colleagues who are both the top experts in the field and people of the highest caliber, who deeply care about each other and who I can call good friends.

I also really enjoy the creative problem-solving aspects of the job, which comes up frequently in both my transactional and regulatory practices as well as the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues to navigate complex issues for clients.

What is the biggest opportunity and greatest challenge facing clients in your area of focus today?
I generally work with healthcare providers and investors in the healthcare industry, including private equity funds, on transactional and regulatory matters. Our clients have the opportunity to be at the forefront of innovative technologies, care delivery models, and collaboration in a rapidly evolving industry where even the smallest of players can have a significant impact. From my perspective, the biggest challenge facing healthcare investors is the increasingly competitive, seller-friendly market. With only a limited number of assets available for investments, we work closely with our healthcare investor clients to develop creative value propositions for healthcare providers and founders of healthcare companies.

What kind [...]

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5 Questions with a Health Lawyer: Li Wang

Li Wang
Practice Focus Area: Transactions and Health Privacy
Office: New York
Years at Firm: 4 years

What is your favorite part about practicing healthcare law at McDermott?
In Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, author Adam Grant discusses how knowledge collaboration (and a culture of giving) contributes to more success for organizations. My favorite part about practicing healthcare law at McDermott is its embodiment of knowledge collaboration where ideas are bounced off of healthcare experts within the group and solutions are developed through contributions from the full team. When you have multiple experts thinking through an issue from multiple angles, the end product inevitably results in high quality. I am grateful and proud to get to be a part of the collaborative culture of the team that has been consistently ranked the best in the nation.

What is the biggest opportunity and greatest challenge facing clients in your area of focus today?
Constituents in the healthcare industry are looking for innovation and reduction in inefficiencies. Just as players in other industries, such as consumer products, are always looking for the next big invention. Healthcare constituents are also seeking products, services and collaborations that they hope will improve everyday lives at the most efficient cost. We have seen innovations in telehealth, app-based healthcare services, vertical collaborations, etc., and I believe we are just at the tip of [...]

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5 Questions with a Health Lawyer: Tony Maida

Tony Maida
Practice Focus Area: Health
Office: New York
Years at Firm: 6 years

What is your favorite part about practicing healthcare law at McDermott?
The people and the variety. I have to be honest that when I left government service with the HHS Office of Inspector General, I did not expect to find even a similar type of camaraderie at Big Law given the time pressures and demands. I have been pleasantly surprised by how the health group truly functions as a team. People help each other out, whether it is to contribute to a pitch, thought piece, or client project, and do so with enthusiasm. This espirit de corps is an ingrained part of the culture.

And I am happiest when I have variety in my work. At McDermott, I work with clients across the healthcare spectrum, from health systems, physician practices and post-acute providers and suppliers, life sciences and technology companies as well as payors. These clients present many regulatory issues to grapple with and having this broad industry viewpoint helps give the best-informed advice and identify practical solutions.

What is the biggest opportunity and greatest challenge facing clients in your area of focus today?
It is a bit of a cliché to say healthcare is always changing, but sometimes clichés are true. We have a confluence of a few large issues 1) changing payment models in part driven by government budgets and aging population, [...]

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5 Questions with a Health Lawyer: Sandra M. DiVarco

Sandra M. DiVarco
Practice Focus Area: Health
Office: Chicago
Years at Firm: 19 years

What is your favorite part about practicing healthcare law at McDermott?
I sometimes joke that there is “never a dull moment” in my practice, but it really isn’t a joke! With the spectrum of clients we serve in the healthcare space, we are faced daily with novel questions, complex situations and unique business issues – often with incredibly short timelines. Even after years of practice, no two days are exactly the same and I would not have it any other way.

What is the biggest opportunity and greatest challenge facing clients in your area of focus today?
My practice is primarily focused on assisting hospitals and healthcare systems with the diversity of regulatory and corporate issues they face every day. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, adapting to the changing nature of healthcare was posing challenges for these providers. The pandemic accelerated the use of what were previously novel care delivery processes, fueled by regulatory flexibilities permitted during the public health emergency. How hospitals and health systems will further adapt by scaling back (in cases where flexibilities are not made permanent) or ramping up (where regulatory changes are made permanent) will be the next challenge. Revenue hits from the pandemic and provider burnout may dampen some of the energy for major change as we emerge from [...]

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5 Questions with a Health Lawyer: Esther Chang Weese

Esther Chang Weese
Practice Focus Area: Health
Office: Los Angeles
Years at Firm: 18 years

What is your favorite part about practicing healthcare law at McDermott?
Hands down – the people. I started at McDermott as a summer associate in 2002, and I tell potential recruits all the time that there is no other big law firm that I would rather practice at because of the team we’ve built at McDermott – the quality and the character of the people here are bar none. I also enjoy that I am still learning and being challenged, because at McDermott, we are advising clients who are on the cutting edge of innovation and change in the healthcare industry.

What is the biggest opportunity and greatest challenge facing clients in your area of focus today?
Two thoughts on this: first, the pandemic accelerated the use of digital tools and we’re seeing some of our clients trying to figure out how to more effectively implement virtual care, get paid for it and grow their telehealth networks. Second, while we have seen continued physician group mergers and acquisitions, we are also seeing some pushback on these consolidation efforts by regulators. For example, here in California, Assembly Bill 1132 (initially introduced in February 2021) would have required California Attorney General review of certain healthcare provider transactions (including transactions involving medical groups) with a value of three [...]

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