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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Five Questions with a Health Lawyer: Emily Jane Cook

Emily Jane Cook
Practice Focus Area: Federal and State Healthcare Regulation and Reimbursement
Office: Los Angeles
Years at Firm: 11

What is your favorite part about practicing healthcare law at McDermott?
Without a doubt, it is the people – both our clients and my fellow McDermott attorneys. Due to the nature of our work we are on the phone (and now video!) for many hours every day, often discussing extraordinarily complex issues. The work itself is rewarding, made even more so when done in collaboration with such brilliant clients and colleagues.

What is the biggest opportunity and greatest challenge facing clients in your area of focus today?
The answer to both is “change.” Federal and state fee for service programs have been around for decades, but they are always changing. The constant change provides both risks and opportunities for our clients, but often whether or not a particular change may be a risk or an opportunity is unclear – or may be different for different clients. Keeping on top of all of the changes – both proposed and actual is endlessly challenging for our clients. Helping them sort through the ever-changing laws, regulations and guidance is one of the many ways in which we provide value to our clients.

What kind of client work gets you most excited when it comes across your desk?
The type of work [...]

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5 Questions with a Health Lawyer: Steven J. Schnelle

Steven J. Schnelle
Practice Focus Area: Healthcare
Office: New York
Years at Firm: 2.5 years

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

Without a doubt, the people! Every day I have the pleasure and honor of working with brilliant and unique colleagues that recognize and appreciate one another’s contributions to our team, both personal and professional. And I’m not just talking about my colleagues with signatures bearing the McDermott logo—our clients are doing amazing things and give us the opportunity every day to engage creatively and collaboratively to make a difference. There’s nothing better than celebrating an achievement with people you care about!

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

I think they’re one and the same—the dynamism of the healthcare system in the United States. With constantly evolving laws, regulations, interpretive guidance, enforcement priorities, judicial precedent, industry players and trends, there’s never a slow moment in healthcare. Companies that can anticipate and respond to these changes enjoy tremendous tailwinds, while those that become entrenched in the status quo stand to lose out. Our clients benefit from McDermott’s deep bench of accomplished healthcare attorneys who often play a central role in these changes, giving our teams highly developed insights as these changes happen.

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

Work that involves existential issues, or issues that implicate entire business lines, is particularly exciting for [...]

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Five Questions with a Health Lawyer: Nicholas Alarif

Nicholas Alarif
Office: Washington, DC
Years at Firm:  3

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

I hate to sound like a broken record, but the best part about practicing at McDermott is the innovative and collaborative culture. I have found that McDermott fosters a team-based approach to solving client issues. The opportunity to interact with experts in so many disciplines and sub-disciplines to achieve common goals for our clients has been fantastic. Further, I have found that my colleagues are open to new approaches to tackle client issues and are always happy to streamline internal processes. Innovation is not what you typically think of in a law firm environment, and McDermott’s embrace of change makes for an exciting and fun place to practice.

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

The biggest opportunity and greatest challenge may actually be the same—a shifting regulatory landscape. For instance, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Office of Inspector General recently published proposed revisions to the physician self-referral law (Stark Law) and the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) regulations, which, among other things, are attempting to foster transitions from fee-for-service medicine to value-based care. These proposed changes will potentially allow providers broader flexibility when engaging in financial relationships with a value-based goal. The proposed changes present [...]

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Five Questions with a Health Lawyer: Matt Perreault

Matt Perreault
Office: Boston
Years at Firm:  2

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

As so many of my colleagues have expressed throughout this series, my favorite part of practicing healthcare law at McDermott is being a member of a collaborative and collegial team that is advising our diverse clients on their most critical and pressing issues.  Having spent much of my career in-house, I have experienced firsthand how McDermott’s approach to client service, anchored in humility, empathy and practicality, consistently delivers differentiated value and results for our clients.

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

I believe that the transition to value-based arrangements will continue to accelerate. Collaborative Transformations will proliferate and present both tremendous opportunities for, and challenges to, traditional healthcare providers. Hospitals, health systems and other providers who embrace the challenges and opportunities presented by this paradigm shift will reap the benefits of their investments.  Those who resist this cultural change risk losing ground and market share to their competitors.

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

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Five Questions with a Health Lawyer: Joe Parise

Joe Parise
Partner
Office: Boston
Years at Firm: 6

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

In short: the people. I have always had a cross-office practice, and as a result have been lucky enough to work with many different attorneys within the Health practice group. I am constantly impressed by the depth and breadth of experience that the group offers, as well as the creativity and thoughtful approach that our attorneys bring to tricky client issues. Being surrounded by talented attorneys (from the senior partner to the junior associate ranks) makes me want to “raise my game” and, I think, brings out the best in each of us.

In addition to the professional qualities, I am grateful for the fact that our attorneys bring a positive attitude each and every day, and create an enjoyable working environment. I have made some great personal connections over the years, and consider many of my colleagues to be good friends.

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

For the most part, I work with healthcare services providers and those that invest in such providers. I think the biggest opportunity for my clients relates to innovation in healthcare services delivery. Embracing new technologies (including those related to telehealth), optimizing the collection and [...]

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Five Questions with a Health Lawyer: Larry Guess

Larry Guess
Partner
Office: Chicago
Years at the Firm: 6 years

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

My favorite part of practicing healthcare law at McDermott is the complexity of our client matters and working with my colleagues to get great results for our clients. The healthcare industry is constantly changing and innovating, and our clients engage us to help them adapt to these changes and maximize innovation in the space.

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

The biggest opportunity facing our clients is the bullish investment perspective in the healthcare industry. Currently, there are buyers with a tremendous amount of capital to deploy and sellers looking to maximize current market conditions. The healthcare transactional climate is very dynamic and certain clients are willing to invest in more risky assets. While the payoff can be substantial, the speed and complexity of these transactions can be very challenging for clients.  McDermott’s healthcare group excels in delivering value to our clients by managing the speed of transactions while navigating complex regulatory regimes, enabling our clients to understand the risk associated with a particular investment and opportunities to maximize returns.

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

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Five Questions with a Health Lawyer: Jeremy Earl

Jeremy Earl
Partner
Office: Washington, DC
Years at the Firm: 10

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

My favorite part about practicing at McDermott is the challenging and constantly evolving nature of the work. Our clients put trust in us to advise them on their toughest legal questions and business challenges. I don’t take that trust lightly and it is exciting to come to work every day to meet and exceed the high expectations clients rightly have for us.

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

I represent managed care companies, which has traditionally meant health insurers and health maintenance organizations (HMOs). Due to legislative and competitive factors, healthcare financing and delivery is rapidly evolving and new models are being introduced to compete with traditional health insurers and HMOs. In 2012, Ezekiel Emanuel and Jeffrey Liebman boldly predicted in the New York Times that “[b]y 2020, the American health insurance industry will be extinct” and replaced by ACOs. That this has not happened is, at least in part, due to innovation by health insurers through such efforts as expanding value-based payment models.

At the same time, the traditional roles of providers and health insurers are blurring and providers and risk-bearing intermediaries are introducing innovative ways to finance healthcare delivery that compete [...]

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Five Questions with a Health Lawyer: Marshall E. Jackson, Jr.

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 [...]

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Five Questions with a Health Lawyer: James A. Cannatti III

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 [...]

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Five Questions with a Health Lawyer: Drew Elizabeth McCormick

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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