Exploring Critical Business and Legal Issues across the Healthcare and Life Sciences Industries
Exploring Critical Business and Legal Issues across the Healthcare and Life Sciences Industries
Collaborative Transformation
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Top Takeaways | PPM, ASC and Health System Collaborations and Innovation

In this moderated session, panelists discuss how physician practice management companies (PPMs), ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) and health systems are both competing and collaborating in the evolving healthcare environment.

Session panelists included:

  • Lexa Heinz, Vice President, Iron Path Capital
  • Chris Kehres, Chief Growth Officer, executive vice president of finance, GI Alliance
  • Andy McCawley, Chief Development Officer, United Surgery Partners International
  • Gary Ruff, Vice President, Ambulatory Surgery Centers, CHRISTUS Health
  • Moderator: Jay Greathouse, Partner, McDermott Will & Emery

Top takeaways included:

  1. Physicians are looking for three key items: (1) partnerships with ASC operators or health systems that can bring higher and/or better rates, (2) assistance with recruitment that ensures older physicians will get their buyout at retirement and younger physicians are not saddled with operations or debt of a center, and (3) management responsibility for ensuring that centers are operating efficiently.
  2. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, health system partners are being more proactive versus reactive to volume leaving a hospital setting. For example, more health system partners are willing to have employed physicians invest in its surgery centers and are using it as a recruitment and retention tool for employed physicians.
  3. Physician consolidation is helpful because it creates more value in the form of higher rates or ancillaries, which are income drivers, and assists with recruitment. Physician consolidation also is helpful in expanding geographic footprints, as a larger practice may be present in multiple markets.
  4. Certificate of need (CON) requirements are a big challenge to bringing health systems into [...]

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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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5 Questions with a Health Lawyer: Gregory E. Fosheim

Gregory Fosheim, JD, MPH
Practice Focus Area: Healthcare and Life Sciences
Office: Chicago, IL
Time at Firm: 2.5 years

What is your favorite part about practicing healthcare and/or life sciences law at McDermott?
There’s a reason why everyone answers this question with “the people.” The cadre of attorney and business professionals I have the privilege of working with every day is truly extraordinary, each of whom is exceedingly generous with their time and support, despite overwhelming workloads themselves. Everyone understands the healthcare and life sciences landscape and has an unapologetic passion toward doing impeccable work with the utmost professionalism and a healthy dose of humor and humility. It felt like I was given a parachute on my first day that allowed me to take leaps of faith to expand my practice into new areas of focus with the reassurance of a soft landing if I had any questions or challenges. Everyone is an integral member of the team and it shows.

What is the biggest opportunity and greatest challenge facing clients in your area of focus today?
We have an exhausted industry caring for an exhausted nation. The challenges today are the same challenges that the American healthcare system has had for decades: How to innovate? How to differentiate? How to collaborate? Now that we are more than a year into the global COVID-19 pandemic, [...]

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HPE Miami 2021: Subsector Insights | Dermatology

In this panel, Matt Leavitt, DO, founder and executive chairman of Advanced Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery; Scott Bremen, chief executive officer of Forefront Dermatology; and Daniel Florian, managing director at Sun Capital Partners, discussed the impact of COVID-19 on the dermatology industry and the sector’s evolving future. McDermott partner Jason Caron moderated this insightful discussion.

Access the PDF here.

  1. The COVID-19 pandemic has given industry leaders an opportunity to take a fresh look at their businesses and focus on streamlining operations and improving their organization. Businesses have been able to focus on safety for their patients and employees, and to improve the efficiency of internal processes through the use of novel technology. “Telemedicine is not a short term band-aid, but a long term tool to enhance the patient experience,” Florian said. Despite the pandemic’s challenges, the public health emergency highlighted the value of communication among a strong and passionate group of providers dedicated to providing care in a safe environment.
  2. Demand for essential dermatological services throughout the pandemic proved to be robust and resilient. Thanks in part to increasing patient knowledge and interest in both the medical and cosmetic side of dermatology, this is a time of growth. “With the aging baby boomers and the size [...]

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HPE New York 2020: Healthcare Private Equity Pioneers

An illustrious group of healthcare private equity pioneers discussed how healthcare investing has evolved from inception to current state and what the future holds. Moderated by Michael Lewis, author of The Big Short, Moneyball, The Blind Side and Liar’s Poker, it featured insights from Senator Bill Frist, MD, founder of Frist Cressey Ventures; Annie Lamont, co-founder and Managing Partner of Oak HC/FT; Curtis Lane, founding partner of WindRose Health Investors; and Ira Coleman, Chairman of McDermott Will & Emery.

Below are the top takeaways for HPE New York 2020 half day session: Healthcare Private Equity Pioneers, click here to access the full webinar.

Access the PDF here.

Investment in healthcare private equity continues to accelerate, even amid disruption. In the past, healthcare made up only a small portion of private equity funds, but pioneers helped make it mainstream. “The amount of infrastructure, commitment and capability focused exclusively on healthcare is becoming commensurate with the size of healthcare relative to the economy,” Mr. Lane said. “I think that’s changed pretty significantly and is continuing to change very quickly.”

One of the most dramatic changes in the field of healthcare private equity since its inception is the ongoing transformation of the healthcare system and the opportunities that transformation has created for entrepreneurs outside of traditional healthcare roles. As virtual health companies and other digital-focused [...]

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After the Curve Podcast: Focus on Life Sciences

In this time of crisis, the life science industry has demonstrated remarkable speed, innovation and resilience. In this episode of the After the Curve podcast, our life sciences partners join us to discuss the most promising areas of drug discovery and device development that are emerging from the pandemic and the outlook for the industry in a post-COVID-19 world. McDermott’s Chief Marketing Officer, Leslie Tullio, is joined by Stephen Bernstein and Kristian Werling to discuss key topics impacting the life sciences industry today, including:

  • The reasons behind the immunity of life sciences to slowed investments
  • Why more investors are focusing their equity in healthcare and life sciences
  • Promising areas of drug discovery and device development emerging from the pandemic
  • Critical considerations for life science companies regarding rapid regulatory changes
  • Tactics for moving developments forward at an increased speed
  • The importance of Collaborative Transformation to the life sciences industry


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Public Hospital M&A: Know Your Stakeholders

Hospital transactional activity has soared over the last decade, and many public hospitals are evaluating M&A opportunities against the backdrop of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In our previous post on public hospital M&A, we discussed financial pressures on public hospitals, trends driving M&A, and external factors shaping public hospitals’ choices of M&A partners and formats. In this installment, we’ll cover strategies for gaining stakeholder buy-in as hospital board members, senior leaders and advisors move through the transaction process. For a deeper dive into these topics, listen to our podcast, Driving the Deal: Public Hospital M&A and Stakeholder Buy-In.

Stakeholders: Who’s Who

Public hospital M&A is a team sport. Assessing and advancing a potential deal involves engagement with a wide variety of stakeholders, each with their own perspectives, objectives and priorities. Key players can include elected public officials, community leaders, hospital management and board members, physicians, employee unions, patients and the general public. It is critical to navigate the diverse viewpoints of these important stakeholders without ceding decision-making to a non-fiduciary.

As a first step in navigating that challenge, hospital boards should distinguish between stakeholders that have the right to approve or deny the proposed transaction, and those that are important to the deal’s success but do not have approval authority. Depending on the jurisdiction and deal structure, the former category of stakeholders could include the local municipality’s board, the State Attorney General or even registered voters, in the case of a public [...]

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Unpacking Differences in Public and Private Hospital M&A

Across the public hospital sector, M&A activity has increased significantly over the past decade. Given the current COVID-19 landscape, many are taking a hard look at their operations to garner a better understanding of what needs to be done to be regain level footing during a tough financial time, while also focusing on a need to uphold their community’s best interest. Broadly speaking, many public hospitals are the sole provider in their communities, so making the right M&A choice is vital – not only for them, but those they serve. Here we will discuss the pressures of public hospitals financially, the trends driving M&A and what external pressures are impacting these hospital’s decisions. For a deeper dive into the issues discussed here, listen to our podcast, Dealmaking in the Sunlight: Navigating Public Hospital M&A.

Financial Pressures

Standalone entities, like many public hospitals, often lack economies of scale and do not have the benefit of spreading risk across a larger organization to soften the economic blows impacting hospitals today. However, these struggles do not go unnoticed, as there are regulatory and legal frameworks in place to help public hospitals perform differently or better when needed. Certain government or municipal hospitals have immunity to antitrust laws, which allows them to partner with organizations within their market (“cross town competitors”).

M&A’s Potential Effect on Public Hospitals

M&A amongst hospitals and healthcare systems has been found to increase revenue, improve debt position, and attract resources to the community. Given that information, [...]

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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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2019 Hospital and Health Systems Year in Review

Hospitals and health systems are facing consumer demand for innovation, the need to expand and enhance streams of revenue and the push for improved quality, all while navigating changing regulations, federal enforcement, antitrust litigation and business pressures. 2019 saw hospitals and health systems navigate these challenges and more, with valuable lessons for 2020.

This Special Report presents some of the key legal actions and trends impacting hospitals, health systems and investors in the space, along with insights on how these developments will impact organizations in 2020. We address, among other topics:

  • 2019’s transformative regulatory changes and legislation, and the legal challenges that followed
  • Financial distress signals, pricing strategies and contracting practices
  • Collaborative Transformation at work in a variety of sectors and the increase in innovation centers
  • Data privacy and cybersecurity challenges impacting the healthcare space

Click here to read the full report.

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U.S. News Law Firm of the Year 2022 Health Care Law
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