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
COVID-19
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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: 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 | Women’s Care

The field of women’s care offers investors several excellent entry points for innovation and growth. McDermott partner Joshua Spielman moderated this conversation featuring insights from Michael Chang, partner at BC Partners; Robert LaGalia, president and chief executive officer of Unified Women’s Healthcare; and Uttara Marti, managing director at Evercore.

Access the PDF here.

Women’s health continues to be one of the most fragmented sectors of the healthcare industry, which means that there are ample opportunities for new entrants and existing platforms to innovate, integrate and improve the delivery of care in this space.

Women’s care providers have an opportunity to expand their core OB/GYN and fertility focus. Providing additional wrap-around services can drive incremental value.

Women’s health is uniquely able to take advantage of value-based care arrangements, but key obstacles must be overcome first, including scale, provider buy-in and access to the necessary data.

Fertility services remain a strong driver in the women’s health space. More and more, employers are providing fertility coverage and benefits, helping to drive access and volume in this sector.

To catch up on all of the sessions from the HPE Miami 2021 Conference, please click here.




CDC Issues Guidance for Employer-Operated Vaccination Sites

As states across the US expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, employers are well-positioned to facilitate vaccine access and improve distribution efficiency. One critical way for employers to achieve these goals is through the operation of workplace vaccination sites, sometimes called closed points of dispensing (CPODs).

On March 16, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued updated guidance on workplace vaccination programs. Among other recommendations, the CDC encourages some employers to implement workplace COVID-19 vaccination sites and outlines best practices for doing so.

According to the CDC, employers with (1) a large number of workers on predictable schedules, (2) the ability to enroll as a vaccination provider or engage an already enrolled vaccination provider, and (3) enough space to operate a vaccination clinic that allows for social distancing should consider operating an on-site vaccination program. Conversely, the CDC recommends an off-site vaccination program for small- or medium-sized employers with a mobile workforce on variable schedules.

The CDC provides several options for employers that choose to operate an on-site vaccination program, including existing occupational health clinics, employer-run temporary vaccination clinics, and mobile vaccination clinics brought to the workplace. Regardless of the model, the CDC advises employers to contact their local health department for guidance. Many jurisdictions have already embraced the CPOD model (e.g. Chicago, IL) and provide extensive information on their websites.

The updated CDC guidance makes clear workplace vaccination clinics should [...]

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HPE Miami 2021: Subsector Insights | Urgent Care

Greg Metz, co-head of McDermott’s Private Equity Practice Group, joined Simon Bachleda, co-founder and managing partner at Revelstoke Capital Partners; Richard Park, MD, founding chief executive officer of CityMD and co-founder of Ascend Partners; and John Randazzo, senior advisor, Warburg Pincus, to discuss how urgent care practices are expanding their service offerings and driving value.

Access the PDF here.

  1. In recent years, the service offerings available at urgent care centers have expanded beyond traditional “urgent care” into several ancillary services. “Historically, urgent care was for urgent needs, such as flu or strep or strains,” Bachleda said. “Now it has evolved to much more than just urgent, into primary care and ultimately even into multispecialty. A lot of ancillary services now can be offered seamlessly within the confines of the four walls of an urgent care center.” These include orthopedic services, and behavioral and mental health services. “As needs continue to evolve, urgent care is one of the most flexible areas of this market that is able to change with the times,” Randazzo noted.
  2. For urgent care practices, successful growth hinges upon standardizing the patient experience and developing a brand name with which patients are familiar and comfortable. “Making sure that patients know who we are and know [...]

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HPE Miami 2021: Subsector Insights | Pharmacy

McDermott partner Karen Gibbs joined Matthew Thompson, general partner at Enhanced Healthcare Partners, and Drew Walk, chief executive officer at Soleo Health, in an insightful discussion of what’s next for investment in the pharmacy space.

Access the PDF here.

  1. New therapies and the accompanying technologies to deliver them make pharmacy an appealing space for investment in 2021. In particular, organizations that can find ways to effectively manage escalating costs will be successful.
  2. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the value and game-changing solutions that pharmacy can bring to the healthcare ecosystem at large. Pharmacy is an end point of care, and its extraordinary innovation is driving better patient outcomes.
  3. Regulatory scrutiny is always evolving in the pharmacy industry and should remain top-of-mind for any company considering an investment in the space.
  4. A transition to true and effective value-based care in the pharmacy sector will require significant collaborating between payers, providers, suppliers and manufacturers.
  5. COVID-19 has created headwinds in this sector because pharmacy is downstream from elective surgeries and other elective care. There is a backlog of care stemming from the pandemic, however, which presents an opportunity for accelerated growth in the pharmacy space moving forward.
  6. Innovations that help establish “arm-in-arm” relationships between physicians and pharmacists will help drive [...]

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HPE Miami 2021: Subsector Insights | Gastrointestinal

The past year saw robust deal activity focused on gastrointestinal (GI) practices, and the sector will remain an attractive target for private equity sponsors in 2021. McDermott partner Amanda Jester moderated this panel featuring Gabriel Luft, principal at Amulet Capital; Hugh McBride, principal at Kelso; Jason Porter, managing director at Baird; and James Weber, MD, chief executive officer at GI Alliance.

Access the PDF here.

  1. GI continues to be a popular PE investment. As a specialty, GI has proven to be stable and resistant to market changes, even amid economic and political shifts. GI groups also have the potential to provide ancillary services in-house, such as infusion, anesthesiology and pathology, which can increase their profitability and efficiency of care.
  2. The ability to scale has become increasingly important as GI groups contract with payors and health systems. GI lends itself well to scale, given the lower costs of operation and the ability to add ancillary services that can also be scaled. This ability to scale will likely continue to grow the value of GI businesses as we transition to value-based care.
  3. GI practices benefit greatly from the ability to perform procedures in outpatient facilities. Many GI groups now have their own, or are partnering with, ambulatory surgery centers [...]

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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 of [...]

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Three Digital Health Trends Affecting Investors in 2021

Private equity deal volume hit a low in the first half of 2020 as the pandemic slowed the US and global economies. But toward the end of the year, deals began picking back up, particularly in the digital health space.

COVID-19 forced healthcare providers to shift from in-person to virtual care, and technology was the vehicle to make that switch possible. Investors noticed, and more deals focused on companies specializing in telehealth, remote patient monitoring and other technology platforms that facilitate communication among specialists.

Expect this trend to continue in 2021, and keep these three factors in mind when evaluating the digital health landscape.

Easing of Laws and Regulations Surrounding Telehealth and Digital Health

Both telehealth and digital health are highly regulated, as every state has laws and regulations that govern how care is provided virtually and how those services are billed. In response to the pandemic, we’ve seen flexibility with these laws and regulations, and the Biden administration has signaled that it might make some flexibilities permanent.

Investment opportunities will likely increase as a result of the Biden administration’s willingness to lower some of the longstanding barriers to coverage and payment for virtual services, including telehealth, remote patient monitoring and other related services. That’s a positive sign for firms looking at healthcare through the lens of a technology solution.

Reallocation of Resources Due to Vaccine Rollout

Since the onset of the pandemic, labs have conducted a huge volume of testing and have had to ramp up personnel and other [...]

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