Healthcare Legal Executives Gather for CLE Meeting at The Ritz-Carlton in Amelia Island, FL
By Nas Panwar on March 11, 2020
Healthcare reform initiatives over the past few years have spawned rapid consolidation, new care models, reduced reimbursement, physician employment and compensation challenges, and privacy and security concerns brought on by new technologies and population health management initiatives. Many hospital and health system General Counsel have been thrust into bigger roles, those of strategic advisor or partner to their senior executive administrators and boards of directors, demanding different skill sets to be successful.
Hailed as “By far, the best CLE program I have ever attended” and “Best knowledge of subject matter that I’ve ever experienced in conferences. Really high-quality experienced speakers”, the 2020 Healthcare Law & Compliance Institute gathered together over 170 hospital and health system legal executives and leaders from legal service providers on March 1st – 3rd at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, FL for a few days of networking, learning, sharing of insights and strategies, as well as stimulating discussions around the risks and opportunities facing the U.S. Healthcare Industry.
The Opening Panel on Critical Insights, Updates and Considerations in the Healthcare Law Landscape was an excellent kick off and provided the context for subsequent discussions, the highlights of which included:
Regulatory and Transactional Considerations
- Implications of DOJ’s cooperation guidance regarding False Claims Act matters
- Continued pronouncements regarding curtailing the use of and reliance on sub-regulatory guidance in connection with civil enforcement or administrative actions (DOJ’s Brand Memo, CMS Cleary Memo, Supreme Court’s decision in Allina Health)
- Physician alignment strategies, particularly in light of the proposed regulations (the Sprint Regulations) intended to modernize and clarify Stark, the AKS and CMP Law, encourage value-based arrangements and care coordination and reduce the regulatory burdens on healthcare providers
- Antitrust issues that arise in the context of a combination with other providers in the market, from early guidance around due diligence and information sharing, how to conduct an early assessment of the potential risk, and how to execute on a clearance strategy
- Continued proliferation of “alternative transaction structures” (rather than outright mergers/ acquisitions) including unconventional affiliations, partnerships, and accretive initiatives
Technology – Ubiquitous and Here to Stay
- As health care providers continue to seek ways to expand their patient base, improve quality, and connect more directly with patients outside of the care delivery setting, technology seems to be playing an increasingly larger role
- Telemedicine, medical apps, big data, and artificial intelligence are no longer just buzzwords. They have become strategic business and clinical tools
- However, healthcare providers entering this digital future face an array of challenges, such as protecting patient privacy in an era of increased social media use, and developing a business model that works within a complex regulatory environment.
- Cybersecurity awareness, in particular the health sector cybersecurity risk profile and threat landscape (ransomware, targeted cyberattacks, phishing); cyberattack and data breach readiness and response; measuring cyber maturity and readiness, including governance processes
Dealing with Social Media and Bad Press
- With increased social media use, General Counsel have to address a variety of social media scenarios and evaluate them from a HIPAA compliance perspective as well as ascertain how they should be handled and may be viewed by the Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
- Add to this a more probing press corps, General Counsel are often challenged with investigating and managing sensitive, “bet the farm” organizational crises while continuing to support the day-to-day legal needs of the healthcare enterprise
- It is critical to prioritize time and resources to handle press inquiries, pressure from management and boards for reports, responsibility allocation and resolution, and reactions from patients, students/alumni/faculty, employees and other stakeholders
Legal Department Operations and Compliance
- In some of the more popular panels, General Counsel shared how they were shaping their respective legal departments in order to provide timely and high quality service in a lean and efficient manner
- Attendees explored matter management, using analytics to track expenses, and building effective, durable teams
- Panelists also explored developing an effective compliance program with sound auditing and monitoring functions in order to prevent and detect potential fraud
As health systems work to transform themselves in the face of empowered consumers, a drive towards site neutral reimbursement, a movement away from inpatient settings, and an environment of skyrocketing pharmaceutical prices, attending legal executives explored the various legal and regulatory issues and barriers that arise in the challenging process of transforming a health system, and came away with some insights and a good dose of inspiration to push that work forward within their own organizations.
Next year’s Healthcare Law & Compliance Institute will be taking place March 7th – 9th, 2021. If you would like to share some insights and experiences as a member of the Speaker Faculty, suggest topic areas for the agenda or join the waiting list for attendance, please contact Nas Panwar at firstname.lastname@example.org.