Mar 2005 Volume 1 Number 7

Chair's Column
By J.A. (Tony) Patterson, Jr., Fulbright & Jaworski, LLP, Dallas, TX

J.A. (Tony) Patterson, Jr.We had a great meeting in Orlando last week as Section leadership and members met for the 2005 Emerging Issues in Healthcare Law Conference (EMI). I’d like to take the opportunity to thank not only the EMI Planning Committee, but also the Interest Group (IG) leaders who were responsible for such great breakout sessions. Uniformly we heard members commenting on the strong substantive programs at both the plenary and breakout levels. One of the things that struck me was the amount of interaction that went on at the IG level. Every IG lunch session I attended was filled with a great dialogue between the members and leaders. Most of the lunches had a substantive presentation, as well as providing information on getting involved in IG activities.

I hope that you have joined one or more of the Section’s eleven IGs. As EMI demonstrated, the work of the Section is deeply rooted in the IGs. This is where information is generated and shared, where members have an opportunity to contribute by writing or working on programs, and where friendships and professional relationships flourish. I came back from the Conference full of confidence in the future of the Section. From each of the IGs we see great things happening. A snapshot of some recent activities:

  • Tax & Accounting has established a strong relationship with the IRS. Every Spring a group of IG leaders meet with the IRS representatives to discuss ways the IG can provide input on items important to the IRS.
  • Public Health & Policy is actively working with the Center for Disease Control & Prevention to produce public health emergency legal preparedness workshops.
  • Healthcare Facility Operations provides regular email communications on a variety of issues and current developments relevant to the IG members.
  • Transactional & Business Healthcare has started a Physician Issues "Subinterest Group" that has over 200 members and will be sponsoring a Physician Law conference in June in Chicago.
  • Managed Care & Insurance has been instrumental in developing the soon to be released Managed Care Litigation book, a joint venture with BNA. This comprehensive manual is due out this summer.
  • Medical Research, Biotechnology & Clinical Ethical Issues developed a number of successful teleconferences this past year in an area of growing interest.
  • eHealth, Privacy & Security is working on ePrescribing issues with the Office of General Counsel of HHS in anticipation of the Medicare Prescription Drug benefit rollout.
  • Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation has scheduled quarterly member teleconferences that will discuss business matters as well as substantive topics.
  • Healthcare Litigation & Risk Management will be working on a project with the ABA Alternative Dispute Resolution Section regarding applying ADR principles to healthcare.
  • Payment & Reimbursement is developing a member survey to prioritize members’ concerns with respect to the MMA.
  • Healthcare Fraud & Compliance is working on a summary index of OIG Advisory Opinions.
The IGs are gearing up for the next six months of their activities. Plans were solidified at EMI and the IG leaders are working to make them a reality. We hope that you are part of the action.