April 2011 Volume 7 Number 8

Chair's Column

By Linda A. Baumann, Arent Fox LLP, Washington, DC

The 12th Annual EMI Conference is the Best One Yet

AuthorAs those of you who were there can attest, our Emerging Issues Conference (“EMI”), held in New Orleans from Feb. 23-25, 2011, was a tremendous success. Over 300 people attended a wide range of outstanding, informative and enjoyable programs in the wonderful ambiance of pre- Mardi Gras New Orleans. There were parades (complete with bead-catching opportunities) and street bands right outside the hotel, in the Garden District and other venues, fantastic food and fellowship. Aside from the Section’s various receptions, numerous ad hoc groups got together after the days’ programs and headed out en masse to some of New Orleans’ great restaurants, often guided by our New Orleans members. Numerous Section members stayed through the weekend to attend the Open Council meeting on Saturday, compete in the Margarita Cup Golf Tournament, attend a New Orleans cooking class, visit the World War II Museum or otherwise enjoy the city. Many, many thanks are due to Co-Chairs Hilary Young and Joyce Hall, the outstanding Planning Committee and the awesome efforts of Section staff!

Highlights from the Council Meeting

The Council Meeting at EMI is traditionally open to the public, and was particularly notable this year because all Section Interest Group (“IG”) Chairs were invited to participate and report on their IG’s activities. It was gratifying to learn that so many IGs are increasing their membership, and to see how many projects are in the works. New initiatives included membership surveys, free teleconferences, new IG topical subgroups and mentoring programs. The Council meeting also included presentations by candidates for ABA President and the Chair of the House of Delegates, as well as a discussion of Section initiatives, including our obtaining authority to submit comments to government agencies on behalf of the Section as a whole. (We are a disparate group and the ABA has a process in place to help assure that all perspectives are represented.) The Council also discussed upcoming programs and publications.

The Publications Committee

Most of you know about the Section’s IGs and Task Forces. However, we have numerous administrative committees that help facilitate the Section’s various activities. The Publications Committee, chaired by Michael E. Clark, with Vice Chairs Dan Cody, Robert Conroy, Lisa Dahm, Adrienne Dresevic, Shannon Dwyer, Joyce Hall, Charles Key, Bill Mateja, Kathy Poppitt, Charles Rawlings, Kathye Scully-Hayes and June Sullivan, has a number of exciting projects planned for this year. For example, we are expecting to issue a new type of publication this summer called the ABA Stark & Anti-kick­back Toolkit. This inaugural on-line resource comprises a unified searchable database and will contain the vast majority of the reference materials you will need to analyze issues that may arise under the federal anti-kick­back statute and the Stark Law. In addition to the text of the laws and regulations, the Toolkit will contain complete administrative histories that often provide essential guidance, as well as narrative summaries of the Stark and anti-kickback general prohibitions, Stark designated health services, and links to statute subsections and regulations, statutes verbatim in Word with parallel references to the USC and SSA, as well as links to original government sources for updates, legislative histories and more! It will also be updated as soon as possible when these provisions change, thereby providing subscribers with the best available material.

Meanwhile, efforts are underway to issue an updated version of the popular HIPAA Practical Guide. The Publications Committee also oversees the work of The Health Lawyer Editorial Board, chaired by Lisa Dahm with the assistance of Marla Durben Hirsch; and the eSource Editorial Board, chaired by Lisa Genecov.

Publications and You

I hope you’ll consider submitting a publication to one of these entities. It’s a wonderful way to get involved in the Section and to help with your practice development. There are varied types of formats, from the relatively short eSource article that usually describes a recent development, to the more extended analysis needed for an article in The Health Lawyer, to the comprehensive coverage in a book. Many of our articles are cutting edge and end up cited in subsequent publications by others. My involvement in the Section started by my joining The Health Lawyer Editorial Board when it was first created, then getting involved as a chapter author for the Section’s fraud and abuse treatise, Health Care Fraud and Abuse: Practical Perspectives, and ultimately becoming the Editor in Chief. Writing can take a significant amount of time, unless you’re one of the lucky few who can dictate a full-blown article with no need for revisions. However, the Section currently is interested in publishing shorter “practical guides” rather than large treatises, which will make the project much easier for an author/editor to handle.

Moreover, the rewards in personal satisfaction and professional development make it worthwhile. One of my favorite memories is the first time someone came up to me and asked if I was “the Linda Baumann.” Not having a clue what he meant, I admitted that was my name but asked about the context. (Had a namesake won an Oscar or made it onto the FBI’s Most Wanted List without my knowledge?) Fortunately, it turned out that being a book editor has a certain cachet.

Perhaps, best of all, you don’t need to be “appointed” to make a contribution. If there’s topic you’re interested in writing about for The Health Lawyer (or if you’d like topic suggestions), you should contact Marla Durben Hirsch, Esq., Editor at mdhirsch@comcast.net. For interest in eSource, or if you have an interest in writing a guide or other book, please contact Simeon Carson, Associate Director, at simeon.carson@americanbar.org.

I’m looking forward to seeing your name in print!


The ABA Health eSource is distributed automatically to members of the ABA Health Law Section . Please feel free to forward it! Non-members may also sign up to receive the ABA Health eSource.