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November 20, 2019

Chair's Column: Focus on Innovation

By John H McEniry IV, Fagron North America, Fairhope, AL

For this bar year, your Health Law Section leaders were asked to focus on innovation in how the Section generates and delivers content to its members, how the Section communicates with its members, and how the Section otherwise provides value to its members.  Though we are only a couple of months into the bar year, your leaders are off to a great start!  You are likely reading or listening to this column on our new mobile app from ModioLegal, which is now being used to deliver The Health Lawyer and eSource articles through a more accessible and convenient medium.  Your Web and Tech Committee is working on a new Health Law Section mobile app, which will serve as a “one stop shop” for all content, professional education opportunities, and networking opportunities offered by the Section.  Your Distance Learning & National Institute Committee is working on a new series of practice-specific National Institutes, the first of which will be a National Managed Care Institute next summer.  And these efforts are just the tip of the iceberg!

Another area in which we felt innovation was needed was with our live conferences.  The Health Law Section hosts three live conferences each year – the Emerging Issues in Health Law Conference, the Physicians Legal Issues: Healthcare Delivery & Innovation Conference, and the Washington Health Law Summit.  Each conference planning committee has fully embraced its charge to innovate.  For the remainder of this column, I’d like to focus on the great work of the Washington Health Law Summit planning committee in putting together an innovative conference that you simply cannot find anywhere else.

The 17th Annual Washington Health Law Summit will take place December 9-10, 2019 at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, DC.  The Summit has always been unique in the fact that it focuses on the intersection of health law and policy.  This year’s Summit is no different.  We will learn about the latest legislative, enforcement and policy developments affecting healthcare organizations and will address the implementation of significant healthcare initiatives emanating from HHS, CMS, OIG, DOJ, and OCR.  Kimberly Brandt, Principal Deputy Administrator for Operations at CMS, will provide the keynote address on an Overview of the Proposed Changes to the Stark Law.  We’ll receive similar coverage of the recent proposed changes to the Anti-Kickback Statute.

Meals at the Summit are never boring.  Summit participants will have a rare and valuable opportunity to connect during breakfast with leaders from CMS on Monday, December 9, and leaders from OIG on Tuesday, December 10.  Lunch on Monday will feature journalists from Politico, who will lead an interactive and entertaining discussion covering what’s new in Washington.

Finally, I’m excited to report that for the first time ever, two conference sessions will take place on Capitol Hill!  As part of your conference registration, the Section will provide transportation to the Everett M. Dirksen Senate Office Building, where we will hear from congressional staffers and leaders from major health trade associations.

In all, I’m very excited about the interesting and innovative schedule put together by our Summit planning committee.  Please join me in DC to enjoy the fruits of the committee’s hard work, learn timely and relevant information that will be immediately useful in your practice, and make some new friends and colleagues.  I look forward to seeing you there.