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March 03, 2020

Experts to discuss coronavirus, health reform, rural health care at ABA meeting in San Diego

WASHINGTON, March 3, 2020 — Experts participating in the American Bar Association Emerging Issues in Healthcare Law Conference will tackle hot-button topics, including the legal issues surrounding health reform, the privacy issues surrounding artificial intelligence in health care and rural health challenges, among other issues.

Emerging Issues in Healthcare Law
Sponsored by the ABA Health Law Section

Wednesday-Saturday, March 11-14

Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel
4040 Central Florida Parkway
San Diego, Calif.

At a 12:40 p.m. luncheon on Thursday, health-care privacy experts Elizabeth N. Pitman and Lynn Barrett will speak on “Privacy and the Coronavirus: What You Need to Know.” Pitman is a partner at Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP, in Birmingham, Ala. Barrett is principal at Barrett Law in Weston, Fla.

Program highlights include:

“Making the Marriage Work: What Happens after a Private Equity Deal Closes” — This session will explore the relationships of private equity firms and health care clinicians post-closing. An exploration of items to be negotiated during the deal that most impact how the parties will conduct themselves post-closing will frame the discussion. The speakers will share tips and tricks of the trade on how to address the parties’ relationship in management service organization governing documents, employment agreements and regulatory submissions to government agencies. The session will then explore regulatory challenges in the context of these deals with war stories from the trenches.

Thursday, 11:35 a.m.-12:35 p.m.

“Rural Health Challenges, the Closure Crisis and Actions for a Better Future” Rural health care faces constant challenges, including why so many rural hospitals struggle, why some ultimately close and the impact of closure on the community. Panelists, including Maggie Elehwany, vice president of government affairs for the National Rural Health Association in Washington, D.C., will discuss the current rural hospital closure crisis and provide updates and discussion on how to increase the odds of surviving in the current environment, including rethinking and re-evaluating how care is provided. Consideration will be given to what Congress and the states are doing and what can be done to help stop the financial bleeding at rural hospitals.

Thursday, 1:45-3 p.m.

“New Prosecutorial Targets: DOJ’s Focus on Private Equity” Focus and scrutiny of private equity in health-care fraud prosecutions is increasing. Building off a recent civil qui tam case involving the role of a private equity group in promoting a compound pharmacy, panelists, including Jonathan E. Ferry, assistant U.S. Attorney in Charlotte, N.C., and Amy Garrigues, general counsel, 21st Century Oncology in Fort Myers, Fla., will discuss the emerging role of private equity in general, DOJ’s increasing concern with these groups as possible conduits for alleged fraud and how the government views the capitalization and subsequent realization and depletion of healthcare start-ups. New areas of scrutiny, new actors in the healthcare space and new prosecution theories will also be explored.

Thursday, 3-4 p.m.

“Medical Staff Leadership in the Age of Social Media and Real Crime Podcasts” The confidentiality of peer review proceedings has long been a bedrock of medical staff leadership and provider discipline. Today’s challenge is meeting the needs of provider due process and secrecy while the patients and the general public expect transparency, exemplified by the Dr. Death podcast. This panel will speak to the medical staff ethical challenges and legal solutions in this new environment, including National Practitioner Data Bank reporting requirements and the limits of that system for public accountability, challenges of disclosure between peer review organizations about suspected impaired or simply concerning physicians, public discourse obligations and limitations and efforts to resolve disruptive physician problems.

Friday, 8:30-9:45 a.m.

“Disruption in Healthcare” Health care is undergoing changes on many fronts, including fundamental shifts of how care is delivered and reimbursed. Panelists from diverse backgrounds will discuss digital health, artificial intelligence, new care models and other developments from a practical, on-the-ground perspective. The discussion will focus on actual ideas being implemented from a non-legal perspective, including ideas that can be brought back to clients of attendees.

Friday, 8:30-9:45 a.m.

“More Data, Please: Privacy Challenges of Artificial Intelligence in Health Care” Explore the challenges of using health data to build and use artificial intelligence (AI) in the health care sector, including: properly characterizing the purpose of AI development for purposes of the Privacy Rule; privacy pros and cons of each potential purpose; particular challenge of the minimum necessary standard; tension between navigating the Privacy Rule and focusing on IP development; and additional restrictions on sensitive conditions. Panelists, including Joanne Charles, health care, data privacy and regulatory counsel at Microsoft in Redmond, Wash., will also share practical tips for navigating transactions involving AI development.

Friday, 11:20 a.m.-12:35 p.m.

“The Expanding Role of Nurse Practitioners: Challenges, Tensions and Patient Care Impact” As states across the country change the scope of practice for nurse practitioners (NP) and supervision regulations to improve access to quality health care, questions arise as to whether these changes are having the intended effects on patient care. This session will examine the reasons for changes in NP scope of practice and supervision regulations, national trends relating to physician oversight of NPs, and the resulting impact on the patient care environment. The session will include case studies of four different states with varying NP supervision regimes and will examine the challenges in devising appropriate NP supervision regulations, as well as the inherent tensions between NPs and physicians that can surface as changes are made.

Friday, 11:20 a.m.-12:35 p.m.

“Health Reform is Alive and Well” More than a decade after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, its viability remains in doubt. Thus far, the ACA has survived two seminal U.S. Supreme Court decisions, which mostly upheld the law’s constitutionality; legislative efforts to repeal and replace; and, most recently, a lower court decision striking the entirety of the act because the constitutionality of the individual mandate is no longer sustainable. With the challenge to the individual mandate and the constitutionality of the ACA in Texas v. United States now before the Supreme Court, this panel will provide a thoughtful discussion on the “health” of the ACA. The check-up will cover developments in Texas v. United States and a discussion of pending health care reform legislation and an exploration of proposals offered by Democratic presidential candidates to possibly supplant the ACA.

Friday, 1:45-2:45 p.m.

A complete agenda can be found online.

This event is free and open to members of the press. For media credentialing, please contact Priscilla Totten at [email protected].

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews