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Kathryn (Kate) Hickner is an attorney at Ulmer & Berne LLP, where she co-chairs the firm’s Health Care Practice Group. Additional information regarding Kate’s background, experience, publications and presentations can be found at http://www.ulmer.com/attorneys/Hickner-Kathryn-E.aspx. She can be reached via telephone at (216) 583-7062 and via e-mail at khickner@ulmer.com.

Lessons Learned: Five Tips for Buying or Selling a Practice

Kathryn Hickner, Esq. Kohrman, Jackson & Krantz LLP, Cleveland, OH If you are anticipating buying or selling a practice during the coming months, you are not alone. The healthcare industry is experiencing a wave of integration. In fact, it has been occurring for several years. Many transactional healthcare attorneys have negotiated and closed d...
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Hospital Co-Management Arrangements: Basics for Anesthesiologists

Anesthesia groups continue to be presented with opportunities to participate in hospital co-management arrangements. These arrangements are one way that hospitals and physicians can align in order to improve the quality and efficiency of care provided through one or more hospital service lines.By achieving such objectives, participating hospitals a...
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Lessons Learned: Five Tips for Buying or Selling a Practice

Kathryn Hickner, Esq. Kohrman, Jackson & Krantz LLP, Cleveland, OH If you are anticipating buying or selling a practice during the coming months, you are not alone. The healthcare industry is experiencing a wave of integration. In fact, it has been occurring for several years. Many transactional healthcare attorneys have negotiated and closed d...
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HIPAA Business Associate Agreements: Why These Contracts Matter

Kathryn Hickner, Esq. Ulmer & Berne LLP, Cleveland, OH No one loves drafting, reading or negotiating HIPAA Business Associate Agreements (BAAs). Yet many of us need to do so, and some of us do so daily.They are often boring, dense and technical, but BAAs are important from both a legal and a business perspective, and they deserve our attention....
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The MACRA Quality Payment Program Is Here. Are You Ready?

You have heard of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015 (MACRA) and, most likely, its Quality Payment Program (QPP). But do you really know what it is? Do you know what it means to your practice? Do you know what your practice will need to do to thrive under the QPP? If you haven't already, you'll need to develop a firm understan...
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Ten Things Anesthesiologists Should Understand About the Medicare Comprehensive Care for Joint Replacement Model

For years, anesthesiologists have been acutely aware that this country's healthcare reimbursement regime is in a state of significant transition. Government healthcare programs (such as Medicare and Medicaid) and commercial payers are gradually moving away from a fee-for-service model to value-based payment programs that focus on the quality and ef...
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“I’m Out Of Here!” Now What?

We all know that the healthcare industry is experiencing a wave of integration. This trend has been evident for many years. Fewer physicians are willing to assume the legal, financial and other business risks associated with owning their own practices. More and more physicians, including anesthesiologists, are becoming employed by large physician groups, health systems and national providers. This shift necessarily involves not only entry into new employment arrangements but also the termination of existing relationships. And those terminations are often governed by written employment agreements, state and federal healthcare laws and employer benefit plans and other policies and procedures. Before pursuing their next opportunity, physicians should pause for a moment and first attend to the arrangement that they are leaving. Departing physicians need to understand their legal rights and obligations when leaving their current employment relationships in order to avoid unintended consequences and detrimental missteps along the way. Here are...
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Stark 101 for Anesthesiologists

Sometimes those of us in the healthcare industry become so immersed in the multitude of applicable regulations, and their evolution and ambiguities, that we need to take a step back and be reminded of the basics. So for a few moments, let’s push aside the status of healthcare reform, the future of independent anesthesiology practices, the abstract and sometimes conflicting guidance governing anesthesia joint ventures and the nuances of ICD-10. Let’s refresh our recollection regarding a federal law that has been with us in various forms for about 25 years and that continues to impact us each day. This is a broad overview of the federal Stark law1 in 10 quick bullet points. It’s important to understand what Stark is and what it is not. It is relatively common for healthcare attorneys to receive calls from clients requesting a Stark review of a relationship when the Stark law is not even...
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