ATLANTA – King & Spalding hosted three Georgia State Law students at their “21st Annual Health Law and Policy Forum” on March 19. Richard Shackelford, a King & Spalding partner and immediate past president of the American Health Lawyers Association, moderated this daylong session featuring speakers on the latest legal and regulatory developments in the health care industry.
“King & Spalding has provided our students with an invaluable opportunity by allowing them to participate in this conference,” said Charity Scott, Director for the Center for Law, Health & Society. Faculty Fellow Randall L. Hughes had arranged with Kim H. Roeder, a partner King & Spalding’s Healthcare Practice Group, to reserve spaces for the students and waive the registration fee. “We’re grateful to the firm for allowing our students this chance to learn about current health law and policy issues from distinguished health law attorneys as well as from a wide range of accounting experts, business leaders, and consultants in the health field.”
The breadth of the speakers’ backgrounds was reflected by the range of attendees, who also represented a wide variety of backgrounds. “I had the opportunity to meet CPAs, MDs, and hospital administrators, in addition to attorneys,” said Sarah Ketchie, 2L.
The keynote speakers offered policy views and legislative efforts in health care. One of the keynote speakers was Scott Rasmussen, a nationally known public opinion pollster and founder and president of Rasmussen Reports. He provided perspectives on the upcoming elections and public opinions on major issues affecting the health care industry.
U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), another keynote speaker, discussed bipartisan plans to strengthen the U.S. health care system. “It is always important to take the opportunity to hear the thoughts of influential members of government, so I was glad to be able to hear Senator Wyden’s remarks,” said Art Shearin, 3L.
Other sessions focused on trends in financing health care programs, use of incentives to improve health care quality, and representation of whistleblowers. “I found the panel on Medicaid enforcement and compliance issues for 2012 to be the most interesting,” Shearin said.
Megan Daugherty, 3L, agreed that all the substantive presentations she attended were strong. “My favorite was a panel that discussed how money-making incentives in the health care industry were coming in line with incentives for providing quality patient care,” she said. “The payment and reimbursement scheme is shifting from paying for volume to paying for value.”
“Amidst discussion of PPACA implementation, reform of the Medicare program, and enforcement of the False Claims Act,” said Ketchie, “the strongest impression I walked away with was that the health law industry is in the middle of a sea of change.”
Stacie P. Kershner
Associate Director, Center for Law, Health & Society