Doug Hastings, Chair of the Board of Directors and a Member of the Firm in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice in the Washington, D.C., office, and Wendy Goldstein, Chair of the Heath Care and Life Sciences Steering Committee and a Member of the Firm in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice in the New York office, were quoted in an article about how law firms are preparing for a wave of health care work.

The article focused on how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, changes aspects of how virtually every company does business, from small companies required to provide health care coverage for employees for the first time, to health care providers, insurers and pharmaceutical firms whose fundamental business models will be altered as the law takes hold.

The article stated that broadly, the legislation creates a new mandate requiring most individuals to carry health insurance, expands Medicaid eligibility and creates state-based exchange for individuals health insurance.

In the article, Hastings and Goldstein stated:

"It is, we believe, as big as people say it is, in the sense that it's the biggest bill since Medicare, and the biggest piece of social legislation since Social Security," said Doug Hastings. "It's a large-impact bill over a long period of time."

"I think ultimately there's going to be an explosion of change, new contracts, new structures, mergers and acquisitions, consolidations, relationship building, all across the industry," Hastings said. "It's coming, we don't know exactly when, but over the next decade. Right now, we are digesting the bill and positioning."

Payment and delivery reforms will ultimately impact every hospital, physician, insurer, drugmaker and other company in the health care industry, and companies should consider the coming laws carefully as they strategize for the next few years, Hastings said.

Some pharmaceutical companies will be grappling with new payment policies and patent protections for innovator biologic drugs that could force manufacturers to reconfigure their product portfolios, said Wendy Goldstein.

"It's work that we have already begun counseling our clients on, not just a strategy for years down the road," Goldstein said. "It's the same exercise that manufacturers went through with the enactment of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2007, to understand where utilization is and to update business models."

"One of the basic ideas of the bill is that health care in this country has to become less fragmented and more coordinated," Hastings said. "If you look at this over five to 10 years, it's meant to really turn around the whole way we pay for and deliver health care. You'll see new alliances and joint ventures that have never been done before."

"There are potential business activities in evolving their business model that might create transactional changes, contractual changes, and might even trigger litigation as they change their companies," Hastings said. "It's not just technical compliance, it's the legal things in how companies change and grow."

"With respect to any piece of the health care industry, whether this change will be good or bad, it's early to tell," Goldstein said. "The legislative process took us to where we are. Now, with implementation and strategy, we're thinking through what comes next."

"Clients are asking those strategic questions, with respect to how business models are evolving, what this means today and also five years from now" Goldstein said. "It's not just the technical pieces, but also the bigger picture, so they can continue to compete in their space and be ahead of their competitors."

"The most important thing is to provide thought leadership," Hastings said. "It doesn't help the clients all that much to catalog what's in the bill. It's understanding their business, understanding health care at a fundamental level."

Jump to Page

Privacy Preference Center

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.