Health Information Technology – Law and Policy

Health information technology (health IT) is now at the forefront of the national health care debate and Baker Donelson has it covered. We assist clients with all of the critical issues, including understanding of and strategic planning around laws like the recent Stimulus Act, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).

Baker Donelson’s Health IT Experience and Approach

Our approach to health IT effectively integrates four critical areas. The Health IT team includes members of the Health Law Department, the Business Technology Group, the Information Privacy and Security Management and the Public Policy Group working together to meet client needs in this rapidly-changing environment. We know in many instances our clients will be leading-edge or first adopters. We provide advice and representation across a range of known and emerging issues, drawing on policy and law to provide context and clear counsel for moving forward.

Health Law - Regulatory

The Firm's Health Law Department is widely recognized as a premier national practice, and is one of the largest health law practices in the nation, representing leading hospitals and health systems, academic medical centers, medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, physician organizations and specialty care providers. Within the health group, our regulatory task force members are well-versed in issues relating to Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement, HIPAA, fraud and abuse, Stark, compliance audits, preventing and defending government investigations and interpreting the ever-changing regulations that impact the health care industry.

Business Technology

The Health Law Department works extensively with our Business and Technology Group, which consists of multi-disciplinary lawyers ready to assist clients with the wide-ranging issues of business technology law, including all types of business transactions involving the purchase and sale of technology products and services and all related intellectual property issues. eHealth issues continue to have a profound and wide-ranging impact, with new technology developments triggering not only existing and emerging health care-specific regulations, but a myriad of developing laws and regulations relating to the business use of technology. Baker Donelson offers comprehensive and proactive advice and solutions to these often complex ehealth issues.

Information Privacy and Security Management

Baker Donelson’s information security and health information privacy work are led by experienced business attorneys, including a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) (considered the "gold standard" for information security), and HIPAA privacy experts. Our approach can help organizations maximize their return on technology and related investment through cost savings, enhanced profits and innovation.

Public Policy

Our Public Policy Group, whose nationally-known members provide strategic counsel as well as day-to-day policy representation, help protect and advance your interests throughout the course of federal policy-making. The Group provides advisory services to guide health care clients’ actions in anticipation of and as a result of expected health reform initiatives.

Our advisors have been intensely involved in federal health IT initiatives for almost 10 years. As a member and chairman of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, former Congresswoman Nancy Johnson introduced the legislation that led to the establishment of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and fought for broad adoption of health IT to reduce medical errors and improve care quality.

Susan Christensen relies on over 25 years of experience in the public and private sectors to provide strategic policy advice and government relations services in the health care, life sciences and technology industries. Ms. Christensen served as Senior Health Policy Counsel to then-Congresswoman Nancy Johnson.


Unprecedented opportunities now exist for the health care industry to invest in, upgrade, or expand their health IT. Our attorneys and advisors have engaged in extensive analysis of the new law and can provide legal advice or policy representation according to your needs.

Areas on which there will be ARRA administrative action include:

  • Medicare
    • Timing of payments
    • Small provider and physician group arrangements
    • Special circumstances, accounting for charity care
    • Definition and demonstration of meaningful use
    • Quality measures
    • Hardship criteria
  • Medicaid
    • Determination of allowable costs
    • “Overall hospital EHR amount” determination
  • Grants and loans
    • Criteria for planning and implementation grants
    • Loan fund operation/accountability
  • Privacy/security rulemaking
  • EHR certification and funding