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Baker Donelson Attorneys Appointed as Chairs of American Health Lawyers Association Groups

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(Memphis, TN / July 30, 2014) Attorneys from Baker Donelson were recently named to lead committees of the American Health Lawyers Association (AHLA). John B. Beard will chair the Government Affinity Group for the sixth consecutive year, and Claire Cowart Haltom accepted the Chair position for the Teaching Hospitals & Academic Medical Centers Practice Group.

AHLA is the nation's largest nonpartisan educational organization dedicated to legal issues in the health care field. With more than 12,500 members, AHLA represents 16 different practice groups within the health care field. The Health Care Reform Educational Task Force educates AHLA members on proposed health care reform initiatives at the state and federal levels. The Governance Affinity Group, a subgroup of the Business Law and Governance Practice Group, educates members on continuing governance issues and developments. The Teaching Hospitals & Academic Medical Centers Group addresses the practical legal issues that apply to health care providers, payors, regulators and suppliers as they affect this particular category of hospitals.  

Mr. Beard is a shareholder in Baker Donelson's Jackson, Mississippi office. His practice is primarily in the areas of business and health care transactions with a focus on hospital/physician practice acquisitions and alignment strategies, physician compensation models and related compliance issues, health care tax exemption issues for nonprofit hospitals, and health care joint venture structures and service line affiliation models. Mr. Beard has extensive experience with the Stark law, the Anti-Kickback law, civil monetary penalties and provider-based status and requirements. 

A 1990 magna cum laude graduate of the University of Mississippi School of Law, and a 1991 graduate of New York University with a Masters in Taxation, Mr. Beard has previously served as the vice chairman of the Tax and Finance Practice Group of AHLA. He is an active member of the Taxation Section and Health Law Section of the Mississippi Bar Association, and has been listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers since 2006, and The Best Lawyers in America® since 2009. 

Ms. Haltom is a member of Baker Donelson's Health Law & Public Policy Department in the Firm's Nashville office. She concentrates her practice on the legal, regulatory and business issues related to health care services, assisting clients with complex business transactions, strategic market analysis, and regulatory compliance. Additionally, Ms. Haltom provides strategic guidance to clients on issues and opportunities arising from implementation of the Affordable Care Act. 

Ms. Haltom graduated from Vanderbilt University and received her J.D. cum laude from the University of Mississippi. She has written and spoken extensively on health care law issues. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Leadership Health Care of the Nashville Health Care Council, and as the Membership Chair for the Nashville Council of Health Care Attorneys. Ms. Haltom was named by the Nashville Post to their list of "Law Leaders Rising."

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Johanna Burkett
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