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Melodie Hengerer

Of Counsel

Melodie Hengerer represents health care providers and organ procurement organizations (OPOs) in navigating complex legal and regulatory challenges.

Professional Biography

Overview

Melodie Hengerer represents a broad range of health care providers and organ procurement organizations (OPOs) in navigating complex legal and regulatory challenges. Ms. Hengerer's experience in advising clients on matters involving organ transplant and donation law includes her work as outside general counsel to OPOs, where she regularly advises on federal and state regulatory and compliance issues, analysis and implications of proposed rules, responses to federal and state inquiries and investigations, and navigation of organ allocation and performance measurement policies. Ms. Hengerer also has extensive experience advising clients in the organ transplant and donation field with regard to negotiation of federally mandated agreements, aviation and other transportation agreements, tissue processor and perfusion agreements, and research and other special projects.

Notably, Ms. Hengerer's diverse experience as a litigator also allows her to assist her clients in all aspects of litigation, in both the general and the organ transplant and donation contexts. She has also represented health care providers in agency investigations and represented clients in suits involving antitrust matters arising under the Sherman Act and Clayton Act. Her practice is informed by her background defending health care providers in medical malpractice and professional liability matters, and corporate and municipal clients in general and commercial litigation matters. Ms. Hengerer is highly skilled in all areas of litigation, including investigation and claims management, development of case strategy, motions practice, witness preparation and depositions, client and team management at all levels, settlement negotiation, mediation, arbitration, and trial.

Representative Matters
  • OPO Representation

  • Obtained dismissal of case, which was upheld on appeal, brought against an OPO accused of improperly packaging and transporting a kidney for transplant, resulting in a leading opinion on the scope of the good faith immunity afforded to OPOs under the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act.

  • Represented OPO as part of a team at University of Maryland's Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and the University of Maryland Transplant Center to ensure FAA compliance, appropriate insurance coverage, and comprehensive consents in a first-ever successful mission to transport an organ for transplant via drone.

  • Successfully negotiated a software agreement extension on behalf of OPO client, saving client $200,000 in fees over three years.

  • Health Care Litigation

  • Represented health care system and Jesuit hospital regarding claims of transgender discrimination arising under the Affordable Care Act involving multiple issues of first impression.

  • Represented health care system in case of first impression involving allegations of unlawful disclosure of mental health records pursuant to patient's request for workers' compensation coverage.

  • General and Commercial Litigation

  • Successfully represented buyer corporation in federal litigation regarding securities fraud, breach of contract, and indemnity claims arising from stock purchase agreement.

Professional Honors & Activities
  • Member – Board of Ethics, Baltimore City 
  • Member – American Health Law Association
  • Member – American Bar Association
  • Member – Maryland State Bar Association
    • Health Law Section
  • Member – Bar Association of Baltimore City
    • Chair, Health Law Committee (2020 – 2021)
Publications
Speaking Engagements
  • Presenter – "Understanding CMS's 2020 Proposed Rule Regarding OPO Outcome Measure Requirements," We Are Sharing Hope SC Leadership Forum (February 2020)
  • Presenter – "Mitigating Liability Through Defensive Documentation," MedStar Georgetown University Hospital Annual Meeting and Professional Development Conferences (November 2018 and March 2019)

Industries

Education

  • University of Baltimore, School of Law, J.D. 2002, magna cum laude
  • University of North Carolina, B.A. in Biology and Communication Studies, 1994

Admissions

  • Maryland
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland

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