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Michaela D. Poizner


Michaela Poizner is a health care attorney who works with provider organizations to accomplish their operational compliance and strategic business goals.

Professional Biography

As interim co-chair of the Health Law Group and leader of the Behavioral Health Initiative, Michaela assists clients in buying and selling health care assets and guides them through matters ranging from privacy and security concerns and fraud and abuse analysis to development of policies and procedures and navigation of licensure and Medicare enrollment.

Michaela represents provider organizations in the behavioral, medical, and long-term health care industries. Her behavioral health clients include multi-state psychiatric hospital systems, outpatient and residential mental health treatment programs, geriatric psychiatry providers, and medical-surgical hospitals with psychiatric units. She also represents multi-facility providers of skilled nursing and assisted living care, organizations that serve the intellectually and developmentally disabled, and medical-surgical facilities ranging from physician practice organizations to large regional health systems.

Before joining Baker Donelson, Michaela clerked for the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Office of General Counsel.

  • Coordinated health care transactions, including medical-surgical and psychiatric hospital and nursing home acquisitions and sales and physician practice acquisitions.

  • Guided behavioral health provider through full spectrum of licensure and zoning requirements in order to open outpatient and residential facilities in Tennessee for the first time.

  • Assisted hospital in establishing legal and operational process for involuntary commitment of psychiatric patients, including analyzing the interaction between the involuntary commitment process and EMTALA.

  • Assisted behavioral health hospital in navigating relationship with Disability Rights patient advocacy group, including responding to requests for patient records and related inquiries from state licensing agency.

  • Managed all aspects of initial and ongoing Medicare provider enrollment for multi-facility, multi-state long-term care provider.

  • Assisted multiple clients with obtaining initial licensure and changing ownership of licensed long-term care facilities in Tennessee and other states.

  • Guided client through entire process of closing licensed and Medicare-certified nursing home, including transfer of facility license and obtaining and maintaining inactive status for nursing home license.

  • Managed attorney general review processes for multiple transactions involving sale or merger of nonprofit health care facilities in Tennessee, Virginia, and New Jersey.

  • Drafted complete HIPAA privacy policies and procedures for multi-state psychiatric health system, including analyzing the interaction between state privacy laws and HIPAA.

  • Advised clients on application of 42 C.F.R. Part 2 related to substance use disorder and alcohol addiction treatment, including analyzing the interaction of Part 2 with HIPAA and applicable state laws.

  • Provided analysis of fraud and abuse compliance, including Stark Law, Anti-Kickback Statute and state law issues.

  • Advised large number of clients on responding to subpoenas, law enforcement requests, and attorney demands for confidential patient information.

  • Represented a behavioral health provider operating 23 psychiatric hospitals and outpatient programs along the Gulf Coast, as seller's counsel in its $310 million sale to a buyer with financing provided by a private equity firm.

  • Represented Strategic Behavioral Health in its $170 million sale of eight psychiatric hospitals to a Tennessee-based behavioral health and addiction treatment center.

  • Represented a city public health authority in its $11 million acquisition of a public hospital.

  • Named a Best Lawyers in America® "Ones to Watch" in Health Care Law (2021 – 2023)
  • Listed in Mid-South Super Lawyers as a Rising Star in Health Care Law (2019 – 2022)
  • American Health Law Association, member and chair of Enterprise Risk Management Task Force
  • Leadership Health Care, Board member and Chair of Membership Engagement Committee
  • "Good Behavior: What Every Health Lawyer Needs to Know About Behavioral Health," American Health Law Association Fundamentals of Health Law (November 2021)
  • "Tele-HELP! Understanding Telehealth from A to Zoom," American Health Law Association Fundamentals of Health Law (November 2020)
  • "Someone Else's Misfortune, The Unthinkable Threat in the Exam Room: Provider Sexual Abuse," Michigan Professional Insurance Exchange Educational Program (November 2020)
  • "Sex, Drugs, and . . . Confidentiality: Privacy for Pediatric Patients," American Health Law Association Physicians and Hospitals Law Institute (February 2020)
  • "An Enterprise Risk Management Approach to Provider-Patient Sexual Misconduct," COPIC Patient Safety/Risk Management Forum (October 2019)
  • "Zero Tolerance: The Toxic Threat of Provider-Patient Sexual Misconduct and How to Stop It," Michigan Society of Healthcare Risk Management Fall Program (October 2019)
  • "Zero Tolerance: The Toxic Threat of Provider-Patient Sexual Misconduct and How to Stop It," Michigan Professional Insurance Exchange Regional Risk Management & Patient Safety Networking Program (June 2019)
  • "An ERM Approach to the Threat of Provider-Patient Sexual Misconduct," American Health Law Association, Enterprise Risk Management Task Force Educational Call (November 2018)
  • "Managing the Toxic Enterprise Risk of Provider-Patient Sexual Misconduct," American Society for Healthcare Risk Management Annual Conference (October 2018)
  • "Enterprise Risk Management in the Value-based Payment World: Threats and Opportunities in Collecting Quality Data," Enterprise Risk Management Task Force Educational Call (December 2017)
  • "Accountable Care Organizations: Why Value-based Reimbursement Should Thrill You—and Scare You Silly," American Society for Healthcare Risk Management Annual Conference (October 2017)
  • "The ABC's of Healthcare," Tennessee Bar Association Program: Why Health Law? A Guide for New Practitioners (August 2017)
  • "Healthcare Industry in Transition: Moving to a Value Based System and Navigating the Regulatory Environment," BDO Leadership Event (November 2016)
  • "Managing Health Care Transactions," Tennessee Bar Association Health Law Primer (October 2016)
  • "An OCR Enforcement Update-Learning From the Past and Preparing for the Future," American Health Law Association Annual Meeting (June 2016)
  • "Meaningful Use Blues from an ERM Perspective," American Health Law Association, Enterprise Risk Management Task Force Open Discussion Webinar (May 2016)
  • "HIPAA and Telehealth," Nashville Bar Association Health Law Institute (May 2016)
  • "Changes to Physician Reimbursement Under CMS's MACRA Proposed Rule," American Bar Association, Health Law Section CLE Webinar (May 2016)
  • "HIT or Miss? Legal and Ethical Concerns for Implementation of Health IT," Nashville Council of Health Care Attorneys CLE Program (November 2015)
  • "The Rise of Health Care Technology: ERM Implications for the New Normal," American Health Law Association, Enterprise Risk Management Task Force Educational Webinar (October 2015)
  • "EHR Standards: HIE, Meaningful Use, and Patient Portals: What Your Lawyers Are Worried About," American Health Information Management Association National Convention (September 2015)
  • "Health Care Technology: New Regulations and Impact of HIPAA," Nashville Bar Association CLE Program (August 2015)


  • Vanderbilt University Law School, J.D., 2013
    • Vanderbilt Law Review, Senior Articles Editor
    • Franklin & White Award for Best Oralist
  • Middle Tennessee State University, B.S. in Mass Communications, cum laude and B.A. in English, 2007, cum laude


  • Tennessee, 2013

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