Akin Gump’s Health Practice Takes Third Straight Practice Group of the Year Honors from Law360
Lawyers in Akin Gump’s health practice succeeded in having a government rule that cut Medicare reimbursements overturned, which helped earn the firm a spot among Law360’s Health Practice Groups of the Year.
Stephanie Webster, the Akin Gump partner who litigated the case on behalf of Allina Health Services and more than two dozen other hospitals, argued that the Department of Health & Human Services had dramatically altered the rule in 2004 without permitting sufficient public comment. She told Law360 the case was important not just “because it’s worth a lot of dollars, but also because of the principles at stake in it.” The dispute centers around Medicare’s so-called disproportionate share payments, which compensate hospitals for treating poor patients.
Due in part to this win, Webster was also named by Law360 as among its 2013 “MVPs” in the area of health care.
Akin Gump’s health practice, according to Law360, also spans well beyond the area of reimbursements. Practice head Jorge Lopez said the variety of the group was one of its distinguishing characteristics, with breadth “in the issues we handle and breadth in the kinds of clients we represent.”
With this in mind, Lopez noted the firm’s successful defense, led by partner Robert Salcido, of Huron Consulting Group from a $50 million whistleblower suit – a qui tam suit that accused the management consulting firm of purposefully overbilling Medicare and Medicaid while pushing a now-defunct New York City hospital toward bankruptcy.
Lopez added that while Akin Gump’s health practice may not be its largest, it is a key element of the firm’s mission to be “the first firm everyone thinks of when they have a problem with the government.”
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