For Fourth Consecutive Year, Akin Gump’s Health Practice Honored by Law360 as Practice Group of the Year

(Washington, D.C.) – Important victories in Medicare reimbursement and False Claims Act defense cases won Akin Gump’s health care and life sciences practice its fourth consecutive recognition as one of Law360’s 2014 Health Practice Groups of the Year for what the publication called “another year of stellar legal results.”

Law360 spotlighted the work of the firm’s Medicare litigation team, quoting practice head Jorge Lopez Jr., who calls it “unquestionably the best practice of its kind in the country.” The Medicare reimbursement practice, spearheaded by partners Christopher Keough and Stephanie Webster, scored a critical win in Allina Health Services et al. v. Sebelius at the D.C. Circuit, as the court ruled against a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) adjustment to Medicare calculations. Ms. Webster led the trial team, which included health practice counsel Harry Richards and litigation counsel Hyland Hunt.

According to Mr. Keough, an HHS victory would have cost hospitals millions of dollars in lost reimbursements. He attributed the firm’s results in cases such as Allina to the “turbocharged” collaboration among litigation, appellate and policy practitioners, which he characterized as “the strength of the firm.”

Also featured was False Claims Act (FCA) practitioner Robert Salcido, who won a vital whistleblower case against a New Jersey nursing facility by using what Law360 called “novel legal strategies,” as he argued that a former employee could not bring an FCA suit against the facility because the claimed violation did not alter the government’s reimbursement rate.

The article closes by noting the strategic addition to the firm of a top-ranked health care policy team from Patton Boggs and, separately, former FDA lawyer and U.S. Senate adviser Nathan Brown to focus on Food and Drug Administration matters. (Learn more about the health care policy team here and about Nathan Brown here.)

In December 2014, Messrs. Keough and Salcido and Ms. Webster were named “Litigation Trailblazers” by The National Law Journal in its inaugural edition of that recognition. (Learn more here.)  Additionally, in November, Ms. Webster was selected as a Law360 Health Care MVP for the second consecutive year. (Learn more here.)

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Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is a leading international law firm with more than 900 lawyers attorneys in offices throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.