Introduction to Health Law Talk
presented by Chehardy Sherman Williams
+ Full Transcript
Rory Bellina (00:07):
Hello everyone, and welcome to Health Law Talk, presented by Chehardy Sherman Williams. Before we get started, please be sure to subscribe to our podcast and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube – links in the description below. We hope you enjoy this episode.
Conrad Meyer (00:31):
Rory Bellina (00:33):
Conrad Meyer (00:34):
Everyone. Welcome to another edition of Health Law Talk with Conrad Meyer and Rory Bellina. Rory, say hello. Hello
Rory Bellina (00:42):
Conrad Meyer (00:43):
We are here at the law firm of Chehardy Sherman Williams, and we are going to bring you fantastic topics dealing with health law talk. So sit back and relax as we take you on a journey into the health law region, right, Rory? That’s
Rory Bellina (00:57):
Conrad Meyer (00:59):
Let me tell you a little bit about the the firm. This is our first podcast and we want to go ahead and kind of introduce ourselves and sort of give people our listeners a background about the firm. we work at a firm called, you know, Chehardy Sherman Williams, as as, as Rory knows, we all know. But Chehardy Sherman Williams is one of the largest law firms in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. we are a full service firm. we are devoted to to serving the New Orleans region. we started back in 1989, and when I say full service firm you know Roy, you know what that, what, what is a full service firm so our listeners can know what that means?
Rory Bellina (01:37):
Sure. It, I think a full service firm means that we cover everything. We have attorneys and staff here that are able to cover all legal needs, whether it varies from, you know, estate planning, litigation, healthcare work that we obviously do. you know, there’s someone here that could, that can assist with everything.
Conrad Meyer (01:56):
And I think when we look at the firm website, for example we got everything from attorneys who can handle appellate work banking, business, commercial litigation everything the gamut, labor, employment, real estate, state planning, and, and really what we’re here to talk about healthcare law.
Rory Bellina (02:15):
Yes, yes. That’s our specialty, and that’s what we’re here to educate
Conrad Meyer (02:18):
You on. Absolutely. Absolutely. So, so tell me Rory, this is our first episode. we plan on, on, on discussing various health law topics, having guests on the show. and I know that we’re giving people sort of the background about, about us. So tell us a little bit about you and your journey into healthcare law.
Rory Bellina (02:40):
Sure. Thank you. I’ve been an attorney for over seven years now. I was born and raised in this area, went to LSU for undergrad, and then Loyola Law School. And I’ve been practicing at this firm for a little over two years and been a healthcare attorney for almost six years now. So it’s been a, it’s been a really fun time, and every, every day I learn and get to do something new.
Conrad Meyer (03:01):
I I think most people would agree that if you can come to work and you enjoy the work, that’s a pretty unique situation. So how, when we get into talk about healthcare law some people might find that a little bit either intimidating, boring interesting. So I think it just depends on your background, but I’d love to know, and I think our listeners would like to know a little bit about, more about Rory and, and how Rory Bellina became a healthcare lawyer. So tell us about that.
Rory Bellina (03:27):
Sure. I think the first question I get when I tell someone that I’m a healthcare attorney is they say, Oh, you do malpractice. And, and that’s when I have to jump in and say, No,
Conrad Meyer (03:36):
No, no, no.
Rory Bellina (03:37):
We have a full team here that does handle the malpractice, but I’m on the, the other side, I’m on the regulatory and compliance side. So everything that, you know, from the ground up, from entering into leases, provider agreements, getting physicians credentials, all the way up to fraud and abuse regulations, it’s, it’s a full gamut on the regulatory compliance side. And oh, Conrad, you have experience on the malpractice side as well. And so that’s, that’s kind of where you and I cross paths. Sometimes
Conrad Meyer (04:05):
We do, I mean, I wear, I wear two hats, so I’m, I mean, I, I handle things that are in your, in your wheelhouse that you were just talking about, but I also do the professional liability side, so I’m wearing two different hats, and it’s a little challenging, but I find that, that it’s, it’s also a very interesting model because sometimes the regulatory compliance transactional side does cross over into litigation on, on a different level. So having that knowledge, I feel like it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s been help helped me in my practice expand and, and being able to cover both sides.
Rory Bellina (04:36):
Absolutely. And I know when we were preparing for this show, we, we made an outline of topics that we wanted to discuss today as well as you know, on upcoming episodes and Conrad, what are some of the things that we, that we want to bring to our listeners?
Conrad Meyer (04:48):
So I think what we talked about initially was this introduction and then we’re gonna start working on topics that matter, not only to to healthcare practitioners, but honestly to, to just the regular, you know, you know, people in general who might be interested in understanding a little more about healthcare law and, and what that encompasses. I think people, some people don’t really understand that that healthcare and the industry itself is so huge. I mean, you’re talking about one fifth of the country’s GDP and, and which is a tremendous amount of funds in one industry. So when you have that and, and the amount of topics that can spin off from that r I mean, you mentioned just a couple things earlier about the size of the firm in terms of the things Chehardy Sherman Williams can do. but a lot of those things also transcend into healthcare. What do you think about that?
Rory Bellina (05:42):
Yeah, I think that that the, the healthcare industry, if it’s not the most regulated, it, it, it’s probably number two from a regulatory and compliance standpoint on state and federal rules. The, the, the big question that I get from clients that come in is, I, I wanna start a medical practice. Where do I start? And, you know, we start with the easy questions of, you know, where do you want to be located? What do you want the name to be? You know, how do you want to compensate people? But then that question really expands as far as what providers do you want be enrolled with? Do you want to, do you wanna take insurance? You know, do you want to be on different medical staffs? How are you going to get credentialed? It, it’s of such a regula regulated and expansive practice area that, that a lot of physicians or providers or allied health providers, they don’t know. And, and I think a lot of them will come in and say, Well, I went to med school in residency and I know how to practice medicine, but I don’t know how to open up a clinic, or, I don’t know how to get enrolled with a big payer, or can I do this if I take Medicare? Those are the questions that we are here for and we’re able to help with. And it, it’s ever changing, especially in this, with this past year due to covid.
Conrad Meyer (06:50):
I, I totally agree. And I think in addition to just you and I kind of, you know, discussing these topics, we’re gonna have some guests that that kind of cover their, their topic area. So some really interesting and, and, and very experienced people in their field come on the show and, and really help enlighten our listeners with, with, with the topic at hand. So I think that’s part of the goal. and eventually we might be we working our way into a live stream. Yes. with call in. And, and I think cuz we’re very excited about this, this is a very big opportunity. And, and as, and as you were reporting out, it’s so varied. I mean, it, there’s so many topics. There’s, there’s such a, like you said, it sort of expands just on that simple question of, of I want to open a practice. You know, it goes into liability, coverage, reimbursement. You’ve got real estate, you’ve got labor, you’ve got, I mean, all the things that you, that you would never really think of suddenly like, wait a minute, , this is really kind of a big
Rory Bellina (07:51):
Deal. And then if you add in that you want to take Medicare and Medicaid, it, it explodes.
Conrad Meyer (07:55):
Like it’s even, it’s, it’s a bigger deal because now the feds are involved, Right?
Rory Bellina (07:59):
Correct. Correct. And those rules are, are ever changing over the past year due to Covid. You know, we, we were talking about this off air, you know, for as devastating as Covid was for businesses, families, individuals, you know, everyone across the nation. It really did some wonderful things for the healthcare world for kinda loosening regulations and expanding on telehealth. And I know that’s an area that, that, that we’ve been following very, very closely. Yes. It, we have and hope that, that this expansion, these expansions are not rolled back because it’s really accelerated. and, and kind of cut the red tape per se, you know, possibly five or 10 years in the future, I
Conrad Meyer (08:35):
Would say it, it just goes to show you that when there is some sort of a, an emergency need all of the things that, you know, healthcare, lawyers and, and, and legislators, whether they’re state or federal that have been, when regulators that have been working through these issues, whether it’s telehealth or something else, they literally cut the red tape in a, in a week. and like you said, cut 10, 5, 10, 15 years maybe of, of constant, I guess back and forth to kind of tailor some regulation. so I think that’s really important to know and, and, and, and help our listeners navigate some of those complex issues. Now, back back to what I was telling you earlier before, you were mentioning that you’ve been practicing six years, but before that, why don’t you tell our listeners a little bit about how you became a healthcare lawyer, because that’s the question I get from students that I teach sometimes they say, Well, how in the world do you even get to be a healthcare lawyer? How does that work? So, so why don’t you tell the listeners a little bit about your journey as to how you even start practicing healthcare.
Rory Bellina (09:34):
Sure. So I started, I was actually pre-med in undergrad, and about halfway through undergrad I decided, you know, this wasn’t gonna be for me. I really enjoyed all the courses I was taking. I was an emt, I spent a summer performing autopsies at a local hospital system here. but I just realized that this was not, I was more interested in the legal and regulatory side of healthcare and medicine, then the actual biology and chemistry and, and physics side. And so I you know, stayed course with my, with my degree and graduated from lsu but didn’t even apply to med school. Just applied straight to law school and luckily got in and knew that healthcare was the practice area that I wanted to go into. And I, I’ve been here ever since and never been
Conrad Meyer (10:19):
Happier. So you were lucky enough to actually land a position right outta school directly in healthcare?
Rory Bellina (10:24):
It, it took, it took a firm, It took one firm that I kind of cut my teeth on right out of law school. But I, I knew going, leaving law school that I wanted to get to a firm that, that did a lot of healthcare work. And so I was at a more of a general law firm in the area. Right. And got some great experience there, but knew that this was the, the practice area and the firm that I wanted to get into. And, and I, I’ve been here and been very blessed ever since. That’s
Conrad Meyer (10:50):
Rory Bellina (10:50):
And I know that, that you you and I probably would’ve crossed paths if we were Yeah, that’s closer in time. I think we have similar backgrounds. If you wanna expand on
Conrad Meyer (10:59):
That. Yeah, I do. I mean, I, I think the EMT route that’s very interesting cuz I was an EMT as well. So my journey started in pre-med, just like you in college. And when I was doing that, I was doing everything I thought was right. I studied like you wouldn’t believe, and I, I got to the point where I was applying to medical school and the I got wait listed for the first year and I said, You know, I’m not gonna, I’ll take the classes and reapply. And I thought that was my, my journey. I thought that was where I was ending. I did the EMT route that year and I, I figured at the New Orleans Health Department for a little while, and then I decided to apply and I got wait listed again. But this time I got accepted into do the two lanes MHA program.
So I felt really blessed. And after going to the masters in Health administration at Tulane, the first semester was about all about business. And it was in the middle of the 96, 19 96 HMO sort of craze. And, and I realized that my personality wasn’t gonna fit. And so I stopped worrying about med school and thought, let me go look at hospital administration. But when I went to Lakey Regional as a resident administrator in a C-suite, I realized, you know, they, they, they transfer so much. And I love, and I am a New Orleans native. I was born and raised in New Orleans, so I don’t wanna, We both were, so I don’t wanna leave, you know, when you’re in New Orleans, you kind of stay, right? Absolutely. Not only do you stay, but your family stays. Your kids stays. Yes. I mean, it’s kind of a, a unique city in that we, we have a lot of people who don’t wanna leave. And I could see why it’s a, a beautiful area. So I decided to go to law school and, and while I was in law school, I focused solely on healthcare. And I was lucky enough to get out and start right my career, right. In healthcare law. And I’ve been doing it for 20 years ever since. So it’s been a love, a labor of love, and I would not change a thing at all.
Rory Bellina (12:46):
Sure. And it, and the way that you ex explained your path is similar to mine, that we both enjoyed the, the legal and regulatory side more than the actual medicine side. And, and I think we get we get a lot of clients that, that appreciate our background and our experience.
Conrad Meyer (13:02):
Yeah. Because you could, part of the issue is, is can you talk in a similar language that providers can understand, and I mean, similar language where it’s not like law, right? Correct. You’re not speaking the regulation, you’re speaking things that they can relate to, they can understand. And a lot of times a lot of times we say no cause a lot of times physicians will call, providers will call and ask us questions and, and if I had a nickel for every time I was saying no that you can’t do that because of the regulations. but our ability to transcend that from a book or a rag into a, a common language so that physicians, providers, hos they can understand that I think is critical.
Rory Bellina (13:43):
Sure. Absolutely. I completely agree with that.
Conrad Meyer (13:45):
So when we get, when we start doing the, the show I know that, that we’re going to be producing a show pretty much every two weeks, and we’re gonna have people on a schedule so they’ll know when the show comes out. Yes. Gonna be consistent with that. And as we evolve over time through topics like c and telehealth pharmacy benefits even CLE Labs or anything like that, stark, any kink back, which is like, most of our listeners might not even know what Stark or any kickback is, but we can go into that, you know, so that they understand a little bit more about how healthcare the industry affects not only the providers, but also them. Absolutely. You know, so we’re gonna, we’re gonna be doing that I think, and then every two weeks, and we’ll have some live guests. I don’t know who we’re gonna get our live guests first, but I’m, I’m sure it’s gonna be great. what about the the social media thing? I think we, you, would you, can you relate to that? Yes. What, what do we have going on there?
Rory Bellina (14:38):
Yes. Everyone will be able to subscribe to our, subscribe to our podcast. It’s gonna be broadcasts on all the major podcast platforms. We also, you can also subscribe to our YouTube channel, our LinkedIn, and follow us on Twitter. All those social media links will be provided in our bio and the description below with this podcast.
Conrad Meyer (14:57):
That’s excellent. And I think we’re gonna have one of our other partners join us pretty soon. Yes. Mr. Mueller. George Mueller, isn’t that right?
Rory Bellina (15:03):
Yes, he is. He’s been instrumental in the, in the healthcare world. He is an, I would, I would call him an expert on mergers and acquisitions. And we have done some, some really interesting ones recently over the past couple of years. And, and that’s another really big topic, especially as the, the healthcare landscape is changing. You’re seeing a lot of these practices getting purchased up by private equity or bigger, bigger systems and, you know, navigating that. And I think the goal for a lot of providers is, I want to build my practice and then retire from it. But I think that goal has somewhat shifted, and now we have providers that build these practices and then they get purchased out and, and helping them navigate those fields, because that, that’s very popular right now, especially in certain
Conrad Meyer (15:48):
Specialties on the private equity side. Correct. Yes. Yes. And that’s interesting because then you have to navigate, when you look at a practice, and we’re gonna get into that a little more detail, but when you look at a practice most of the physicians or the providers in the practice are different ages. So you absolutely, you have to manage who’s, who’s, who’s, wants to get out, right? Correct. Who
Rory Bellina (16:08):
Wants to stay, who
Conrad Meyer (16:08):
Wants to, who wants to stay and who, Right. Who’s staying and who’s going
Rory Bellina (16:11):
Non-compete equity. Yes. It’s, it’s a very interesting thing. And then, and then the regulatory side, because some states don’t allow certain things right. Where some do, So it, it’s a, it’s a very interesting legal field.
Conrad Meyer (16:23):
So we have a lot of content, a lot of interesting topics that we’re gonna be bringing to our listeners, and we are very excited about that. I can tell you we’re gonna be firming up our social media pages. We’re gonna be looking at making sure that we stay connected with you and you stay connected with us.
Rory Bellina (16:39):
Yes. We want questions to be submitted. We want people to write in and comment if they want certain topics or certain guests to be interviewed. So please be sure to contact us through all of our pages. We’re also gonna have our contact information in the, in the bio and description for this podcast. If you have a question or comment, concern, something that comes up, something you liked or didn’t like from this podcast, feel free to call or email.
Conrad Meyer (17:03):
That sounds great, Rory. Well, we want to thank everyone for listening to our intro here. We’re very excited about this opportunity to bring this healthcare content to our listeners, and we’re looking forward to connect with you. Yes, Rory, closing thoughts.
Rory Bellina (17:16):
Thank you for listening, and please subscribe to our podcast. Thanks for listening to this episode of Health Law Talk, presented by Chehardy Sherman Williams. For more information or to contact us, please visit our website in the description below. Also, please be sure to subscribe to our podcast and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
In this first episode of the Health Law Talk podcast, Rory Bellina and Conrad Meyer discuss the services Chehardy Sherman Williams provide to their healthcare clients, as well as an overview of the firm practice areas. Hear about how these two attorneys got their start in the field of healthcare law and how that experience helps their clients better navigate the comprehensive, legal issues of this complex, ever-changing industry.
Health Law Talk, presented by Chehardy Sherman Williams, one of the largest full service law firms in the Greater New Orleans area, is a regular podcast focusing on the expansive area of healthcare law. Attorneys Rory Bellina, Conrad Meyer and George Mueller will address various legal issues and current events surrounding healthcare topics. The attorneys are here to answer your legal questions, create a discussion on various healthcare topics, as well as bring in subject matter experts and guests to join the conversation.
Our team has the expertise to assist you with compliance matters, HIPAA violations, payor contracts and employee negotiations, practice and entity formation, and insurance reimbursement issues, in addition to the full spectrum of other healthcare related issues.