Staying ahead of healthcare changes
For medical professionals, trying to juggle the demands of a busy practice while keeping up with the dizzying rate of regulatory change can seem nearly impossible.
That’s where Jed Morrison comes in. By keeping his finger on the pulse of the latest changes in healthcare law, he frees his clients to concentrate on what’s most important: their patients.
Jed has the unique perspective that comes from a thirty-year career in which he has worked with all aspects of healthcare regulation. On the legislative side, he served as Republican Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Budget Committee. On the administrative side, he was counsel to the Healthcare Financing Administration in the Department of Health and Human Services. Today, as a partner in Jackson Walker’s San Antonio office, Jed advises clients on the regulatory and transactional aspects of healthcare law.
“I’ve helped pass the laws; I’ve worked to implement them; and I’ve seen how they affect people on the street,” he says. “That gives me a broader picture of what healthcare law means to clients and their patients.”
For clients working in one of the most highly regulated industries in the United States, that picture changes rapidly. “You can’t assume the advice you gave to a client six months or a year ago will still be current,” Jed says. Although staying on top of the changes is a significant challenge, it’s one that Jed embraces and enjoys. “New laws and regulations are passed every day,” he says. “That’s one of the things I like about this field. There’s always something different, and you have to stay one step ahead.”
Staying ahead requires a team effort, and Jed has been a leader in devising ways to make sure clients are aware of new regulations that affect their business. Within the firm, he was one of the first attorneys to use regular e-Alerts to communicate the latest developments to clients. At the state level, Jed spearheaded an effort to designate health law as a distinct practice recognized by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and was among the first class of lawyers to receive the certification.
“New laws and regulations are passed every day. That’s one of the things I like about this field. There’s always something different, and you have to stay one step ahead.”
– Jed Morrison
Because no one person could possibly keep up with all the changes taking place in the field, members of Jackson Walker’s Healthcare group work together to ensure that all the bases are covered. “We have great synergy among our lawyers,” Jed explains. “While there is a lot of overlap, we each focus on different areas and keep each other apprised so that our clients are always informed.”
One of Jed’s areas of particular experience is Medicare and Medicaid regulation and reimbursement, including the “Stark law” provisions that govern physician self-referral for Medicare and Medicaid patients. Jed has spoken and written extensively on this topic and frequently represents clients in matters related to the complicated set of rules. In 2009, for example, he represented a rural hospital facing investigation in relation to Medicare self-referral disclosure under the Stark law and the False Claims Act. Based on his experience with the regulations, Jed was able to demonstrate that the hospital had not violated the law.
In another case, Jed successfully argued in court on behalf of a Texas dialysis provider, RenCare Ltd., in its reimbursement claim under the Medicare Advantage program against HMO Humana Health Plan of Texas. In a precedent-setting decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that RenCare did not have to exhaust all administrative appeal remedies under the Medicare Act before filing its claim in state court. It was an important ruling that removed a significant hurdle for healthcare providers seeking to resolve state law reimbursement claims.
Cases such as these illustrate how Jed’s in-depth knowledge of the healthcare business helps ease the burden on clients trying to navigate the sea of regulatory change. “Over the years, I’ve gotten to really understand the industry,” he says. “I’m interested in what my clients do clinically, what niche they are trying to serve and how they run their business, because the legal issues and the business issues are always intertwined.”
Jed’s dedication to client service has earned him numerous accolades. He was ranked as a top healthcare attorney and a “go-to lawyer for reimbursement work” in Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business. He has also been named one of The Best Lawyers in America for healthcare law for the past six years, a “Super Lawyer” by Thomson Reuters for the past three years, and the “Outstanding Healthcare Lawyer” for 2010 by the San Antonio Business Journal.
He has also been active in Texas State Bar activities, serving on the Health Law Council for ten years, including as its chairman, and he presently serves on the Health Law Exam Commission for the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
For Jed, though, the most important recognition comes from his clients, who know they can rely on him to safeguard their interests while they tend to their patients’ needs.
“I’ve been involved with this industry longer than some of my clients,” Jed says. “I think to some degree that provides instant credibility because they know that I understand what they’re trying to accomplish, and I’m going to try my best to help them get there.”