Mintz Levin Launches Center for Health Law & Policy

01.26.2011 - Washington, DC

Organization Designed to Bring Together Industry Leaders and Policy Makers to Advance Ideas and Solutions for America's Health System

Leveraging its nationally recognized Health Law Practice, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. and its public affairs and government relations consulting affiliate, ML Strategies, have formed the Mintz Levin Center for Health Law & Policy, to create a new alliance of industry leaders and policy makers dedicated to advancing ideas and solutions to address the ongoing challenges facing our nation's health care system.

Spearheaded by Tom Koutsoumpas, a Senior Vice President of ML Strategies, the Center will bring together practitioners from across the firm, and thought leaders from such highly regarded institutions as the Brookings Institute, RAND Health, the SCAN Foundation, the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services and many other organizations at the forefront of the health care policy debate. In addition, industry leaders and prominent political figures will also participate in the Center.

"Over the last two years we have seen what may be the most sweeping changes to the U.S. health care system in history. While a number of the reforms have begun to take hold, it is clear that years of additional debate lie ahead as courts seek to resolve challenges to key aspects of the new law and as the practical implications of other changes become clear," said Karen Lovitch, Practice Leader of Mintz Levin's Health Law Practice.

"The Mintz Levin Center for Health Law & Policy will provide a forum to stimulate thoughtful discussion that helps to advance a health policy agenda to address a multitude of health care issues, ranging from quality and cost to insurance and access, to caring for the country's most vulnerable citizens," added Mr. Koutsoumpas.

Mr. Koutsoumpas, who will serve as the Center's Executive Director, has more than 30 years of experience in government, public policy and issue advocacy. Prior to joining ML Strategies, he served as Corporate Vice President/Federal Affairs with UnitedHealth Group and Executive Vice President and Chief of Public Affairs at VITAS Healthcare Corporation, following several years of service in state and federal government.

Among the Center's first initiatives will be working with the National Center for Medical Legal Partnership (NCMLP), a program of Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center, to address issues facing the nation's most vulnerable patients, notably children, the disabled and the elderly, in accessing health care. First established as a local program in 1993 at Boston Medical Center, NCMLP is now a national organization that promotes a unique model of care delivery that incorporates legal assistance to the health care delivery setting with programs in over 225 hospitals and health centers around the country.

"Having worked with Mintz Levin and ML Strategies for many years, I am confident that they have the expertise, reputation and relationships to bring together the stakeholders who will usher in real and positive change to our health care delivery system," said Ellen Lawton, Executive Director of NCMLP.

Among the issues that the Center will be addressing are the mandate for states to establish healthcare exchanges and the issue of Medicare reform. Early on, the Center will also be working with Bill Novelli, the former CEO of AARP and a Professor at the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business, to promote a national coalition developing a new model of care for the nation’s frail elderly population.

"Having worked for years in public policy, I am really looking forward to partnering with the Center and am excited about the creative, solutions-oriented, and thoughtful approach that they will bring in addressing vital health care issues," said Mr. Novelli.

Jim Capretta, a Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and former Associate Director at the White House Office of Management and Budget from 2001-2004 where he was in charge of issues related to health care, Social Security, education and welfare programs, added, "The launch of the Center for Health Law & Policy could not come at a more important moment. Now more than ever, participants in the nation's health system need real experts to help them navigate the extremely complex legal and policy challenges of today's changing health care landscape. I am excited that this new center has committed itself to pursuing higher quality, lower cost health care for all Americans."

In addition, in order to foster the sharing of ideas, the Center plans to host regular events at its Washington, D.C. office featuring prominent members of Congress and industry leaders, as well as regularly publish white papers and other materials designed to promote the development of innovative health care-related policies.

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