Lara is a trusted advisor to clients ranging from traditional health care providers to disrupter digital health platforms as they navigate the practical and regulatory challenges of health care innovation. Her unique depth of knowledge across HIPAA privacy and other regulatory issues governing the use of data, state and federal fraud and abuse laws, business planning and operational issues has led colleagues to describe Lara as the “Swiss Army knife” of health care problem-solving.
Working at the intersection of health care and technology, Lara counsels telemedicine and other digital health clients on business plan strategy and implementation, state-specific telemedicine regulation, corporate practice of medicine, the scope of practice, fee splitting, anti-kickback, reimbursement, and other health care regulatory issues. Leveraging her prior in-house experience at two nonprofit health systems, she also advises health care providers on the incorporation of telehealth and other technology infrastructures, which has seen a vast uptick as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lara advises health care providers, clinical trials companies, ancillary providers, technology start-ups, HMOs, insurance companies, and large technology companies on HIPAA and other health data privacy and security regulations, including developing and implementing HIPAA compliance programs. She has also led significant HIPAA breach investigations, advising clients on risk management and mitigation efforts.
Prior to joining Mintz, Lara was a partner at a boutique health care law firm, where she helped lead the regulatory practice, guiding clients not only on risk avoidance but also on essential challenges of growth, including the transition to value-based care arrangements and the development of new health technology and digital health–related products and services. She also served as an in house attorney at two nonprofit health systems, Sutter Health and Community Medical Centers, where she advised extensively on Anti-Kickback, Stark Law, day-to-day operational risk and cost control management as well as creating, evaluating and implementing internal policies, compliance programs, and marketing and training initiatives.
Lara is regularly invited to speak on challenges facing the health care industry, including HIPAA and other regulatory issues.
She maintains an active pro bono practice and has been recognized as a Pro Bono Champion by the American Health Lawyers Association.
A member of the LA Tri Club, Lara trains as a triathlete, runs several triathlons a year, and competes in the 70.3-mile Half Ironman.
- University of the Pacific (JD, with distinction)
- University of the Pacific (BA, cum laude)
Telehealth, Digital Health, and Health Information Technology
- Structured health technology business models to comply with health care laws and regulations.
- Represented several telehealth and management company clients in responding to California Medical Board information requests and investigations.
- Managed regulatory due diligence in connection with the proposed sale of a telehealth provider.
- Successfully negotiated a software development agreement with a large health care system for a software start-up client.
- Performed regulatory due diligence for a large health care distribution company’s purchase of a health care technology company.
- Provided ongoing health care regulatory advice to an EHR company.
Hospitals, Health Systems, and Other Health Care Providers
- Represented California hospitals in evaluating, negotiating, and drafting physician agreements, including professional services agreements, administrative services agreements, call coverage, and hospital-based agreements.
- Successfully defended a hospital in a million-dollar dispute with the State of California over an incentive it had earned for being an early adopter of electronic health records (EHR). After a routine audit, the State alleged that our client had counted patients wrongly and should only have received $3.27 million of the $4.21 million it had been paid. The discrepancy turned on complex definitions about what constituted a patient day. Specifically, the State alleged that psychiatric bed days were not eligible to be counted in the total bed days for EHR purposes. We argued that the billing and cost reporting of the psychiatric bed days for our client were countable under the State’s program. The administrative law judge agreed with our position and cut the refund request down to approximately $192,000.
- Developed business associate toolkit to assist a hospital client in managing business associate relationships.
- Structured joint patient assistance program to address health information privacy and security requirements.
- Developed a toolkit to assist a hospital client in managing patients who are refusing discharge or are otherwise difficult to place in an appropriate level of care.
- Restructured management services agreements to comply with California corporate practice of medicine prohibitions.
- Investigated health care compliance implementation deficiencies for a hospital system and provided recommendations for improving the compliance program.
- Served as lead regulatory counsel to a large health system in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, the largest hospital bankruptcy in US history. The matter has involved corporate and regulatory support for the system’s day-to-day operations as well as extensive regulatory work on the sale of the system’s six hospitals, including counsel regarding California attorney general conditions and the approval process.
- Managed due diligence and pre- and post-acquisition notices for venture capital purchase of multiple ambulatory surgery centers and pain clinics.
Life Sciences and Medical Devices
- Negotiated settlement of disciplinary action with the California Board of Pharmacy for a medical device wholesaler.
- Evaluated medical device and biotechnology company marketing campaigns for compliance with the federal Anti-Kickback Statute and other fraud and abuse laws.
- Evaluated proposed marketing materials for stem cell products.
- Developed a 50-state, post-acquisition regulatory filing plan for a large diagnostics company.
Recognition & Awards
- American Health Lawyers Association: Pro Bono Champion (2014)
- Member, American Health Lawyers Association
- Member, California Society for Healthcare Attorneys
- Vice Chair, LACBA-LACMA Committee on Biomedical Ethics