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Rachel E. Yount

(she/her/hers)

Associate

[email protected]

+1.202.434.7427

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Rachel’s practice involves a variety of regulatory, compliance, and transactional matters for a broad range clients across the health care industry, including health care systems, managed care organizations, pharmacies, device and pharmaceutical manufacturers, long-term and post-acute care providers, and private equity firms investing in the health care industry. 

Rachel combines her industry knowledge and her deep understanding of the complex legal frameworks regulating the health care industry to provide her clients with practical, strategic guidance that supports innovation and business objectives. She is particularly well versed in the federal anti-kickback statute, the Stark Law, state fraud and abuse laws, beneficiary inducement prohibitions, provider-based rules, Medicare and Medicaid program requirements, and the federal Physician Payments Sunshine Act. She routinely advises clients on the legal, practical, and fraud and abuse implications of business arrangements and sales and marketing practices.

Rachel regularly assists with implementing effective health care compliance programs for clients in various health care sectors, including managed care organizations, health systems, and pharmaceutical manufacturers, to name a few. She has assisted both with developing brand new compliance programs for health care companies just starting out and maturing existing compliance programs to support health care companies’ efforts to expand. During a three-month secondment from Mintz, she also served as the interim chief compliance officer for a nonprofit managed care organization that offers Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, and Marketplace health plans.

On the transactional side, Rachel frequently serves as health care regulatory counsel in both M&A transactions and private equity investments, involving managed care organizations, pharmacies, and a range of health care providers. She has experience in complex due diligence, contracting matters, identifying fraud and abuse risks, and advising on regulatory issues relevant to the target.

Previously, Rachel was a compliance attorney with Sentara Healthcare, a health care system with 12 acute care hospitals and more than 300 sites of care in Virginia and North Carolina. Focusing on the physician contracting process, Rachel developed strategic solutions to operational problems and provided legal support for compliance issues across the system. Her in-house experience informs her pragmatic, business-savvy counsel to health care industry clients.

An active member of the American Bar Association’s Health Law Section, Rachel assisted in drafting several revisions to the group’s reference guide, Health Care Fraud and Abuse: Practical Perspectives, and organized and moderated a panel of senior government attorneys for an ABA networking event. She is frequently invited to speak on health care compliance and other health law matters. She is also a frequent contributor to the firm’s Health care Viewpoints.

 

Education

  • William and Mary Law School (JD)
  • University of Tennessee (BA)

Experience

  • Served as the Interim Chief Compliance Officer at CareSource, an Ohio managed care organization offering Medicaid, Medicare, and Marketplace plans.
  • Acted as special counsel for the initial public offering of Blued, China’s largest LGBT dating app and surrogacy facilitator.
  • Represented a health care provider in a self-disclosure to CMS for potential Stark Law violations.
  • Represented a health care provider under investigation by the Department of Justice for alleged violations of the anti-kickback statute and Stark Law.

Recognition & Awards

  • Recognized by The Legal 500 United States for Healthcare: Service Providers (2021)

Involvement

  • Member, American Health Lawyers Association (2011-present)
  • Member, Health Law Section, American Bar Association (2016-present)
  • Vice Chair, Health Law Committee of the Young Lawyers Division, American Bar Association (2017-2018)
  • Member, Health Care Compliance Association (2014-2016)

Recent Insights

News & Press

Events

Viewpoints

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On September 15, 2021, the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services (OIG) issued a favorable Advisory Opinion regarding a hospital’s proposal to implement a program through which patients who experience complications after specific joint replacement procedures can receive free items and services to treat the complications. The OIG likened the program to a warranty for joint replacement procedures.
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On Friday, August 6, 2021, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the preeminent trade association representing pharmacies companies, announced revisions to its Code on Interactions with Health Care Professionals (PhRMA Code) that will become effective January 1, 2022. The PhRMA Code is a voluntary code for pharmaceutical companies, but its standards are considered to be best practices and are commonly adhered to by pharmaceutical and medical device companies. Moreover, some states (e.g. California, Massachusetts, Nevada, and the District of Columbia) require pharmaceutical companies to adopt a code consistent with the PhRMA Code.

The changes to the PhRMA Code are undoubtedly in response to a November 16, 2020, Special Fraud Alert from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General (OIG), on “fraud and abuse risks associated … speaker programs.” (For additional information on the OIG’s Special Fraud Alert, please see our November 25, 2020 blog post.) Speaker programs are a common practice in the industry and generally entail pharmaceutical and medical device companies retaining health care professionals (HCPs) to speak or present to educate their peers on the companies’ drugs or devices.
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For many health care systems, patient leakage – when patients leave a health care system’s network in favor of out-of-network providers – is a rampant problem that results in substantial lost revenue. While sometimes patient leakage is just a result of patient choice, often the issue lies with employed or contracted physicians referring patients for services outside the network. Many health care systems may be wary of including in their physician contracts requirements that physicians refer patients exclusively within the network (otherwise known as directed referral requirements) based on concerns with interfering with physicians’ medical judgment and/or the common misconception that the Stark Law prohibits directed referral requirements.

To the contrary, the Stark Law actually permits directed referral requirements, provided that certain conditions are met. CMS recently enacted changes to the Stark Law regulations, effective January 19, 2021, that provide additional clarity on how health care providers can permissibly use directed referral requirements. These recent changes have seemingly triggered new awareness and interest in how health care systems can utilize directed referral requirements to combat patient leakage.
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Pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers should be advised that the government is using its enforcement authority under the Open Payments Program (otherwise known as the Sunshine Act) in conjunction with the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) against manufacturers for alleged kickbacks paid to referring physicians. On May 19, 2021, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced its second publicly-available settlement involving alleged violations of the Open Payments Program, following on the heels of the DOJ’s first publicly-available Open Payments Program settlement back in October 2020.

The allegations for both settlements are very similar; manufacturers allegedly paid referring physicians in the form of meals, travel expense, and entertainment to induce them to use the manufacturers’ medical devices. Working in partnership with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the DOJ asserted not only that the entertainment expenses were kickbacks in violation of the AKS, but also that the manufacturers failed to report to CMS the entertainment expenses as payments to the physicians in violation of the Open Payments Program.
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Podcast Viewpoint Image
At the end of 2020, the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued final rules modifying and expanding upon the regulatory safe harbors and exceptions to the federal Anti-Kickback Statute and the Stark Law, respectively.
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Podcast Viewpoint Image
At the end of 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued final rules modifying and expanding upon the regulatory safe harbors and exceptions to the federal Anti-Kickback Statute and the Stark Law, respectively.
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In this final post of our blog series on the substantial changes to the regulations implementing the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) and the Physician Self-Referral Law (commonly known as the Stark Law), we cover change to (i) key Stark Law terminology, and (ii) the scope and application of the Stark Law exceptions. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized new definitions for various key terms used in the Stark Law regulations as well as revisions to existing terms that are generally intended to provide more certainty and flexibility. This post discusses a few of the highlights, but the final regulations contain many others.
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Health Care Viewpoints Thumbnail
On January 19, 2021, significant changes to the regulations implementing the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) and the Physician Self-Referral Law (commonly known as the Stark Law) went into effect. The sweeping changes come through two final rules – one issued by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) addressing changes to the AKS and the Beneficiary Inducements CMP, and one issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) addressing changes to the Stark Law.

In this fifth installment of our blog series covering the changes, we dive into (i) the new AKS safe harbor and Stark Law exception for cybersecurity technology and related services, and (ii) the significant changes to the existing safe harbor and exception for electronic health records (EHR) technology.
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Webinar Recording: Historic Changes to HHS's Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law Regulations

December 17, 2020 | Webinar | By Karen Lovitch, Rachel Yount

In this webinar, Karen Lovitch and Rachel Yount reviewed the sweeping changes and provided practical examples as to how the industry can take advantage of the sweeping changes to the regulations implementing the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS), the Physician Self-Referral Law (known as the Stark Law), and the civil monetary penalty rules regarding beneficiary inducements. 
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As you know, we have been parsing through the HHS rules that finalize important changes to the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) and Physician Self-Referral Law (Stark Law) regulations, which go into effect January 19, 2021. Today, we are taking a look at changes to existing AKS safe harbors and Stark Law exceptions, and, an extra add-on: a new Stark Exception for Limited Remuneration to a Physician. Mintz is also hosting a webinar during which we will review the key provisions from the final rules and provide practical examples of how the industry can take advantage of these significant changes. We hope you can join us.
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News & Press

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Mintz Member and Chair of the firm’s Health Law Practice Karen S. Lovitch and Associate Rachel E. Yount co-authored a two-part Law360 expert analysis series that examined key provisions of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ final rules amending the regulations implementing the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS), the Physician Self-Referral Law — commonly known as the Stark Law — and the civil monetary penalty rules regarding beneficiary inducements, and provided practical examples of how the industry can take advantage of these significant changes.
News Thumbnail
Mintz Member and Chair of the firm’s Health Law Practice Karen S. Lovitch and Associate Rachel E. Yount co-authored a two-part Law360 expert analysis series that examined key provisions of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ final rules amending the regulations implementing the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS), the Physician Self-Referral Law — commonly known as the Stark Law — and the civil monetary penalty rules regarding beneficiary inducements, and provided practical examples of how the industry can take advantage of these significant changes.
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In an article published by Bloomberg Law, Mintz Associate Rachel Yount was quoted discussing the easing of state pharmacy laws surrounding COVID-19 and the benefit of getting out-of-state help when needed.