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Overview

Deborah focuses her practice on representing physicians, behavioral health providers, hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers and multispecialty clinics in operational and regulatory matters.

Since the inception of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Deborah has represented numerous clients in compliance and before the Office of Civil Rights. She successfully guides HIPAA investigations, including breaches involving hundreds of individuals. She also provides expert testimony in court cases regarding privacy and security requirements under state and federal law.

Deborah’s extensive experience also includes:

  • Developing peer review policies and procedures, and representing both physicians and providers in peer review hearings.
  • Drafting medical staff bylaws and related policies and procedures, and assisting healthcare entities with interpretation and enforcement of bylaws.
  • Drafting credentialing policies and procedures, training hospitals on credentialing, and advising hospitals and other healthcare entities on credentialing matters.
  • Representing physicians and mental health providers in licensing board proceedings and employment matters.
  • Serving as a hearing officer, conflict manager and mediator in dispute resolutions between hospitals and medical staff.

With a master's degree in social work and as a Certified Mediator, Deborah particularly enjoys using her counseling skills to resolve conflicts before they develop into matters of litigation. Before joining Husch Blackwell, Deborah practiced with Brown McCarroll.


Industry

Services

Recognition

  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent
  • Texas Super Lawyers, Health Care Law, 2004-2011

Education

  • J.D., University of Texas at Austin School of Law
  • M.A., Our Lady of the Lake Worden School of Social Work
  • B.A., University of Texas at Austin
    • with honors

Admissions

  • Texas

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Advanced Health Law Conference, Planning Committee, 1998
  • American Bar Association 
    • Dispute Resolution and Conflict Management Task Force, Vice Chair 
    • eHealth Privacy & Security Interest Group, Chair, 2012-2013, Vice Chair, 2010-2012
  • iHealth Alliance 
  • National Association of Protection and Advocacy System, Legal Committee Co-Chair, 1994-1998
  • State Bar of Texas, Committee on Disabilities, 2002
  • Texas Attorney General’s HIPAA Preemption Task Force, 2003
  • Texas Legislative Personal Privacy Task Force, 2003; Limited Guardianship Task Force, 2002
Experience
  • Represented numerous hospitals in peer review hearings involving termination of medical staff members.
  • Facilitated dispute between the governing board and the medical staff for a large Texas hospital system involving revisions to medical staff bylaws, negotiations between the governing board and medical staff on hospital operational policies, and participation of medical staff in developing and implementing them.
  • Represented hospital and health care providers in mediations involving peer review, restrictive covenants and hospital privileges; assisted hospital in enforcing covenants against physicians.
  • Counsel hospitals in operational and regulatory issues including state licensing compliance, scope of practice, informed consent, advance directives, confidentiality of patient information and release of records, and emergency services and patient transfers.
  • Develop compliance plans and represent clients in fraud and abuse audits, meaningful use audits, HIPAA privacy and security compliance audits.
  • Worked with hospitals, surgery centers, hospital districts, ACOs, Health Information Exchanges, physician groups and a state impaired nurse program to develop HIPAA and HITECH privacy and security policies and procedures; complete risk assessments; and respond to security breaches.
  • Defended numerous clients in HIPAA investigations, including breaches involving more than 500 individuals. Provided expert testimony in court cases regarding privacy and security requirements under state and federal law.
  • Prepared Fraud and Abuse Compliance Plans, and represented health care providers in Fraud and Abuse Complaints, including Medicare and Medicaid complaints.
Community Leadership
  • Affiliates Risk Management Services, Inc., Former Board Member
  • Planned Parenthood of the Central Texas Region, Vice-chair of the Surgery Center Board
  • Former Chair of the American Bar Association’s eHealth Privacy and Security Interest Group
  • Vice Chair of the American Bar Association’s Health Law Section Conflict Management/Dispute Resolution Task Force
  • Ronald McDonald House at Dell Children’s Medical Hospital, Volunteer