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"I have had the pleasure of working closely with Wakaba Tessier on a number of issues related to my medical practice. She is a superb attorney who listens attentively to the legal questions and problems that I have posed to her. She has successfully helped us through a number of issues, and my practice and business are stronger due to her legal expertise."

Timothy C. Bachenberg, M.D., CEO, Manna Health

Overview

At age 18, Wakaba came to the United States from Japan to pursue higher education. After law school she forged into healthcare, and now focuses her practice on regulatory compliance and privacy issues facing providers.

Wakaba focuses her practice on state and federal health privacy law, health information regulations and security issues. Healthcare clients rely on Wakaba for compliance strategies that optimize health data benefits while mitigating evolving risks. She regularly counsels clients on sensitive and highly regulated issues including health information confidentiality, mental health records, multistate recordkeeping and data transfer, and big data strategies for the creation and implementation of data warehouses.

Wakaba also works closely with healthcare clients, with a focus on pharmacies, laboratories and research institutions to help navigate regulatory hurdles involved in research compliance, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, licensing and registration, supervision requirements and government survey responses.  She regularly negotiates and manages healthcare transactions, including complex strategic alliances related to health information exchanges, clinical integrated networks, and acquisitions and mergers of various healthcare providers. As a well-rounded healthcare attorney, Wakaba regularly advises clients on federal fraud and abuse issues related to the Stark Law, the False Claims Act and the federal Anti-Kickback Statute.

"I have had the pleasure of working closely with Wakaba Tessier on a number of issues related to my medical practice. She is a superb attorney who listens attentively to the legal questions and problems that I have posed to her. She has successfully helped us through a number of issues, and my practice and business are stronger due to her legal expertise."

Timothy C. Bachenberg, M.D., CEO, Manna Health


Industry

Services

Recognition

  • Law360 Health Editorial Advisory Board, 2020
  • Ingram’s magazine, “40 Under 40,” 2018
  • Kansas and Missouri Super Lawyers, Health Care, Rising Star, 2018-2019
  • On Being a Lawyer of Color, Midwest Region Hot List 2014

Education

  • J.D., Washington University in St. Louis School of Law
    • Washington University Law Review, Managing Editor
    • Women's Law Caucus
  • M.S., Valparaiso University
    • International Commerce and Policy
  • B.A., Wellesley College
    • Psychology and Japanese Studies

Admissions

  • Missouri
  • Illinois

Professional Memberships and Certifications

  • American Health Law Association
  • Health Care Compliance Association
  • Missouri Society of Health Care Attorneys

Languages

  • Japanese, fluent
Experience

Specialty Pharmacy

  • Assisted specialty pharmacy with enrollment in all 50 states and District of Columbia Medicaid programs, and advised on ongoing compliance.

Healthcare

  • Created and implemented administrative review process for all human research studies for large health system, including development of related policies and procedures.
  • Represented large health system in development of uniform call coverage arrangements for its hospitals, including coordinating valuation efforts and drafting call coverage agreements.
  • Assisted in several transactions involving acquisition of specialty physician group practices by various health systems.
  • Assisted with the implementation of strategic partnerships with community providers to outsource operational functions.

Privacy

  • Served as HIPAA privacy counsel to large hospital health system.
  • Worked with universities to implement HIPAA privacy policies and procedures and counseled on compliance and operational issues related to same.

Compliance

  • Managed and led due diligence related to all licensure and certification issues in acquisition of a leading national laboratory.
  • Drafted uniform medical staff bylaws, rules and regulations, and policies and procedures for multistate health system to ensure compliance with Medicare conditions of participation with The Joint Commission standards and applicable state law.
  • Advised medical spa and concierge medical practice on complying with state laws on operations.
  • Counselled university wellness centers and athletic departments to streamline and improve their clinical operations through billing compliance, reviewed care delivery protocols and employment/independent contractor agreements.

COVID-19 Research and Laboratory Testing

  • Advised national laboratory on licensing, CLIA and FDA regulatory issues related to COVID-19 screening and surveillance procedures using its FDA authorized diagnostic test, and analyzed impact on PREP Act immunity.
  • Assisted in the conversion of an animal laboratory to a human laboratory in the areas of CLIA, licensure, privacy, and billing matters.
  • Drafted and reviewed numerous COVID-19 testing agreements for a variety of clients including hospital systems, institutions of higher education, and employers of all sizes.
  • Assisted in the sale of a nutrigenomic laboratory to provide healthcare regulatory due diligence guidance to minimize risk.
  • Provided guidance to a pathology lab in dealings with the CLIA surveyor and achieved a favorable outcome that resulted in no corrective actions.
Blog | March 13, 2019
NHIA 2019 Annual Conference
Articles | July/August 2018
Missouri Medicine: Continuing Obligations Following the Unexpected Death of a Physician: Things to Keep in Mind

This article examines the ongoing obligations of practices immediately following a physician death, from both a group and solo practitioner perspective.

Webinar | November 8, 2018
Learn How to Protect Your Business and the Patients You Serve - November 8, 2018

NHIA Talk Infusion Webinar: Navigating HIPAA - Compliance, Enforcement and Breach Response

Webinar | September 26, 2018
Research Compliance:
Hot Topics in Education & Healthcare Settings
September 26, 2018

Please join the attorneys of Husch Blackwell for a presentation on research compliance issues relevant to Higher Education and Healthcare programs, particularly those in Academic Medical Centers.

News Releases | April 10, 2020
Wakaba Tessier Named to Law360 2020 Health Editorial Advisory Board

Tessier will serve as one of 10 subject-matter experts who will offer feedback and insight on Law360's health coverage.

News Releases | November 14, 2018
Thomson Reuters' Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers and Rising Stars 2018 Names 58 Husch Blackwell Attorneys

Husch Blackwell has 58 attorneys in the 2018 edition of Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.

News Releases | April 24, 2018
Ingram's: 40 Under Forty Class of 2018

Wakaba Tessier is recognized by Ingram’s among the magazine’s 2018 40 Under Forty Class.

Outside the Office

Wakaba enjoys watching Netflix documentaries and spending time with her family – husband David, two young children and two dogs.

She is skilled at ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging, because her mother once owned a flower shop.  

Community Leadership

Wakaba is passionate about healthcare access for all, regardless of one’s ability to pay.

She currently serves as a board member for the Health Partnership Clinic.

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