Cancer survivor and six-time rider of the Pan-Mass Challenge
Former Deputy General Counsel of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health
Today we’re tweeting with health care lawyer, consultant and cancer survivor @Healthblawg
- @Healthblawg, thank you for joining us today on Twitter. Tell us: who is @Healthblawg?
I’m David Harlow, Boston-based health care lawyer, consultant, blogger, tweep & escaped New Yorker
- Tell us about your law practice.
As a lawyer, I help #healthcare clients navigate the maze of business & regulatory issues unique to the industry…
this includes structuring relationships and running interference w regulators …
as a #healthcare consultant, I help clients define goals and develop structures and systems to achieve them…
I also work with folks implementing #healthcare #socialmedia strategies See http://bit.ly/uxjg1 and http://bit.ly/4cLNub
- Wow – sounds like you’re the guy to know! What type of clients do you represent?
#healthcare providers, vendors and payors – ranging from small MD practices to imaging centers to academic medical centers
- What is the single most important legal issue affecting those clients?
Reimbursement & regulation drive the business of healthcare; we tie ourselves in knots trying to maximize $ & compliance …
These days, everything is done with one eye on the (unknowable) future shape of federal #healthreform
- What do you tell every new client before you start working for them?
I put my publc & privt sector exper, & my virtual netwrk (vs my fmr downtwn firm) to work for you, effectively & efficiently
- Tell us about one of the more significant client representations you’ve had.
Diag imaging and cancer trmt provider dealing w st CON laws and fed antikickback & self-referral laws thru many transactions
Had a healthy dose of business and regulatory issues in every bite
- Sounds very complex; hope it turned out well. Why do your clients hire you?
Not my boyish good looks … Expertise, experience, efficiency, effectiveness
- What’s the most active area of your practice right now? Is that typical?
Diagnostic imaging & anything touched by HIPAA and what I call Son of HIPAA (from ARRA) from perspec of providers & others
There’s always some new reg du jour that generates a lot of heat
- Makes sense. You touched on this earlier, but what do the proposed Health Care reforms mean to your clients?
Saving $ for society means taking it away from healthcare providers They must learn to be more efficient and effective …
Innovations like patient-centered medical home http://bit.ly/HUHaj and value-based purchasing http://bit.ly/urdru are key
- Clearly there are significant changes to come. Has the econ crisis affected your clients’ ability to do business today?
Sure: access to capital issues delay construction projects, uninsured folks defer elective care
- How do you market your practice?
On line and in person: blog, tweets, LinkedIn, Fcbk (cf http://bit.ly/smlaw); also good old fashioned speaking, schmoozing
- Tell us about your blog, Health Blawg (http://bit.ly/ixjIo). Who do you write it for? Why should they read it?
It’s for folks in the healthcare thick of things; I try not to repeat news but to analyze developments, put them in context
- Why did you decide to become active on Twitter? Are you achieving those objectives?
1. Connect w folks w related professional interests & see what develops 2. Channel for blog – Seems to work for me
- What specific impact on referrals and/or client engagements have you realized from your Web 2.0 activities?
Broader reach locally and nationally; clients, referral sources & collaborators find me &/or validate their choice online…
for example, my 3 newest clients & my current biggest client all found me via web 2.0 activities
- That’s great! How much time do you spend each day developing / enhancing your brand?
Probably averages out to 1/2 to 1 hour a day or so, through blogging, tweeting, speaking, press interviews, etc.
- Let’s switch gears. What is the most significant issue currently facing the legal profession?
Top issue for profession: Communicating value of services to clients; alt billing and implosion of BigLaw are symptoms
- What will the legal landscape look like in 10 years?
More fragmentd & more consoldated, w commodity work & bet-the-farm work split up even more than today; decline of BigLaw…
Big oppty for small firms to move in to the great middle
- What would you do if you weren’t a lawyer?
Things I almost did: get a PhD in history & literature; become a professional photographer or photography curator
- How do you want to be remembered?
Smart, funny guy w perfect work-life balance, & legal & healthcare chops
- What do you do when you’re not working?
Family: off-grid last wk camping. Biking, incl the PMC http://bit.ly/PMC2009. Photography http://bit.ly/12CmbJ Love jazz too
- Congrats on raising $4667! What advice do you have for lawyers currently under-/ unemployed due to the economic crisis?
Thanks … Be flexible. Go out on a limb. Do something you love in your free time. Network, network, network.
- And our last question for you: What advice do you have for people going to law school today?
Your future clients are businesses & running a law practice is a business; you need to understand business, not just the law
That’s great advice. Thank you very much for answering our questions today
Thanks Lance – My pleasure
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