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Oct. 10, 2022

Nelson Mullins Expands National Healthcare Practice with the Addition of Partners Christine Worthen and Robert Wade and Of Counsel Kendall Walker

National law firm Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP announced today the expansion of its national healthcare practice with the arrival of Robert “Bob” Wade and Christine Burke Worthen as partners and Kendall Walker as of counsel. Wade focuses on healthcare compliance matters and will be located in the firm’s Nashville office. Worthen focuses her practice on providing legal and strategic advice to healthcare organizations on provider and payor relationships and will be resident in the Boston and Fort Lauderdale offices. Walker is a healthcare lawyer with a focus on Medicare program and reimbursement matters and will be located in the Columbia, South Carolina office.

Worthen joins from Northern Light Health and Hospital System in Maine, where she was vice president and senior counsel. She has broad experience working on matters pertaining to participation in CMS Innovation Center payment models, managed care contract negotiations, and value-based payment arrangements and hospital and physician reimbursement matters. Worthen also addresses privacy and security issues under HIPAA and also has 20 years of experience providing ERISA counsel to employers. Additionally, she has broad-based experience advising clients on retirement, compensation, and other benefit plans. She has represented clients in government audits by the IRS and the Department of Labor and assisted clients with other regulatory aspects of self-insured health plans, such as COBRA, Mental Health Parity, the No Surprises Act, and the Affordable Care Act.

Wade joins the firm from the South Bend and Washington D.C. offices of Barnes & Thornburg, where he was a partner. He will be relocating from Indiana to Nashville shortly and is seeking admission in Tennessee. He has been nationally recognized in the application of the Stark Law for more than 25 years, but also has broad-based experience in the healthcare industry and counsels clients on fraud and abuse issues, fair market value, commercial reasonableness, and developing, monitoring, and documenting effective healthcare compliance programs. He serves clients nationally in compliance matters and assists in negotiating and implementing corporate integrity agreements and in documenting and defending financial arrangements between healthcare providers. Wade has frequently represented healthcare providers, including hospitals, large health systems, and referring physicians in enforcement matters brought by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Office of Inspector General.

Walker joins from BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, where he was associate general counsel. He has been in the practice of law since 1991, with experience in multiple practice areas including healthcare, construction, and administrative and corporate law. He spent over 20 years in direct support of the Medicare Program, having served as primary counsel for three Medicare Administrative Contractors (“MACs”) and one Medicare Qualified Independent Contractor (“QIC”). Walker has substantial experience with most aspects of the Medicare Program and reimbursement matters.

“We are pleased to welcome Christine and Kendall to the firm and our team. With her more than 20 years of experience in a variety of healthcare regulatory employment and ERISA matters, Christine will be a great asset to the team,” said healthcare transactional and regulatory team leader and Myrtle Beach Office Managing Partner Tom Moran. “We are also excited to have a professional with Kendall’s experience with the full range of Medicare Program matters.”

“Bob is an important addition to our growing national healthcare practice, not only for his unique Stark Law experience, but also his broad-based compliance and criminal and civil healthcare fraud enforcement experience," said Fort Lauderdale Office Managing Partner and Team Leader Gabe Imperato. “His addition to our Healthcare Enforcement, Compliance and Litigation Team will enable our firm to further expand and extend our level of service for our clients.  Bob’s wealth of knowledge and experience will expand service to our clients in enforcement, compliance, operational, and regulatory matters.”

Nelson Mullins’ Healthcare Group includes a combination of highly experienced attorneys in the healthcare industry, including enforcement, compliance and regulatory matters, litigation, tax and finance, antitrust, employment, state and federal policy, data breach and privacy, real estate and transactions. The multi-disciplinary team of attorneys combines real-world experience with innovative legal strategies to drive practical, real-time decision making.

Established in 1897, Nelson Mullins is an Am Law 100 firm of more than 930 attorneys and government relations professionals with offices in 15 states and Washington, D.C. For more information on the firm, go to www.nelsonmullins.com.