Upcoming Education Session: Leading Through Mergers and Acquisitions

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June 4, 2024

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Leading Through Mergers and Acquisitions

June 20 | 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Austin Diagnostic Clinic

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The only constant in life is change, and no industry has experienced more change and upheaval in recent years than the healthcare industry. Hospitals have been caught up in a sweeping trend of consolidation and there has been much debate about whether consolidation in the healthcare sector will help or hurt patients, with many arguing that fewer hospitals will result in higher prices and inferior care. Others argue the exact opposite. The forces driving change are varied, as are the approaches hospitals are taking to adapt. One of the clearest results of change is the recent surge in merger and acquisition activity. As a leader in the healthcare industry, executives must be prepared to lead their organization, their employees and community through this transition.



  • Darren Skyles
    Partner – Nelson Mullins


  • Hal Katz
    Partner – Husch Blackwell
  • Patrick LaRue
    Partner – Nelson Mullins
  • Kevin Wood
    Chair, Healthcare & Life Sciences Industry Groups

Event Details:

• Time: 11:30 am – 1 pm
• Location: Austin Diagnostic Clinic | 12221 North Mopac Expressway, Austin

Directions: McKinney Falls Classroom located in the Austin Diagnostic Clinic’s Administrative Office Suite. Their Suite is on the 4th floor, South Wing of St. David’s North Austin Medical Center, 12221 N MoPac Expressway, Austin, TX 78758.

• Lunch provided


Presenter Bios:

Hal Katz
Partner – Husch Blackwell

Hal Katz is a Partner at Husch Blackwell LLP and a member of the firm’s Healthcare, Life Sciences, and Education Strategic Business Unit. He is certified in Health Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and has focused his practice on the healthcare industry for nearly 30 years, representing for-profit, nonprofit, and governmental entities.

Hal has been at the forefront of healthcare evolution and innovation, witnessing firsthand the successes and failures at both the industry and business levels. His clients include medical groups, surgery centers, hospitals, accountable care organizations, managed care organizations, post-acute and home health providers, health plans, healthcare technology companies, and private equity funds. His representation of these clients includes advising on corporate, transactional, regulatory, and public policy matters. He uses his extensive knowledge to help clients navigate the complexities of the healthcare industry and benefit from lessons learned.

Hal serves in several leadership roles for the American Bar Association’s Health Law Section and is on the Board of the Texas e-Health Alliance and IntegralCare. He is a regular speaker on issues surrounding the healthcare industry and has been recognized in “Leaders in Their Field,” Healthcare Law, Chambers USA Guide 2007-2023. Hal is also a past Chair of the American Bar Association Health Law Section and the Texas State Bar Health Law Section.

Patrick LaRue
Partner – Nelson Mullins

Patrick’s practice focuses on transactional matters, corporate counseling, governance and advisory services, and mergers and acquisitions. Patrick has 23 years of experience serving clients and industries including, healthcare, commercial real estate and leasing, capital markets, private equity, energy, oil & gas, finance and banking & financial services. Patrick also serves as outside general counsel to start-ups, emerging companies, private equity portfolios, family offices, partnerships, and joint ventures.

Kevin Wood
Chair, Healthcare & Life Sciences Industry Groups

As chair of Winstead’s Healthcare Industry Group, Kevin Wood assists all types of healthcare providers in navigating the complex and ever-changing rules that control how they can enter business arrangements with each other and to ensure regulatory compliance. Kevin draws on his deep knowledge of the healthcare industry and its regulatory agencies to ensure his clients are aware of the latest challenges facing those in the healthcare industry, providers and non-providers alike. He works closely with his team to stay ahead of the latest challenges and comes alongside healthcare providers to find practical solutions to meet and overcome these challenges.

Kevin regularly advises clients on entity formation and structure, including analysis and documentation of joint venture arrangements to ensure appropriate organization for regulatory, licensing, and credentialing purposes, and he helps with business acquisitions and dispositions in the healthcare space, especially for due diligence assessment related to compliance needs and for change of ownership requirements.

He is also skilled at analyzing arrangements to ensure compliance with fraud and abuse requirements, including the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, physician self-referral prohibition (aka Stark Law), False Claims Act, and corresponding state law equivalents, as well as developing and implementing appropriate policies and procedures to ensure compliance with privacy, security, and breach notification requirements for healthcare data under HIPAA/HITECH and related laws.

Kevin has extensive experience in analyzing and responding to healthcare data breaches, including interacting with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (OCR), and preparing applicable notice to affected individuals. Kevin regularly assists healthcare providers with obtaining proper licensure, certification, or enrollment so they can provide services and get paid for those services. Kevin also assesses, and counsels clients in responding to, requests and investigations by oversight agencies such as, among others, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Texas Health & Human Services Commission (HHSC), Office of Inspector General of Health & Human Services (OIG), Texas Office of Inspector General-HHSC, and Texas Medical Board (TMB).

Kevin is a contributing writer for Winstead’s Destination Health Law blog.

Darren Skyles
Partner – Nelson Mullins

Darren has deep knowledge and experience in healthcare legal matters, including mergers & acquisitions, transactional enterprises, regulatory issues, compliance/governance, operational matters, corporate transactions, fraud and abuse, privacy and security, medical staff issues, governmental entity laws, litigation, and outside general counsel services. Darren also collaborates with clients on value-based care payment models and advises on specialized corporate transactions in the healthcare space.

Darren maintains a focus on artificial intelligence (AI) governance issues. As clients’ risks and vulnerabilities with the rapidly advancing pace of AI development and application increase, Darren counsels clients on its expansion and challenges, helping them develop effective AI governance programs.

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