Deborah L. Gersh
Deborah Gersh is the co-chair of Ropes & Gray’s nationally recognized health care practice and the co-leader of the firm’s Health Care and Life Sciences Industry Group. Deborah also actively participates in the data, privacy & cybersecurity group. Industry leaders view Debbie as a trailblazer and “go-to” advisor for highly sophisticated and novel transactions as well as the complex regulatory regimes implicated by such transactions. Throughout the pandemic, Deborah has been advising clients on issues related to COVID-19, such as relief funding, crisis standards of care, and privacy and other constitutional issues involved by contact tracing. Ropes & Gray was the 2020 firm award winner of the Financial Times Enabling Businesses Response to Covid-19.
As an early thought leader on value-based care (“VBC”), Deborah has counseled many clients through the implementation of a broad range of VBC initiatives, including novel partnership among non-traditional players, new business models and structures aimed at supporting population management and collaborations related to digital health. She is frequently quoted in key industry publications and presents extensively on VBC.
Deborah is also recognized as a leading practitioner on data protection, including privacy and cyber-security as well as the use, aggregation and monetization of data. Deborah advises clients on an array of data privacy, protection and security matters under HIPAA, state privacy and security laws, and emerging guidance arising from the coronavirus pandemic. She has represented clients involved in high-profile security incidents involving protected health and other sensitive personal information. Her representation has included matters involving the United States Department of Health and Human Services and Office for Civil Rights, as well as HIPAA security audits and qui tam actions initiated by state and federal government authorities. She was part of the firm’s team that secured a landmark victory for LabMD in its dispute with the FTC over the company’s security practices.
Deborah’s clients include pharmaceutical manufacturers and medical device companies, managed care companies, dental service organizations and practice management companies, academic medical centers and community hospitals as well as private equity and venture capital companies investing in the health care and life sciences industries.
She is a member of the Ropes & Gray Women’s Forum, which promotes professional growth among female lawyers.
- Jacobs Holdings – Deborah advised Jacobs Holdings AG, a global professional investment firm based in Zurich, in its acquisition of Pittsburgh-based North American Dental Group, a network of more than 200 dental practices in 11 states and 23 regional markets.
- Heartland Dental – Deborah represented Heartland Dental in its acquisition of American Dental Partners Incorporated (ADPI), a dental support organization that supports 23 dental group practices spanning 278 locations across 21 states.
- Madison Dearborn Partners – Deborah represented MDP as lead regulatory counsel in its joint venture with Walgreens Infusion Services in which MDP acquired a majority interest in its infusion therapy business.
- Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center/CHESS – Deborah represented an academic medical center and a regional health system in a joint venture to create a population health management company. The new company will act as a foundation upon which the members can build, scale, and share the infrastructure capabilities and services required for population health management, succeed with value-based payment models, and collectively deliver superior value to their communities.
- Advocate Aurora Health Care – Deborah represented Advocate Aurora in a joint venture with Foxconn to deliver a new model of preventative care through a disruptive digital wellness platform, as well as in the development a clinically integrated network for a regional academic medical center.
- Health System – Deborah represented a leading health system in connection with a series of data security incidents experienced by business associates of the client, two of which resulted in reporting to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights (“OCR”) as breaches under HIPAA. One of the breaches was a national incident affecting more than 170 health systems that use Elekta software solutions; a second related to a billing vendor misprinting and mailing nearly 2,000 incorrect invoices to patients.
- Bain Capital Double Impact – Deborah represented Bain Capital Double Impact, the impact investing business of Bain Capital, in its acquisition of HealthDrive, a specialty provider of on-site dentistry, optometry, podiatry, and audiology to residents in long-term care, skilled nursing, and assisted living facilities from Riverside Partners, creating a multi-specialty health care platform for residents in extended care facilities.
- P-33 (Pro Bono) – Deborah is advising Chicago-based P33, a technology nonprofit, on its breakthrough healthcare analytics platform that draws on hospital data for use in tracking COVID-19 cases. The project brings together all of Illinois’ major hospitals to share real-time information about COVID-19 patients and cases to be able to quickly identify emerging hot spots and direct needed resources to those spots.
- Co-author, “FTC’s GoodRx Action Highlights Risks for Digital Health Companies,” Law360 (February 14, 2023)
- Co-author, “Next Compliance Steps for Health Companies Using Technology Tracking,” Law360 (December 21, 2022)
- Profiled, “Crain’s Notable Women in Law,” Crain’s Chicago Business (September 7, 2022)
- Quoted, “Hospital Eds May See Legal Issues After Abortion Ruling,” Healthcare Risk Management (August 25, 2022)
- Co-author, “Post-Dobbs HHS Guidance Brings Privacy Considerations,” Law360 (July 29, 2022)
- Quoted, “Ropes & Gray Adds Former CMS Attorney to Health Care Practice,” Law360 (March 21, 2022)
- Profiled, “Health Care Practice Group of the Year: Ropes & Gray,” Law360 (February 1, 2022)
- Quoted, “The Hottest FCA Cases And Trends To Watch In 2022,” Law360 (January 19, 2022)
- Co-author, “What DOJ's Cyberfraud Initiative Means For Health Cos.,” Law360 (December 22, 2021)
- Profiled, “Healthcare Trailblazers 2021,” The National Law Journal (March 1, 2021)
- Quoted, “Payers Face Tough Decisions on Telehealth and More in 2021,” Financial Times Health Payer Specialist (January 4, 2021)
- Quoted, “What To Watch As COVID-19 Cash Crunch Fuels Hospital M&A,” Law360 (May 15, 2020)
- Co-author, “How To Determine Eligibility for HHS Emergency Funds,” Law360 (April 24, 2020)
- Quoted, “If you get coronavirus, how much can your employer and public health officials reveal about your identity?” The Chicago Tribune (March 17, 2020)
- Featured, “Health Care Group Of The Year: Ropes & Gray,” Law360 (January 28, 2020)
- Quoted, “Mergers and Acquisitions, Private Equity in Healthcare Primed for Continued Robust Activity,” Healthcare Finance (May 6, 2019)
- Profiled, “Health Care Trailblazers,” National Law Journal (May 1, 2019)
- Quoted, “HHS Shifts Spotlight to Value-Based Care With RFI Looking at How HIPAA Inhibits Coordination,” Health Care Compliance Association’s Report on Patient Privacy (December 12, 2018)
- Quoted, “Upcoming HIPAA audits to use harsher investigative tools,” McKnight’s Long Term Care News (October 29, 2018)
- Quoted, “Health Agency Brandishes Privacy Enforcement Hammer,” Bloomberg Law's Big Law Business (October 26, 2018)
- Co-author, “What To Know About CMS' New Bundled Payment Model,” Law360 (February 5, 2018)
- Quoted, “Health Care Policy to Watch in 2018,” Law360 (January 1, 2018)
- Quoted, “Value-Based Care: 5 Not-So-Easy Pieces,” Managed Care Magazine (December 2017)
- Co-author, “Is the Current Anti-Kickback Enforcement Environment Stifling Innovation in Health Care?” Bloomberg BNA’s Health Law Reporter (August 10, 2017)
- Quoted, “Health care fraud: The hot new legal practice?,” Crain’s Chicago Business (July 19, 2017)
- Co-Author, “Ten Things Investors Need to Know About Value-Based Healthcare,” ACG Chicago's The Journal (June 12, 2017)
- Co-author, “Compliance And The Transition To Value-Based Care,” Law360 (May 31, 2017)
- Co-author, “Value-Based Health Care: 10 Things Investors Should Know,” Law360 (May 10, 2017)
- Quoted, “How Healthcare Organizations Should Prepare for a HIPAA Audit,” Health Data Management (April 25, 2017)
- Quoted, “Prioritizing Healthcare Data Security in Aggregation, Sharing,” Health IT Security (April 19, 2017)
- Quoted, “Trump's HHS Moving Fast To Grant Industry Wishes,” Law360 (March 20, 2017)
- Co-author, “What’s Ahead for Value-Based Health Care,” Law360 (March 1, 2017)
- Quoted, “How PE could be the cure hospitals are looking for,”The Deal (September 16, 2016)
- Co-author, “LabMD and FTC's Attempt to Expand Data Security Authority,” Law360 (August 3, 2016)
- Co-Author, “Evaluating Investments in Value-Based Care,” The Journal (July 5, 2016)
- Quoted, “In healthcare, linkages between strategic and PE firms prove a potent tonic,” The Deal (June 17, 2016)
- Co-author, “Key Data Privacy and Security Concerns for Investment Firms,” Law360 (May 20, 2016)
- Quoted, “Don’t Forget that Small HIPAA Violations can cause Big Problems for Hospitals,” Healthcare Risk Management (May 1, 2016)
- Quoted, “New HIPAA audits will target healthcare industry's business partners,” Modern Healthcare (March 21, 2016)
- Co-author, “Clearing Up Developer Health App Questions,” Law360 (February 26, 2016)
- Quoted, “4 Best Practices for GCs in Health Care M&A,” Corporate Counsel (September 8, 2015)
- Co-Author, “Dental Service Organizations Face Unintended Consequences From Government Scrutiny,” The New York Law Journal (August 10, 2015)
- Quoted, “Supreme Court ruling carries implications for regulatory boards,” Modern Healthcare (February 25, 2015)
- Quoted, “Supreme Court, in ‘Enormous Win for FTC,' Finds No Antitrust Immunity for Dental Board,” Bloomberg BNA Health Care Daily Report (February 25, 2015)
- Quoted, “Obamacare, Fraud, and Antitrust Top Legal Issues in 2015,” Modern Healthcare (January 12, 2015)
- Presenter, “Innovation, Data and Digital Health: Practical Tips and Emerging Trends,” Consero Healthcare General Counsel Forum (October 17, 2022)
- Presenter, “Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization: Privacy, Access, and Insurance Coverage Considerations,” Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association (October 6, 2022)
- Panelist, “Value-Based Care 2.0: What Lies Ahead?” Ropes & Gray’s health care group virtual conference (June 22—23, 2022)
- Presenter, “California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA),” Counseling and Compliance – Health Care and Life Sciences – Roundtable Discussions, New York (October 7, 2019) and Chicago (November 14, 2019)
- Presenter, “Sharing Health Data: Challenges and Solutions,” Privacy + Security Forum (October 21, 2019 - October 23, 2019)
- Presenter, “From Innovation to Solutions: Building Strategic Partnership in an Evolving Digital Health Landscape,” Ropes & Gray Digital Health Forum (September 18, 2019)
- Panelist, “Value-Based Health Care: Strategic Partnerships,” Value-Based Health Care: New Models for Success Conference, San Francisco (April 10, 2019)
- Presenter, “ONC and CMS Interoperability, Information Blocking, and Patient Access Proposed Rules – What You Need To Know,” Ropes & Gray Webinar (April 2019)
- Presenter, “Convergence: When Device, Pharma and Digital Health Companies Become Providers,” IPMI 2019 Conference (March 4, 2019)
- Presenter, “Use of Data in Value Based Care Initiatives: Reconciling Data Sharing and Individual Privacy Concerns,” Privacy & Security Forum (October 5, 2018)
- Moderator, “Navigating Reimbursement and Costs in Healthcare,” Kayo Private Equity Summit (October 3, 2018)
- Panelist, “The Importance of Data in Value-based Health Care,” Will Value-based Care Save the Health Care System? Conference at Harvard Law School Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics (March 2, 2018)
- JD, with honors, The George Washington University Law School
- BA, Northwestern University, Phi Beta Kappa
Admissions / Qualifications
- Illinois, 1983
- The Best Lawyers in America (2015-2023)
- Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2015-2022)
- BTI Client Service All-Star (2022)
- The National Law Journal, Health Care –Life Sciences Trailblazer (2021)
- The National Law Journal, Trailblazer (2019)
- Crain’s Chicago Business “Chicago’s Notable Women Lawyers” (2018, 2020, 2022)
- Legal 500 (2014-2016, 2018, 2020)
- Super Lawyers Illinois (2005-2021, 2023)