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. She has over thirty years of experience advising health care industry clients and investors on mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures, and the complex regulatory regimes implicated by such transactions. Currently, Deborah is also advising health care clients on issues related to COVID-19, such as operational preparedness and business continuity planning. Ropes & Gray was the 2020 firm award winner of the Financial Times Enabling Businesses Response to Covid-19.
In addition, Deborah has counseled many clients through the implementation of value-based care (“VBC”) initiatives, and is recognized as a leading voice on structuring innovative arrangements, including novel business models and structures designed to foster biotechnology companies' expansion beyond their traditional market into the provider space. She also publishes and presents extensively on VBC.
As a leading practitioner also on privacy, data security and cyber-security issues, 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 security incidents involving protected health and other sensitive personal information, including representing clients in matters involving the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights, as well as HIPAA security audits and qui tam actions initiated by state and federal government authorities.
Recently, 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.
- Blackstone – Deborah acted as lead regulatory counsel in negotiation of a joint venture arrangement between Change Healthcare Holdings, a portfolio company of Blackstone, and McKesson’s technology services business.
- Heartland Dental, LLC – Deborah represented Heartland, the largest dental support organization, in the sale of Heartland’s controlling interest from Teachers’ Private Capital, the investment division of Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, to KKR in March, 2018. Revenues for the supported practice exceeded $1.3 billion in 2017.
- 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.
- Bain Capital LP – Deborah acted as lead health care counsel in connection with its acquisition of Navicure, a leading provider of cloud-based claims management and patient payment solutions for physician practices and hospitals.
- 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 health system in a significant breach, which affected a number of other hospitals throughout the country. Deborah advised the client on forensic fact development, discontinued vendor relationship, extensive and rapid legal and factual analysis assessing the scope of the client’s appropriate notifications and executing thereon, and multi-state regulator advocacy regarding the particulars of the incident.
- 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.
- Golden Gate Capital – Deborah advised Golden Gate Capital, a leading private equity investment firm, in the acquisition of Invo Healthcare, a provider of autism and childhood behavioral health services and an array of multi-disciplinary, research-based therapy services to infants, toddlers and school-aged children.
- COVID-19 – Deborah currently advises health systems, health care providers and telehealth companies on rules and regulations promulgated, amended or waived in connection with the COVID-19 Crisis.
- 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)
- Cited, “In the News,” The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (September 27, 2017)
- Cited, “In the News,” The Chicago Daily Law Bulletin (September 25, 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, “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)
- Presenter, “Data Aggregation: Risk, Reward and Responsibility,” Privacy & Security Forum (October 2017)
- Presenter, “Health Care Fraud Enforcement Summit,” Legal 500 (October 2017)
- Co-chair, “Health Privacy and Security Intensive Day,” Privacy & Security Forum (October 2017)
- Presenter, “Cyber-Hygiene Every Day Keeps Health-Care Ransomware Attacks Away,” Bloomberg Law’s Reassess, Reinforce, Resolve: Cybersecurity Best Practices in Health Care (September 2017)
- Presenter, “Challenges & Innovations In The Transition To Value-Based Healthcare,” Consero’s Healthcare General Counsel Forum (October 2016)
- Presenter, “Breach Response: Investigations, Prosecutions and What to Do,” Information Security Media Group Fraud & Breath Prevention Summit, New York (August 2016)
- Presenter, “When Government Oversight Goes Wrong,” Information Security Media Group Fraud & Breach Prevention Summit, Chicago (June 2016)
- Presenter, “Mind Your Data: Privacy, Portability, and Process,” Consero GC Forum, Nashville (September 2015)
- JD, with honors, The George Washington University Law School
- BA, Northwestern University, Phi Beta Kappa
Admissions / Qualifications
- Illinois, 1983
- The National Law Journal, Health Care –Life Sciences Trailblazer (2021)
- The National Law Journal, Trailblazer (2019)
- Marquis Who's Who (2019)
- Crain’s Chicago Business “Chicago’s Notable Women Lawyers” (2018, 2020)
- Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business (2015-2020)
- The Best Lawyers in America (2015-2021)
- Super Lawyers Illinois (2005-2019)
- Legal 500 (2014-2016, 2018, 2020)