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 has advised clients on novel data use issues, including the use of online tracking technologies such as Google Analytics and Meta Pixel on patient-facing websites and whether the use of such technologies may implicate HIPAA, FTC and/or state data breach notification laws. She represented a renowned health system on the first-ever OCR compliance inquiry related to these technologies, without precedent or the benefit of regulatory guidance.

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.


  • Health care providers, health systems and vendors – Deborah advises on the use of online tracking technologies such as Google Analytics and Meta Pixel on patient-facing websites and whether the use of such technologies may implicate HIPAA, FTC and/or state data breach notification laws. 
  • 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.

Areas of Practice