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In June 2016, AmSurg Corp. and Envision Healthcare Holdings, Inc. (Envision) announced they have signed a definitive merger agreement pursuant to which the companies will combine in an all-stock transaction. Upon completion of the merger, which is expected to be tax-free to the shareholders of both organizations, the combined company will be named Envision Healthcare Corporation and co-headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee and Greenwood Village, Colorado. The company's common stock is expected to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol: EVHC. Bass, Berry & Sims served as lead counsel on the transaction, led by Jim Jenkins. Read more.

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Inside the FCA blogInside the FCA blog features ongoing updates related to the False Claims Act (FCA), including insight on the latest legal decisions, regulatory developments and FCA settlements. The blog provides timely updates for corporate boards, directors, compliance managers, general counsel and other parties interested in the organizational impact and legal developments stemming from issues potentially giving rise to FCA liability.

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Attorney Spotlight: Michael Hess

April 6, 2016

Mike Hess Spotlight1. What is an interesting trend happening right now related to the specialty pharmacy field?

Specialty pharmacy (SP) is experiencing explosive growth due to the rapid development of new biologics for the treatment of more and more chronic diseases. In fact, specialty drug spend is expected to increase from $55 billion (24% total drug spend) in 2005 to more than $400 billion by 2020 (approximately 50% of total drug spend). Three of the four costliest prescription therapy classes will be specialty conditions. This outsized growth continues to dwarf changes to most of other segments of the healthcare market and the U.S. economy as a whole. Further, even though SPs have been a separate market from pharmacy in general since the late 1990s, it continues to be an unstable and relatively immature market with new companies rapidly gaining scale and existing participants continuing to be very acquisitive.

2. You previously worked in-house as Chief Counsel. How does this background and perspective inform your interaction with firm clients? 

I learned so many important lessons that it is very hard to narrow. Most importantly, I learned that clients do not have "legal" problems, they just have problems, and they expect their lawyer to fix those problems. Solving a "legal" problem without considering the financial, personal or public relations aspects of the issue does not solve their problem – in fact it just leaves them without the solution they sought. Further, you always have to meet your client where they are. Presentation style, words and impressions matter. You may give the best advice, but if your client cannot hear you, it is worthless. Finally, never underestimate the importance of delivering the product your client wants. Listen to whether your client needs a quick answer or a lengthy treatise, then deliver what they need.

3. You've attended the Armada Specialty Pharmacy Summit for several years now. What do you always look forward to and enjoy about this event?

The Armada conference is the one time and place each year that the entire specialty pharmacy industry gathers. All of our clients attend, which gives us a great chance to spend an hour with their full teams in a casual, non-business focuses environment.

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