Catherine L. Hess Senior Counsel

Catherine has nearly 20 years of private practice, government, and in-house experience in healthcare fraud and abuse investigations and compliance.

Drawing on her unique experience, Catherine represents healthcare clients in a wide variety of criminal, civil, and administrative government enforcement matters, including matters brought under the federal False Claims Act, federal and state anti-kickback statues, the federal Physician Self-Referral (Stark) law, and other false claim and overpayment laws.  Catherine also assists clients and transaction counsel during the due diligence process with identifying and investigating compliance issues, and, when necessary, self-reporting matters to the Office of Inspector General for the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS-OIG) or the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  Catherine also works closely with healthcare providers, suppliers, and payors with designing, modifying, and assessing compliance programs.  She is also one of a few private practicing attorneys with experience relating to alleged civil monetary penalty violations of the U.S. Select Agents and Toxins Program. 

From 2007 to 2013, Catherine served in several roles at the HHS-OIG, including acting Deputy Chief and Senior Counsel in the Administrative and Civil Remedies Branch of the Office of Counsel, as well as a detail appointment as the Special Assistant to the Principal Deputy.  In her role as Senior Counsel, she oversaw a diverse and complex portfolio of False Claims Act and Civil Monetary Penalty Law cases, including conducting investigations and negotiating settlements and corporate integrity agreements.  She also defended provider and supplier exclusions before administrative law judges and, in partnership with the Department of Justice, federal district courts and circuit courts of appeal. 

Catherine was also the Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer at a leading health system in the mid-Atlantic region.  She has also worked for national and international law firms where she has focused on criminal and civil government investigations, internal investigations, and regulatory compliance predominately in the healthcare industry.  Catherine began her professional career as a medical social worker.


Successfully represented a leading pediatric health system in the resolution of a False Claims Act lawsuit that resulted in no Corporate Integrity Agreement.

Defended health care organizations before federal and state regulatory and enforcement agencies, including the Department of Justice, United States Attorney’s Offices, HHS-OIG, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and Attorney General Offices.

Managed client’s portfolio of internal investigations for its seven hospital network.

Conducted healthcare compliance due diligence for sellers and buyers in multiple corporate transactions, including assessments of targets under federal criminal and civil investigations and HHS-OIG Corporate Integrity Agreements.

Developed legal and compliance department policies and procedures for global, national, and regional health care providers.

Led high-profile exclusion assessment of a 500+ bed hospital.  Matter involved briefings with Congressional members and executive branch officials.

  • Case Western Reserve University School of Law, JD, magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, Associate Editor, Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine, 2000
  • The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, BS, Social Work, 1995

Recipient, Office of Inspector General Exceptional Achievement Award for investigative work, 2011

Recipient, Office of Inspector General Exceptional Achievement Award for compliance education work, 2009

  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina
  • Moderator, "Health Care Regulation, Compliance and Enforcement," 14th Annual Healthcare Finance and Growth Conference, September 17, 2019
  • Speaker, Healthcare Litigation and Compliance Webinar Series, March 22, 2018
  • Speaker, "Sponsored Plans – Winning Strategies: Emerging Areas of Risk in Government to Minimize Exposure," Blue Cross Blue Shield 2018 National Summit/52nd Annual Lawyer’s Conference, Orlando, FL, May 1, 2018
  • Moderator, "Key Healthcare Regulatory Issues from the Provider, Payor and Government Perspective," 15th Annual Healthcare and Life Sciences Private Equity and Finance Conference, February 21, 2018
  • Speaker, "Government Enforcement Activities and Policies Shaping 2018 and Beyond," AHLA 2018 Physicians and Hospitals Law Institute, February 5-7, 2018
  • Speaker, "Modernizing Your Compliance Program," Association of Corporate Counsel Chicago, December 6-7, 2017
  • Speaker, "Effective Internal Investigations for Healthcare Entities ," Healthcare Litigation and Compliance Webinar Series, September 19, 2017
  • Speaker, "ACHE Session (New Government Stance on Fraud & Abuse)," 12th Annual Healthcare Provider Conference: Healthcare Finance and Growth, September 12, 2017
  • Speaker, "Safe Harbors and Key Legal Issues for ASCs," Becker's 15th Annual Spine, Orthopedic and Pain Management-Driven ASC Conference, June 22-24, 2017
  • Speaker, "Exclusions and Administrative Sanctions," American Health Lawyers Association, Fraud and Compliance Forum, September 2010
  • Speaker, "Updating a Nursing Home Compliance Program," American Health Lawyers Association, Long Term Care and the Law Forum, February 2009
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