Catherine L. Hess, former senior counsel with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Inspector General, has joined McGuireWoods’ nationally recognized Healthcare Department in Washington, D.C.
In more than six years with the federal government’s largest OIG, Hess oversaw civil and administrative investigations of fraud cases involving Medicare, Medicaid, federal grants and other department programs, partnering with the Department of Justice, U.S. attorneys and state attorneys general. She negotiated civil fraud settlements with health systems, skilled nursing facilities, diagnostic testing facilities and other healthcare entities, and led efforts to educate providers about compliance risks.
As a partner at an international law firm, Hess represented healthcare organizations in internal investigations and government enforcement actions, including whistleblower suits. She comes to McGuireWoods from a leading mid-Atlantic health system, where she was vice president and chief compliance officer, helping the system develop a compliance program in the wake of a False Claims Act settlement. She was responsible for strategic planning in areas such as internal investigations, compliance education, conflicts of interest and HIPAA compliance.
“With her wealth of experience, Cathy strengthens our capabilities in fraud and compliance matters to the benefit of our hospital, surgery center and other provider clients,” said Amber McGraw Walsh, chair of McGuireWoods’ Healthcare Department. “Her years of government service are particularly valuable at a time when the healthcare regulatory landscape is shifting.”
Hess also enhances the firm’s roster of former regulators and enforcement lawyers from government agencies, said Todd Mullins, managing partner of the Washington, D.C., office.
“Cathy’s in-depth experience in healthcare investigations adds an important dimension to our practice in Washington,” Mullins said. “She has an impressive track record of collaborating with federal and state agencies across the country, which will provide advantages for our clients nationwide.”
“McGuireWoods’ premier healthcare practice has a stellar reputation for helping providers, lenders and private equity sponsors navigate complex regulatory and compliance issues,” Hess said. “I’m excited to work with this outstanding team.”
McGuireWoods’ Healthcare Department earned a nationwide ranking in the 2017 edition of “Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business,” the widely read and respected guide to top firms and lawyers. The American Health Lawyers Association ranks McGuireWoods among the nation’s top 10 law firms.