Catherine (Cat) Kirkland is a partner at the firm’s Mobile office and joined the firm’s transactional and regulatory practice in 2019. Cat’s nationwide practice focuses on advising healthcare providers on a variety of reimbursement, regulatory, compliance, and operational matters. Cat brings considerable experience with supplemental Medicaid programs, physician contracting, hospital collaborations, complex financial modeling, and compliance planning.
Cat’s background in working with a diverse set of healthcare providers – including major hospital systems, physicians, pediatric hospitals, rural hospitals, managed care organizations, and state and federal agencies – enables Cat to analyze complex issues from all angles and provide practical, strategic advice and advocacy. Cat is dedicated to helping healthcare clients navigate the ever-changing healthcare landscape and is passionate about helping clients improve their operations and bottom line.
Prior to joining Starnes, Cat was a partner at an Austin, Texas law firm, which specialized solely on transactional and regulatory healthcare matters throughout the United States.
- Advised hospital systems across the nation in conjunction with various supplemental programs, managing the hospitals’ qualification, reporting requirements, funding entitlement, and independent audits. For example, Cat recently advocated successfully on behalf of a large, Midwest pediatric hospital regarding its Medicaid disproportionate share (DSH) hospital-specific limit, resulting in the hospital saving tens of millions of dollars over four years.
- Negotiated and prepared numerous physician employment contracts, lease agreements, professional services agreements, and management agreements. For example, Cat provided daily legal support to a Louisiana non-profit that employed over 100 physicians. Cat’s support ranged from daily communications with physicians to vendor negotiations to 501(c) tax-exempt applications to compliance analysis.
- Assisted clients on a wide variety of regulatory healthcare matters, ranging from Stark law to Medicare cost reporting principles to the 340B drug pricing program.
- Analyzed emerging health policy issues to aide clients with structuring, designing, and implementing reimbursement programs. For example, Cat assisted a hospital client and hospital association with revising a billion-dollar non-compliant program to comply with new federal rules, enabling hospitals throughout the state to maintain (and eventually increase) reimbursement rates.
- Supported clients with analyzing, complying with, and modeling changes to the Medicaid and Medicare program, including Medicaid expansion, Medicare DSH (recent Worksheet S-10 model), looming ACA Medicaid DSH cuts, and managed care changes.
- Analyzed operational policies and procedures addressing issues such as reimbursement, indigent care, and compliance.
- Provided general healthcare corporate, nonprofit, and compliance advice, including internal reviews, auditing, compliance training, and corrective action plans.
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Outside of work, Cat and her husband stay busy chasing their toddlers, Ben and Sam.